As I was listening to this book, I kept thinking it felt familiar. As in, I think I've read it before. Or a story with a lot of similar elements, anyw...moreAs I was listening to this book, I kept thinking it felt familiar. As in, I think I've read it before. Or a story with a lot of similar elements, anyway. But instead of being a steampunk faerie story like The Iron Thorn, Frozen took a decidedly more post-apocalyptic turn. The differences are what make each book, though, so I'll focus on those instead of spending this entire review comparing the two.
The Setting - I'm not a fan of Las Vegas...never been and I've no desire to do so. The bright lights don't call to me, I'm not a gambler, and I live in Texas so I've had my fill of dry, deserted places. But in Frozen, New Vegas is much different from the city it is at present. Oh, there's still plenty of gambling and shady dealings and drunks. But this is post-disaster Vegas. It's cold, it's uninviting, and here, you trade for heat credits, not cold, hard cash. It was easy to get a sense of this version of Vegas, from the demeanor of the casino patrons to the types of services being offered. It wasn't all that hard to imagine, and I still don't think I like this version any better.
The Writing - This was my first Melissa de la Cruz novel. I didn't even know that Michael Johnston is actually her husband until I was doing a little research for this review. Apparently, the two have both been involved in her previous series, but this is the first true collaboration between them. I think it worked well, especially considering the dual narrative, because each of the main characters had a voice of their own, one that seemed to match their personalities. But I also don't think it was outstanding. I won one of the middle books in the Blue Bloods series ages ago and gave it away after perusing it a bit because the writing just wasn't on my level. If I'd received a physical copy of this book, I might have done the same.
The Characters - Protagonist who can't remember who or what she really is. Ex-military bad boy who can help her...for a fee. Zombies Thrillers who used to be magical beings who can no longer survive in the harsh climate around New Vegas. Smallmen (read: dwarves) who can help but also need help. Drakons, which are exactly what they sound like. It's just a big mash-up of faerie tale creatures in a post-apocalyptic setting, and it doesn't make sense yet. I'm sure over the course of the series it will, though, especially now that we've discovered where the two worlds really collide.
The Narration - I've enjoyed audio performed by both of these narrators before, and so I knew that I at least wouldn't have any qualms with the narration. Phoebe Strole is good at portraying a strong heroine on a mission, which describes Nat to a tee. And Dan Bittner's repertoire consists of many roguish characters, so he was a good fit for the attractive runner Wes. I think it was their narration that made this book as enjoyable as it was.
I was going to rate this 3 1/2 stars and just round up to 4, but the more I think about it, and the longer I've had to compare it to that other book it reminded me of -- which, I should admit, is part of a series that I've all but given up on -- the more I think I should round down. There just wasn't anything decidedly special about the story, but I didn't hate it. I actually hadn't planned on reading it to begin with, but then I got the audiobook for review and decided to give it a chance and was surprised by how much I liked it at first. That might have a lot more to do with the narration than the actual story...I'm still working that out.
Thanks to Penguin Audio & Audiobook Jukebox for the review copy.
I just finished Unhinged, and I wasn't quite ready to leave this world yet, so I downloaded this novella. I'm aware that it should have been read prio...moreI just finished Unhinged, and I wasn't quite ready to leave this world yet, so I downloaded this novella. I'm aware that it should have been read prior to Unhinged, and I completely concur, but it didn't impede my enjoyment of either story any that I didn't read them in order. I should also point out that it's not necessary to read this novella before you pick up Unhinged and that a lot of what's covered in both Splintered and Unhinged is present in this story, just from a different perspective.
With that said, I have to admit that my loyalties have changed with each installment of this story. I love both boys for different reasons, and it's clear that both boys care very deeply for Alyssa, though I think it's clearest in this novella. For that reason alone, I think it's a worthy read. Worth $1.99? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how much you love this series, I suppose. My other sister -- the one who's the hardcore Alice fan -- begged me for my advanced copy of Unhinged, and so I'm sure she'll be purchasing this short. But if the rivalry between Jeb and Morpheus doesn't have you excited yet, this story might not be essential for your continuation of the series.
