Loved the narrator on this one. I thought she was cast perfectly and sounded just as I'd imagine Cassia to sound. She even provided the optimism in XaLoved the narrator on this one. I thought she was cast perfectly and sounded just as I'd imagine Cassia to sound. She even provided the optimism in Xander's voice and the melancholy in Ky's. Kate Simses rendering was heart-breaking and I hope to have the opportunity to hear her bring more of my favorite characters to life.
I'm glad I did a re-read/listen to this first installment before starting Crossed because I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed this novel the first time around. And I had forgotten so much that happened...I don't know if I would have been prepared for the sequel otherwise....more
Other than the Study series, I’ve not read anything else by Maria V. Snyder. I LOVED the Study series, though, and so I was worried that I could not pOther than the Study series, I’ve not read anything else by Maria V. Snyder. I LOVED the Study series, though, and so I was worried that I could not possibly enjoy Touch of Power more than that. I was wrong to have worried.
I loved the pacing of this novel, as well as the entire premise. It was very difficult to put this book down, once I finally allowed myself to get into it. Though, I do have to admit that I noticed some similarities to the Study series: (1) what I like to call the Man in Black character (a la Wesley from The Princess Bride – my most favorite movie ever…in other words, mysterious but handsome), (2) a formulaic love story, and (3) that whole “all magicians are bad” (or at least really creepy and dangerous) thing. But rather than detracting from the story, having that familiarity actually helped me acquiesce to this book. I drew many parallels between characters, but in the end it was kind of comforting. It made me want to go back and re-read the Study series…and move the rest of Snyder’s works up to the top of my TBR list.
This author writes some of the greatest characters I’ve ever read. Avry’s character was just what I’m looking for in a protagonist. She’s strong but soft-hearted, and she does what has to be done, even if it puts her life at risk. The supporting characters made this story even better. The troop of men start out as Avry’s protectors so that she may heal their friend, but in the end, they become something more like family. The fact that they can overcome their perceived prejudices against Healers goes a long way toward building their bond with Avry, with even Kerrick (my Man in Black, if you will) beginning to see Avry in a different light.
But if the Healer’s companions are good and trustworthy, then her enemies are deliciously evil. I’m finding it harder and harder not to fall, at least to some degree, for the bad guys in books. Why do they always have to be so pretty? It makes it hard to hate them. I guess if it was easy, though, the story wouldn’t be much fun. And, boy, does Tohon make this novel interesting.
Touch of Power is a fabulous start to a new series. The magic, the friendships, and the chase all make for one captivating novel. While I’m waiting for the next installment, I’ll take the opportunity to catch up on the Glass and the Insider series and see what else I’ve been missing. But I recommend you pick this book up, especially if you enjoy YA novels with high fantasy that are a little less Y and a little more A.
A copy of this novel was provided for review by Netgalley.
The things I loved best about this story were the magical elements and the strong heroine. I'm so over the paranormal reads with whiny protagonists whThe things I loved best about this story were the magical elements and the strong heroine. I'm so over the paranormal reads with whiny protagonists who simply can't survive without a boy. There is a love story in this book, but it is only a subplot and serves to further, not hinder, the main storyline.
I wouldn't say the plot was predictable but it was easy to follow along. The characters were very well-developed and took on a life of their own. Their actions were surprising and thought out and are what made this story so amazing. You just can't have a good story without good characters in my opinion.
The narrator for this audiobook was skilled at voicing each of the characters, though I never quite got used to the voice for the Commander. At least, not until the end, when I realized that maybe it was intentional. ;) I'm excited to start Magic Study now, also narrated by Gabra Zackman....more
This book was not what I was expecting at all! And I love to be surprised! I'm used to reading YA novels, so I was a little shocked at the adult-nessThis book was not what I was expecting at all! And I love to be surprised! I'm used to reading YA novels, so I was a little shocked at the adult-ness of this book, but in a good way. :D Though I wish I'd been warned not to listen to it while at work! Luckily no one caught me blushing during the more, er, intimate parts of the story.
