I cannot get enough of Dante! He is one of the best anti-heroes I have read about in a long time and has some of the best lines. I cActual rating: 3.5
I cannot get enough of Dante! He is one of the best anti-heroes I have read about in a long time and has some of the best lines. I can’t even begin to count how many times I laughed while reading The Liberator. What I loved most was the character development of Dante. He’s a lot more serious this time around, and if you’ve read The Collector, you’ll know that’s pretty big for him. He starts to question his and Charlie’s relationship more because they fell so hard and fast for one another. I thought that was well played considering there were some reviewers who feel their relationship bordered on insta-love. So for Dante to question this and work on his feelings, it was a good move. The ending really surprised me and Warrior is a must read for me this year!...more
Okay, let's start this review off with some straight-up trufax. On my own, it's possible I may not have chosen this book to reActual rating: 3.5 stars
Okay, let's start this review off with some straight-up trufax. On my own, it's possible I may not have chosen this book to read. That's not because the blurb didn't sound interesting, it's just that out of all the other YA sub-genres, Paranormal Romance is the one I have a very inconsistent streak with. Which is unfortunate because when it's done right, I fall in love with the story. My start with The Collector reminds me of what happened with Obsidian. I kept seeing it all over other's twitter avatars and hearing about it on a few blogs I follow (you know the drill), but somehow that simply wasn't enough for me to actually say, "Hell yeah. Sign me up." But that was a mistake because The Collector had me LOL'ing from beginning to end.
The thing about this book is that you are not going to like Dante at first. He's an anti-hero who will partly grind your nerves so bad you'll see red. He's the most conceited, selfish, slightly womanizer-ish, sarcastic little prick. And he knows this. Hell, he'd probably respond by saying:
But the thing about Dante is, that deep down he has a good heart. Throughout the story, we see his good growing stronger and stronger through his interactions with Charlie. When he first meets her, he's pretty mean to her. I mean, she's the sweetest girl and he's preying on her like a vulture. I just wanted to toss him out a window, for real. But thankfully, Dante has tons of character growth and becomes somewhat of a standup guy by the end.
That's not to say this is a perfect book. While the writing style and characters were all right up my alley, the second half did seem noticeably weaker than the first. I really think this may have been due to the Big Guy vs. Boss Man mythology. The Collector isn't preachy at all, if you're worried. But I did have a hard time believing that Dante's BFF, Max, didn't know how his Boss got kicked out of heaven. Another thing: there are only 6 Collectors for the entire earth? They must have been putting in some serious overtime.
Still, I really was enjoying myself so whatevs. I'll allow it.
The best part is Dante's voice. HILARIOUS. Scott created a very entertaining character who was really distinctive. When I first read the blurb, I thought it was a little ambitious:
Dante Walker is flippin' awesome, and he knows it.
All that sentence did is make me turn my head to the side and emit an, "O RLY?" But the thing is, that blurb really shows the tone of Dante and the novel (unlike other blurbs that mislead people).
So here are 3 very good reasons why Dante Walker is flippin' awesome:
1. What up, gangsta?
I'm trying to think of the best way to describe this guy. The one thing that sticks out in my mind every time is that he's like a mini gangsta. Which, I guess, makes sense considering he does work for Hell and he calls his "employer" Boss Man. And seriously, all I needed was for him to start rapping.
But unlike Jamie Kennedy from Malibu's Most Wanted, Dante is cool. Know why? Well, that brings us to the second reason.
2. Check my swag, yo.
And I'm not talking about that fake wannabe stuff. Sure Dante's a bit full of himself, but he backs that shit up. Because he possesses one thing I think it was incredibly smart of Scott to include. It allowed me to like just a small piece of him until his redeemable qualities showed up.
"Girl, I got swag for days."
And then Dante says things like "fo' shizzle" and I start thinking that he's secretly one of Snoop Dogg's love children.
Park it like it's hot, Snoop!
