I love this book SO much, I can't write a deserving review. I can't quite convey all of my emotions. It is so much more thaFavorite YA read from 2011.
I love this book SO much, I can't write a deserving review. I can't quite convey all of my emotions. It is so much more than I was expecting it to be, and leads me down two distinct paths. On the one hand, it's magical, adventurous, dramatic, and romantic. And, on the other, terrifying, heart-breaking, and absolutely tragic. I feel almost gutted. It got under my skin and in my head in a way that doesn't normally happen when I read.
I haven't been moved to tears like this by a novel since I read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. It's not quite a powerful story like that classic, but it really got to me. In many ways, I also felt the way I did when I read The Hunger Games trilogy because the characters go through such incredible trials and conflicts that I got completely sucked into the story. In This Dark Endeavor, I couldn't help but be uneasy through the most dangerous parts, as if I were right there experiencing every frightening, squeamish moment along with the characters. I cried myself to sleep the night I finished it (cat-lovers, beware).
In this prequel to the original classic tale, of which I'm already a huge fan, Victor Frankenstein is a sixteen-year-old living with his father, mother, twin brother, Konrad, and his distant cousin, Elizabeth. Just so you know, in the original, Victor had no twin brother, only younger brothers, and he had always loved Elizabeth from the time she came to live with his family.
Konrad comes down with a grave illness, and Victor decides to study forbidden magical alchemy in order to save him. In his family's Swiss chateau, he discovers a hidden Dark Library (very cool!) filled with several tomes on alchemy, which Victor develops a healthy obsession with. He secretly enlists the help of an old alchemist in town, who requires that he and his friends fetch the three ingredients to make the Elixir of Life, a potion that gives a person immortality.
He, Elizabeth, and the hilariously charming, although scardy-cat, Henry Clerval set out on some death-defying adventures in order to procure the unusual items. The adventures are exciting, like those of a Middle Grade adventure novel. Although, I wouldn't suggest this novel for younger children, as we get a lot of insight into Victor's thoughts about his growing attraction to Elizabeth—if you know what I mean.
The romantic drama is spectacular! Here is a love triangle that shouldn't annoy anyone, even those who typically hate them. Unless you hate already knowing who will likely end up with whom, and since this is a prequel, we do already know. But, this doesn't ruin a thing. Each character involved is firm about whom they love—no one waivers, and no one gives anyone the wrong idea (at least not consciously). Elizabeth is worthy of being stuck in the middle. Best of all, Victor likes to put his passion where his mouth is (pun intended), and nothing but excitement ensues.
Victor is surprisingly heroic, and he's hardly that in the original novel. He also has an inner darkness which drives him to do scandalous things. In other words, he's a 'bad boy.' This darkness is only beginning to develop inside him, and it will lead to incredible tragedy, which you can read about in Mary Shelley's novel. In his own way, he is perfectly flawed, and I love that kind of complexity. But, I'm sad, as well as ecstatic because I know what lies in Victor's future, and now that I actually sympathize with him so much, it's depressing…
This book is amazing, and even if you haven't read Frankenstein, you'll still be able to follow it. It may help to enrich your experience by reading the first few chapters of the original, but Oppel takes many liberties in changing the canon. The novel stands very well on it's own, and all the characters are wonderful. By the end, there's a hint of more to come, since Victor's hardly finished studying alchemy, and like a proper mad scientist, he remains totally obsessed. I hope I get to read more, so, so much more…. ...more
This is a good really, really short story. It's around 4,000 words long, but despite that, it's still highly entertaining. The concept of a “death cloThis is a good really, really short story. It's around 4,000 words long, but despite that, it's still highly entertaining. The concept of a “death clock,” or the ability to see a countdown of numbers displayed over someone's head that indicates their remaining lifespan, is nothing new. I recognized this used in Death Note, one of my favorite manga series, to name one of many other stories in which it can be found.
But, that's not what impresses me about the story. It's more about the amazing plot twist that you will never see coming, and it is a doozy! This is a free ebook, so you'll lose nothing but a few minutes of your time to read it and freak out at the end, trying to wrap your brain around the incredibly ironic ending.