This novel had a great premise, one I've not encountered before, and that in itself is a feat. Angels walking among humans, creating vampires. Vampires controlled by angels and not out to kill humans, though they still thirst for their blood. Guild hunters used by angels to locate rogue vampires. Fun times.
The narrator for this audiobook was awesome, too. It always takes me a few chapters before I adjust to the narrator's voice and it begins to become the character's voice, but it didn't take long at all for me to acclimate to Justine Eyre's portrayal of Elena and the other characters.
If you're looking for something different and fun, with a kick-a$$ heroine to boot, this book is for you. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series....more
I hadn’t read anything else by this author prior to reading Every Other Day, but I’ve been told that her Raised by Wolves series is definitely one toI hadn’t read anything else by this author prior to reading Every Other Day, but I’ve been told that her Raised by Wolves series is definitely one to pick up. Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book and will be adding all of her other works to my TBR list momentarily.
This story was far from predictable, and that’s one of the best compliments I can give a novel. I consider myself a pretty perceptive reader, and it’s usually pretty difficult to catch me off guard. But this story succeeds where many others have failed. The entire time I was reading, I kept wondering what was going to happen next, and I kept finding myself surprised.
The characters in this story were a lot of fun, too. Some of them are absolute mysteries and others ground the story and make it relatable. Kali is the protagonist you yearn for. She’s not whiny and pathetic and waiting for things to happen. In fact, she’s the complete opposite. Kali is in your face, taking charge and kicking butt…crazy, scary demon butt, but that’s even better, right? And then there’s Bethany, the cheerleader that Kali risks her own life for. She proves to be more than meets the eye, as well. But I can’t forget to mention Zev. He’s the biggest mystery of them all, and for most of the book, he’s just this detached voice in Kali’s head.
Every Other Day was everything I expected and more. It kept me entertained, and I found myself reading far past my bedtime just to see where Kali’s story would take me. There was no insane cliffhanger at the end, which I really appreciate, but the author left the story open-ended, so I’m very much hoping there will be a follow-up to this amazing story.
I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley....more
Alas, a book with not one but two paranormal elements I just can’t seem to get enough of. I’ll admit it. I was hooked on this book. There’s just sometAlas, a book with not one but two paranormal elements I just can’t seem to get enough of. I’ll admit it. I was hooked on this book. There’s just something about witches and vampires that does that to me, no matter how much I fight it. But when a book is well-written and has great main AND secondary characters to boot, well, why fight it? And the best part? It’s set in TEXAS!!!
Savannah and Tristan’s stories, though told from alternating points of view, seem destined to remain intertwined, no matter how much they or their families try to stop it. Savannah is the scourge of the earth as far as The Clann is concerned, and Sav’s family is happy to remain ostracized if it means keeping Savannah safe from The Clann and others who would seek to harm her. But nothing is ever that simple.
Savannah is going through some serious changes, and people are starting to react differently to her. Boys suddenly seem entranced when in her presence, Tristan included. But Tristan’s feelings stem from something else. However, he made a promise to The Clann and his family, so he keeps his distance. And, naturally, soccer-playing hottie Greg swoops in and sweeps Savannah off her feet.
Tristan is the hawt boy we’re supposed to lust after, and he doesn’t disappoint. But I like that his character had some depth to him, as well. And although Savannah is naïve and pretty much resigns herself to being everyone’s doormat, she still surprised me by dating Greg. She gave him a shot, even though her heart really belonged to Tristan. How very un-Bella of her to take a chance at happiness with a normal, nice guy instead of waiting for Tristan to return her feelings. But promises be damned! What kind of story would this be if the star-crossed lovers didn’t stoke the embers of their burning love and risk both their lives in the process?
Awesome story? Check. Fabulous characters? Check. Forbidden romance? Check. Yep…this book has the makings for a great series, and it will leave you CRAVE-ing more. See what I did there? :D
I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley....more
The premise of this book reminded so much of Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy. It wasn't quite as good, though. It wasn't horrible, just not executedThe premise of this book reminded so much of Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy. It wasn't quite as good, though. It wasn't horrible, just not executed as well. I never really connected with the characters, though that may have something to do with the narrator of the audiobook. She didn't change the tone of her voice much, so sometimes it was difficult to discern who was speaking in the story.