3. His relationship with Charlie and the gang
Charlie and Dante are the most unlikely PNR couple I've ever encountered so far. I really didn't expect sparks to fly between the two because their first interaction began with Dante turning his nose up. He considers her undesirable, "unpretty", a waste of his time and good charm, etc. Charlie's beauty is something he doesn't understand at first and tries convince her a change is in order. Fortunately, Charlie's lovely qualities have an effect on him and he not only starts to develop a conscience, but feelings for her. He sees how much her friends love her, how despite her background she made something better out of it. It causes him to really look at his own life's actions.
I'll never understand the friendships Charlie has. Friendships where it doesn't take cash or hookups, or saying the right things to stay in the circle. No, Charlie's friendships are different. She tries to protect her people, and they in turn protect her. They accept each other's imperfections and support one another. My friends weren't like her friends, which makes me wonder if I ever had any at all.
I loved seeing his character develop.
And then you have his interactions with the other characters. Scott really brought everyone to life with her wit and charm. I kept bookmarking my favorite quotes until I realized I was damn near highlighted every other page. She spread her awesome out evenly and it resulted in hilarious dialogue, a lot of the times between Charlie's best friend, Annabelle, and Dante.
"In this trunk," she says with a serious face, "is God's gift to women." "Chocolate?" "No." "Midol?" "What? No." "Tampons?" "Stop guessing," she says.
Reading The Collector was like listening to a great rock CD. There are songs I love more than others. There are songs where I find myself singing along. There are ones that make me laugh and the ones that pull at my feels. And let's not forget the slightly annoying ones with the lead singer screaming into the mic. ;) But every last one of them is memorable. I think The Collector will appeal to a lot of readers, especially those with an awesome sense of humor. Even the reluctant ones like myself.
ARC was provided by the author. No favors or monies were exchanged for review, but wouldn't that be awesome?
I enjoyed this finale much more than I did Days of Blood and Starlight. There’s just something about seeing Karou and Akiva steal away precious momentI enjoyed this finale much more than I did Days of Blood and Starlight. There’s just something about seeing Karou and Akiva steal away precious moments in the midst of impending death. However, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending. Taylor chose to introduce new characters and it felt a bit jarring for a final book. Out of nowhere, characters who I’d just met suddenly became extremely important to the plot when all I really wanted was more Karou and Akiva. The sexual tension and want between those two was through the roof and I JUST NEEDED THEM TO KISS ALREADY. What I find interesting is how with Daughter of Smoke and Bone I quickly labeled this series as PNR, but now that doesn’t feel accurate. Sure, there is a love story at its root, but has become so much more than that. It feels more Fantasy and less PNR by the end, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t left craving more of that romantic spark I felt in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. A part of me wants to read a straight PNR from Taylor just so my feels can burst into flames. Overall, I loved this book and this series still remains a favorite.
(There better be a spin-off planned, because I smell a spin-off.)
I was rather disappointed with this sequel because I didn’t find it as exciting an action packed as Angelfall. This may have something to do with RaffI was rather disappointed with this sequel because I didn’t find it as exciting an action packed as Angelfall. This may have something to do with Raffe and Penryn not being very exciting apart from each other, because for the first half of the book, I struggled to stay interested. On the positive side, the second half does pick up after Penryn and Raffe reunites and the horror aspect that we saw at the end of Angelfall really starts to shine through. I’m curious to see where this series is going, because a large part of World After was about Penryn — once again — going off into danger to save her sister, who seems to now have a larger role in this whole Angel Apocalypse thing. I really hope books 3-6 don’t follow similar plots. There are only so many times Penryn can save Paige before it loses its appeal. ---------- So I read on Susan's blog that there will be 5 books total!!
OMG! I CAN'T WAIT!
