**spoiler alert** I really liked this addition to the Hallows series. It gave us a little bit more of a twist and introduced some new elements to the**spoiler alert** I really liked this addition to the Hallows series. It gave us a little bit more of a twist and introduced some new elements to the world.
As for the personal relationships, these were furthered a lot. We saw people that seemed to have dropped off the radar for the last few books, which was nice. Also, new things were revealed about both old and new characters. I'm not sure that I like the new community element that was added to the world of the Hallows (and I'm not referring to HAPA).
I think my favorite scene was the final scene. I really liked the play between the two warring factions of Inderland. Another favorite scene was the earlier one between Rachel, Trent, and Al. Of course that scene leaves us wondering what in the world does "sun and shadow" mean?
Obviously "sun and shadow" is a reference to the dichotomy of the elves and the demons. Sun being the obvious reference to the elves and shadow referring to the demons. Algaliarept says that she could not be both "sun and shadow," but Trent insists that he will give her both. I'm starting to see some of the origins of the war in this little exchange.
Another point about the elves and demons line in the sand thing: Demon magic and demon life seems to be very structured by rules. It seems to be very organized and almost confining and constricting. However, humanity (and most of those that live in reality) consider them to be 'evil.' (And really I'm not going to say that they haven't furthered their own reputation in that direction.) On the other hand, we're slowly getting glimpses of elven magic. Their magic is 'wild' and while we see that it does have some confining characteristics (the ribbons that Trent puts on) Rachel repeatedly says that there's always an element of uncertainty, and one never knows exactly what will happen with these spells. So the demons are law and order (granted often with copious amounts of extremely fine print) and elves are unstructured and ... well I don't really want to use the word anarchist, but something like that without all the bad connotations.
Demons - Plentiful - Evil - Twisted Law and Order Elves - Scarce - Good - Free Wheeling
Sounds like she's starting to make some broader world social points. Especially when one adds in the fact about the nymphs who are "making a come back in the mountains now that we're not cutting down 100 year old trees" comment.
Then add in the fact that they assume (assume it, they never prove it) that HAPA's little science experiment is being funded by some mysterious group that wants to put science back in the good graces of the population.
It starts to sound like she's going for a pro-environmentalist, anti-science/tech angle.
However, the mysterious organization of "men-who-don't-belong" use very good advanced tech. Rachel is impressed with their technology. She doesn't try to get out of using it. Also the vampires seem impressed with the technology, (though they assume that it belongs to FIB, and are apparently completely unaware of the mysterious "men-who-don't-belong" group.) so everyone likes the technology.
Then again, the mysterious men who don't belong also use technology (not magic) to try to flush out Rachel's and Trent's memories (and they succeed with Mark (the barista)). And of course Rachel doesn't like that; however, it's not the fact that they are using technology that she doesn't like. It's the fact that they are messing with her memories at all.
This of course brings up a whole other discussion about secrecy versus transparency in the government (in this case the police (or police like agencies)) and their dealings with the public?
Should they have released information that their was someone (or a group of someones) kidnapping witches of the street to torture and kill? I think they should have, perhaps Winona would not have been taken if she had been aware that there was the possibility of being kidnapped. I'm not saying that they should tell the public everything, but they could slant it so it sounds like your garden variety serial killer. Thus warning the witches to be careful without giving away the fact that HAPA is still active. I certainly don't think they should have blocked everyone's memories all the time.
I do like the bureaucracy picture both at the beginning and the end. Just because there's no check mark for "demon" as a race/species she can't get her car registered in her name. Of course there's also the little fact that she's "dead" too, and that because she's "dead" she can't get it done, but she can't get the "dead" problem fixed without talking to the people that won't talk to her because she's "dead." Alright, this sounds like the two trains/two cars at a crossing/intersection; which is a problem for philosophers. But bureaucracies seem to like to put such problems in place to stymy people.
Though, harking back to my elves vs. demons discussion before she decides to stake a sit-in (a decidedly hippie (thus elvish) thing) and Al stops her.
Perhaps I'm reading WAY too much into this story. It's completely possible because I'm exhausted and feeling the need to read a nonfiction book, but this is what I saw in the story outside of the story.
The story itself came together really well. I like how they referred to the characters that were coming back after a 'hiatus' and she's like "Oh? It's been that long?" They also introduce a few other characters, like Wayde, but they make them fit in with the story already built in previous novels. He doesn't just show up out of no where. He was sent by her father (her bio father since her familial father is dead).* He also fits into the werewolf culture well. She seems to gain a few new allies in this novel (the werewolves being the most obvious one), even if they don't end up playing a large part in the over all story.
One of the side trips with the werewolves is her pack tattoo. The diversion to the tattoo parlor doesn't have any impact on the overall story. However, it does point out things about Rachel that were beginning to become apparent in the previous novel, and are made more apparent in this novel: Ivy and Jenks are beginning to have their own lives. They are moving on. In the last novel they reference the fact that Rachel was originally the driving force, dragging them along and making them change. But Ivy and Jenks needed their own lives, because they were having trouble keeping up with Rachel.