Like I said, it wasn't terrible, so eventually I'll pick up the rest of the series, but I made the mistake of checking out the synopsis for the second and third installments, so I'm in no hurry to finish up the series....more
So cute. This was my first time reading anything by Sarah Dessen, but I think I will be picking up all of her other works. This book was a beautiful,So cute. This was my first time reading anything by Sarah Dessen, but I think I will be picking up all of her other works. This book was a beautiful, honest look at the summer after high school. The main character was totally relatable, but maybe that's just me, seeing as how I, too, was fully focused on academics until I realized there was more to life.
The narrator was great...lots of inflections and intonations. A real pleasure to listen to....more
And the following is my review of the audiobook: it was awesome! I wasn't sure how I'd feel listening to Jesse Eisenberg as the voice of Cassel Sharpe, but he did a great job. I do wish there had been more of a difference in his voice as he portrayed other characters, but overall, I thought it was really well done....more
So, this is another one of those books where I’ve never read anything else by the author and after finishing, I’m wondering why that is. Seriously, thSo, this is another one of those books where I’ve never read anything else by the author and after finishing, I’m wondering why that is. Seriously, this book is awesome. Like, go-out-and-buy-everything-by-Tera Lynn Childs-awesome. It wasn’t the sisterhood-aspect, or the oh-snap-we’re-related-to-Medusa-aspect, or even the female-empowerment-aspect. It was all of that rolled up into one fantastically kick-a$$ action story.
Switched POVs. Sigh. I wish all authors could handle them this well. Normally, the transition is between the protagonist and her love interest, or some small variation from that. In Sweet Venom, the shift occurs between sisters. The narration starts out with tough girl Gretchen’s POV. Then along comes Grace, and a sisterly bond is formed. Way, way, way down the road, Gretchen and Grace discover that they have yet another sister that neither knew about, and she is not happy to have her perfect life disturbed. Enter Greer. Three entirely different yet formidable heroines. One destiny. And still so much to discover about themselves and each other.
And then there’s the mythology. Medusa wasn’t evil, you say? Bah. Impossible. Oh, wait…you’re not kidding. Okay, I’ll bite. She’s a protector, NOT an evil gorgon? You don’t say…well, that just makes things even more interesting. And how do you know this? Her sisters? Wait, wait, wait. There are MORE sisters in this story? Great…and I thought I had issues with MY sisters.
Sisters, descendents of Medusa at that, fighting demons by night and trying to maintain a sense of normalcy by day. Love it. There’s a touch of romance, too, but it doesn’t overshadow the real storyline.
Sweet Venom was fast-paced and laced with action and intrigue. I devoured it quickly and already find myself wanting the sequel, even with everything else on my reading plate. I’d love to go into more detail, but I’m afraid anything I say will be spoilery. Medusa is one of my favorite mythological creatures, and I’m actually kind of surprised that this is the first time I’ve seen her pop up in a YA paranormal novel. Sweet Venom is the precursor to what looks to be a fascinating series, and the author has just found herself on my auto-read list.
The Night Circus is as achingly beautiful in its descriptiveness as it is eerie in its setting. You'll be riveted by the magicians' duel and captivateThe Night Circus is as achingly beautiful in its descriptiveness as it is eerie in its setting. You'll be riveted by the magicians' duel and captivated by the circus, as well as its inhabitants. This story is heartbreaking in its loveliness and lovely in its heartbreak.
The events surrounding The Night Circus encompass the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the depiction of the time period feels very authentic, right down to Marco's bowler hat. The circus itself is created as an arena for the young magicians to showcase their talents and prove themselves the more worthy opponent. It is described in beautiful, flowing prose, and at times, I was so engrossed in the author's lovely words that I forgot to properly visualize what I was reading. This novel begs to be read slowly and with focus in order to attain the maximum visual effect. The author incorporated breath-taking imagery as described not only by the patrons of the circus but also from the point-of-view of those whose lives ARE the circus. Though the story is shown from many different vantage points in order to show the many facets of the circus, it was most entertaining to read how the circus was viewed from both sides of the gate.
