Disclaimer: I read to about 65%. Skim read to about 90% and read to the end. Also, this review will contain spoilers for the alternate endingNo stars.
Disclaimer: I read to about 65%. Skim read to about 90% and read to the end. Also, this review will contain spoilers for the alternate ending that are not in spoiler tags.
Years ago, when Twilight was in its prime, someone told me that Breaking Dawn was never supposed to happen. That it was the book where Stephenie Meyer was given free reign to do whatever she wanted because the series was so popular, everyone would buy it regardless of quality, and rake in big dough-cheese for her and her publishers. I don't really know how true that assumption is, but dammit if isn't true for Life and Death.
Over the past few years, I've settled on generally disliking everything Twilight stands for while holding onto a morbid fascination and, begrudgingly, bestowing some sort of respect for a series that put YA literature on the map.
So when I heard of Life and Death, literally the day it released, I knew I'd buy it. No questions asked. I was hoping many of the issues I had with Twilight would be corrected with this version. It had so much potential to be great! I never expected there to be huge drastic changes to the story -- I did expect it to be pretty much the same as Twilight, so believe me when I say that was the least of its problems.
"But I’ve always maintained that it would have made no difference if the human were male and the vampire female— it’s still the same story. Gender and species aside, Twilight has always been a story about the magic and obsession and frenzy of first love."
I don't think she was very successful. There were times when I wondered what Meyer was truly trying to accomplish here. Was she trying to basically say her novel features an unhealthy relationship even with roles reversed? As in, "Hey guys, my book is horrible either way!" Or was her goal to further highlight how Twilight had a lot of instances of sexism, including sexual violence against women? Because if so, then I suppose, yeah, she was successful.
Here's a general run down: Beau is your classic Gary Stu who falls for The Ultimate Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Edythe. He has no aspirations to do or be anything until he spots the love of his life in his high school cafeteria. Not much has changed with our young, desperate lovers except for their pronouns, but Edythe is still a jerk/control freak/stalker and somehow less creepy than Edward. And Beau is still a very weak character and as interesting as the dirt beneath my shoe. There is an alternate ending which is essentially a pathetic attempt to pack New Moon and Eclipse into a clusterfuck of info-dumping. But more on that later.
What I really want to talk about is the treatment of the female characters.
I don't know how this was even possible, but reading Life and Death actually made me hate Twilight even more than I originally did. This is mostly because it became shockingly evident that certain scenes (sexual assault) were purposefully left out in this version because the characters didn't have vaginas. Lovely.
Bella's attempted rape scene has now turned into Beau's assault scene. If you remember, in Twilight, while Bella is getting lost in Port Angeles, she runs into a group of drunk men who attempt to sexually assault her. This is made clear by their jeers ("Don't be like that, sugar.") and Edward's later dialogue. But for Beau, his assailants are a mix between female and male and have the intention of beating him up because he think he is a cop. They section is entirely re-written with more dialogue, a gun and threats of death.
Then there is Rosalie's rape scene, now changed to Royal's assault scene. Instead of Royal being raped, he's tricked during the wedding and beat up within an inch of his life. Now, one could argue the time period and say, "Well, that's happened back then. It's just how things were." And, maybe, before I read Life and Death I could have seen that point. But when the two biggest instances of female sexual assault are completely left out when you swap the genders, oy, that's an issue.
Now that is not to say I wanted to see men get rape in Life and Death. It's just a glaring problem where I now see those scenes as "Literary Rape," used as plot devices to add depth and sympathy to Rosalie's character, and to give Edward a reason to look super heroic in the face of rapists. Maggie Stiefvater said it best in This is a Post About Literary Rape:
"I’m talking about novels where the rape scene could just as easily be any other sort of violent scene and it only becomes about sex because there’s a woman involved. If the genders were swapped, a rape scene wouldn’t have happened. The author would’ve come up with a different sort of scenario/ backstory/ defining moment for a male character."
That is exactly what happened here.
One could argue that Meyer wrote a more progressive version of Twilight with Life and Death and that's partly true to an extent. Edythe does appear to try to make her relationship with Beau as equal as possible. But there are constant references to the gender changes as if Meyer is trying to prove something to the reader, and they only seemed to further resign me to the fact that Meyer has no idea what she's doing. (Bold is mine.)
His straight gold hair was wound into a bun on the back of his head, but there was nothing feminine about it— somehow it made him look even more like a man.
I fumbled for my wallet. “Um, let me— you didn’t even get anything—” “My treat, Beau.” “But—” “Try not to get caught up in antiquated gender roles.”
She turned toward the cafeteria, swinging her bag into place. “Hey, let me get that for you,” I offered. She looked up at me with doe eyes. “Does it look too heavy for me?” “Well, I mean…” “Sure,” she said. She slid the bag down her arm and then held it out to me, very deliberately using just the tip of her pinkie finger.