Now, in this book Rachel has strapped herself down. She's lingering in limbo and not moving forward the way the others are. This presents a couple of metaphors. One related to people and the other related to physics.
The first image that I get is the high school or college graduate who doesn't know what to do next. They watch their friends moving forward, going to college, getting jobs, but they feel like they're stuck. That certainly feels like the image that Rachel presents at the beginning of the story when she's cut herself off from most of her magic with that silver bracelet.
The second image refers to physics. And one can see it as either a pool ball or a group of kids playing snap the whip. In the pool ball scenario Rachel is the cue ball, and she hit the Ivy and Jenks balls, propelling them forward and losing most of her own kinetic energy. In the kids playing snap the whip, Rachel is the kid in the middle. She's the one that begins running forward, dragging her friends along for the ride. Then she loses momentum when the people on either side of her (Ivy holding one hand, and Jenks holding the other) begin jerking her back the other way. Now they are the ones with the momentum.
Ok, I feel like I sound like a Numb3rs episode. (Old TV show where the FBI used a mathematician to help solve a crime).
So I really liked this story as it moved forward. I like Trent becoming a bigger part of the story. However, I hope that the werewolves are going to have a larger role since we had that whole side story with her getting the tattoo. Perhaps they will play a larger role in the next story.
Also, I have another prediction for the story. Wayde will do something to get permission to get into crime scenes. He'll basically join Vampiric Charms. It sounds like he wants to settle down.
So in the running for dating Rachel:
1. Trent 2. Wayde 3. Al 4. Werewolf Alpha (can't remember his name for the life of me)
Laurell K. Hamilton Or maybe she'll turn out like Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake and just end up with a harem. Though I don't think I would like Rachel nearly as much if she went that route.
On the other hand, I'm really really glad she threw Marshall away. He ran away when she needed help. Therefore he should not get to stick around for the rest of the time. Fair weather friends are just no fun at all.
Ok, so I liked the book, and that's what I think about the book. ...more
Dexter is Delicious opens with the birth of Lily Anne; no Dexter Jr. in the books.
It's also got a couple of big surprises as characters thought deadDexter is Delicious opens with the birth of Lily Anne; no Dexter Jr. in the books.
It's also got a couple of big surprises as characters thought dead pop back to life (not literally, but more like soap opera-y where we thought they wandered off and died, but they didn't). However, I'm not mentioning any names.
Because of the baby Dexter hopes to put them all on the path to light and happiness, but of course that doesn't work. Because, as the name implies, the Big Bad is a bunch of cannibals. And at a couple of points they are just about to have Dexter to dinner. ...more
Dearly Devoted Dexter begins much like the television show starts at season two, and it's true that Dexter and Rita end up engaged, but there is sometDearly Devoted Dexter begins much like the television show starts at season two, and it's true that Dexter and Rita end up engaged, but there is something very very different about the series from the television show. In the television show the Cody and Astor are traumatized, but normal kids. In the novels they have been so traumatized as to become mini-Dexters. It's far easier for the audience to realize than it is for the kids to realize it.
The rest of the plot is the other section that was combined in season one. This one centers on Doakes, but rather than getting rid of him they just turn him into a monster, which is why he recognizes Dexter and no one else does. The actual monster that Dexter and the rest of the Miami PD are hunting is really scary though. Of all of them he is by far the creepiest. ...more
The series starts out a lot like the television show. There are a few differences, for instance LaGuerta is dead by the end of the first book, and AngThe series starts out a lot like the television show. There are a few differences, for instance LaGuerta is dead by the end of the first book, and Angel isn't a cop he's a medical examiner. However, if you're familiar with the television show there are enough similarities that it is not necessary to read this one to get the whole series.
For this one book I do like the television show better, and that's because the show does stay so close to the storyline in the book. And the show provides more description. The writing is definitely male, it is far more action and dialogue oriented than description oriented. Which is also holding with the character of the narrator....more
This is the first in what appears to be a trilogy. It concerns the oldest of the Madison Sisters who has married an evil count. He dies on the very daThis is the first in what appears to be a trilogy. It concerns the oldest of the Madison Sisters who has married an evil count. He dies on the very day that the younger sisters need to start their debut. So starts this body snatching, body switching, body hiding, split your sides romantic comedy. It was quite hilarious, even though most of the book is a very cliche comedy of errors. Bodies rolled in rugs toted up and down stairs, thrown out windows, people apparently coming back from the dead, and that's justg in the first little bit. And it all takes place in Regency England. A good book for getting away from reality. ...more
This is the first in a triology which has a lot of comedy in it. It's also got some mystery and some romance in it. The plot and the characters both mThis is the first in a triology which has a lot of comedy in it. It's also got some mystery and some romance in it. The plot and the characters both make for giggly reading.