But I don't know how I'll be able to wait so long. *sigh*
It's always a sad day when I must say goodbye to a series that I've come to love over the years. You feel so invested in the cActual rating: 3.5 stars
It's always a sad day when I must say goodbye to a series that I've come to love over the years. You feel so invested in the characters that you just don't want it to be over. But what's really the nail biter is the concern of the final book ending on a high note. Will it meet your expectations? Will it be just a satisfying conclusion? Will it completely suck? I mean, who wants to remember a series thinking, "Awww, man! This series was great... until the author blew it in the final book. Such a shame really." Fortunately, I think Boundless was great for most of the novel, but did let me down a bit with the very last chapters. And as you probably guessed, it would be very spoiler-y of me to go into detail of what bothered me and I'm trying very hard to keep this spoiler free. No promises though. But it will contain spoilers for both Unearthly and Hallowed. And no, I will not tell you who Clara ends up with. :P
Boundless picks up right where Hallowed left off. Clara is getting ready to go to college, Jeffery is still missing and Clara and Tucker's future is unknown. There is a bit of a recap over the first few chapters for those of us that possess a leaky brain, which was nice. And if you didn't read the novella Radiant, it is later revealed what Angela was up to in Italy. While Unearthly held a mysterious air and Hallowed's more depressing, Boundless felt much more grim and hopeless. There were quite a few times where I was unsure if Clara could overcome her difficulties and even when she did, there was always something else. Cynthia Hand really showed little mercy for most of the book with her plot twists, which always seemed to bring Clara nothing but grief.
Things I liked:
-As usual, I love Hand's writing style. There are some authors that just get a great feel for how teens talk and Hand is one of them. Also, Clara is a smartass and I love it.
-I think this book has the best plot out of the series. There is a lot more suspense going on because Clara has not one, but two visions. She's also on a time crunch, lives are on the line. You, know. Important things of that nature.
-Samjeeza's role. I have to admit, I kinda like the guy. His story is very sad and I felt for him.
-Tucker: HKFHJDNHFJBFKHJFB!!!! I loved how Clara just couldn't seem to stay away from him. His scenes gave me SERIOUS FEELS like this one:
I received very strange looks from Mr. Sinclair while reading Boundless.
Things I'm not too sure about:
I was really hoping that Boundless would tie up a bunch of loose threads, but it seemed to just leave more questions than answers.
-I was surprised to find out how big of a part Angela had in the storyline. Throughout the series I had my suspicions that she was evil, but she was cleverly left ambiguous until now. However, I'm not sure I like where her story arc went. Was Angela's purpose really to throw her future away?
-What in the world was Jeffery's purpose? Why did God want him to start the forest fire?
-Boundless is a lot more "preachy" than the first two. And when I say preachy, I mean it has a lot more religious references, including a few bible quotes and everything. I suppose some of that can't be avoided since it is an angel book, but it is there. I did find it kind of ironic that Tucker would bust out his bible on Clara. It was a human preaching to an angel. Lol.
-Tucker vs. Christian. I was not happy with their endings. It's not that I'm disappointed with who Clara ends up because I honestly would be fine with either choice. But it's how each of their story arcs ends. One just disappears from Clara's life, which is messed up because he doesn't get a decent ending. And the other experiences a big change in their life that I thought was convenient and a little too "happily-ever-after" for my liking.
The biggest issue for me had been with the ending because it felt like Clara got everything so conveniently handed to her. Don't get me wrong, Clara did go through hell in the book (quite literally actually), but when the consequences and life catches up to her, everything magically becomes alright. Somehow Clara has this power and that power. Oh and she can magically do this, but you didn't know about it till now, because secretly she's been slightly Mary Sue-ish all along. Surprise! Everyone's purpose in the series has revolved around Clara's. And these people have suffered badly, especially Angela, Christian and Tucker, the poor, little mortal.
Also, let's discuss purposes for a minute. Slight spoiler: Clara was always told by her mother that her goal in life is to always fulfill her purpose. So when she has these visions, she goes out of her way to make sure it happens. In fact, her mother was even disappointed in Clara for ignoring her visions for the better part of Unearthly. But later we find out that the visions are just glimpses of a possible future. So basically: You don't have to do what the vision says, but you'd better anyway because it's also your purpose? HUH? But furthermore, if all this time the angels were just seeing possible futures, why weren't any other possibilities shown?