It was like Meyer was shouting me, "DO I IMPRESS YOU?!" And I kept going:
In the hands of a more skilled writer, this might have been pulled off flawlessly. I found the changes she made with Beau's narration interesting. Meyer mentioned in the Forward that Bella is more flowery with her words, where Beau is not. This is a complete understatement. The one thing Twilight actually had going for it, was the occasionally pretty quote. I say occasional, because the novel contains too many short, simple sentences than I usually like in my books. In Life and Death's case, the writing has been watered down so much that it feels on par with See Spot Run. And I don't necessarily think this is a gender thing. Just because a character is a boy, doesn't mean he can't be articulate or well-versed.
“Bonnie, there’s something you didn’t know about me.… I used to smell really good to vampires.”
Corny. So very corny.
It's not uncommon to discover popular YA authors' inability to write convincing male POVs. *cough*Veronica Roth*cough* And I learned from Midnight Sun, that it's not exactly Meyer's forte either, but c'mon! This was really bad, even for her.
The there's Beau's obsession with Edythe's unhealthy* body. Oh, god, I'm so disgusted with this part, and I don't really understand why it was included.
"Her pale arms, her slim shoulders, the fragile-looking twigs of her collarbones, the vulnerable hollows above them, the swanlike column of her neck, the gentle swell of her breasts— don’t stare, don’t stare— and the ribs I could nearly count under the thin cotton. She was too perfect, I realized with a crushing wave of despair. There was no way this goddess could ever belong with me."
Is this supposed to show Beau's unrealistic expectations of women's bodies? That only vampires can achieve this level of "perfection" that society constantly forces on us? Because there is no other explanation that works well here and I'm really trying to give Meyer the benefit of the doubt and throw her a bone. The issue with this theory is, there's no indication in the book that this is an unrealistic view. Actually quite the opposite happens later in that same scene:
I had a new definition of beauty.
Sigh. I don't think I need to go into why this is problematic, so I'll just leave that there for your critique.
*Unhealthy, as in for majority of women, this is an unattainable beauty standard. Apologies if that came off as body shaming women/girls where that is their healthy. I'm speaking specifically about society's constant pressure on women and girls to be as thin as possible, many times to the detriment of their physical and emotional health. When Beau describes Edythe, he focuses so heavily on the sharp angles of her bones and it perpetuates the idea that these characteristics make her more beautiful than others. I find these descriptions irresponsible and feel there could have been a better way to describe her.
So let's talk about the ending. This part will have spoilers beyond this point. This is your one and only warning.
Yes, it's re-written -- horribly, if I'm being honest. During the scene with the ballet studio (which, BTW, Beau didn't take ballet as a kid because HE'S A BOY. *eyeroll*), everything is pretty much similar expect for the fact that Edythe can't suck out all the venom out of Beau's body, leaving him only one possible future: becoming a vampire super early and living happily ever after with his BAE, Edythe.
I wouldn't have had an issue with the change if it had actually been written without the massive amounts of info-dumping. It reads like Meyer decided last minute that she wanted to only do 2 chapters of the gender swap (which she mentions in the Forward), realized she spent all of her deadline time on re-writing the entire book, and quickly wrote an ending hours before she emailed it to her editor.
She crams the werewolf history, volturi history, rules of being a vampire, and Beau's human funeral altogether and it's just so goddamn messy. It also makes the insta-love look even worse because at least Bella had 3 other books and a pining Jacob to consider leaving Edward. It was just an overall hot ass mess that seemed so out of place. This is why I said they just let Meyer do whatever the hell she wants; half that stuff would have never flown with a debut novel or any novel that desired to actually be, you know, good.
Would I recommend this and should you read it? Hard to say. My first response is, "Oh, god, no. Don't waste your money." $12.99 is an unacceptable price for an ebook (thank goodness for Kindle returns!). It doesn't really offer anything vital to the Twilight fandom/universe and is generally a horrible piece of writing that I want to fling stones at. But then the other half of me enjoys the suffering of my fellow book lovers and is considering purchasing this as a gag joke to both of my lovely co-bloggers. Because that's really all this trite, wish-fulfilling, wankfest of a re-imaginging is good for, and I really, really need to stop being so damn curious about everything. But anyway, I'm rambling when all I really want to say is... the ball's in your court now, E.L. James. I eagerly await your newest, fan fiction original book.
If there is one thing that irritates me about this books blurb it's this sentence:
"There’s saving Ren, even if it i
Let's do a little pre-reviewing.
If there is one thing that irritates me about this books blurb it's this sentence:
"There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath."