As lovely and unique as the circus is, though, the characters are even more engaging. From the devious masters instructing Celia and Marco to the woeful magicians themselves, there are no bit players. They are all bound to the circus, and as such, they are bound to each other. The story may focus on the young magicians and their struggles and loves, but anyone attached to the circus quickly finds themselves attached to Marco and Celia's story, as well. The characterization in this novel is phenomenal. By the time each character's story has been told, you may have the urge to don your red scarf and run away with the Reveurs in order to spend more time with them at The Night Circus.
This is a story not to be rushed through. It should be read at night…preferably under a blanket of stars. It is a story for dreamers, for those who refuse to grow old. It is a story so incredibly delightful that I wish it were true.
So, I was a naysayer in the beginning. I was burned out on vampires and wasn’t willing to give the VReview originally posted at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
So, I was a naysayer in the beginning. I was burned out on vampires and wasn’t willing to give the Vampire Academy series the respect it deserved. It wasn’t until I got a deal on the audiobook for the first installment in the series that I gave it a chance and decided I'd been missing out. Now imagine my surprise and excitement when I found out that the author had created a spin-off series featuring secondary characters from VA. Me -- a nonbeliever -- had stumbled upon not one but TWO awesome series, all thanks to a sale. I love it when that happens!
But then I remembered how Last Sacrifice ended, and my heart broke again. If you have not read the VA series yet, I do not advise starting this series yet. Mead does her summation thing again, but very briefly, so it would be best to familiarize yourself with the characters and back-story from the Vampire Academy world first. Trust me on this.
I really thought I’d miss Rose as the main character, but Sydney’s voice is just as fantastic, if not better. Her snark and over-analysis of the world made for a very entertaining narration. I liked her when she was simply helping out Rose in VA, but I loved her in Bloodlines. She has to contend with a lot of issues that make her uneasy and test her loyalties, and she does it all while dressed like an accountant. You can take the girl out of the alchemist world, but you can’t take the alchemist out of the girl.
I only want to touch on the relationships and friendships briefly because I feel most anything I say will be a spoiler if you haven’t read the Vampire Academy series. (And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Didn’t I already tell you I was converted by a mere audiobook??) So, yeah, back to the relationships. I don’t think I’ve ever said, “Oh, huh, I did not see that coming,” to any of the relationships in Mead’s books, but that’s because they are so well-though out. The relationships in VA develop over time, usually with me muttering to myself, “Are those two ever going to make out?” Even friendships don’t happen immediately. The plot may not be the most realistic ever, especially when you consider that there are good vampires and bad vampires in the world of VA, but at least the bonds between characters are.
I think I gave all of the VA series four out of five stars. You’ll notice that Bloodlines got five. That’s cause I like this series EVEN MORE than VA. I don’t know if it was the introduction of Sydney as the protagonist or the fact that there was a lot more Adrian to feast upon, but I loved every second of this book.
The narrator for this audiobook was perfectly cast. I had a hard time getting into it at first because of all the technical jargon, but it was usuallyThe narrator for this audiobook was perfectly cast. I had a hard time getting into it at first because of all the technical jargon, but it was usually explained well enough that I could get past that and onto the real story. The narrator aided in that with his inflections and emphasis, and it was pleasant to listen to, despite the fact that the things happening in the story were not.
It was a fast-paced thriller mostly centered around the government run amock versus the little guy. The fact that this scenario could easily play out in real life really made the story relatable, even though the techie-speak, which I am only slightly familiar with, was ever-present.
The story was intense and had me walking out of the office with my headphones on, something I rarely do unless I am seriously into a book. Definitely worth a listen if you're into stories about corrupt governments, young hacker types, or just plain like your privacy. I'm dying to try the trick with the LEDs to see if there are any hidden cameras in my office!...more
Maybe my expectations for this book were too high, or maybe it was just too hyped to begin with, but I just couldn’t connect to the characters or theMaybe my expectations for this book were too high, or maybe it was just too hyped to begin with, but I just couldn’t connect to the characters or the story the way I would have liked. I love the whole aspect of time travel, but rather than be mysterious and science-fictiony (yup, another review where I make up my own words) like I had anticipated, it felt more like a rip-off of that movie Jumper. And not in a good way.
