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!
What a complete disappointment. I had high hopes for Afterlife. Particularly because I really enjoyed the third book in the series, Hourglass. I am anWhat a complete disappointment. I had high hopes for Afterlife. Particularly because I really enjoyed the third book in the series, Hourglass. I am an original fan of the first book and I eagerly awaited each book's release. However, for me, Afterlife fell flat.
Afterlife picks up exactly were Hourglass left off: we are waiting for Lucas to arise as a Vampire. And right off the bat, I had a sinking feeling I wasn't going to like this book very much. Why? After Lucas rises, he immediately takes on the role as (what I consider) the "tortured soul" character. And Bianca turns into, more or less, his psychiatrist. Lucas spent almost the entire book loathing his existence, while Bianca constantly kept telling him, "You are stronger than this," "It will get better," "It's going to be ok." It's weird, because even though this book is told through Bianca, it seemed to be all about Lucas' personal struggle with himself. I didn't need to be constantly reminded about it. It got old very fast mostly because it was the same dialog over and over.
Another thing would have to be the grudge Bianca held against Balthazar. Literally, in almost every chapter (until Balthazar confronts Bianca) Gray mentions something along the lines, "And wasn't it Balthazar who lead Lucas to his death?" It almost seemed forced. Either way it annoyed me.
This book also seemed to be very anti-climatic too. There were a few revelations, but nothing that blew my mind. It pretty much gained the reaction of, "Oh, really? Ok."
However, my biggest problem with the book would have to be the ending. First off, it seemed rather rushed. Secondly, I would have liked to have seen the reunion of Christopher and Mrs. Bethany. I was actually looking forward to that part and it pretty much happened off scene. There was a small glimpse if them, then the cabin burns down and they die. Wow.
There were so many open ends for the characters. What happens to Vic, Randolf, and Maxie? I guess they just went home. *shrug* What was the whole thing with Skye? Her being able to sense the wraiths. I really thought Gray was going somewhere with that. But she just goes home too. Dana and Raquel just go back to their motel? Balthazar goes to tend the Evernight stables? Lucas decides to pretty much forget about his mom?
The biggest upset? Lucas is mortal and Bianca remains a wraith. They briefly have a conversation about the future knowing he will one day die and she will continue to live on. Bianca says she will cross that bridge when she gets to it and that she would rather have him for 50-60 more years then mourn him for all eternity. So he says something wack like, "You will live forever and being remember for eternity by you is all the immortality I need." Ummm...what?! Is that supposed to be comforting? What an awful way to end a book.
I wish I could have loved it, but I didn't. I found myself wanting to stop reading it several times and take it right back to the public library. ...more
**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
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"]>["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Stephen King once said, "Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good." I couldn't agree more, Stephen. With that, we shall kick this Stephen King once said, "Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good." I couldn't agree more, Stephen. With that, we shall kick this off with a joke:
I'm sorry folks. I just could not get through this shit book another time. However, since I've already read it a few times, I feel extremely confident in skipping to the review. But first, can someone please explain to me why this book is 563 pages?! Seriously, how is it possible a book with almost no plot can be so long? When I first read New Moon back in 2008, I didn't like it. In fact I'm not even sure why it had three stars because I remember being super frustrated. Even though Edward and Bella's relationship deeply disturbs my soul, Bella is so incredibly boring without him. I'm not even sure how Stephenie Meyer managed 563 pages. Truly, I'm amazed because I can sum up New Moon in one big picture:
But let's get on with it, I'll go into some detail for ya.
The book starts off on Bella's 18th birthday, a day she has been dreading for months only because in her mind she will be one year older than Edward. So, she makes a huge production about people not celebrating her birthday, but the Cullens ignore her and Alice plans a party. Before Edward forces her to attend they watch Romeo and Juliet (the book's supposed theme) and they have merry little conversation about Edward's contingency plans once Bella dies. Now, let's not forget they've only been dating for a few months. Yet, here they are making out and talking about killing themselves in the event of the other's death. How romantic. Don't even ask me the logic behind how they can even kiss when his teeth are supposed to be "venom coated." Stephenie Meyer gives some bull shit excuse she must have learned from ass-grab 101. But I digress...
Finally, they make it to the birthday party. Bella gets a paper cut and Jasper almost single-handedly ends this series on page 29.
Unfortunately, to my dismay his attempt was foiled by Edward. Eddie pushes Bella out the way and she crashes into the glass plates, slashing up her arm. Pause, let's think about that scene a bit: Who's bright idea was it to have glass plates? With a human. In a room full of vampires. That drink blood. Isn't Alice psychic? Why didn't she see Bella cutting her finger on the wrapping paper? Wait, don't think about that because if you spend all your time contemplating the stupidity, we'll never get through this review.