What?! Are we still on this tip Cremer? WTF? Shay's wrath? This is the issue I have with this series. Cremer can run around screaming "girl power!" all she wants, but I'll tell you what's really going on here. Boarderline domestic abuse disguised as love in sheep's clothing. Shay is an awful character and I'm sorry if his immature sensibilities will be hurt when Calls attempts to save Ren's life. He would rather see Ren dead than the possibility of Calla choosing Ren over him. What a controling little prick. And all Calla does is submit. *eyeroll*
If I had to describe this book in one word it would simply be: sweet. I was a little skeptical that this book could draw me in and keep me there in su If I had to describe this book in one word it would simply be: sweet. I was a little skeptical that this book could draw me in and keep me there in such few pages. But I am happy I gave it a chance.
Camille is the story of a young girl living in England who hunts werewolves alongside Dr. Bennett, her guardian. Together they hunt beasts by night, but desperately continue to search for a cure by day. This endeavor becomes even more important when Camille and Dr. Bennett encounter Nathaniel Strider, whom Camille falls deeply in love with.
I really love Camille. She is a very strong heroine who is not afraid to speak her mind or go after what she wants, despite momentary lapses in courage. She, at first, is hesitant to attempt to bring Strider into their home as a test subject to further their cause. She knows in the end they would have to destroy him with a silver bullet and knowing their prey personally would only fully complicate matters. However, she agrees. But what she did not expect to find was not only a fragile friendships, but also a love story, inching it's way to a tragic end as it creeps closer to a full moon. Don't be fooled by the length of the story. It is a tale of self discovery and fighting for love even though you know in the end all that will remain is a broken heart. I was pleased with the ending and it left me with a satisfied smile.
I chose to give Camille 3 stars because I do wish it could have been longer. Perhaps the YA world has me accustomed to longer novels. But I find, the longer I am in the character's world, the easier it is for me to connect with them.
All-in-all, it was a very satisfying, enjoyable read. :)
Let me start by saying that I didn't hate this book, but I also didn't love it either. It was cute, spunky, and funny. Howeve Actual rating 2.5 stars.
Let me start by saying that I didn't hate this book, but I also didn't love it either. It was cute, spunky, and funny. However, there was just something about it that annoyed me.
So I've recently found out what a Mary Sue is. All this time I've been calling it "A la Bella-esque." Evie is most defiantly a Mary Sue. And I've come to the realization that I had a love/hate relationship with Evie the entire book. I thought she was really funny and down right silly at times. BUT at the same time she annoyed me with being so cheerful with her love of all things pink. I kept flipping back an forth. Sometimes I felt her endearing. Yet other times I wanted to bitch slap her.
But I digress. I did find a few things I liked about the book. I found Evie's relationship with Lend to be very realistic. It wasn't over done. They weren't ripping their clothes off after only dating for a week. They weren't confessing their undying love for one another. Actually, I would say the romance kinda took a backseat in this book. It was there, but it didn't feel like it controlled the plot. Also, I did find the book really funny. Awesome dialog. Bonus points for no cliffhanger.
Anyway, I can't really think of anything else to add to this review right now. It just didn't leave a lasting impression like I had hoped. I will continue with the series. More so, out of curiosity for where the story will go.
**The second half of this review contains spoilers. So, if you haven't read this book, read at your own risk.**
OMG, thank goodness it's over. I thi **The second half of this review contains spoilers. So, if you haven't read this book, read at your own risk.**
OMG, thank goodness it's over. I think I give out 1 star reviews about the same amount as 5 stars. I like to think of myself as a forgiving reader. I am still able to enjoy a book that has an interesting premise even with a few flaws. I also can usually find *something* I liked from a book that probably shouldn't have been published. So how did I like Wolfsbane?
Geez. Where to begin? Well, let me back track and tell you how excited I was to read this. Ya, that's right, I was excited to read Wolfsbane. I know some of my other Goodreads friends hated Nightshade, but I actually really enjoyed it. Now, I’m not saying it changed my life or anything, but I found it to be engaging and fresh. However, the same can not be said for Wolfsbane.
Let's start with the first big fail; because I'm so disappointed in this book, I'm going into some serious detail. Now I realize this was probably not Cremer's call, but let's talk covers for a minute. The original Nightshade cover was gorgeous! Then the new one came out. -_-
Then the Wolfsbane cover came out. The first one I liked, but the second one is completely over sexualized.
Why do here legs need to be open? Yes, yes, I realized she is a wolf and in some sort of "crouching tiger, hidden dragon" type pose, but it’s a bit too much. Just look at her. She's giving us all her "come hither" pose.
But even with my growing dislike for where the book was heading visually, I remained enthusiastic. And right from the start I was completely let down. Wolfsbane is entirely an info-dump about the Searchers and the Keepers. If you are wondering, yes, it will answer all your burning questions from Nightshade, but it is horribly executed. There is a lot of question and answer dialog going on that goes something like this:
A searcher would make a statement, and then Calla or Shay would say:
"How do you know that?" "What's that mean?" "I don't understand." "Tell me what's going on." "Huh?" "I'm not following."