The premise is intriguing, though not all that original. However, the time travel itself is rather different, though that doesn’t mean it’s easy to understand…at all. Some things are explained well enough, like how Jackson got stuck in 2007 in the first place, but I found the logic questionable when it came to traveling along the same timeline or departing from one’s own timeline altogether. The general rules for time travel definitely needed some clarification, but maybe the reader is supposed to learn about them as Jackson does. Though he clearly had no idea what he was getting into when he started his little time travel experiments with his friend Adam and landed himself in all of this hot water in the first place.
I found the characters lacking and generally cliché. As formulaic as the plot was, the characters should have been exceptional and well-rounded, but they just fell flat. Jackson is supposed to be your typical hot, rich guy with commitment issues. And he totally fits the bill. But through this ordeal, he should show some growth, and though there are times when his character shows promise, he never truly lives up to his potential. His sacrifice is just as much selfish as it is noble.
Holly is your average girl-next-door who somehow manages to land the super-hot, rich guy, though he’s clearly not her type. Adam, who was friends with Holly before he ever met Jackson, is suddenly best buds with him, but that’s predictably because he’s the nerdy, science type, and he’s helping Jackson figure out this whole time-travel thing. And, of course, neither of them thinks to tell Holly what’s going on until it’s too late and the evil “Enemies of Time” are hot on Jackson’s trail.
I think that too much focus on time travel itself detracted from the actual storyline, and the fact that so much time travel occurs in a relatively short span of time left me reeling. I understand that the role of the first book in a trilogy is to grab the reader’s attention and guarantee that they’ll want to read the rest of the series, but I found much of this novel to be an information dump rather than an actual story. Considerably less time could have been spent on Jackson being chased through time and instead spent on aspects that are clearly going to be important in Jackson’s future (or past or present or wherever he ends up), such as his dead sister and the little girl who travels from the future (or a future timeline?) who just happens to look very much like his dead sister. Also, the romance was sweet, but most of it was just fluff, only serving as a detour from Jackson’s true purpose or calling or whatever you want to call it.
Despite my feelings toward this novel, it’s received quite a bit of buzz. The film rights have already been snapped up by Summit Entertainment, even before the novel has been officially published and released into the wild. And as I mentioned before, this is only the first novel in a planned trilogy, and a massive marketing campaign is in the works. I wish I could say I think it deserves all of the attention it’s garnering, but regardless of my thoughts on this first installment and how it’s being handled, I’m definitely intrigued enough by what I suspect is to come that I’ll pick up future installments.
Much appreciation goes out to Wendy Darling for offering up her ARC for this tour. The link to the ARC tour can be found here....more
My first audiobook and I enjoyed it immensely, thanks to Sync's freebie, available through 6/29. The story was still great, and I enjoyed the female nMy first audiobook and I enjoyed it immensely, thanks to Sync's freebie, available through 6/29. The story was still great, and I enjoyed the female narrative, but I thought the male narrator sounded a little older than I pictured Sam's character, and I felt like he was a little wussy sounding. Sure, Sam's a sensitive guy, but I don't think he sounds like that. Not in my head, anyway.
I also enjoyed the brief author interview at the end of the book. I've loved Maggie Stiefvater's work since I first actually read Shiver, and I enjoy her posts on her blog and on Merry Sisters, but this little bit of insight into her mind made me love it that much more.
Yes, I tried this audiobook because it was free, but I loved it so much I'm going to buy the audiobook for Linger now in preparation for Forever. I listened while at work and in the car, and I can say it really helped the day along. Felt like I was reading while I was tending to other obligations....more
Before I proceed, I’d like to note that this was really more of a 3.5 star read for me. I can see thReview originally posted at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
Before I proceed, I’d like to note that this was really more of a 3.5 star read for me. I can see the potential future novels have in this series, and so I wanted to rate it higher, but I’m rating this particular book, not the potential it garners.