Obviously, Eddie is not happy with the events that went down at his place and Bella further irritates him by apologizing for...wait for it...being human. Bella, you know you've been hanging out with mythical creatures too much when you start thinking your humanity isn't normal. But anyway, Eddie does what any loving boyfriend would do after their girlfriend is attack by their brother: he ignores her. And because Eddie is "Alpha Male Edward" and Bella is "Submissive Mary Sue Bella," she doesn't confront him about it. Instead, she waits for him to be ready. On the third day of ignoring her, he drags he into the words and chucks up the deuces. The exchange goes a little like this: Alpha Male Edward tells Submissive Mary Sue Bella firmly, "No, I don't want you to come. You're no good for me." And she pretty much agrees realizing how much of a waste of space she is. Then Edward just pours salt all over her open wound and tells her:
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid," he ordered, no longer detached. "Do you understand what I'm saying?...I'm thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself--for him." I nodded helplessly.
Wow. Relly? You're just going to let him order you around like that? How about you look after yourself FOR YOU first, everyone else second? Awesome Bells. Can I call you Bells? Not only do you have ZERO self-preservation skills, but also no self-confidence. Just awesome. There's only about a million or so girls looking up to you as a role model. No pressure to be a strong female character. You could have walked away from this with grace, but no, instead all your dignity flies out the window when you pull a bitch move and run after Edward through the woods. Then, she defaults back to "Fuck my life" mode and slips into a depression for four fucking months. I find it kind of funny her depression was longer than their actual relationship. Heh. But this wasn't just any depression, it was some serious shit.
I always had nightmares now, every night. Not nightmares really, not in the plural, because it was always the same nightmare. You'd think I'd get bored after so many months, grow immune to it.
Or how about this:
Even my outsides looked different--my face sallow, white except for the purple circles the nightmares had left under my eyes. My eyes were dark enough against my pallid skin that--if I were beautiful and seen from a distance--I might even pass for a vampire now.
Once again I find myself asking the question: Where are her parents?! Why did Charlie let this go on for FOUR months?! She should have been in counseling or something. But Meyer thinks she can just pacify readers by Renee sending a random e-mail here and there or Charlie just suggesting she seek help, only to be shot down by Bella. Fail. So much fail.
All that considered, that's not even the biggest problem I have with this book. Bella soon figures out she can conjure up hallucinations of Edward if she does something reckless or suicidal. This is where Jake comes into play. Bella uses Jake (like everyone else) to get what she wants by asking him to fix up two motorcycles she found and giving her riding lessons. She figures it will be the perfect thing to help her see more of Edward. I suppose she simply forgot how big of a klutz she is and once the bikes are fixed the lessons commence. The first time she gets on she falls off and Jake (the only one with common sense) thinks they should call it a day before she gets hurt. But Bella thinks this is BK and she can have it her way, and gets back on the bike. Chick has gone batshit crazy and she promptly busts her ass. But she doesn't care because her mission was a success! She got to see and hear Edward! Her next brilliant idea is to throw herself off a cliff during high tide. The first time I read this I was secretly hoping she would drown, but the other two books already were published, so it was a hopeless wish. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the actual plot. LOL. Funny how that happens when there isn't one, huh? LOL. The She-vamp, Victoria, is scoping out the area trying to get to Bella. But her part is VERY small in this book (like the plot), so we don't really need to talk about her. I suppose the wolf pack is worth mentioning: They're pretty much a bunch of wannabe werewolves that run around with their shirts off. That's all you really need to know about them.
So, finally Alice shows up in chapter 18 because she thought Bella was trying to commit suicide (close enough Alice). And through a nice little exchange of "he said, she said" BS, Edward is off to Italy to kill himself. This causes Bella to go into "hero" mode and race to Italy and save Edward. I really don't care enough to give my thoughts on the race to Italy. That entire part was rushed and anti-climatic. There isn't even a fight scene. Instead here is a timeline courtesy of Reasoning with Vampires (Thanks for the link Cait and Jen!):
Anyway, they get back to good old Forks and Bella composes a vote on everyone's thoughts of her joining team undead. Edward is at a steady "no" along with Rosalie. But everyone else says, "Hell yes!" Like becoming a vampire is a party or something. Funny thing is when Bella asks Jasper he goes: And she's all: Hmm, yeah, that's not weird at all. Not the least bit creepy.
In the last few pages Edward and Jake have a little pissing contest and Edward proposes to Bella. The End. Yawn. Thank God it's over.
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"]>["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"]>...more
I really wanted to love this book, but sadly I did not. I felt that it just dragged on and was a bit anti-climatic for me. I tried to connect with the I really wanted to love this book, but sadly I did not. I felt that it just dragged on and was a bit anti-climatic for me. I tried to connect with the characters and I just couldn't. Another reviewer mentioned the characters seemed more like rough sketches and I have to agree. In the end, I had to force myself to finish the book.
It seems like there will be a sequel and I'll think I'll give it another shot. But for now it's pretty far down on my list. :(...more
Boring, lacking interesting characters, boring, terrible love interest, Bella Swan, boring. There are so many things I could rant about the 30% that IBoring, lacking interesting characters, boring, terrible love interest, Bella Swan, boring. There are so many things I could rant about the 30% that I read, but instead I shall review this is one gif.
Oh, geez this is awkward. I've just finished Destined and can't find a single thing to say about it because**spoiler alert** Actual rating: 1.5 stars
Oh, geez this is awkward. I've just finished Destined and can't find a single thing to say about it because it's not very memorable.