Overall, I did enjoy Boundless. Sure, there were a few instances that I wasn't exactly thrilled about. And yeah, the ending did leave me a bit frustrated. But this book also made me laugh, cry and was never boring. It may not be the perfect ending I thought it'd be, but I certainly had fun reading it. A series has come and gone. I'm sad to see it go, but I am very excited to see what Cynthia Hand comes up with next.
ARC was received from the publisher. Thank you, HaperTeen!
You know that book you're reading right now? How about all those books on your "TBR" list? FORGET ABOUT 'EM!
I first stumbled across Laini Taylor when You know that book you're reading right now? How about all those books on your "TBR" list? FORGET ABOUT 'EM!
I first stumbled across Laini Taylor when I was encouraged by several of my GoodReader friends to read Lips Touch. So, I read it and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away. However, I think it was a "It's not you, it's me" situation because anthologies and I don't really get along. I went into this book thinking it was just another PNR, Angel style. I couldn't have been more wrong. If Romeo & Juliet and the story of the Trojan War had a literary baby, that in turn grew up, rebelled, and decided to have paranormal creatures in a fantasy sort of world, it would be Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Okay, that makes almost no sense. Here, let me simplify it for you:
Karou is just your ordinary 17-year-old girl living as an art student in the beautiful city of Prague. She has blue hair, collects languages as birthday gifts, and runs errands collecting teeth. Okay, so maybe she's not so "ordinary." But one day, while running one of her "errands," she runs into a mysterious stranger named Akiva who attacks her. After that moment, her life forever changes and she finds herself on the cusp of unraveling the secret behind her most burning question:"Who am I?"
There are some stories that make you say, "Wow! That person's imagination was going into overdrive." Harry Potter, Star Wars and the Pendragon series immediately come to mind. While reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone I was mesmerized by Taylor's vivid descriptions and she easily fits in the above category as well. As with the first time I read a Laini Taylor novel, I had to get adjusted to her unique writing style. Karou and the mystery surrounding her past are so interesting you just sucked into the story. I literally could not put the book down and it took over my life for a few days causing me to abandon a few of my responsibilities.
Internal dialog: "I'll just read one more page then I cook dinner." "Well, I might as well finish this chapter since I'm halfway through it." "Dammit I forgot to feed the kids, but I'm hitting the climax...must.put.book.down."
Thanks to crafty little plan of mine, AKA take-out, no one starved. That just shows you how addictive this book was for me!
And let's talk about the love interest, Akiva. *sigh* Where do I begin with him?! Oh, ya! Hey Stephenie Meyer, this is how you write a tortured character. Akiva has a very real painful past that he carries with him. When he meets Karou is is drawn to her for some unknown reason and she to him. Wait, what's that you say? Isn't that insta-love? Preposterous! Laini Taylor is so above that. Don't be fooled young padewon like I was.
The first half of the book is so full of mystery it will have you begging for answers and Taylor does not disappoint. You've heard of that little rule "show, don't tell?" Well, Laini is the freakin' queen of doing just that. She shows you everything and by the end you're like: and then:
I can't say anything more about this book. I refuse to spoil anything. Just go read it now!
This was good and different. Definitely NOT what I was expecting and easily one of the most depressing stories I've ever read. GLASS CASE OF EMOTIONS.This was good and different. Definitely NOT what I was expecting and easily one of the most depressing stories I've ever read. GLASS CASE OF EMOTIONS.
I was desperately waiting for Days of Blood and Starlight to come out and, boy, this was quite a book. Don’t let the rating mislead you into thinking this wasn’t an excellent book because it was. The plot was tighter and the action much more intense than in the first book, but it’s just so incredibly sad that I felt mentally and emotionally drained after reading it. Plus, it didn’t quite get me in the feels as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I think I will need to re-read this one soon to have a more definite opinion.