Because The Moth in the Mirror is an exploration of the relationship each boy has with Alyssa and what each is hoping for...and what they're willing to give up. Honestly, if you read Unhinged, you'll already have read some of this, just not in the same context. Morpheus wants to know exactly what he's up against when it comes to Jeb, what his motivations, his strengths and his weaknesses are, especially when it comes to Al. So, he takes a ride on the train of lost memories, experiencing pivotal moments from Jeb's point-of-view.
Does this change anything for Morpheus? I'll let you be the judge, either based on your reading of this story or when you get to Unhinged. Either way, the truth is there, in his words but mostly in his actions. Morpheus may not be mortal, but he desires what one mortal has above all else. And despite his single-mindedness, his sheer arrogance, I still want Morpheus to come out on top.
I haven't had the best of luck with boarding school novels lately. So many of them are flat and contain the same old, same old: magic, mystery, and se...moreI haven't had the best of luck with boarding school novels lately. So many of them are flat and contain the same old, same old: magic, mystery, and secrets, and they're all very blasé about it. So, it was with some trepidation that I began this audiobook, despite knowing that several of my friends had already loved the story.
I don't know if it's the combination of a truly worthy protagonist and a brilliant audiobook narrator, but I can safely say that I am back on the boarding school bandwagon. I loved Leslie Bellair's narration in Tarnish, so I was fairly certain she'd do Blythewood justice. Bellair beautifully portrayed Ava as a girl who's not quite sure of her sanity and also not certain of her place in the world. I'd say she far-exceeded my expectations when it comes to the narration.
My first instinct is to compare this story to Harry Potter because there are quite a few similarities, but that would be doing this book a great injustice because as far as writing and story go, the two books couldn't be more different. Historical fiction and fantasy combine in this story to create a magical world shrouded in mystery. Blythewood is magical realism at its best, as far as I'm concerned, and setting the story in the early 20th century made it that much more enjoyable for me, especially when other events from history coincide and intertwine with the story. This book is far from light, and including real-life tragic events from history gave the book a more realistic feel, making it all the more engaging.
These events also play an important role in Ava's life...Ava who's already suffered a tragic loss of her own. It's all a bit much and has Ava questioning her sanity, but she's a survivor. She's not perfect and she doesn't have the ability to magic herself out of a jam; she's just a girl who's trying to make the best out of a bad situation. And along the way, she makes some friends, both among her peers at school and among her teachers and their acquaintances, but she also makes a truly menacing enemy, one who may know Ava's story better than she does.
Another aspect of this story that I found particularly intriguing was the balance between light and dark, between good and evil. I think when it comes to magic in a story, it's always important to highlight the differences but also to stress that there are gray areas, even if the opinion is not popular. The Darklings, the fae, and the other inhabitants of the Blythe Wood are just such a gray area, and I can't wait to delve further into that magic in future installments.
I also need more of the romance from the next book. The relationship that develops in Blythewood is forbidden in nature and very slow-burning, so much so that I wondered if anything would even become of it in this book. Especially when the author seemed to be pushing another love interest into the mix. Though nothing develops with that young man, there are indications that his presence is important and that even if Ava doesn't have feelings for him, he clearly does for her. I'd buy into that romantic aspect more if I had been shown his feelings rather than having been told about them by another character. Either way, it's going to be interesting to see how this all develops, especially after certain revelations at the end of this book. Ava is going to have to overcome some prejudices and come to terms with who she really is before anything can really happen, though.
Honestly, I don't think any review I write can effectively convey the awesomeness of this story. It's slow-going at first but well worth the build-up. It's such a unique take on faerie lore intermixed with that of angels and demons and everything in between. I was disappointed to learn that it wasn't a stand-alone as I'd originally thought, but I'm also elated to know that there's more of this story to be told. I haven't had my fill of this magical world yet, and I am ever so intrigued by those Darklings and whatever else lurks in the shadows of the Blythe Wood.