No wait. It's all coming back to me now. Mmmmmhmmmm. Let me get my glasses for this one.
Ah, that's better. And yes, there will be spoilers.
I'll be honest and admit that the Wings series has been of a guilty pleasure of mine. It's not the best written book I've ever read or the worst for that matter. But it had a level of entertainment that kept me around till the end. At least that's what I tell myself because as I dove into Destined I just couldn't help but think how incredibly boring it was. And that greatly disappointed me since I was just looking for a light, fluffy read. Instead I was left with a story cornier than a box of Kellogg's cereal.
So very, very corny.
So the plot is a simple one. We all knew based on the ending of Illusions that Yuki would eventually escape with Klea and go after Avalon. She also happens to have an entire army of trolls ready to bust the doors down. That leaves David, Laurel, Tamani and Chelsea to race to Avalon and warn everyone. Fantastic. It was a fine beginning with promise. Unfortunately, that promise died when we are introduced to the biggest cop out I've read in a long time. Jamison asks David to fight against the trolls using Excalibur. It was truly a Disney movie moment. I knew at that moment it could only go down hill from there.
"David, with the name of Kings," Jamison said formally,
"It's time to discover if you are the hero Laurel has always thought you to be. Will you join us in defending Avalon?"
It seemed that they were *thisclose* to breaking out in song and dance. Then David had his Sword in the Stone moment and was told nothing could hurt him while he wielded Excalibur. And I do mean nothing. If someone were to strike him with a sword, it would conveniently miss him. Or if someone were to shoot him with a gun, the bullets would just drop in front of him. Not even poisonous AIR could harm him.
David had no previous fighting experience, but all he had to do was swing the sword and trolls would just die on the spot. He went all deus ex machina throughout the entire book.
And that's when I lost all desire to finish the book.
Everything was was just too carefully placed and never felt organic to me. The Queen orders Jamison to stay out of the fight, but when she finds out he's disobeyed her she doesn't do anything. Jamison gets taken out during the battle early on and forced to rest, but when the gang goes up against Yuki, he appears out of nowhere ready to assist. Speaking of Yuki, she turned out to be the biggest disappointment of them all. She supposedly has the ability to kill other fairies or at least be really powerful. But she was pretty much useless.
Of course with any battle there are deaths. I feel the impact of a character death is at its greatest when I actually care about the character that's dying. Duh, right? Well, there are two characters who are killed that the reader is familiar with, but I never really felt any kind of sadness for them. Laurel and Tam cared deeply for them, but they weren't around enough in the previous books for me to grow an attachment to them. They were expendable characters.
Another reviewer noted that with everything that was going on, and there was a fair amount of action, it actually felt like nothing was happening. I've been pondering how that's possible and I believe it's because there didn't appear to be much anticipation or build up to any of the scenes. At least I didn't feel any. I just went through the motions of finishing the book to be able to say I completed the series. There was exactly one part where I felt a twinge of emotion and it's where Tamani thinks he sees Laurel die and goes off on his own to kill Klea or be killed by her. But before those feelings get a chance to develop, Laurel goes running after him. End scene. That left me so angry!
Then my biggest pet peeve about YA novels starts flying around left and right. The whole, "I can't live without you!" trope. I really hate when that's used because it gives off the appearance of teens ready to end their life over a boyfriend/girlfriend. They're in the midst of a battle for Avalon, saving other fae's lives, and they start wondering why they would bother if the other were to die. Ummm... because your friends and family are still in danger?!
Then we get to the ending where there is a deadly toxin seeping into the land and killing Tamani courtesy of Klea. It's up to Laurel to save not only Tamani, but all of Avalon. And she's all:
"She wasn't sure if it mattered if the toxin infected her. Was her life worth living without Tamani? Was the risk worth one last kiss? One final embrace?"
So, you're just going to forget about Avalon then?
"He had to be alive. She wasn't sure if she could live another moment if he wasn't with her. What did any of this matter if, in the end, she was too late to save Tamani?"
Whew, sorry about that. I started seeing red again.
The ending was your typical "... And they lived happily ever after" in true Disney fashion. In hindsight, there were casualties, but none that anyone cared about (I find it interesting that Tamani never went back to check on his niece after she lost her mother! O.o Laurel was more important, I guess.). The only thing that mattered is that Tamani got to be with his one true love forever and ever. The end. Lame.
So, I guess if you enjoyed the first three books, you'll probably enjoy this one to some extent. But for everyone else, I wouldn't go into this one expecting much. Overall it was a big ol' pile of MEH.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you!
-My book starts with me moving to a new location and starting at a new school.
-I live with just my dad, but d Let's play a little game of:
WHO AM I...
-My book starts with me moving to a new location and starting at a new school.
-I live with just my dad, but don't worry about him, he's not important. In fact, you'll barely notice he exists at all!
-I quickly make friends at my new school. I'm not sure why everyone likes me. I'm not remotely interesting.
-I've never had a boyfriend before meeting my love interest and for some reason people at my school find that hard to believe.