It got on my freakin' nerves. Don't they sound like 4 year-olds asking mommy why the sky is blue? I think this was just to clue the reader in on how the Searchers operated, but it just came out half assed and made the main characters look incredibly stupid. Add that to the fact that Calla knew nothing about the Searchers, but she just agreed to work with them before they answered any of her questions. Let me tell you why that makes zero sense. Calla had been locked up in chains for a week from these people and has grown up her whole life learning to kill them. So, essentially, they unchained her and said, "Hey, sorry about that wolfie. Sooo...I know we've been enemies for a while and all, but we are about to go on a mission. Come with? We'll explain everything later." And you know what she said?
Believe me when I say, Calla was *extra* dumb in this book.
With the introduction of the Searcher's world, we get a bunch of new characters. Silas, a scribe, who's lone purpose in the story is to educate the readers Calla and Shay about the history of the Searchers and Keepers, AKA info-dump extrodinare. Then you have Conner, Ethan, Adne, Monroe and some others that have little to no importance. Now, don't ask me to describe any of these characters because that's another big fail for this book: not enough descriptions. There are so many dialogs I barely knew what the academy looked like or the facial expressions of the characters, or just what the hell was going on in the first place. The scenes that were described were half assed as well. I had to read several of them over because many times I wasn't sure what had just transpired or who said what. There was way too much telling and not enough showing. And I'm not the only one who thought it was just way too much info-dumping and dialog going on.
"My mind was reeling from the deluge of new information." "We'd been talking about a fight. Was it ever going to happen?"
Three guesses who that was...Calla. Now when you main character starts complaining about it, that should be a huge indication that things are going south for your book.
***THERE BE SPOILERS***
But let's move on to the plot. COMPLETE FAIL! This was the biggest upset for me. It is not a good thing when I know the ending from the first few chapters. Taken from my status update, page 49: "Well it's not exactly a surprise that Monroe would know of Ren, is it? Who knows, it's prolly his son too. Smh." Did I call it, or did I call it? There were soooo many hints dropped, I'm not sure this can even be considered a spoiler. Monroe kept asking about Ren and was always showing concern. Calla even noted there was something about it. But you know what? Calla didn't get it, even after Emile told Ren, "You are a fool...Just like your father." Yes, folks. This chick was still in the dark. It wasn't until near the end when Conner came out and actually told her that she got it. And he only mentioned it to her because he thought she understood what Emile said. Oh but it gets better!! Her IQ was at a steady decline in this book. When Ansel shows up no one seems to question why the Keepers would just dump Ansel off downtown with everything that he knows about the rest of the pack's whereabouts. I mean did they all just swallow a STUPID pill?! They let him go and don't even question it. WTF. I think Calla might even have had a little inner dialog about her missing something (Gee, ya think?!), but she just shrugs it off like usual. And by the time Ansel's true intentions are ousted at the end, everyone is in shock. She literally had a *gasp!, shock!* moment in both of these cases. And ya know, I was having a moment of my own too.
I'm not sure why Cremer's editor just let this slide, but this plot should have went straight back to the drawing board. When I can see straight through the plot and predict the outcome, thus killing the shock value, you've got a problem. Things were just painfully obvious and even when Calla questioned it, Cremer had her conveniently look the other way so her, already gaping, plot hole didn't completely fall apart. But, it did. And this is where I blame the editor. Seriously, Cremer, fire that person because they did you a HUGE disservice for this book. (view spoiler)[(hide spoiler)]I tried to rationalize this a bit, "Maybe that was Cremer's intent. Maybe she wanted the reader to know, but for the character's to find out later. Dramatic irony anyone?" I quickly shut that shit down. No, just no. Not even my inner fangirl can save Cremer on this one. If she was going for dramatic irony then things should have gradually been revealed to the reader with the movement of the plot. Your characters shouldn't be sitting in a freakin' room questioning it only to say, "This doesn't seem right and I'm sure it will bite us in the ass later but...what the hell!" And bite them it did as they walked right into an ambush. After some people die, Calla has the nerve to obviously point out, "It had always been a trap." OMFG, could she get any dumber?! The answer is yes. Yes, she can.
Let's talk about Shay for a bit now. What. An. Ass. There. I said it and I feel better for it every time. There was a scene in this book where Calla and Shay are making out when Calla starts thinking about Ren and decides she is not ready to put out. So Shay's like, "What up Cal? You want me!" And she's all, I know...but..." Then he notices she is still wearing the ring Ren gave her. And you know what? Shay gets angry and semi-abusive. Calla goes,
"For a moment I thought he would shift forms and bite me."