What I don't like is the main character for most of the story. Andie is one of the most non-proactive characters you'll ever read about, but she arguably goes through a little character growth by the end. If you find yourself disliking her, don't worry—that really won't be a problem for you. Trust me on that… Just read it for the fun plot twist at the end. ...more
I'm not one to read much in the way of thriller-suspense novels, so I'm no expert in the genre. But, I do know a good story when I read it, and this iI'm not one to read much in the way of thriller-suspense novels, so I'm no expert in the genre. But, I do know a good story when I read it, and this is definitely great. Whether or not the 'whodunnit' aspect is all that clever—I don't know, because I have nothing to compare it to. But, I think it's awesome because I was wrong about who the killer is, and when you guess, then realize you're wrong by the end, you must have read an effective mystery.
We follow around quite a few different characters, but most of the time, we're inside the heads of Quinn and Kate, the main characters. They are reporters for a small town newspaper called The Loudoun Chronicle, in Virginia. Kate moves there for very personal reasons because she's connected to the serial killer that terrorized the town twelve years earlier.
But, that killer has started to kill in Loudoun again, and as the story progresses, everybody's trying to find him, and this guy's downright terrifying! He keeps on succeeding and a lot people, despite being super careful, still get picked off by him. He is as sick as you'll ever find because he uses the newspaper to publicize his crimes, and to get the people of the town to tremble in fear every October so he can get off on it.
For some reason, he takes a twelve year hiatus and then starts killing again in October of 2006. It's definitely a thrilling ride as you try to figure out who he is and why he's killing people. But, there's this very original and creative aspect to the story that I loved in how it all connected to Washington Irving's “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” I won't spoil how it's connected, but it intersects with this story in a really neat way, and sort of parallels Irving's classic spooky read.
I think any adult reader would love this, especially during this time of year. Because the events take place only during October, it's the perfect Halloween read. It's not scary in the horror kind of way since there's not much gore. Lots of murder and mayhem, but we don't see every detail of every kill. That made it easy for me to read and enjoy. From what I understand, this is the first book in a trilogy, so there's more to come in future Halloweens.
I received this book for review from the author for my honest opinion.
I hate to have to do it, but sometimes I must. This novel just warrants a negative review because it's riddled with what I perceive to be a lot of proI hate to have to do it, but sometimes I must. This novel just warrants a negative review because it's riddled with what I perceive to be a lot of problems. If anything, it wasn't for me.
Now, this first issue isn't necessarily a problem, but that depends on the reader's preferred narrative style. This is a fictional autobiographical novel, so it reads like someone telling you their life story way back when it happened. Don't expect to be transported through time and space, feeling as though you're right there with the characters like a fly on the wall. I'm not against this style, but if every book were written this way, I know I'd get annoyed, eventually.
Story and characterization difficulties abound. There's no semblance of a plot. The characters just do one thing, then move on the next thing, kind of like real life. That can work in some fiction, like Interview with the Vampire, to name another vampire novel. But, not here. At least Louis regales an actual character in the novel with his life history. Here, we get Lucy rambling for 65,000 words to whatever reader will listen to her. And, of course, there's no depth of character, no inspired thematic elements to rescue it.
There are misplaced digressions that just don't seem to matter. The story of how Emma became a vampire is good, I'll admit. But, other than it being how she met the villain character, a bad old vampire, I didn't see any point to it. Then there's Wash's story of how he met the bad old vampire, told by Emma right before Lucy needed to go fight the guy in a one-on-one battle. Lucy even asks Emma to give her some fighting pointers before she goes to fight him, but Emma claims there's no time for that. But, there's time for a pointless story on how Wash met the bad old vampire? It makes no sense.
I also have a problem with every character sounding exactly the same. Many times they go on and on about something, for several paragraphs, which is not good, sounding exactly like the main character narrator. And, we get way too many details of every mundane thing Lucy does. She steps into the bathroom and she brushes her teeth, and then she gets into the shower, and she lathers up the shampoo—then, later she checks her phone for messages, etc., etc. This is commonplace, and doesn't add anything meaningful to the story.