-As soon as my love interest catches my eye, I can't get him out of my mind. He's the mysterious type, but he only has eyes for me. He quickly becomes my boyfriend and we fall deeply in love. *swoon*
-My boyfriend happens to have a sibling who simply adores me. How could she not, I'm so awesome! She has a super special sight too. P.S. her name starts with an "A."
-My b-b-boyfriend---sorry that was me swooning again; he's so super howt *giggle*---also has another sibling that doesn't seem to like me at first. They are always glaring at me! It unnerves me. But I can get through anything with my boy toy by my side! Oh, and P.S. their name starts with an "R."
-My boyfriend just happens to save my life with his mysterious powers. At first when I confront him about it, he plays it off. It really upsets me. It just wasn't fair!!!
-He later tells me that he can't stay away from me any longer and soon after he takes me to his home to really introduce me to his family.
-I find out he's been stalking me for a while. But it doesn't bother me. I find it incredibly romantic.
-*Psst*, if my boyfriend and I were to have a baby, it would be some strange half-breed child.
-Randomly out of nowhere I'm kidnapped by a Tracker. I'm not sure where he came from because this book is all about me and my one true love.
-When I'm not hanging out with my boyfriend or getting abducted, I can be found brushing my teeth, eating cereal, doing homework or cooking for my dad. Oh, and I hate being the center of attention. I'm so selfless.
-By the end of my book, I end up in the hospital.
So....who am I?
If you guessed Bella Swan you are correct! But if you guessed Megan Rosenberg, you are also correct! Don't bother looking up to the top of the screen. This is indeed a Carrier of the Mark review or as I like to call it Twilight 2.0 or better yet, Carrier of the Twilight or Twi-remix or Twilight goes to Ireland or, or, or...okay you get the picture. And no, I'm not kidding all the above actually happens in this book.
I feel like I need to start saying how sorry I am to Leigh Fallon. Truly, I am. You see, I'm in the middle of re-reading the Twilight series and as a result, I am hyperaware of the Twi-likeness this book has. I was really eager to get my hands on Carrier of the Mark, but you have no idea how disappointed I am in this book. So, it is with a heavy heart that I review TwilightCarrier of the Markagain.
Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan Megan Rosenberg moves to Forks Ireland after her dad, Charlie Caleb, accepts and new position at a yacht club. On her first day at school she notices a mysterious boy, named Edward Cullen Adam DeRis, staring at her. She literally cannot stop thinking about him for the rest of the book. I'm not going to retell the book here, but if you've read Twilight just sprinkle on a little Air Bender, add a pinch of Captain Planet, and toss a creepy baby on top and you pretty much have the recipe for Carrier of the Mark. Instead, I'm going to be pulling a few select quotes with commentary pour moi.
Adam randomly confesses his feelings to Megan after have several staring contests:
They told me from the very beginning that it wasn’t safe to ‘consort,’” he said, slightly wincing at the word, “with you. But I’m not strong enough to stay away."
Now where have I heard that before?
He heard the change in my tone. His eyes tightened. "I don't seem to be strong enough to stay away from you..."
A little PDA action:
I put my hand on Adam’s face and felt along his cheek and down along his jaw, reveling in the softness of his skin in comparison to the light stubble. He closed his eyes. “You have no idea how good that feels,” he murmured.
That sounds so familiar...
"Do you mind?" I asked, for he had closed his eyes again. "No," he said without opening his eyes. "You can't imagine how that feels." He sighed. I lightly trailed my hand over the perfect muscles of his arm, followed the faint pattern of bluish veins inside the crease at his elbow.
Rosalie Rian doesn’t like Megan at first:
“Rían has a tough time accepting who we are and our purpose...I think he’s just finding it hard to accept that you would opt in when you have the chance to walk away.”
Now, who had the same issue?
He sighed deeply. "Rosalie struggles the most with… with what we are. It's hard for her to have someone on the outside know the truth. And she's a little jealous...You're human." He shrugged. "She wishes that she were, too."
There is a Tracker following Megan:
It’s been years since we have even seen a tracker in Ireland.” “Is that what the guy in the theater was? A tracker?” “I think so. We can’t be sure at the moment, but he fits the usual profile. There’s something different this time, though; he’s getting around our defenses. We just don’t know how he’s doing it.”
Funny that's just who was following Bella too.
"He's a tracker, Alice, did you see that? He's a tracker!"
Love interest serching for a way to protect heroine from the Tracker:
“Don’t apologize. I hate to see you hurting like that. Please believe me when I tell you that I will make you safe.”
Didn't Edward promise the same thing in a very similar situation?
"Soon, as soon as I possibly can. I will make you safe first." His voice was hard.
A bad guy was snooping around Megan's room and house. Adam has his family guarding her, but somehow they manage to slip through:
“Someone was in her room, for Christ’s sake. In her room!” “But I don’t think he was still there when Megan got home. If he had been, he would have acted right then and there. I’d say her Mark was sensing that he’d been there earlier.” Rían shook his head. “How is he getting around our senses? We’ve always known when the Knox are close. This is bad.”
Can't seem to put my finger on it..oh wait, I can.