Edit 5/27: That is an awesome cover! Look at the pretty!
This is my favorite book of 2011! This review may contain extreme amounts of gushing!
The above was my immediate reaction after finis This is my favorite book of 2011! This review may contain extreme amounts of gushing!
The above was my immediate reaction after finishing this book. There simply were no words to describe how much I loved it, how it horrified me, shocked me, tore at my heart again and again. Brilliant.
2011 turned out to be a great year for Angel books for me. I know that might seem strange when you think of the more popular horrible ones **cough* Hush, Hush*cough*Halo*cough*Fallen*cough**. But there is indeed hope for this paranormal genre. I thought this genre couldn't get any better than Unearthly, Angel, or Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Then, I read Angelfall. Are the literary gods playing a joke on me? How ironic for me to find my favorite book of 2011 in the last week of the year.
I'm going to do this review a little differently. I'm not going to go in some extreme in-depth talk about how awesome this book is because there are a few other reviews that do that and I don't think I could do the book any justice even if I tried. Instead, I'm going to give you ten reasons why you should go purchase this book RIGHT NOW.
1.Angelfall kicks off right from the start with plenty of action and never settles down. Expect little to no sleep until you've finished.
2. Penryn is my pick for strongest heroine of 2011. In fact, I created a new shelf just for her: "Ass-kickin' heroine." Between how she sticks up for herself and her awesomely cool, Kung Fu Panda-type skills, she's a fuckin' boss. Bet on it.
3. Witty Dialogue. There are so many quotes I could paste into my review, but I can't because I'd end up just pasting the entire book. But I will paste my absolute favorite:
“My friends call me Wrath,” says Raffe. “My enemies call me Please Have Mercy. What’s your name, soldier boy?”
Yeah, he's a badass 'G.' Susan, how do you come up with this stuff? I was thoroughly entertained!
4. The post-apocalyptic world. It's shocking, horrifying, and any other adjective you can possibly use to describe the emotion you feel while reading this book. It's a world I could never live in. I'd pretty much put my head between my legs and kiss my ass goodbye.
5. Susan did her research. Angel books run the risk of not being true to their mythological "rules." I think you know what I'm talking about here. Halo: Only eight angels fell from Heaven? Let's get real. The Mortal Instruments: Nephilim are the good guys? You've got to be kidding me. The Succubus series: Angels hanging out with Demons playing cards? Really? Really, dude? Susan created a realistic world of angels while somehow managing to not sound preachy and staying true to their original mythical cannon.
6. Because I said so.
7. The plot twists will leave you twisted. You will never see the climax or the ending coming. It blows you away.
8.Angelfall is like a weird mix between Planet of the Apes, Resident Evil and Frankenstein. Yes, it is possible for a book to be that awesome. This is that book.
9. Did I mention the dialogue? I did? Oh, well...it was so amazeballs that it deserves another separate reason. Annnddddd...I quote:
I never kid about my warrior demigod status. "Oh. My. God." I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. "You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I'll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That's what you are.
“You're like a little girl demanding answers to questions during a covert operation. Why is the sky blue, daddy? Can I ask that man with the machine gun where the bathroom is? If you don't stay quiet, I'm going to have to dump you.”
“Leaking sacks of mutated maggots?" He raises his perfectly arched eyebrow as though I'd just failed my verbal insult exam.”
“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you're going to get stuck trying to walk between two tress. And then, I'll have to rescue you." I give him a weary look. "Again.”
“Those pigeons couldn't take us out if they send their entire chirping flock.”
10. Let us not forget the most important reason of all: NO INSTA-LOVE FOUND HERE! I like my romance slow burning and taking a backseat to the plot and action. Angelfall did just that. I likey. I likey a lot.
It is only $.99! You have no reason NOT to buy this book! Go do it now!
And I know I say reviews are not for authors but for readers. However, Susan, if you happen to read this review I just have two things to say to you: