I finally figured out the issue with the conclusion of Richelle Mead's series: the last book is not necessary. This is the problem I have with Mead. S...more I finally figured out the issue with the conclusion of Richelle Mead's series: the last book is not necessary. This is the problem I have with Mead. She starts off relatively good with her plot; the third and/or forth book being the strongest. Her stride begins to really diminish at the fifth book and she crashes and burns with the final book. This is the direct result of there being too many books in the series. The ending to this series could have easily been included in Succubus Shadows and in the process saving us all a headache.
We last left Georgina hearing Seth whisper her first name Letha. This book picks up with her still questioning how it's possible for him to know that name. I don't understand why she couldn't guess (view spoiler)[reincarnation (hide spoiler)]. It was so obvious at this point! The plot was so thin in this book you could see right through it. Georgina asks her friends and Jerome how Seth could know her original name and soon after finds herself being shipped off to Vegas. Yet, again she just couldn't connect the dots of the sudden transfer. It was very frustrating.
The first half of the book was pretty much fluff filled with angst over her impending move, Seth's family issues and...wait for it...bowling. This is why I say Mead could have wrapped this up in book 5. By the time we get to the big reveal, the anticipation is lost because the reader has already come to a conclusion Georgina was too slow to get. The second half is full of predictable plot closures ending with a neatly tied "happily ever after" bow.
I didn't hate it, but I didn't really like it either. I barely had the will to write this review.
Well, that was something I don't read everyday. I don't think I've ever read a book that had the ability to make me laugh out loud on one page and cri...moreWell, that was something I don't read everyday. I don't think I've ever read a book that had the ability to make me laugh out loud on one page and cringe on the next. When I first picked up Sh*t My Dad Says, I had no idea it originated from Halpern's twitter page. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I can see why the twitter page, which compromised of random quotes from Halpern's dad, would be a hit. It's just the right amount of comic relief you may need while wasting precious hours of your life scrolling through twitter. It's sort of like following Yoda, Darth Vader, Snape or my personal favorite, Lord Voldemort, on twitter.
His tweets are mildly offensive, but admit it. You lol'ed, didn't you? So, in that context the quotes found in Sh*t My Dad Says are funny. But what happens when you put it all in one place? The short answer is simple: It's not very funny. Okay, wait. Some of the quotes are funny and in the beginning I did laugh quite a bit, but as I got further and further into the book, the novelty wore off. What was once humorous as an occasional tweet, turned into just a very vulgar book.
My biggest issue with Sh*t My Dad Says is that most of the quotes were directed towards Halpern when he was a child. This did not sit right with me at all. Cursing at and shaming children is wrong on so many levels and I failed to see the humor in that. It totally killed the entertainment factor when his dad is directing the F-bomb at his young son left and right. And I was sitting here waiting for an adult to correct this guy, but it didn't seem like it was anyone's issue but mine. It was very shocking because if my dad had said half of the things Halpern's did to me, I would cry a river. I'm not saying his dad didn't love him or care about him, but wow. I just don't understand how someone could show so little respect and talk down to a child like that.
So as far as I'm concerned, these quotes would have been better off remaining on twitter and not in a book. Sh*t My Dad Says is the perfect example of the age-old rule: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Introducing an even more abusive and disturbing TWILIGHT! Now with whips and chains!
Fifty Shades of Shit
Haters, please exit stage left.
I'm not sure what possessed me to pick up Fifty Shades of Grey. I thought I might genuinely like it before I started, but all I was left with was one hell of a mindfuck. Whatever it was that brought on this knee jerk purchase seems to have mercifully left me with enough common sense to say I will not be continuing on with this series.
Recently I discovered one of my favorite publishers, Random House, has picked up Fifty Shades of Grey and made this statement:
"An original work, and said to us that James had warranted the books were, indeed original. Messitte added she was “aware of the narrative that [50 SHADES] started as differently titled piece of fiction, but that they were and are two distinctly separate pieces of work."
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call bull shit on that. Fifty Shades of Grey and Master of the Universe (the original fan fic) are essentially the same thing. The biggest difference being Edward and Bella's name being replaced with Christian and Anastasia respectively. And I would know this because I have both and while I was reading, I would occasionally switch back and forth between the two without difficulty. I'd go through and give you examples myself, but other people have done it already here and here. So if you must read this book, do yourself a solid and find the fan fic online. You even get the second book too!