“He was in her room, Alice. He could have still been there — waiting for her.” “I would have seen that.” Edward threw his hands up in exasperation. “Really? You’re sure?” Alice’s voice was cold when she answered. “You’ve already got me watching the Volturis’ decisions, watching for Victoria’s return, watching Bella’s every step. You want to add another? Do I just have to watch Charlie, or Bella’s room, or the house, or the whole street, too? Edward, if I try to do too much, things are going to start slipping through the cracks.”
Oh, but the similarities don't end there. Right after Adam reveals his feelings to Megan, the very next day he takes her to meet his family. And if you remember that is exactly what Edward did after he revealed all his feelings to Bella in the meadow scene (Confessions, chapter 13). Aine Alice, Adam's sister also has a "sight." Fionn Carlisle is Adam's adoptive father. Adam admitted to stalking Megan just like Edward did to Bella. Megan confides in her best friend, Caitlin, in math class. What do you know? That's the same place Bella confided with Jessica at. Both Adam and Edward's eyes change color (interestingly, both share the same original color: green).
I just couldn't get past all the Twilight references. I'm honestly baffled at how this book got published with all the shocking similarities because Carrier of the Mark reads just like a Twilight Fan-Fic and not a good one. I'd give this book a freakin' "A+" for following the "Twilight book disaster" recipe to the T, but an all around "F" (FAIL) for YA literature. I went though several different emotions while reading this book: shock, disbelief, finally settling on anger. Anger? Yes. Did the author sit with her editor over tea and crumpets with their Twilight copies on their laps pulling plots, quotes, and carbon copies of the characters? Did they really think no one would pick up on the similarities?! Well, I'll tell you something. My Twilight copy is open on my lap right now and I am NOT AMUSED one bit. This is something I expect from the usual offender Cassie Clare, not a debut YA author. And, man, I feel so bad writing this review. I absolutely hate giving a 1 star review to debut authors, but wow. I'm just blown this even saw the light of day.
And what's a Twi-Fan-Fic without insta-love? This book has plenty of that and co-dependency. Keep in mind they have been dating for 2 weeks. Let me count the ways:
"I feel like I could take on the world when I’m with you.”
I felt a new confidence building. I could take on the world with him by my side.
This felt so real. It seemed like my future was suddenly very clear. I had a whole new purpose—and it all revolved around this boy by my side.
Everything else paled in significance. I could not live without him. As much as it upset me to hurt the others, it was nothing compared to the stabbing pain I felt when I thought of being parted from him.
And the more time that went by, the more I realized I could not live without Adam.
WTF. I'm so tired of co-dependent relationships! Is it a wonder why young girls think they need a boyfriend to survive? Are these the ideals we want our youth to grow up learning? I don't take issue with Megan being in love, but reading the statements above disturbs me. The entire book revolves around how in love she is with Adam, so don't expect much of a plot in this book. The major conflict in the story comes out of nowhere and ends before it even begins, just as it did in Twilight.
And, OMG the mythology. It will make your head spin. We learn most of the world through god awful info-dumps. I read those pages over a few times and I still don't understand. Perhaps if the author showed the reader instead of telling us, maybe I would have been able to keep up. The only thing I think I understood was that Megan is Carrier of a specific gene that would enable her to produce children to bear the Mark. Since Carrier's are rare the Order (a society that "looks after" the Marked) specially selects the Carrier's mates. I suppose being gay is out if you are a Carrier, because you have a duty to produce babies! Anyway, apparently it is forbidden for Adam and Megan to be together because if they have a child it could destroy the world. Yeah...I don't get it either. Once finding that out, Megan decides she doesn't want to be a Marked one anymore and help save the world. She wants to be with her Romeo. 'Cause being in love is more important than the safety of the world, donchaknow. And, please don't get me started on the whole 25-year-old pregnancy. I can't even.
Fallon, you had all this potential. The setting was perfect: Ireland! And you wasted your descriptions on Megan eating her wheaties and putting on her red Converses? *points to face* This is me not giving two shits.
I want to give a big old round of applause to HarperTEEN and their insane marketing campaign. Bravo. That is not mockery, but a legit salute. I sincer I want to give a big old round of applause to HarperTEEN and their insane marketing campaign. Bravo. That is not mockery, but a legit salute. I sincerely have to give it up to you for convincing me that I had to own this book. I was caught up and boarded the Twitter hype train as it drove me round and round the blogosphere's Factions. (BTW, I still don't know who drives the damn train.) So, by the time I stepped into my local bookstore and laid eyes on Insurgent I happily handed over my $17.99. I wasn't thinking logically. It was as if I was under a simulation. (HAHAHA! Did you see what I did there?)
And that ending? Ugh. I... I... I need a moment. Let me just stop myself right here before I end up writing a really negative review and 1 starring one of the most anticipated books of 2012.
But know I am displeased. VERY. Just look at how long it took me to finish the book!
What a shame. The most anticipated book of 2012 is my most disappointing read so far. After all the positive reviews I read, I knew for sure I'd love it. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. I was conflicted on whether to give this book one or two stars. In the end, Insurgent's saving grace is that it simply doesn't belong with some of my other one starred books. So, I feel I must warn whoever stumbles across this review: If this is one of your favorite series and you love it with the burning passion of a supernova, this review might have the potential to piss you off. It might be best for both you and I if you just hit the back button now before things get going. Go on. Spock and I will wait.