I don't know what I'm more offended by; Shay's reaction to the ring or Calla's submissive behavior. Both, definitely both. I'm not sure what Cremer was hoping to accomplish with this scene, but I think it's safe to call fail on this too. This was starting to get a little to Patch and Nora for my tastes and if you don't know how I feel about Hush, Hush, here's a clue: I effin' hate it. I wasn't a fan of Shay and Calla's relationship in Nightshade to begin with, but now this?! This is NOT OK. In no way, shape or form, is it ever OK for you to feel threatened in a relationship! YA PNR authors stop trying to convince me otherwise with your stories of love. That is not love, it's wrong and offensive. I don't know what was going on with him in this book, but he was not acting as the Shay we met in Nightshade. When Calla and the Searchers set off on the mission to find her pack mates on the mountain, Shay knew they would be unsuccessful, yet said nothing and let them go. He deliberately let Calla go into danger without any sort of reasonable explanation. Best believe, the one he gave was shitty.
"I wanted you to be safe," he said, his shoulders tensing. "I thought you could prove your worth to the Searchers without actually running into trouble."
WHAT?! That makes no sense, Shay. Sending her into high alert, enemy territory doesn't actually scream "I love you!" Two, count 'em, two people died during that mission!! *Headdesk**Headdesk**Headdesk*
Now, let's talk about a few other fails. What? There's more you ask? *Looks up at the top of the page* This is a 1 star review for a book that (at the time of writing this review) has a rating of 4.15. It is my literary obligation to fully tell all fails this book has.
Anyway, moving on to the world building. I honestly don't know where to begin with that hot mess. I couldn't even keep up because it made zero sense. But here is my best attempt. With the introduction of the new character, Adne, we learn that she is a Weaver. I will spare you all the fancy talk Cremer uses and just say she can create portals. My problem with the world building is the explanation of the Searcher's use of magic vs. the Keepers. Obviously, if the Searchers can just create portals out of anywhere the question would arise on why the Keepers haven't just followed right through the portal. The explanation?
"...so the Keepers broke some big rules on the way to all that power they have...they cannot weave. The earth won't allow it."
How convenient. Not only that, but it seemed to be no limits on what the Weavers could do. For example, (view spoiler)[near the end Adne wants to use Calla's ring to find Ren. So she explains that her mystical power includes using objects to find people. Kinda like a GPS. Of course you can, Adne. Then Calla was worried about being seen on the other end of the portal, but Adne quickly brushes that off says
"A location thread weaves a window; we can't go through it, but we can see what's on the other side."
Speaking of conveniences, we find out who Shay's parents are. We learn that Shay's father was a Keeper and his mother a human. Now, I know what you are wondering. Does that mean Shay has been a Keeper all along?! No kiddies, that is where the world building fails once again. Say hello to the biggest plot cop out in the book:
"I don't understand why he's not a Keeper," I said. "Doesn't it matter who his father was?" "It matters for the prophecy," Silas replied. "But in terms of his essence, his being it's the mother that matters." "Huh?" I frowned. Tess smiled. "Because the power of creation rests in women." Silas said," Tess is right. The mother's essence always seems to dominate, determines the nature of the child. That's why you only perceived him as human--in all respects he was. His father's use of the Nether's power didn't pass on to him. The only sign of his mixed ancestry is the mark."
*Sigh* Really, Cremer? I'm sorry, I'm not buying it, especially when Silas just got finished tell the Calla and Shay that the Keepers are all humans like the Searchers. Are you following this BS? Now, if the Keepers had Shay for 16 years, why didn't they just kill him if they knew who he was? He was the almighty Scion and you had him for YEARS to yourselves. That was never questioned nor explained and it freakin' agitated me.
Let's move along to a few inconsistencies. Ethan is one of the new characters in the book and he happens to hate Guardians with a fiery passion, especially Calla since she witnessed his brother's death in Nightshade. He pretty much tries to kill her in the beginning of the book. But during the gang's last mission to save Calla's pack, he sees Sabine and suddenly he just forgets his former prejudices?
Free of the chains, Sabine leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Ethan's neck, pulling him into an embrace. "Thank you," she said. "Thank you so much." He stiffened in her arms, his tensed muscles finally easing when she didn't pull back. He let his cheek briefly rest against her hair. "Jasmine," he murmured. "What?" Sabine asked, looking up at him. He cleared his throat. "You're welcome." "Even a Searcher," Nev snickered. "Only you, Sabine. I swear."
The book takes place over just a few days. Does Cremer expect me to believe Ethan made a complete 180 overnight? No, just no.
And at the end of the book Sabine mentions that Shay is their new male alpha and this shocks Calla. She literally has no idea how that is even possible.
