This one is very hard for me to rate and review. I absolutely love this series to pieces; however, for me, Lover Unleashed was tantamount to Lover Ens...moreThis one is very hard for me to rate and review. I absolutely love this series to pieces; however, for me, Lover Unleashed was tantamount to Lover Enshrined: way too many side stories, therefore way too many interruptions in the main storyline. Basically, in my opinion, Lover Unleashed is a complete 180 from the previous installment, Lover Mine. Before Lover Mine, there was a lot of build up in past installments as well as character development for John and Xhex's story. But with Lover Unleashed, there hasn't been. You only get to see Manny briefly in Lover Unbound, and we haven't seen much of Payne's character before now, either. I understand that Ward isn't always going to have the build up for her characters' relationships as there was with John and Xhex, but if she's not, then she should make more room for that particular story's main characters and actually give them time to connect in order for their relationship to be believable. Ward continues to dish out tomes (although Lover Unleashed is slightly smaller than it's two predecessors, Lover Avenged (527 pages) and Lover Mine (512 pages); it clocks in at 489 pages), but despite their size, the time spent with the actual main characters is slim. Especially in Lover Unleashed. A lot of people felt that Ward "brought back the romance" when she released Lover Mine, and I agree one hundred percent. But with Lover Unleashed, there's simply no time to get to know the main characters and develop an emotional connection with them. When Manny finally realizes he's fallen for Payne, it doesn't seem nearly as believable or emotional as with certain past installments. There's virtually no time for Manny and Payne to really connect and fall in love. I definitely think that Ward should have either added another hundred pages to this and dedicated all of them to Payne and Manny, or trimmed down the side stories in this in order to make room for their story.
Based upon what we do get to see of them, I actually liked Manny and Payne's character. They're not favorites, by far, but they aren't bad, either. As the reader, you feel sympathy for Payne because of all the terrible things she's been put through by her mother, and now having to deal with the possibility of never walking again (due to a fighting accident with Wrath), she's definitely been put through the wringer. At the start of Lover Unleashed, Manny's walking around with myriad memories missing (say that three times fast) from his head. I thought that Manny's reaction to finding out that Jane is actually alive and that vampires exist was maybe a little too easy and accepting. But I let that slide because I did like him. I liked the way he took care of Payne while she's immobile, and he has a sort of down-to-earth feel that makes him likable.
Fans of Vishous should really like this installment. This seemed almost like Lover Unbound, Part II. Vishous goes through a lot of I-can't-deal issues in this, and it leads to something that I think some people will really like, and some will probably even hate. (view spoiler)[I'm just not the sort of person who can understand the need for BDSM. It's not my thing and never will be. (hide spoiler)] I had heard rumors about what would happen with Vishous in this (involving other characters I won't mention for those that don't want to be spoiled), and, I have to say, Ward pleasantly surprised me with that particular storyline. I think she handled it perfectly, and it's one of the few things I liked about this installment. I never really felt that Vishous and Jane's story was very believable, but in this my feelings towards their relationship definitely changed for the better.
If you were hoping for some Qhuay action in this (like myself), or really any development with their story, I'm sorry to say that you'll be disappointed. Despite the fact that there's too many side stories in this, Ward doesn't do much with Qhuinn and Blay's story besides, perhaps, make it worse. (Chapter Forty-Eight: WTF? That better mean something other than what it seems.) I believe I read in an interview with her that things will get worse with Qhuinn and Blay before they get better, but, Qhuay fan that I am, I couldn't help but hope for a little something. :(
There's a new band of bastards (Ward's words, not mine) introduced to us in Lover Unleashed: Throe, Zypher, three cousins (no names are given for them), and Xcor, their leader. Now, Ward is portraying them as, well, not exactly evil, but definitely opposing to the Brotherhood. But I think they'll end up coming around to the good side for two reasons: 1. Ward is running out of characters to make books about, and she's recently said in interviews that she'll continue writing this series as long as the stories keep coming to her and she's alive and well. 2. Although they're supposedly bad, I noticed that Ward gives us little glimpses that seem to hint that maybe they aren't as they seem. (view spoiler)[Like how Xcor could never bring himself to rape a woman, and Throe seems to have some back history with a sister issue. (hide spoiler)] So I definitely see something changing with them. (view spoiler)[And, let me just say, chapter forty-three was completely redundant IMO. Ward could've easily done something different---like say they'd both screwed a woman and done her right---rather than dedicate an entire chapter to a threesome. (hide spoiler)]
FAVORITE QUOTES: "I have no words. Sixteen languages, but no words."
"Champagne makes me horny."
"What is your name?" she said. "You do not know that already, Chosen?" "I know not everything." "Aye." He put his hand on the rough banister. "Neither do I. Good day, Chosen."
So while Ward pleasantly surprised me in some areas and disappointed me in others, I'm still a devoted fan of this series and will definitely be reading it as long as Ward writes it. And I'm most certainly looking forward to her next novel, Envy, in her Fallen Angels series. It features Thomas "Veck" DelVecchio who makes an appearance in this book. He seems to have some daddy issues, so his story should be interesting.