I know some people claim this has no similarities to Twilight and got dammit, I'm allergic to all the bull shit. Do I really need to point this all out? Because it looks pretty obvious to me. The mannerisms of the characters are exactly the same. They even say similar things the original characters say. The whole "dazzle" line and Edward asking Bella to trust him. Her mother being remarried with the same inability to maneuver her way around a kitchen. Bella is still trying to save Edward from himself due to his troubled past. Edward still stalks and controls Bella, only now he gets to hit her when she gets out of line.
*facepalm* Shall I beat them both? Yes?
I struggled to come up with a proper review for this book and couldn't figure out why I was feeling rather uninspired to write one. And then I figured it out. I was left so disgusted by this book that I wanted to purge the memory of its existence from my mind. With a rusty nail. Every time I thought of the book my brain cells would go on strike, yelling obscenities at me. Anyway, I thought Bella and Edward's relationship couldn't get anymore fucked up than Twilight. I stand corrected. If I were to describe FSoG in one sentence it would be this: Fifty Shades of Grey is like Twilight on steroids, high on ecstasy, in a dirty little corner. A very dirty corner. With badly written sex. Lots.
Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of the beautiful (but of course she doesn't know it), naive virgin, Anastasia Steal after she is suckered into interviewing the Greek god, Christian Grey. Of course, sparks fly and for some unknown reason he can't seem to stay away from this incredibly, unremarkable girl. Ana discovers Christian is into BDSM and desires her as his submissive fuck buddy.
There are a myriad of problems with this novel, many of which ironically can be found in Twilight. Never saw that one coming! Christian/Edward is still a controlling bastard, only now he hides behind his BDSM practices to camouflage his abusive tendencies. However, Ana doesn't see it that way. She thinks of him as a broken person and it's her duty to fix him. Even when he says things like this:
"I want to hurt you. But not beyond anything you couldn't take."
Can you believe she let's him beat her after that? And please don't even bother to tell me that it's just BDSM. No, just fucking no. Ana is genuinely afraid of Christian and is never entirely comfortable with the "punishment" aspect of their relationship. But Christian just manipulates her with sex to continue the relationship. And that's what really gets me. I just have a hard time believing a virgin would somehow become a sex goddess overnight, because that is exactly what happens. When she first is introduced to his kinky lifestyle and tells him she is a virgin he immediately tells her he needs to handle that "situation" before they could continue. What?! Since when is your virginity a "situation?" But, that's not really the kicker. Oh, no, because that is when we are introduced to Ana's two best friends. Everyone say hi to:
Anna's inner goddess, who always cheers her on when Christian wants sex or wants to punish her. She's also quite annoying, doing back flips at the mention of anything sexual related. Simmer down. Where did she come from exactly? Ana is in her twenties and has never felt the urge to have sex with anyone until Christian comes along with his whips and chains?!
And... Ana's sub-conscious, who hides behind couches when it comes time for her beating. When it comes to Ana having sex with Christian, well, her sub-conscious only has one thing to say,
So after the "situation" is handled, Ana has to sign a "contract" agreeing to his sexual demands and also outlining things she won't do. It was pretty pointless considering he still got what he wanted and she never signed the damn thing. He exploits her, stalks her and abuses her! She cries after sex. She is afraid of him being angry! Even when he is angry at something else, she thinks it's her. Her reasoning for allowing him to hit her as his therapy is because she's afraid to lose him. That is not a reason for agreeing to a BDSM lifestyle! In fact, that's not even really "consent!" These quotes just scream domestic abuse to me:
"Please don't be angry with me," I whisper.
"Please don't hit me," I whisper, pleading. His brow furrows, his eyes widening. He blinks twice. "I don't want you to spank me. Not here. Not now. Please don't."
Yeah, he's a real catch, that one. Barf. No, excuse me. That's not right. The barfing came when the little ass-wipe PULLED HER TAMPON OUT AND RAMMED HIMSELF INSIDE OF HER. OMFG. Yes, the caps were totally necessary because that was the most disgusting thing I have ever had the misfortune of reading. That is not sexy, that's foul.
Whenever Ana thinks about leaving him, he comes over to her apartment unannounced pounds into her (literally) and her inner goddess does a fucking happy dance, forgetting her urge to kick his sick ass to the curb. They fight, they breakup. They kiss, they sex up.