This. THIS is how you write a sequel! I couldn't even tell this was a second book, there was so much action and intrigue going on. And now my heart is...moreThis. THIS is how you write a sequel! I couldn't even tell this was a second book, there was so much action and intrigue going on. And now my heart is broken and I want to forget what I've read until I have the rest of the series in hand. Of course, that's not going to happen, so I'll just get on with it.
First, how much do you love the new covers? I think they're so representative of Celaena, especially what we learn of her in this book. She just has this "otherness" about her that really comes through on these new covers, but you'll probably understand that more after reading Crown of Midnight. We knew from the previous book that under her cold, hard exterior, a normal girl lived. And even though we continue to see her callous behavior in this book, her brutal quickness as an assassin, we also get to see even more of the girl she truly is, the girl who wishes for a simple life away from court stratagem and a merciless king, especially in the ways that she endeavors to maneuver around such palace intrigue.
If you enjoyed Throne of Glass even a little bit, you're going to love this sequel. The writing is tighter, the details more prevalent, and the action more exhilarating. And that's saying a lot, what with the battle for the King's Champion in the first book. But this is a well-rounded sequel, full of romantic interludes (YES!) and higher stakes. And let's not forget the enigmatic new characters that are introduced, for they are just as essential to the plot.
Archer was difficult for me to get a read on at first. It took ages before I realized he was not one of Celaena's fellow assassins, despite the fact that he trained with her at the Assassin's Keep. I'll leave it to you to discern the true nature of his "occupation". ;0) Baba Yellowlegs, on the other hand, was creepy from the get-go and I had no trouble determining that this witch was trouble. And I mean witch literally, not as a euphemism for something else. She has metal teeth for crying out loud! I see the altercation with this character coming back to bite our favorite assassin in the arse.
As for the romantic interludes I mentioned, it does seem that Celaena has made her choice, though certain developments in the second half of the book do leave one wondering. Not where her heart lies, but what will become of it. Both Captain Chaol Westfall -- am I the only one who didn't realize that name was pronounced Kale? I was pronouncing it with the CH, d'oh! -- and Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard have proven to be great friends and allies of Celaena's...and also great admirers. But there is no room for trust in this threesome, apparently, at least not until it's nearly too late for them all. This lack of understanding between them all did lead to rather a lot of complications, without which I don't think we would have learned half the truth from Celaena. They all have their secrets, but Celaena's carries the most of all of them. And though we discover quite a few truths before the end of this book, I do believe she carries still more. But would you expect anything less from Adarlan's Assassin and the King's Champion?
Death. Betrayal. Love. Misery. Sarah J. Maas left no stone unturned, no feeling unearthed in this fantastic sequel to the equally amazing Throne of Glass. Celaena undergoes quite the transformation in this book, and she (and the book) are all the better for it. Crown of Midnight is shocking and painful and lovely, and I can't wait to see what's in store for Celaena et al. If you're looking for an amazing new fantasy series with a killer attitude, look no further.
Thanks to Bloomsbury Children's (and Jen) for the ARC for review!
Gosh, isn't that cover lovely? And you know what? It's actually relevant to the story for a change! Based on that summary, I think I was expecting som...moreGosh, isn't that cover lovely? And you know what? It's actually relevant to the story for a change! Based on that summary, I think I was expecting something much darker and sinister, though. There is a touch of malevolence to it, but the novel actually turned out to be really cute and sweet. The story is just as beautiful as that cover...well, until you know why the rose is important. ;0)
First and foremost, this is a story about the fey. The characters never explicitly said as much, but the implications are all there. A plane of existence that runs parallel to our own. Magical creatures of all shapes and sizes. And the power plays among the magical beings that usually beget all sorts of trouble...for their world and ours. (That'd be the evil I alluded to earlier.)