Bryn smacked her palm against her forehead. "I'm an idiot." "Well, I must be one too," I snapped. “Because I'm still not following." "You're not following because you are an alpha, Cal." She offered me a sympathetic smile. "Shay's always felt like an equal to you, right? He talks to you on your level, has never backed down if you challenged him?" I chewed on my lower lip. "I guess I thought that was just a human thing. That he didn't know any better because he wasn't one of us."
This might have been all fine and dandy, if she hadn't have already acknowledged this on page 58:
His wolf instincts were taking over, and they were threatening something he considered his territory...me. He was acting like I was his mate. His alpha counterpart. And that meant only I could intervene.
Shay watched me, uneasy, but he was listening. I was taken aback by how deeply the wolf had marked him. The way he reacted to me was the way on alpha took counsel from another. That partnership made strong, unwavering leaders. If his mind was working on those terms now, I knew how to sway him.
Based on that, why the hell was she surprised by what Sabine said? Inconsistent. Why didn't the editor catch that, hmmm? (view spoiler)[
My final thought on this book is that Cremer disappointed me big time with this sequel. I don't even know if I want to read Bloodrose. I started this August 3rd and finished September 11th. I had to renew this book twice so I wouldn't get any overage fines. That is pathetic for me.
This book FAILED
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**Don't click the spoilers if you haven't read the book.**
I think it's time to admit to myself that The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series **Don't click the spoilers if you haven't read the book.**
I think it's time to admit to myself that The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series are just not for me. I suppose it's not a secret I'm not a huge fan of Cassandra Clare's work, but I won't deny that there were some things I did enjoy with each series. However, this was a disappointing read for me. I originally liked the premise of the first book in the Infernal Devices series, but this installment seemed to focus more on the character's relationships rather than the plot. It's the same problem City of Fallen Angels had, except I do think Clockwork Prince was LOADS better than that.
In Clockwork Prince The Shadowhunters in the London Institute find themselves in a serious bind. Due to the startling turn of events in Clockwork Angel, Charlotte is threaten to be removed as head of the institute unless she and the others can discover what the Magister is planning and capture him. The Shadowhunters immediately get to work diving into the Clave archives, searching for clues to the Magister's past. Unfortunately, it is not just his secrets that are exposed as the loyalties of the institute members are also revealed.
That sounds fairly interesting, right? So what's my issue? Why couldn't I love this book? Well, if I put it bluntly: It was boring. The beginning took way to long to pick up and if I had to guess, I'd say nothing exciting happens until around page 250. Um, I don't know about you, but that is way too long to keep me hanging. It took me 15 days to read this book. 15 days. At one point I just had to put it down for a few days and read something else because every time I picked up the book it would put me in this kind of mood:
Sure the Shadowhunters did things, but every time they were about to go on a mission we are given unnecessary descriptions of what Tessa is going to wear or how Sophie did her hair or how silver Jem's eyes looked that day. Who cares? The suspense leading up to the mission died while Tessa was taking her sweet ass time getting dressed. Speaking of Tessa, she is a pathetic heroine. She is good for one thing only: changing her appearance. She's not a fighter and despite her being trained in this book, she was virtually worthless. Yet, they always had to take her along on missions. When they actually used her power she manages to screw it up. They attend a "bad guy's party" (Just go with it. I don't want to spoil it for you.) and Tessa screws up her disguise because she drinks some type of spiked warlock lemonade. Yeah. I don't know about you, but when I'm crashing a bad guy's party, I never drink the punch. So she's walking around as herself and none of the evil dudes seem to notice or care. HUH? But she's an idiot, so I don't expect much from her. However, Will drinks it too. At that point I'm thinking, "You've been a Shadowhunter for how long exactly?" That scene made no sense.
Even though the book was boring, that's not even my biggest issue with it. While I was reading I always felt disconnected to the characters. The only character I did care about was Jem and that's probably because he's the only one who didn't seem like a direct rip-off from the Mortal Instruments series. I felt flashes of these characters in Clockwork Angel, but now I'm fully convinced that Draco/Harry Will is Jace, Hermione/Ginny Tessa is Clary, ect.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice--Nope. I see what you did there.