The writing is a shitty mess too. I mean, if I had to sit and read Ana saying "Holy, shit!" or "Holy, Fuck!" or "Oh, my!" one more time, I was going to lose it. I wanted to take my red pen and have at this "book" so badly. It was the little things like Ana's roommate saying over and over, "You never cry Ana," and what do we find Ana always doing? Crying. I'm not sure where the hell the plot was. *smacks forehead* How silly of me! Didn't I mention this was a Twilight retelling? Why was I expecting a plot? And another example of poor writing: for these characters to be American, they sounded very British to me. They used phrases that Americans don't use.
And now I'm trying to figure out why this book is so popular. Why do so many women love this book? I get the appeal of the bondage even though it's not my usual cup of tea. Whips? Chains? Sounds exciting!
The Shadow Reader had everything I love in a fae book. Seriously, I have a special place in my heart for fae characters. Ahem, Ash and Puck. *Wink, wi...moreThe Shadow Reader had everything I love in a fae book. Seriously, I have a special place in my heart for fae characters. Ahem, Ash and Puck. *Wink, wink* It had action, hot Fae guys, adventure, romance, hot Fae guys, court intrigue, witty dialogue, and epically cool fight scenes. Oh, and did I mention the HOT FAE GUYS?!
Excuse me while I fangirl.
McKenzie Lewis is a special human. She can see the Fae and read their shadows. This ability makes her a very important ally in the war raging between the Court and Rebels because she can tell where the Fae are teleporting to. Just think of her as one hell of a blood hound and you get the picture. For years she has helped the Court track down and kill Rebels, until one day she is kidnapped by a rebel leader named Aren, who henceforth in this review shall be known as: "Le Hottie." While in captivity, she discovers the war she once considered black and white, just gained a whole lot more colors in between. As a result, she starts second guessing her alliance with the Court and her awkward relationship with the King's sword-master, Kyol, "Le Steamy".
First off, this is a really awesome debut novel for Sandy Williams. The Shadow Reader grabbed me from page one and held me in a choke hold that would make "Stone Cold" Steve Austin proud. And considering the last two books I've read had me in a "two-star" reviewing slump, I was extremely grateful for a fun read. That's not to say this book is without its flaws. Oh, no. Lol. But, there is just something about it that makes me a lot more forgiving. The Shadow Reader is like a toddler just finishing up a cherry Popsicle on a hot summer day. She's a little messy with sticky fingers, but she's just so darn cute you want to hug her anyway. And that's exactly how I felt about this book. Even though McKenzie did irritate me at times and the romance was toeing the "insta-love" line, I couldn't help but really enjoy reading this book.
Two words: Action packed. I don't even think this book had "down time." It was just back to back revelations, fight scenes, sexual tension. You know, all those things to keep you on the edge of your seat. This was a solid plot with pretty good world building. I easily got a feel for the Fae's world, but the only thing I would have liked to see was a freakin' map! McKenzie's ability to track the Fae's shadows is reliant upon her knowing where the locations actually are. I would have liked to have been able to see where these places were myself on a map. There is a lot of traveling done in the book between "fissuring" (think: teleporting) in and out of the human world or between the providences of the Fae world. So, yeah, it would have been nice to be able to flip to the map and see exactly where they were.
McKenzie's goal in the first half is to escape Le Hottie (Aren) and his Rebels and return to Le Steamy (Kyol) and the Court. She firmly believes they are evil and remains loyal to the Court. But, she never expects to fall for her captor and grow sympathetic to the Rebels cause. When she finally does return to her sword-master, she finds that her loyalties no longer lie with the Court.
Le Hottie (Aren), McKenzie, and Le Steamy (Kyol) were smart, sassy and classy respectively. I usually don't like love triangles, but this is one of those rare occasions where an author tells me to, "Shut it, Stephanie and read the damned book. You will like it!" And lil' old skeptical me goes:
Hmm...We'll see about that Ms. Williams. Well, here I am eating my words because I loved this love triangle. If I were McKenzie, who would I chose? Le Hottie or Le Steamy? Jeez, I don't know! They were both awesome guys! Aren's the cocky son of a biscuit eater that has you wanting to smack that ridiculous grin off his face and kiss him at the same time. While on the other hand, Kyol is the mysterious silent type that will keep you up all night trying to puzzle out the secrets hidden in his eyes. (AHHHH! Hot Fae guys! I.CAN'T.EVEN!)