So, when I read that synopsis, I thought Indelible Ink was some kind of otherwordly company. Instead, it is a boy. Sort of. I still don't know if Indelible is actually a first name or a surname or what. Just call him Ink. And his "sister" is Invisible Inq. You can just call her Inq. Confusing, no? But it isn't really. These two were created in the Twixt. They were not born. And so they are quite the mystery. They are still a mystery, but that's what has me so excited for the next book!
This Ink fellow comes into Joy's life quite by accident, but once he's there, there's no going back. Where Inq has learned to feel and act like a human, Ink is still clueless. But his partnership with Joy changes all that. I know I've said this before, but I just adore a character who has to be taught to feel emotions and how to behave normally. Ink is no different. And I loved that in learning his humanness from Joy, something so sweet and endearing develops between them.
I was expecting Ink to be some smooth-talking bad boy because the male lead in this type of story usually is, so I was pleasantly surprised by how lovable his character turned out to be. Their little adventures while he was "on the job" were kind of fascinating, as were the creatures of the Twixt. Actually, pretty much every facet of this story kept me captivated...except for all of Joy's family drama. I could see that it was used as a reason for her to desire to escape into Ink's world once she got over her fear of it, but I didn't like that all of the issues that were brought up were simply being used to further the plot and weren't really explored. It seemed like they all just got swept under the rug. But, hey, maybe those will be explored further in the next book.
Which I am very much looking forward to. And I can't wait to see what image appears on that cover. Maybe Ink's mark? His was the coolest. =)
Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel for review.
Sometimes, a book comes along that just blows you away. Throne of Glass wasn’t that book for me. But not for the reasons you might be thinking. As soo...moreSometimes, a book comes along that just blows you away. Throne of Glass wasn’t that book for me. But not for the reasons you might be thinking. As soon as I read the synopsis for Throne of Glass, I knew I was going to love it. So, no, it didn’t blow me away, but that’s only because I was expecting it to be awesome. And I was not disappointed!
Throne of Glass touts a protagonist with a will of her own, who doesn’t bow to pressure easily and is quite the opposite of mousey, as so many heroines are wont to be. Celaena is my favorite kind of heroine: strong, resilient, and whip-smart. But Celaena is also a bit of an opportunist, and I loved that about her. Celaena’s an assassin; she doesn’t normally do things out of the kindness of her own heart, though there are moments where the reader gets a peek at what type of person she might have been, had she not been drafted as an assassin at an early age. And not only is she a remarkably skilled fighter with an ultimately good heart, she’s also a book lover:
"She'd entered a city made entirely of leather and paper. Celaena put a hand against her heart. Escape routes be damned. "I've never seen--how many volumes are there?" Chaol shrugged. "The last time anyone bothered to count, it was a million. But that was two hundred years ago. I'd say maybe more than that, especially given the legends that a second library lies deep beneath, in catacombs and tunnels." "Over a million? A million books?" Her heart leapt and danced, and she cracked a smile. "I'd die before I even got through half of that!" "You like to read?" She raised an eyebrow. "Don't you?" Not waiting for an answer, she moved farther into the library, the train of her gown sweeping across the floor. She neared a shelf and looked at the titles. She recognized none of them. – p. 50 of galley
The world of Throne of Glass is at once beautiful and ominous. The author’s brilliant use of imagery to describe the setting left me at home in a world with stunning gowns, filthy mercenaries and an intimidating glass castle. Celaena evaluates her surroundings as one might expect an assassin to, but it’s her reaction to the breath-taking scenery that makes the world come alive.