I will never advise against buying a book because if you want to read something, despite my opinion of it, then you should. It's your life. Some people might find this story charming. I can see that. None of the characters are annoying, and at least Lucy's not some selfish, spoiled brat who sits around and lets everyone do everything for her. The story is not completely awful, but not particularly good. And, that's all I really can say about that.
* I received this from the author in exchange for my honest opinion....more
This is another of many ebook-only prequels to a novel series meant to get you to read the first book's preview. Well, I don't mind if that's the onlyThis is another of many ebook-only prequels to a novel series meant to get you to read the first book's preview. Well, I don't mind if that's the only purpose of the story, but I'd like an interesting story that gets me … well, interested in reading further material. I think this very short story (which took up only 33 percent of my Kindle file) is actually funny, but there isn't much conflict.
Riley Blackthorne is a teenage demon trapper in a near-future Atlanta, Georgia that is aware of its demon population. She is sent to the house of a client in need of her demon trapping abilities. The demon is the most innocuous kind and really just looks like a Brownie, in faerie terms. It pees everywhere, curses, and she does something to make it sleepy, then takes off with it. Then, it wakes, gets free of its confines, and nearly causes Riley to crash her car.
The plot is rather mundane, although a couple of characters, the retro-hippie clients, were hilarious. Seriously channeling The Grateful Dead. That alone kind of saves me from giving this a lesser star rating. Still, I'm most likely going to pass on this novel series (The Demon Trappers) because I need something more intriguing to entice me to read it.
There are some great characters in this book, like Iko the hilarious robot girl and Dr. Erland, the cute little old scienceyReal rating: 4.5/5 stars.
There are some great characters in this book, like Iko the hilarious robot girl and Dr. Erland, the cute little old sciencey man. I want to put him in my pocket and take him home. I liked Cinder, too, but she really didn't have that much of a stand-out personality. Prince Kai is pretty cool and highly moral, but still so humble. I liked him a lot. The world building is fabulous, although I wish I knew more about it. I love the whole moon colony thing going on and how the Lunars are magical. How can they be magical?
It's a great retelling of Cinderella and you can see just how Meyer does it as you follow along in the story. I wasn't even thinking Cinder's under-sized cyborg foot would correlate to Cinderella's glass slipper until the end. She had thrown it away at the beginning of the story, after all, but that's how clever Meyer is. ...more
Plot: There actually is one (big plus for me), although it's nothing groundbreaking. Penryn needs to rescue her crippled little sister from the bad inPlot: There actually is one (big plus for me), although it's nothing groundbreaking. Penryn needs to rescue her crippled little sister from the bad invading angels who have taken her away, and needs a wingless angel that she saves to help locate her. They have many fun (for the reader) distractions along the way. There's not much romance, but that works better for me, actually. Penryn and Raffe (the wingless angel) didn't bond as much as I felt they should have to justify his obvious attachment to her by the end. I needed more niceties between the two, but they do have chemistry.
Characters: Penryn is a great YA character and really knows her fighting skills. She's tough and she's proactive, thinking only ever of saving her little sister. Raffe is so sarcastic and yummy in the first half, but that all vanishes during the second half for someone unknown reason. Penryn's crazy mother is such a mystery, always showing up wherever Penryn is, like a feral cat stalking her. Why this is never gets explained, and it's kind of creepy, but good creepy.
Writing: The writing is definitely decent—professional-grade. No flowery words or purple prose, and that's just perfect for this type of story. The YA voice is convincing, too, as the story is told through Penryn's first-person present tense narration.
Storytelling: The story takes you on this wild and bizarre journey through a gutted apocalyptic San Francisco, full of incredibly well-detailed and intense fight scenes, amongst other things. Very impressive. One fight scene in particular made me feel like my throat had been whacked a bunch of times because of the vivid physicality of the fighting. Amazing.
Overall Quality: I believe this is a self-published title, but you'd never know it. It's so very professional and high quality
Favorite Moment/Scene: The kiss scene... Oh. My. Lord. It is amazing, and I am rarely impressed by kiss scenes, but this one blew me away. It is totally out-of-nowhere and made me blink a lot. A lot. And, made me think about it as I drifted off to sleep the same night I read it. ...more