Oh, you're staying, huh? Well, strap yourself in because I have a feeling it might just be one of those reviews...
Spock tells me this review must contain mild spoilers in order to logically explain this illogical novel. Sorry, kids. Spock's call.
The first big negative right off the bat was that Insurgent picks up directly after Divergent left off. There is virtually no recap to the story or characters and if you read the book a year ago, well, you may be screwed. But thankfully, Roth wrote up a lovely little cheat sheet for just this purpose. Yay! However, the problem doesn't just lie with remembering names. It lies with the connection the reader may or may not have had with the characters in Divergent, which was now non-existent since I could barely remember who was who. What's that you say? So and so just got shot in the head? I'm sorry, I can't find a single fuck to give. Then, we are introduced to even more characters. So, not only do I have to attempt to remember the old characters, but I have to keep track of these newbies too? That's just way too much work. Obviously, this isn't really Insurgent's fault, but I thought it would helpful to point this out.
What happened here? What happened to the action packed dystopian series I was introduced to in Divergent? Where the hell was Tris and why was Bella playing her role? Why did Four suddenly update his Facebook status to Douche Bag? Who's idea was it to turn Insurgent into a Dystopian Romance? One thing I loved about Divergent was that the romance took a back seat to the story and action. But in Insurgent the action is scattered with a heavier focus on Tris and Four's relationship. Look, that is not what I signed up for. I really don't care if Four loves Tris or if they'll end up riding a unicorn that poops rainbows as they ride off into the sunset. Whatever, whatever, whatever.
So, the Erudite are trying to take over their world by creating a new serum for those that are Divergent while the Factionless plan a rebellion. But all that usually happens in the background with occasional mention to keep the reader up to date. Most of the novel we are stuck in Tris' head as she goes into angst mode over Four, her parents and Will. It was so boring I felt like I was stuck in a throwback episode of As the World Turns. On repeat. Save me. But wait! We have a random plot twist at the end right before the battle is about to go down. Marcus (Four's abusive father) decides to enlist Tris to help him retrieve information stolen from Abnegation. He tells her it's super secret and that he can't tell her what it is because it's something you have to see, that she'll just have to trust him. Doing so would betray Four. She agrees.
Tris hates Marcus. Tris loves Four. Tris doesn't know what information they would be retrieving. She also doesn't know if Marcus is telling her the truth. She has absolutely no reason to believe him. No real evidence to back up his claim. She agrees. Without much thought. Tris is supposed to have an aptitude for Erudite, right? She's supposed to be logical, RIGHT?!
Tris, pack your bags. I think Spock has just voted you off the island.
That makes no sense! And then when I found out the super big secret, guess what? He could have easily told her! I smell and easy plot cop-out, folks. The secret is kept long enough from the reader just so it can push you off the cliff on the last page.
In Divergent I let a lot slide and roll off me because I was entertained throughout the entire book. I'm known to do that with a lot of books like Wither and Across the Universe, for example. I could not do it with Insurgent. You see, I have the attention span of a fruit fly. If I'm not fully engaged in the book, I'm going to notice things. Things I probably wouldn't care too much about if I were enjoying myself. Like how the Erudite wear glasses just because they're smart. Or how even though Tris is emotionally unbalanced 16-year-old, everyone still looks to her to "analyze the situation." Or even how impossible I find these factions. How is it that you can put all of these traits into neat little boxes and ask a person to choose one over the others? This is the same problem I had with The Hunt. In both novels the author tries to pitch an idea of human behavior completely different from what reality is, but you can clearly see the flaws with it. However, the main character fully believes in that world and way of thinking. They try to rationalize it, convince you of it. Yes, I realize it's a Dystopian novel, but this is a hard concept to sell because it makes it difficult for me to sympathize with the main character, their conflicted feelings and understand their world. Believability is key for me and I have a hard time believing this world. Tris frequently switches back and forth between her Dauntless, Erudite and Abnegation sides. Other characters comment on her embracing one trait depending on what the situation calls for it. But this doesn't work for me. Real talk, you can't just put logical thinking back in the toy chest when you decide you don't want to play with it anymore. It doesn't work like that. At least... I don't think so. Spock?
I'm getting no-ish vibes.
This series gets a lot of comparisons to The Hunger Games and in a way I can see why. You have your young girl who, one way or another, plays an important part in bringing forth change to her society. And if I really had to compare the two, I'd say that Insurgent is like Mockingjay. Tris is depressed, struggling to hold it together and fight in the war. The difference comes into play when Tris borderline gives up, while Katniss kicked ass until the very end. I'm not saying Tris didn't have the right to be depressed because I do believe she did. But it was really over done for me. I felt like I was drowning in her angst. This book is over 500 pages long and most of the action doesn't even show up to the party until the last 30 pages! So what was Tris doing for the other 500 pages? Not a damn thing. No, scratch that. Spock tells me that is inaccurate. Tris was in fact doing something. She was off being selfless, trying to get herself killed so that no one else would die. Bella is that you? I didn't know you did Dystopias now! That irritated me to no end. At one point she turns herself into the Erudite because they threatened to kill off people until Divergent started surrendering. So, of course, Tris thinks it has to be her and sneaks off to give herself up before the Dauntless can form a plan. Now, let's think about this logically. Tris knows the Erudite want to experiment on her for a Divergent-proof serum. Which means more people would be enslaved and/or killed because of her turning herself in. *facepalm* Then she almost dies, but it was too late because I had run out of fucks by then! So I had to shake Spock down for some.