I enjoyed the third-person narrative, especially since it transitions to Prince Dorian’s perspective at the most opportune moments. The reader even gets a glance at Captain Westfall’s inner-workings, which I very much appreciated. Yes, there is the potential for a love triangle, but Maas handles it in such a way that it never truly feels as if Celaena is caught between the two men, who also happen to be best friends. I adored the way Celaena and Dorian carried on with each other, but it was the quiet and respectful way Chaol and Celaena grew to care for each other that swayed my heart. And while Dorian was very forth-coming with his feelings for Celaena, despite how impossible such a pairing would be, Chaol often denied his feelings, even to himself. Does he do so to spare Dorian’s feelings? Or is it because of who Celaena is that he will not allow himself a dalliance with her? I have to admit I’m rather torn on this one. To choose the obvious passion with Dorian or the hard-won and long-developed love of Chaol?
The contest to find the royal assassin was just as exciting as the romantic aspects of this novel. And it upped the ante to include a murderer among the contestants. Of course, our heroine takes it upon herself to discover the identity of the assailant, but she uncovers far more than just a murderer in her search. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting the direction the story took at this point, but I’m definitely intrigued to see where the author takes the story from here.
Throne of Glass will probably go down as my favorite debut of 2012, barring any surprise contenders in the next few months. As soon as I finished this book, I wanted to read it again. I guess it’s a good thing there are several prequel stories to be had! This book is a perfect read for lovers of fantasy novels, but I think it has a little something for everyone.
She glared. "I hate women like that. They're so desperate for the attention of men that they'd willingly betray and harm members of their own sex. And we claim men cannot think with their brains! At least men are direct about it." -- p. 68 of galley, when Celaena and Chaol observe Dorian with Lady Kaltain
"Good. I thought so. And what of the others? Any potential rivals? Some of the champions have rather gruesome reputations." "Everyone else looks pathetic," she lied. The prince's smile grew. "I bet they won't expect to be trounced by a beautiful lady." -- p. 65 of galley, after Celaena first meets the king and the other contestants
Big thanks to Bloombsury & Netgalley for providing a galley of this title for review!
Oh, you guys didn't tell me this was going to be so sad! :(
-- Mini Review of Audiobook --
Poor Tiger Lily. This book was sad, y'all. I was not expectin...moreOh, you guys didn't tell me this was going to be so sad! :(
-- Mini Review of Audiobook --
Poor Tiger Lily. This book was sad, y'all. I was not expecting just how sad it was. The original story is fun and fanciful, but this one is just a story about heartbreak. And it vastly changed my opinion of both Wendy Darling and Tiger Lily...and maybe even Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Though, it did make me anxious for a re-read of the original tale. I think I've watched the Disney version with my daughter too many times and it's warped my sensibilities.
The narrator for Tiger Lily had a childish lilt to her voice that was unappealing at first until I realized that Tink was the narrator and would therefore probably have a childish lilt of her own, being a tiny fairy and all. But that same voice did not carry over to the other characters, which was a comfort. Overall, the narration was pretty great. It kept me grounded and reminded me that this was a retelling, an alternate point-of-view, for a beloved children's story and that I shouldn't be too broken up over it.
I love a good fairy tale retelling as much as the next girl. I enjoy reading fairy tales to my four-year-old daughter, as well, and I’m already stock-...moreI love a good fairy tale retelling as much as the next girl. I enjoy reading fairy tales to my four-year-old daughter, as well, and I’m already stock-piling a few YA/MG titles to read with her when she’s a little older. Enchanted will definitely be going on that pile, probably sooner than most. I say that because it felt like it was written with a younger (or a young-at-heart) audience in mind.
Enchanted was cute and fun and completely harmless. There might be a few moments that are a tad scary for little ones, but when my daughter is capable of reading this book, I assure you I would have no problem giving it to her to read on her own. The romance is sweet and adorable and prudent, but that kind of goes along with the territory. It was shocking in those times to see two young people holding hands, let alone making out. I’m glad this retelling did not stray from those ideals.
My only real issues with this novel were the initial pacing and the sheer number of characters. This was a rather short novel – at least, compared to most I read – at 305 pages and the first 80 pages or so were spent on back-story. Add to that the fact that I practically had to draw a family tree to keep all of the characters straight, and I was a little put out.