The best thing about this novel? The inclusion of a hot Russian guy. The worst thing? The parallels I kept drawing between this novel and the Vampire Academy series (see aforementioned hot Russian guy). Not a terrible thing considering how much I enjoyed that series, but I did notice some similarities. However, I’d prefer not to be snarky and point those out, so I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
The first thing I observed was the immaturity of the protagonist’s voice. I noticed the same thing with Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King, though, and the subsequent novels totally blew me away and I actually found myself liking the main character in that series, so much that I didn’t like the fourth novel as well because she wasn’t featured in it much. So, I’m trusting the author of this book to do the same, and I believe Brooke’s character will grow and develop into a worthy character through the trials and experiences she undergoes in forthcoming books.
The premise, while not entirely unique, was intriguing and easy to follow, though not quite up to par with what I expected from this novel. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything pans out for Brooke, though, especially with that ending. Like I said, this story has definite potential, and it was a fun read. So, if you’re into vampires or hot Russian guys, or both, give this book a try. Per the Amazon product listing, the Kindle edition is on sale for $0.99 through September, so you can’t really go wrong!...more
Wow. I must have exclaimed, “Oh, Charlie!” at least twenty times through the course of this novel. I’m not usually a big fan of contemporary novels, yWow. I must have exclaimed, “Oh, Charlie!” at least twenty times through the course of this novel. I’m not usually a big fan of contemporary novels, young adult or otherwise, but I really connected with this book. Maybe it’s because I was a bit of a wallflower myself when I was younger. Maybe because I’ve always been a reader, much like Charlie. Whatever the reason, I really enjoyed this novel, and it’s made me rather thoughtful and reflective these last few days.
Charlie’s tale is poignant and intense at times, but it also has moments of light-heartedness and frivolity. It was a much more realistic portrayal of the average teenager’s life than a lot of other stories out there. This was a story based on truth and brutal honesty, and yet it was surprisingly easy for me to read.
The characters in this narrative are not the one-dimensional characters that you typically find in a contemporary novel. They have real problems and real hopes, and they’re all doing what they have to survive high school. Charlie is naïve and likeable and immediately easy to sympathize with. He candidly expresses the happenings in his life to some unknown individual in the form of letters, and he makes it seem as if this is the most normal thing in the world. He’s peculiar and he’s aware of it, but he makes the best of the hand life has dealt him.
I love that although I knew where the story was going, it wasn’t predictable in how it achieved its end. And what an ending. Wow. Did not anticipate that. The story itself was good, but it was made that much better by that ending. It made it all so much more real. And harder to digest....more
I liked this story more than I probably should have. It has insta-love, a predictable plot-line (andReview originally posted at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
I liked this story more than I probably should have. It has insta-love, a predictable plot-line (and one that is very reminiscent of another I've recently read), too many pop-culture references, and some unoriginal characters, but I loved it all the same. It was a light, fun read, and probably just what I needed after reading the eerie Imaginary Girls.
The storyline has promise and clearly paved the way for a series, hopefully more intent on exploring witchcraft than this first novel. The curse served as the basis for Emma and Brendan's story, but based on the excerpt at the end of the ARC I read, told from Angelique's perspective, I think we'll probably see less love story and more witchiness in future books.
I enjoyed the main character. She made me chuckle quite a few times and she was gutsy. And who couldn't adore the swoon-worthy Brendan with his mess of dark hair and penetrating green eyes? The characters were all perfectly lovely in their own way, but they just seemed a little stock to me, so hopefully the author will have more of a chance to develop them with future novels. (I keep saying that because I read elsewhere that there was recently an announcement that this would become a series. I have seen nothing official, and it's not listed as a series on Goodreads, but I'm hoping.)
I know it's next to impossible not to make comparisons when reading, but I really try not to. I've seen such comparisons made in other reviews of this book, but I won't do the same because, despite my qualms with this novel, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it and feel that it deserves to stand alone and not be compared to its predecessors. I definitely recommend it to anyone who just likes a good love story, but also to those who can see the promise in a first novel, knowing that all endeavors are made better with practice.