What do you mean you're out of fucks?! One of us has to care if Tris lives or dies!
Okay, lots of spoilers here, folks. Spoilers all around from this point on.
I didn't like the ending. I felt cheated because I had hung on for the ending. Everyone said how it made up for the rest of the book and what not, but here's the thing: The ending couldn't make up for all the angst-filled fluff the rest of the book was stuffed with. I didn't feel the anticipation throughout the novel and I hate to admit that I was really tempted to skim. The villan was killed really fast without much of a fight. I always hate when that happens. The villan has been giving the characters hell all throughout the story and by the time their number is up, they beg for their life and die by a simple stab wound?
"Yes, if you kill me you'll never find the information!"
>insert blood and stuff<
"UGH! I'M MELTING!"
Still no fucks I see. That's cold, bro.
And the big secret wasn't anything you couldn't have guessed from Divergent. It's revealed that the world is in chaos outside of the fence. Murders, destruction, etc. The weird thing is that I actually forgot about their society being enclosed in the fence until it was brought up near the end. It totally slipped my mind. But, I digress. The entire point of their society was to be a fresh start to the world. Somehow by boxing people in these Factions and waiting for the Divergent to emerge that equates to saving humanity. I'm not exactly sure how that works since the book just ends with that revelation and the Acknowledgements rolled. But I feel like Roth wrote herself all the way to a deserted island, sent up her S.O.S. signal and that cliffhanger fell right out of the sky to the rescue. *sigh* I really hate cliffhangers. It was one of the things that I liked about Divergent. For the most part things were tied up, but with Insurgent? It's quite the mess we'll be walking into in book three.
Will I read the next book? Yes, because I've come this far and I'm hoping I will enjoy book three as much as I enjoyed Divergent. I think Insurgent suffers from "Second Book Syndrome" and the infamous "Hype Train," may it die in a fire (the Hype Train, not the book). But ultimately, I'm interested in how Roth will explain away everything. Maybe then this whole series will make perfect logical sense to me. Until then, drink time, Spock?
I am extremely disappointed with this book. It held so much promise with the story of souls being reincarnated, dragons, sylphs, and a utopian society I am extremely disappointed with this book. It held so much promise with the story of souls being reincarnated, dragons, sylphs, and a utopian society! Doesn't that sound awesome? And that cover! It's simply gorgeous! Well, you know that age old rule, "Don't judge a book by its cover?" I should have listened to it. -_-
Ana, our protagonist, lives in a world where once you die you come back reincarnated in another body. Everyone always comes back, except on one night when the Temple flashes black and the soul, Ciana, dies. Five years later a baby girl is born and everyone is expecting it to be Ciana. Instead, Ana is born and is the first Newsoul. Ana's father seemingly abandons his family, while her mother leaves the city, Heart, out of embarrassment. Ana is kept away for eighteen years and mentally and physically abused by her mother, Li. Li blames Ana for replacing Ciana and she along with others call her the Nosoul. So, on Ana's eighteenth birthday she sets out to the city of Heart to find out why she was born.
That all sounds really interesting, right? So, imagine my surprise when the majority of the book Ana isn't researching her past or digging into mysteries of the Temple, but instead playing the piano with the love interest, Sam. Most of the book revolves around their relationship. And while I really liked how it was not an insta-love situation, it completely distracted the book from the actual plot. In fact, you barely even know more about any other characters besides Sam and Ana. This book had a lot of potential and up until about 80% of the book, I was okay with giving this book 3 stars in hopes that the ending would save the rest of the book. It did not.
Let me break this down for you:
The entire book is the romance. Do not let the blurb fool you. Ana is rarely doing anything to find out more about her past. When she first leaves her mother's cottage she gets attacked by a Sylph and nearly drowns. However, Sam, a thousand-year-old soul, just happens to be camping nearby and saves her. From then on out their relationship consist of music lessons, almost kisses, and awkwardness. It was clear that they did like each other, but it is not clear what the romantic conflict was. Was it their age difference? What the people of Heart might think about them? It almost seems as if Meadows purposefully kept them apart just to add romantic tension because most of the time nothing is happening. What really irked me was the choppy dialog between Sam and Ana. Ana is always "almost" catching Sam's facial expression or "too slow" to see his true emotions:
Something flashed in his eyes, but I was too slow to fully see it.
...as well as a dozen other emotions flickering across his face too quickly to read.
His gaze stayed on mine, like there was something I was supposed to read in his expression...
...and when he glanced at me, some indecipherable expression crossed his face.