However, once I saw how all of the characters fit into the story, it made sense. This wasn’t simply ONE fairy-tale being retold, and so all of the many characters were indeed necessary. I loved seeing how so many of my favorite fairy tales from childhood were brought to new life and incorporated into Kontis’ retelling of The Frog Prince. It was a pleasant surprise revisiting some of my old favorites.
This was a light, fluffy read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who adores fairy tales, retellings, or enjoys returning to some old friends every now and again. I can’t wait till my daughter is old enough to experience this book for herself!
I'm still loving the narrator for this series. Jennifer Van Dyck really gives a great voice to not only Eugenie, but all of the Otherworld characters....moreI'm still loving the narrator for this series. Jennifer Van Dyck really gives a great voice to not only Eugenie, but all of the Otherworld characters. I especially love her portrayal of Dorian. I don't much care for Kiyo, but I don't know if that's the writing, the voice, or his actions period.
Iron Crowned went where I never expected it to. There were so many twists and turns and though I didn't really like much of what happened in the story, it still held my interest. I'm not as thrilled with this series as Vampire Academy, but I do like how Richelle Mead isn't afraid to take chances with her characters. She puts them through hell! But I also like that the MC's are strong, butt-kicking females who persevere through it all.
Really? Isn't this the final book in the series? That's how you're gonna leave it? Grrr. At least I liked this one better than Iron Crowned.
Narrator w...moreReally? Isn't this the final book in the series? That's how you're gonna leave it? Grrr. At least I liked this one better than Iron Crowned.
Narrator was still awesome. Obviously, the plot in this one left a little something to be desired (for me), but it was still fun and on par with what I expect from Mead. I just wish Eugenie hadn't had such a hard time trusting or was better at deciding who to trust and when. Also, I wish she was single-minded in her death blows, as opposed to the wishy-washy way she decides who lives, who dies, and who she ultimately sends back to the Otherworld.
Fun series. Glad I read it, but I'm ready to get back to the Vampire Academy world. When does The Golden Lily come out? Oh, yeah...not till the summer. :((less)
Even more fun than the first book, despite tackling some pretty serious issues. Also, my appreciation for Dorian's character was only enhanced by this...moreEven more fun than the first book, despite tackling some pretty serious issues. Also, my appreciation for Dorian's character was only enhanced by this second installment. Eugenie is tougher than ever and learning to wield her magic, even amid protestations from Roland and Kiyo. Good on her for following her instincts and not just her heart. I see more fun times in store for Eugenie...and probably some a$$-kicking, too. ;)
Also, love the narrator. Took time to get used to her as the voice of Eugenie in the first book, but her handling of the other characters, as well as her voice for Eugenie, really grew on me. She may sound a bit older than I expected Eugenie's character to sound, but Eugenie is wise beyond her years and has dealt with a lot more than a normal woman her age. Think I'll probably be checking out some other Jennifer Van Dyck-narrated novels once I finish this series.(less)
Loved this one. Good fluffy fun interspersed with steamy bedroom scenes and a tough-as-nails chick kicking some serious faerie a$$. This book reminded...moreLoved this one. Good fluffy fun interspersed with steamy bedroom scenes and a tough-as-nails chick kicking some serious faerie a$$. This book reminded me a lot of The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, except naughtier and with a more knowledgeable heroine, as far as knowing about the faerie world and its nefarious creatures goes. Can't wait to see what Eugenie is up against in the next installment!(less)
One of the things I loved best about The Treachery of Beautiful Things was that it kept to the more traditional faerie lore -- think more A Midsummer...moreOne of the things I loved best about The Treachery of Beautiful Things was that it kept to the more traditional faerie lore -- think more A Midsummer Night s Dream and less Wings. And several favorites from the Shakespearian comedy appear in the novel, as well, making it feel as if I was visiting old friends. I love faerie stories and was glad to see that this particular tale was a return to the faerie world I’ve always known and loved, steeped in rich folklore and magical creatures.