Of course, we have our heroine McKenzie. I won't deny that there were times when she really irritated me because I thought she just couldn't see the bigger picture of the war and how the Court treated her all those years. The Court specifically didn't want her learning the language of the Fae and she not once thought that was strange. And one of the first things Aren does once she is kidnapped is have her taught the language. This should have been a gigantic red flag to McKenzie, but she remains loyal to the Court until it nearly very dearly costs her. But, she's supposed to be a stubborn heroine. I get that. I just wish she was a little more observant. However, she is a strong-willed heroine because she never does give up trying to escape her captives. I have to give her props for that. Even when she knows her attempts are in vain, she continues again and again. I have to admit, though, I did wish she didn't need quite so many rescuing from our hot Fae guys. In fact, why does she even have a sword on the cover? I kept waiting for her to kick someone's ass in the book, but it never happened. (view spoiler)[Okay, so maybe she did kill someone, but that was an accident on her part. (hide spoiler)] No matter. That wasn't enough to stop me from enjoying the book at all.
Ah, here is where the gushing review dies a painful death. Oh, insta-love, how I hate thee!! You manage to ruin it for me every time! When will you leave the awesome stories and their characters alone?! *Evil fist shake*
Darn you insta-love. You've gotten Tink fired up again. I'll be beating the pixie dust out of my sofa pillows for days now. Thanks.
First of all, I want to say I loved Aren and McKenzie together. They had great chemistry, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why they liked each other. Apart from the little zings of electricity shooting from each other, I don't understand why they were in love. It's your typical, "Oh he's hot, but he's the bad guy and I'm not supposed to notice that. Oh my damn, I can't look away!" As for Aren, I didn't even realized he really liked her until he kissed her and by then I'm like, "Wait, you actually like her? You were for real?" Then, by the end he's telling her he loves her. -_- Case and point, I found there attraction rushed and underdeveloped.
McKenzie and Kyol's relationship was a bit more believable because they had been working together for ten years compared to her brief few weeks acquaintance with Aren. The King had forbid Kyol and McKenzie from being together and despite their intense feelings for one another, Kyol tries his best to keep their relationship strictly business. McKenzie waits for him for ten years. Ten years. But when she returns from captivity he realizes this has been a mistake. By that time, he has kept so much from her (and Aren has laid a claim on her heart) that it damages their relationship. I really applaud McKenzie for standing up for herself and telling Kyol that she shouldn't have waited for him and that she was moving on. But, something tells me that his hold on her heart has not yet loosened its grip...
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Shadow Reader and can see this appealing to fans of Richelle Mead. This book falls somewhere in the 3.5-4 star category for me, but what they hell, I'm rounding up to 4 for the special unputdownable quality (view spoiler)[and the hot Fae guys! (hide spoiler)].
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. ["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)
Okay, I'm really excited for this book, but another sword on the cover? I mean, McKenzie didn't wield a sword in book one. Is she actually going to us...more Okay, I'm really excited for this book, but another sword on the cover? I mean, McKenzie didn't wield a sword in book one. Is she actually going to use one this time around?! (less)
The Bone Season is easily the most hyped book of 2013, surpassing even the conclusion of the Divergent series, Allegiant. As t...moreActual rating: 3.5 stars
The Bone Season is easily the most hyped book of 2013, surpassing even the conclusion of the Divergent series, Allegiant. As the first in a seven book series, it's already been optioned for a movie and did appear on the New York Times Bestsellers list its debut week. But when I heard the magical words "the next J.K. Rowling" my interest, along with many, was instantly piqued due to my severe lack of will-power. But like any book surrounded by a massive amount of hype, there's concern that it won't live up to it. And, in my opinion, The Bone Season both did and did not, leaving me very conflicted at its conclusion. For every one thing I loved about it, the yin wasn't far behind.
It's clear that The Bone Season's strength lies with the world building. As frustrating as it is fascinating, London 2059, under Scion rule, was one imaginative place that kept me in a state of awe over such creativity of all the intricate layers to Paige's world. In fact, it's so imaginative and complex that the first few chapters show the novel's biggest flaw: info-dumping. (Though, this didn't bother me too much in my reading experience, I can see it being an issue for others who may have less patience. My advice to anyone who struggles with the beginning is to power through because the ending does not disappoint.) Learning the workings of the underground crime syndicate, remembering the order of clairvoyance and their abilities, understanding what Paige herself can actually do as a dreamwalker, a rare type of clairvoyance, is a lot to take in, and doesn't really get easier as the novel goes on. That coupled with the novel's slang and the constant addition of other explanations, was enough to make my head spin. But there is more, of course, when Paige is captured, adding another layer of complexity and another set of rules the reader has to learn... all within the first 40% of the book. Then, there's a chart of the order of clairvoyance, a map of London, a map of Oxford, a glossary for the slang, fancy words I don't use and bloody Roman Numerals!