Will Jace. I hate this guy. He reminds me of the Jace in City of Fallen Angels. "I can't be with you because it will kill you! So I'm going to act like the shitiest person on earth so you will hate me!" Sound familiar anyone? Seriously, there are only so many times you can recycle a plot twist before you become predictable. I'm not sure you can even call it a plot twist anymore. So not only is he a carbon copy of Jace, but he goes through the same tortured character issue too? No, I'm not buying that. He was the reason why I almost didn't finish the book. He's such a prick and Tessa knows it, but she still loves him "because there is just something about him!" *eyeroll* Yes, I'm well aware of the curse, but that entire situation never seemed real to me anyway. (view spoiler)[It was so obvious that the curse was a fake. "Everyone who loves you will die! Muahahaha!" What kind of lame curse is that? And why did Will think no one loved him? Charlotte's love for him was just pouring off the pages. He didn't think it odd that she was still alive? Does anyone besides Jem use their brain in this series? (hide spoiler)]
So when I finally get to the "good part," some things happen that are supposed to shock me, I guess. There is this big revelation made right before the fight scene. (view spoiler)[We find out Nate and Tessa aren't brother and sister. (hide spoiler)] WAIT. Didn't you use that revelation is City of Glass, Clare?? Please stop putting you plot twists through the laundry wash cycle. It doesn't make them new again. *sigh*
After the fight scene, there is still a good 75 pages left and I was hoping for more action. But, of course, there is none. Most of it is filled with more relationship drama that surprisingly made me happy. However, it will most likely piss off fans of the series. LOL. (view spoiler)[That's right, Will! You are shit outta luck! (hide spoiler)] There is a cliffhanger at the end of the book, but by that time I was so through with it all, that it didn't move me one bit.
The writing was difficult for me, but I've never really jived well with Clare's style. Death to those bloody commas! My eyes are waving little white surrender flags! O_o Another thing I found strange was that Tessa is supposed to be American (right?), but it seemed like she still sounded English. In other words, all of the characters spoke very similarly. There was only one time when Tessa used an American slang term and it felt odd and out of place. And how many times must the word 'quite' be used? "Oh, you are quite right!" "This is quite uncomfortable." "I don't think you quite understand." I'm pretty sure 'quite' is used every few pages and it's annoying. The characters are trying so hard to sound English. It just didn't work for me.
Will I read Clockwork Princess? I don't know, maybe. The only reason I'm remotely curious is because I want to see what's going to happen to Jem. I like that guy. Yeah, I know. The volcanoes in hell are freezing over because I actually really like one of Clare's characters. Amazing.
Oh, and before I forget: (view spoiler)[Did anyone else notice anything familiar with how the Shadowhunters vote? Um, Goblet of Fire anyone? (hide spoiler)]
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Wow, there's four days of my life spent reading this book that I'll never get back. And it normally doesn't take me that long, but I had to self motiv Wow, there's four days of my life spent reading this book that I'll never get back. And it normally doesn't take me that long, but I had to self motivate myself with promises of chocolate ("If you just read one more page..."), just to get through it.
I usually don't give too many books only 1 star. In fact there is only one book I can think of that angered me this much and that was The Vampire Diaries: The Return. I only got 50 pages deep into it before I flung it across the room. So I am very proud that I was able to finish this POS to write a review.
There is NO reason this book should have a higher rating than Mockingjay, a few Harry Potter books, and The Pride and the Predjudice. NO REASON.
After all of that, I have one question for Cassandra Clare:
Was this some sort of sick April fool's joke? Why was this even published?
Now before the fangirls come out to defend their master , let me explain.
I actually liked the original 3 books. I wouldn't say I loved them or call them literary masterpieces, but I *did* find them entertaining.
City of Endless Angst City of Fallen Angels picks up 2 months after City of Glass left off. One would think the conflict between Jace and Clary was over, but no. CC has the nerve to regress her characters. And there lies my biggest problem with the book: WHERE WAS THE PLOT? While everyone was busy fawning over each other, Shadowhunters are being murdered! But, alas, no one gives a shit.
How would I describe our characters in CoFA, you ask? Well a picture is worth a thousand words:
DracoJace: Bordered between and Wangsty teen and a cocky prick And yes kids, he actually says he is better than everyone.
Clary: "He loves me. He loves me not."
Simon: I really liked him in the orignial trilogy. I found him funny. Sadly, he was boring. He wandered around this book with not a clue what was going on.
Alec and Magnus: *sigh* They didn't even show up until half the book was over. And when they did all they did is bitch about Magnus' past sex life. Yes, more and more angst.
The gang is supposed to be investigating the murders of the shadowhunters, but there isn't much investigating going on. Instead, they are too busy ignoring each other, going to Simon's band gigs, and ripping each other's clothes off in an alley. Speaking of Simon, he is apparently dating Isabelle and Maia at the same time. Yet, he doesn't know how it happened. Ya, Simon, we already established that you are confused.
What's driving Jace and Clary apart? Well, Jace starts having these nightmares where just as he and Clary are ripping away their clothes, he kills her. He decides to ignore her, so as not to hurt her. Why Clare, why? Why did you have to play the "I love you, can't you see it's killing me?!" card? Stephenie Meyer already cashed in on that lotto ticket amoungst other recent, pathetic YA novels.
To top it off, we have evil minions in gray track suits and sneakers and a badass villain killed in the most shitty ending I have ever read. And that cliffhanger! Not everyone who dies has to come back to life, Clare. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Valentine makes an appearance in the next two books.