I’m a sucker for a good dystopian novel. We both know this. And though there is no shortage of dystopian novels, they are not all alike. For some, theI’m a sucker for a good dystopian novel. We both know this. And though there is no shortage of dystopian novels, they are not all alike. For some, the stand-out attribute is the plot itself. For others, it’s the well-developed characters and relationships that set the book above par. With Legend, I think the preeminent feature was the writing itself.
I think the plot was a little contrived, and it was pretty easy to envision where the story was going early on in the book. But I’ve also read a ton of books in this genre, and the same could be said for a lot of those, as well. The characters in Legend weren’t developed as well as I would have liked to see in this first installment, but like I said, it’s the first installment in the series, so I have faith that I’ll feel like I know them better by the end of the next book. I found all of the characters to be likeable, but they had no depth.
Characterization is a big point of contention for me. I want characters I can believe in. Not necessarily that they have to exist in the real world—this girl loves the paranormal—but that their actions should be realistic and believable considering the circumstances the characters find themselves in. In Legend, we’re not only given a strong, intelligent protagonist to admire, but she’s got an equally strong, intelligent male counterpart.
The main characters shared the point of view in this narrative, and though that’s been done before, too, I found the POV switches in Legend to be refreshing. I felt like the narrative was all-encompassing rather than an inner monologue. Some split POVs feel forced and jump around between the action, but in this novel, it was as if you could see what was happening from both sides of the coin, simultaneously. Whenever one narrative would leave off, the other would pick up, sometimes going back a few scenes to give insight to this character’s take on the situation. This is a big part of why I think the writing in this novel is the big selling point. The story may not be wholly unique and the characters may be a little archetypal, but the writing stands on its own.
Besides the writing, I loved the details. It’s the little things that make me happy. Like how we’re not just told that June is uber-smart, but we’re also shown in the way that she’s always sizing up the situation, gauging possibilities and probable outcomes, and inwardly making calculations on the fly. And like how we’re shown that Day is really intelligent through his cunning actions before we’re ever told that his cleverness is comparable to that of June's intelligence. Or, for example, that there are still cars in this future version of our country. I find that interesting. To me, it means that this story is set in our very near future. I don’t really have to guess at the time that has lapsed between our present and the future in June and Day’s world. This cannot be said for a lot of dystopians.
Marie Lu’s debut novel is full of intense action and kept me turning the pages well into the night. I really enjoyed this novel; I love a good book full of fighting and betrayal and doomed love. It was one of the better dystopians I’ve read this year, and I’m eager to read more in this series.
I’ve read quite a few novels centered around time travel as of late, but I think this one was probably my favorite. In Ruby Red, our time traveling heI’ve read quite a few novels centered around time travel as of late, but I think this one was probably my favorite. In Ruby Red, our time traveling heroine actually gets to go back in history, which is a definite plus, since in other time-traveling novels I’ve read recently, the most the characters travel back to the past is within their own lifetime. And that’s just not as much fun as going back decades or even hundreds of years.
The time travel aspect itself wasn’t overly simplified, nor was the book tedious in its description of how the time traveling process actually worked. And I loved that it was more of a tradition passed down through the families than some freak power that the characters developed and didn’t know how to wield. Though, there is a bit of that since it was expected that Charlotte, not Gwyneth, would be the one to carry the time traveling gene.
Gwyneth takes it in stride, though. She’s thrust into this matter feet-first, and despite any misgivings her time-traveling partner Gideon may have, she handles herself well on their trips back to the past. But Gwen has help from her resourceful best friend Lesley, and Gideon even proves to be more than just an insufferable know-it-all. The cast of characters – good and bad – are fabulous, as were the author’s descriptions of them. I felt like I could pick them out of a line-up if asked.
The pacing was a bit drawn-out, though, and not much really happens for the first half of the book, but what the story lacks in action, it makes up for with character interactions and provides a fair amount of material for reader speculation. No secrets were ever deliberately exposed, but by the end of the novel, you’ll have a good idea of where the story is headed in the next book. It’s always nicer when the author drops a few miniscule breadcrumbs and leaves it up to the reader to develop their own theories. Of course, I read too much into everything, so I created quite a bit of conjecture in my notes for this novel. I can’t wait to read Sapphire Blue to see how much of my speculation pans out.