On the other hand, she's not simply running amok with a badge (although it does sometimes look like that). It does show her in therapy and attempting to return completely to sanity. It's not meant for therapy, but neither is it meant to be entirely mocking.
I will note that this book is fairly bloody both "physically" as far as crime scenes go and "emotionally" because it discusses The Traumatic Events that cause personality disorders. However, I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book: Yours, Mine and Ours which comes out on the thirteenth of September this year (9/13/2011)....more
This is the sequel to The Countess, and it mostly occurs at the exact same time. You can see huge parts of each book in the other. Where most romanceThis is the sequel to The Countess, and it mostly occurs at the exact same time. You can see huge parts of each book in the other. Where most romance series may be read in almost any order, and only minor pieces of each (which generally add up to a macro plot) are lost, these need to be read in order, and almost one right after the other.
This book has just as much comedy, though I'm not sure if I got some of the jokes because I knew what was going on because I had read the first book, or if it was because the writing was just as good. ...more
That was a good book. It wasn't as good as some of them, but it was better than others. The bad guy was not someone that it was easy to pick out as anThat was a good book. It wasn't as good as some of them, but it was better than others. The bad guy was not someone that it was easy to pick out as an armchair detective. However, the chase was the thing. ...more
Lots of people have called Rosenberg a modern Nostradamus, but I think that he is simply someone who pays attention to events and the ripple effect thLots of people have called Rosenberg a modern Nostradamus, but I think that he is simply someone who pays attention to events and the ripple effect they have on other events. For instance the first book in his Political Thrillers series (creative series title I know), The Last Jihad begins with a hijacked plane, and while it refers a couple of times in the beginning to 9/11, the majority of the book was written pre-9/11 and those bits were added in later rewrites according the preface in the second book The Last Days.
The characters in the book are well thought out most notably in their background which gives them more rounding than otherwise would. There's a lot of history built into what happens in the book, and a lot of it is explained. Most of it isn't things that would be internationally well known either. One particularly pivotal character to the entire book (though not the main characters), just happened to be curious and bored ten years or more ago and it resulted in the opening scenes of the book.
At the same time anyone who keeps up with politics would find it interesting as an alternative history: What if? The plot is a logical production of what would have happened if, rather than going into Iraq in a post 9/11 world we dealt with them diplomatically, but hunted out and tracked down most of the terrorists. The biggest initial thing that changed was that following bush a Colorado Republican named MacPherson was elected into office to continue the work. Though the date of the opening is never given clues lead to the deduction that the book opens on the lead up to Thanksgiving 2010. The clues include: that it's Thanksgiving week, he's returning home for it; that it's just passed mid-term elections; and that he could get reelected with a landslide if his popularity holds. From there the tangents begin to diverge quickly.
The first two chapters of the book are the hardest to read. The first one because it jumps right into action packed drama, but you're still adjusting to the author's style of writing (which skips around though each scene is a complete scene). The second one is hard because, even without technical terms, a lot of financial thoughts and paragraphs occur and if you don't think in terms of high finance you might have to wade through it twice, or at least slow down (which is what I did).
This is the first book, and if you like nice wrapped up endings to the end of your books be ready with the second book on hand. The plot of the first book is wrapped up to my satisfaction and I will be trying to read a few other things first. However, the plot in general is not wrapped up; and will continue on for another four books (thus far) the second of which also is eerily accurate. According to the reviews.
The settings are well described when they deviate from something that anyone would know. For instance in the airport the biggest description refers to the long lines and is about that long; but when they go off the beaten path the descriptions get much more detailed and take in all the senses. I am thinking of one scene in particular, but because it is in the latter half of the book I won't bother to share it, but let you discover it.
The book does have Christian leanings. It isn't overwhelming, or preachy, but consider the factions involved - Israel and Iraq (which are at each other's throats over religion). Bible verses are quoted a few times, but that's about it. Just thought I should make anyone who was thinking about reading it, but has very set views of religion and politics aware of it.
The second cautionary note is that there are a lot of players. If you have trouble keeping names and jobs and personalities straight ... (Normally I'd say names and faces, but there aren't really faces here) get a pencil and a piece of paper ready; jot down the name and the political position or job association. That will help keep you straight.
Over all it was a great book, but I'm holding off on the next one because it sucks a lot out of you. It's not for children, nor is it for everyone; but those who like political thrillers will enjoy this one.
Now because political thrillers aren't generally my cup of tea, but I wanted to try something new, I don't have a lot of "If you like X try Y" for you.
If you want a little more religious studies with your thriller try Tim LaHaye's and Jerry B. Jenkin's Left Behind series which is based on Revelations (the last book of the Bible).
If you would prefer your thriller with less overt religion I would say try the series 24, which is actually a television series, but I did say that I didn't have a lot of Political Thrillers in my background. ...more