Clare is also very inconsistent with her storyline. When Kyle is first introduced to us he has black hair. However, two pages later he has brown hair. Jace doesn't believe in God, yet has the most angel blood in him that anyone else. The *Pepsi* sign is blue and red, not Coca Cola. Jace doesn't understand any of the pop culture references Simon quotes, but Jace spews Shakespeare lines off like its second nature. Seriously, why didn't the editors catch this?
Does my review seem like it's all over the place? Well, good cause that's exactly how this book was. ALL.OVER.THE.DAMN.PLACE.
A few days ago Clare posted a FAQ about the book and ending. She is basically validating why she, Almighty Author, is a genius and you, lowly reader, are an idiot. You can read it here if you haven't already. http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com...
And you know what I have to say to her little condescending FAQ? Cassandra Clare, I'm calling you out on the bull shit. It's time to stop riding J.K. Rowling's cash cow. Get off, the ride is over!
*sigh* I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the fact that my taste in YA novels are changing. Maybe it's because since reading the first MI book in 200 *sigh* I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the fact that my taste in YA novels are changing. Maybe it's because since reading the first MI book in 2009, I have read so many better book series. Whatever the reason, CC just does not impress me. The writing is bad and she has poor use of similes.
I didn't feel the love Jace felt for Clary. If anything, I felt downright embarrassed that Jace was pinning over his "sister" and pretty much not caring. All the while, Simon is in the corner about to be sick. It was awkward.
In a recent Q&A discussion, Maggie Stiefvater mentioned that she loves to write books that will make you cry your little e Actual rating: 3.5 stars
In a recent Q&A discussion, Maggie Stiefvater mentioned that she loves to write books that will make you cry your little eyes out. And I did...for Shiver. I'm not sure what it is, but Linger and Forever just did not string up the same emotions. Did I enjoy them? Sure. But the magic just wasn't there like it was in Shiver.
Forever picks up a few weeks after the events in Linger. Sam is pretty much going through the motions until Grace shifts back into human form. The new threat in the novel is Isabel's father attempting to get the wolves taken off the protective list and Shelby, the crazy she-wolf, attacking and murdering new pack members.
Now, while the sparks didn't exactly fly between Forever and I, there were a few things that I did really enjoy about this book:
1. Maggie has such beautiful prose. It is undeniable. I LOVED it. Her writing style calls to me and speaks my soul's language. I think this is most quotes I have "liked" from just one book. I could quote her books all day long because it is so poetic. She just has a wonderful way with words that can invoke so much feeling with so few words. This book can easily be described as "emo," but never comes across as too much teen angst. The feelings the characters displayed seemed very realistic and believable to me.
2. Cole. Need I say more? Dude is made of that special flavor of awesome sauce. His witty, comedic voice was the fudge icing on my German chocolate cake. YUM.
3. Grace's relationship with her parents. In a lot of YA novels these days, parents are conveniently out of the picture while out hero or heroine is running of saving the world. Usually, this is unrealistic. However, I really liked how this was handled in this series. Yes, Grace's parents are not around, BUT this is acknowledged that it wasn't a good thing or normal. In fact, Grace confronts her parents in Forever about this. I think this was important to address because Grace needed her parents and was forced to grow up without them.
4. Isabel's feelings about Jack. They were so spot on for how a sibling feels about losing the other. So accurate.
One main problem I had with this book was that every time something big or interesting was about to happen to one of the characters, it immediately switches to another character's POV. As a result, a lot of the action happens "off-screen" and we are later told about it through another POV. I found this irritating. (view spoiler)[For example: I would have really liked to see more of Cole's experiments, the science behind the Wolf, and most importantly, Beck's capture! (hide spoiler)]
I'm not entirely sure how I liked the ending. On one hand, I think it is a very realistic end and it works. But on the other, I feel like it just *ends*. It didn't really disappoint me, but it didn't satisfy me either.
All in all, this series was a good read and I'm really looking forward to future works from Maggie Stiefvater.
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I must say, I rather enjoyed The Last Saint! It started off a bit slow for me and at times I felt some scenes were forced, but overall it was a fun re I must say, I rather enjoyed The Last Saint! It started off a bit slow for me and at times I felt some scenes were forced, but overall it was a fun read.
Grace has her hands full in the exciting sequel to The Dark Divine. In The Last Saint she not only struggles to hold onto her relationship with Daniel, but also resisting her inner wolf. Violence, once again, threatens the good city of Rose Crest and nothing and no one seems to be as they appear.
The reason Daniel and Grace stopped talking to each other seemed forced or bland. I wish there was more depth there. I don't know. I just feel that part could have been better written. I found myself asking, "Why aren't they talking again?", a lot. But I was happy that this book did not seem as predictable as the first one. There were a few things I did guess, but the ending had a nice cliffhanger and I look forward to reading the next one.