Suffice to say, reading The Bone Season is not for the faint of heart and, at times, was a bit of a chore to keep up with.
Do not get me wrong, this is not necessarily bad thing at all. It's not everyday I read a book with the level of depth as The Lumatere Chronicles, Star Wars,Harry Potter or possibly even, Lord of the Rings. Shannon's imagination was definitely working overtime with The Bone Season. But unlike the aforementioned works, I'm not sure it possesses the same level of fines to tie it all together. It holds enough intrigue to keep you reading and "your wheels a'turnin'," because even when I wasn't reading, I was thinking about the book and what would happen next (and even after finishing it, I'm still thinking about the ending!). That's not something I can say for most books.
One thing I did really love were the characters. Paige was the perfect kind of heroine for me, neither badass nor weak, leaving her with room to grow as a character, but not possessing a few of the more annoying traits of other main characters. She's smart, but still makes a few careless mistakes, giving her a more realistic feel. She's someone I could sympathize with and understand. I also think the members of the Seven Seals, Paige's gang, were very well-developed. Though, they don't have larger roles in the novel until the end, through Paige's dreams we learn about each of their personalities and whims. Unfortunately, I didn't quite feel that way about Warden, a big player in The Bone Season and Paige's Keeper at Oxford. Throughout most of the novel, Paige attempts to figure out Warden's secrets and plans, but even at the conclusion, I don't feel like a have a firm grasp on his motives.
The plot was slowly paced and may frustrate some readers, but I found it worked well in this situation and helped build the anticipation for the growing rebellion at the ending. My only qualm is that the book reads long (at 480 pages, with smaller print and long pages, I guess that explains it). And with so many things happening and so many new things being thrown at the reader constantly, you really have to pay attention to everything. This may seem like a lot of work to read a book, but it does suck you in fairly quickly and is so very addictive. I didn't like being away from this book for long and was always hungry for the next chapter. It was also never boring despite the slower pace, and by the end, it's pretty much non-stop action. The amount of detail and care that went into arranging everything was evident and impressed me. And the ending. It was pretty damn brilliant and the best part of the novel. When Shannon hit her stride, things definitely came together nicely.
I do have three personal issues, which I'll hide in spoiler brackets are below, but just know that it never really detracted from my reading experience.
1. (view spoiler)[I'm not really sure how I feel about the romance in The Bone Season. This book already had a lot going on that I feel it was unnecessary. Not to mention, its believability. I couldn't suspend belief long enough to accept that two characters, who didn't trust each other (one of which hated the other for about 75% of the book), could then have all these strong feelings for one another out of nowhere. It was apparent that this was supposed to be building, but I never really got a good sense of that, especially since one of the characters' personality consisted of him being devoid of emotion. So much time was spent on explaining the world and the rebellion plans and not on the couple's growing feelings, that it didn't feel organic. Instead, it felt as if it just manifested to add an extra layer of complexity, something that this novel did not require. (hide spoiler)]
2. (view spoiler)[I waited until the end of the novel, hoping my one biggest question would be answered and it never was. Why in the world did Nashira keep the Scarred Ones alive after the first rebellion? What was the purpose in that? And more importantly, why give one of them the important role of Blood-Consort? I really hope this is addressed in the next novel because it bothered me to no end. Or perhaps this was explained and I simply missed it. o.O (hide spoiler)]
3. (view spoiler)[Paige always seemed to be shivering. I don't know why this bothered me, but I really wanted to buy the girl sweater. I hope she finds one in book 2. (hide spoiler)]
To conclude, The Bone Season is a very imaginative novel that will take your brain for one hell of a joy ride. If you've been searching for book with more complex world building and plot, this may be it. I can see this being enjoyed by YA lovers and Adult readers alike with its strong paranormal-fantasy-dystopian roots. Despite my reservations, I can safely say I'll be checking out the next book because this has the potential to be one serious kickass series. And with the high stakes ending The Bone Season had, I look forward to seeing where Shannon will take this story over the course of the next six books.
Disclaimers: ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Thank you! I have also met this author and think she's a lovely person. I promise her loveliness did not sway my thoughts in this review. Pinky swear!
More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.["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)