Plus, *dances like a fool* Ward has recently announced that the next BDB book will be about Tohrment! I love him, and, if Ward gives him and his planned shellan (it's No'One, BTW) the proper amount of page time, it should be epic! Hopefully it'll bring back the feel that Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, and Lover Mine had. (IMO, as far as the romance goes, those have been the best of the series, thus far.) You can find the video where Ward announces that here, and you can find the book on Goodreads here.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, since this was released back in April, I think I'm just going to keep this review short.
I didn't start reading the Morganville Vampires until ju...moreWell, since this was released back in April, I think I'm just going to keep this review short.
I didn't start reading the Morganville Vampires until just last month, but I read them all in a row with barely any interruptions, and I loved them all. This one was no exception. "Kiss of Death" starts off awesome and doesn't let up.
I'm a huge fan of Shane, and Shane and Claire's relationship: which is basically a perfect mix of sweet delicious moments and hot chemistry. Claire's actually one of my favorite female protagonists out of all the series I read; and that's really saying something. Unlike most, she knows how to kick a$$ and stick by her man without playing the field (some of you must know what I'm talking about). Just as always, there's never a dull moment; even though there's not a non-stop crazy apocalyptic plotline like in the earlier installments (which, by the way, I think it's nice to sometimes just have things maybe a little bit more calm and simple, rather than the classic, Oh my goodness, we're all going to die! It's the end of the world!---Just sayin'). The last 100 pages just flew by in a blur of awesomeness.
The only complaint I have about this installment is that there wasn't enough Myrnin for me; I may love Shane and Claire, but Myrnin is MY MAN! I love his lovable, crazy, eccentric a$$! So, I'm hoping there'll be a lot more of him in the next one, Ghost Town; which I'll be starting on shortly.
I enjoyed Leaving Paradise, but not as much as I was expecting to. So, when starting this, my expectations weren't very...moreWhat to say, what to say . . .
I enjoyed Leaving Paradise, but not as much as I was expecting to. So, when starting this, my expectations weren't very high. And because of that, they were met.
I just don't like the characters or the story, for that matter, nearly as much as I do with Ms. Elkeles' other works (her Perfect Chemistry series is awesome!). It's not that I disliked this, but I won't be reading it or it's predecessor ever again. So, I guess take that how you want to.
I still love Simone Elkeles' writing, and I still love her other novels, just not these. And to whoever is interested in these two novels, I urge you to try them for yourself and not go by my review. Because I'm only one opinion.
(By the way, sorry for the short review, I'm just in a weird mood today.)
All of the Faerie courts are in peril and both Keenan and Seth are missing. Devoid of the experience and advantages of the ot...moreActual Rating: 4.5 stars.
All of the Faerie courts are in peril and both Keenan and Seth are missing. Devoid of the experience and advantages of the other faery monarchs, Aislinn is doing her best to rule and prepare for the impending War being incited by the malevolent Bananach. But without the Summer King and her newly turned faery lover at her side, how will she protect her already weakened court from destruction?
Apparently I'd forgotten exactly how much I enjoy Melissa Marr's writing. She has this way of writing that makes it almost impossible to put her novels down. It seems like one minute you're on page 10 and the next you're already halfway through.
I will admit that this isn't my favorite faery series, but it has had its good moments. I loved the first installment, the second confused the hell out of me, the third was disappointing, and, I realize that Radiant Shadows was a filler, but it was actually my favorite since the first novel, Wicked Lovely. I'm not sure why, but I really liked Devlin and Ani's story. I thought it was a nice addition to an otherwise okay series. So, for me, Radiant Shadows was an improvement. But Darkest Mercy just blows all of that out of the water. There's one thing I look for most in a series, and that is that I'll be able to re-read it in future and not have to take a loss because I bought the whole series and ended up disliking it as a whole. (*cough*Vampire Academy*cough*) Fortunately, the Wicked Lovely series is one that I'll be able to enjoy again. In most areas, Darkest Mercy didn't disappoint me. There are some things that I wish the author would've done differently, like make the novel longer so that some of her characters' endings wouldn't have been so rushed, but all in all I'm still happy with the outcome.
Throughout this series my feelings toward Aislinn's character have alternated between liking her and hating her; the latter especially in Fragile Eternity (I think that's my least favorite of this series). I strongly dislike heroines that are indecisive in their relationships. In past installments it seemed as if she were forever leading Seth and Keenan along. And yes, I know there's all of the ridiculous court rules and duties that Aislinn had to consider, but that didn't mean I had to like it. At the beginning of the series, Aislinn starts out as an average mortal girl with the gift of Sight (the ability to see faeries whereas others cannot). Initally, Aislinn fears and avoids faeries, but she ends up becoming one and ruling over an entire court of them. So her character changes and evolves quite a bit over the course of the series. And she definitely steps up to the plate in this as the Summer Queen and kicks some ass come battle time. Gotta love a feisty heroine. So, in the end, I'm quite happy with her character.