He caressed the keys again, some strange expression crossing his face. Or— It was hard to tell. I still couldn’t interpret his expressions well.
His expression was impossible to read in the dark.
He closed his eyes and again, I wasn’t fast enough to comprehend his expressions.
He faced me again, but it was too dark to see the subtleties of his expression.
And on and on it went. Ana didn't know what was going on and neither did I. For most of the book I remained in the dark about why Sam even liked Ana. You like each other, I'm not sure why, but I get it already! They became so annoying that I just wanted to grab their little heads like so,
and make them get it over with already.
However, what really got me was how Ana just turned a blind eye to things Sam did. When they first met he told her his birthday was the same day as hers, but later she finds out his birthday was a few weeks before hers:
I glanced at Sam; he’d said we shared a birthday, hadn’t he? Why would Meuric say something different?
Indeed, Ana. Why would he lie about that? And she never confronts him about that. Then when they get to Heart, Sam becomes Ana's "guardian" and teacher and resides in his house. She notices that he sneaks out every night and never confronts him about it. She often finds him talking about her behind her back and when she does confront him he pretty much says, "I'll tell ya later." Ummm...Whhhaaaattt? But he never actually tells her later. So once again, I'm lost. Not to mention often times I couldn't even tell who was speaking due to choppy dialog.
The World Building or lack thereof:
We are told that there are one million souls that are reincarnated over and over when they die. It is also mentioned that the Council monitors who can have children to not mess with the gene pool. We aren't really told how this works and it bugged me the entire time I was reading. It seems that the souls are asexual beings that can come back as male or female each lifetime. So, I guess you could be Billy's mom in one lifetime and 10 lifetimes down the road Billy might be your mom? Except by then, Billy would be a Susie. And perhaps in the next lifetime she's your lover? Sam has a best friend that is his sometimes lover. Sam owns women's clothes because he has been a woman in other lifetimes and he lends these clothes to Ana to wear. For whatever reason, this seemed awkward to me. There was also the question of where the other people who didn't reside in Heart live? We are led to believe living outside of Heart is very dangerous because of the dragons, sylph, ect. so how are they surviving? Is Janan their god? What's up with the Temple? There just didn't seem to be any rules to this universe. Can we say, "Back to the drawing board?"
The Plot and The Ending:
Where was it exactly? I should not be flipping through the pages wondering when the climax will hit. One minute Sam and Ana are finally proclaiming their feelings and the next minute dragons are attacking the city. So much time is focused on their relationship that I actually forgot her original reason for coming to Heart. Hell, it sure seemed like Ana forgot. And when we finally discover why she was born and Ciana wasn't reincarnated, I'm like, "That's it?! That's your big reveal?!" The ending just seemed like it was thrown together it an attempt to make me worry for the character's lives. And I didn't. *shurgs* They all could have been eaten by dragons for all I cared by the end.
I haven't been this disappointed in a book since Wildefire and the only reason why this book gets two stars instead of one is because it was interesting and the premise kept me turning pages in hopes that it would live up to the blurb. I will read the next book in the series, but for now it resides on my, "you’re on probation" shelf.
An ARC was received from the publishers for reviewing purposes. This review expresses my honest opinion of the book.
Introducing an even more abusive and disturbing TWILIGHT! Now with whips and chains!
Fifty Shades of Shit
Haters, please exit stage left.
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!
**This is a review of the 6 page preview provided by the publisher.
Well, ummm, uh, that is to say,
Oh, my. This book took my breath away. Literally. An **This is a review of the 6 page preview provided by the publisher.
Well, ummm, uh, that is to say,
Oh, my. This book took my breath away. Literally. And not in the good way. I thought it would be funny in the same way you may laugh at a dog chasing it's tail. But this was just disturbing. I didn't like the artwork at all. It was creepy and the dialog didn't help. The heads of the characters looked a little too big for their bodies too. The preview showed a scene of Zoey and Aphrodite arguing about, what else? A boy. "He was mine first." "No, you broke up with him." "Well, he's mine and you're a hag from hell!" Rinse, lather, repeat.
I wonder about how they're always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting the
“I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder about how they're always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.
My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.”
Here lies Steph Sinclair, slaughtered by metaphors raindrops....more
I was really hoping to love this book since it is the first print ARC I received directly from a publisher. Unfortunately, it's just not for me. *sigh*
I was really hoping to love this book since it is the first print ARC I received directly from a publisher. Unfortunately, it's just not for me. At page 10 I knew we weren't going to get along and I was right. Damn, sometimes I hate being right. The writing style is way to choppy and hard to keep up with. I felt like I was concentrating entirely too hard while reading. That is a problem. So, I put the book down thinking Above and I just needed our individual space. Whenever I walked past my book shelf I'd feel guilty because Above was steadily calling me saying, "Read me. Read me." I had zero urge to pick it back up. :(
So, I know I say it takes a lot for me to not finish a book and I do believe this is the first one of 2012 for me. Considering I only made it to page 25 before I threw in the towel, I won't even give it a star rating.
Hopefully, someone else will love it, but for now Above and I must go our separate ways....more