Donia has been my favorite character since book 1. She has a heart of gold that's been crushed by the King she loves, but through everything she still holds strong and takes on the role of the Winter Queen along with all of its duties.
Like with Aislinn, I've always kind of been on the fence with my feelings toward Keenan. Somehow I never really took a liking to him as I did almost instantaneously with Seth (this could very well have something to do with Seth's piercings). But I'm very happy to say that I LOVED Keenan in this. He completely blew me away and I couldn't have been happier with his character in this.
Seth. *sigh* I can't say that I like what Marr did with his character in this. Reasons being that he's not in this enough for my liking, and I think his character kind of got the shaft. I still love him, but I think the way his story is wrapped up should've been handled differently.
I'll handle Niall and Irial's characters together since they belong together this is getting kind of long. Well, if you've read Radiant Shadows then you know that Irial's character is stabbed by Bananach towards the end. And so, in this, Niall's basically a complete mess. Let's just say that Marr surprised me big time and that I'm VERY HAPPY with that outcome.
"If it's between love and duty . . . She still wanted love."
"And he was gone before she could think clearly enough to explain that her yes was a Yes, I'll marry you."
In most aspects, Darkest Mercy doesn't disappoint. And I think most fans of the series will be happy with the outcome. The conclusion of this series has made me an even bigger fan of Melissa Marr and I'm eagerly awaiting her next novel, Graveminder, set to release May 17.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Abby's just a normal junior in high school - one who's always been used to living in her sister's shadow. With Tess around, Ab...moreActual rating: 2.5 stars
Abby's just a normal junior in high school - one who's always been used to living in her sister's shadow. With Tess around, Abby fades into the background until it as if she doesn't exist. It doesn't help that Abby is below average in the looks department and has virtually no confidence. And then there's Tess: perfect, pretty, popular Tess. Every one - male and female, young and old - loves Tess. She's always had the most friends and the most suitors. Until a tragic car accident on New Year's Day lands Tess in the hospital - and in a coma. Suddenly, Abby's life is more intertwined with Tess's than ever before - and all Abby wants is for Tess to wake up so that things can go back to normal, back to every one loving Tess and forgetting Abby exists. To do this, Abby believes that Eli, a beautiful, racially mixed boy who has more than his own share of issues, can help her wake Tess before it's too late. But what happens when Tess still isn't waking up? And what happens when Eli starts showing a romantic interest in Abby? Abby is unsure of a lot of things, and there's a lot that she's missing. But one thing is for certain: Abby's been burnt by a boy before, and she's not about to go through it again.
Abby is the type of character that you'll either love or hate, understand or not understand. That's just the way she is; Abby's self-esteem is so low that it's like a hole in the earth that you can't go all the way to the bottom of, else you'll die from lack of oxygen. Her thoughts are almost constantly on how ugly she is and how unworthy she is of even being in Eli's presence; if Eli even gives her the slightest compliment or hints that he likes her, she bolts. There are also several instances where Abby blurts out her thoughts to Eli, ones that are probably better off left unsaid. Things like how she is not and never will be of the beauty or charismatic caliber of her sister; her being perfectly aware of how ugly she is; how she's just so shocked that Eli is even speaking to her. Abby is self-deprecating to the point of absurdity. That being said, I, myself, have dealt with self-esteem issues - so there were times when I sympathized with her character. But I still think that it was overdone and should've been handled differently in order to make her character more relatable and likable to more readers. (view spoiler)[Scott does deal with a lot of serious issues in this, though: OCD, lesbianism, racial discrimination, extreme self-loathing, etc. (hide spoiler)]
I don't know if Scott's other novels are written like this, but if they are, I don't remember it. She has this---well, this way of---what I'm trying to say is---is that she writes it so that---so that there's so many---so many---damn dashes and breaks in peoples' sentences that I just wanted to scream at the characters to just SPIT IT OUT! Now, wasn't that last sentence annoying? Try reading 250 pages of it. I could understand if it were just one character, just some trait that they had, but it's not. Everyone - Abby, Abby's parents, Eli, Claire . . . they all speak---all speak that---that way. Hell, Tess probably would've talked like that had she been conscious! I don't know if the author thought that by having them talk this way it would make the characters seem confused and lost, that she could invoke more sympathy from her readers this way, but it makes reading a challenge when the characters constantly stop and start again in the middle of their sentences. I found it too annoying to be endearing.
I also thought that the ending could've been done better; it seemed rushed and it didn't have the closure that I was hoping for with some of the characters. (view spoiler)[Tess is just sent off to a home for the comatose, and that's it? I'm not saying that I want a rainbows and sunshine ending, but I would've liked for there to have been at least some type of scene where she opens her eyes, maybe with Claire there, something. I think it would have even been better for Tess to have died than to leave it like the author did. There are only certain occasions where the "fill in the blank" thing works for me, and this wasn't one of them. (hide spoiler)]
For me, Between Here and Forever just seemed too repetitive; the whole thing is just the same sentences/situations/stupidity repeated over and over again until the very end. But I'll continue to read Scott's novels, as long as Scott doesn't continue to write novels like this.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)