The imagery used to describe the Faerie Realm is phenomenal, if not surreal. Ruth Frances Long depicts a world untouched by human technology, full of wonder and magic and unimaginable beauty. But our heroine Jenny soon finds out that the treachery of the Faerie Realm lies in the simplistic nature of things, for nothing is ever as it seems. The more she travels the Realm with Jack and Puck, the more she comes to realize this truth.
Jenny’s story is a bit sad. On her way home from a music lesson with her brother, the trees reached out and stole him from her. Of course, anyone she tells this story to deems her crazy or fanciful. Seven years later, as Jenny is preparing to go off to college, she goes to the forest that took her brother so long ago in hopes of making peace with his disappearance and saying a final goodbye to the brother she loved so much. Turns out, the forest wants her, too.
Once in the Faerie Realm, Jenny’s only objective is to retrieve Tom and return home. She is determined and intelligent but by no means is she any match for the Realm and its inhabitants, especially once they know she’s there and what her future holds. Jack and Puck try to keep her safe and repeatedly try to coax her into leaving the forest for good, but Jenny refuses to leave without Tom.
And so Jenny spends much of her time traipsing through the forest with her companions, oblivious to what’s right in front of her. She’s a damsel in near-constant distress, but it doesn’t grate on my nerves like it might in other novels. After all, she is in a magical world with no powers of her own to speak of. Plus, her rescuer is Jack o’ the Forest and his character left me with no complaints. He was complex and difficult to decipher…the yin to her yang, so to speak. Their romance in the novel isn’t all touchy-feely, and it isn’t really the focus of the story until the end, but it was still beautiful and, I don’t know…fulfilling? You know how some love stories leave you feeling like it was just a romance of convenience, not like the characters were really meant to fall in love, just that they did so for the sake of advancing the plot? Yeah, the romance in Treachery isn’t like that at all. It’s well-developed over the course of the novel, with neither party realizing it was happening or at least denying it to themselves or anyone who risked mentioning it. It wasn’t cute or sweet, it was simply lovely.
I loved all of the characters in this book, even the ones I wasn’t supposed to, including the fierce Oberon and the creepy Mab. But my favorite was probably Wayland. He was but a bit player, though his part nearly cemented the future for Jack. I always enjoy the character who foresees the future, giving you vague details but then won’t tell you what they mean. And then of course he gives Jack a gift that could kill him as soon as help him. It’s good to have a guy like that on your side, rather than working against you.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things is a lesson in love, loyalty and trust. It's a charming story told amidst unsettling things, but it's one of the better faerie tales I've read. It's also a stand-alone, which means that you're not committing to yet another series if you're smart and decide to give it a try.
My favorite quote:
"Every game has its Jacks," she said, the sadness of it pulling down the elation of sudden understanding. "The thing that acts as a wild card. It can't be counted on or predicted. A weapon, even. But he's in other places, too, isn't he? And do you know what else a Jack is, Puck?...I do." - p. 325 of galley
And I posted this teaser a couple of weeks ago:
"She was talking to a tree. Just talking to a tree. Totally normal. People probably did it every day here. They're only trees. She fought an insane urge to laugh." -- p. 181 of galley
Thanks to Penguin and Netgalley for providing a galley for review.
I don't know whether to be pissed off with the turn this story has taken or impressed. Took me awhile to slug through the audio, but no...more**3 1/2 stars**
I don't know whether to be pissed off with the turn this story has taken or impressed. Took me awhile to slug through the audio, but not because of the audiobook itself. My interest just waxed and waned quite a bit throughout the story, and it seemed long and endless at times. I enjoyed The Iron Thorn much more.(less)
Why, oh, why did I have to read this the very first day it was released? All it did was make me realize how much I've missed reading the adventures of...moreWhy, oh, why did I have to read this the very first day it was released? All it did was make me realize how much I've missed reading the adventures of my beloved Puck and Ash. And now I have to wait until October to read The Iron Knight?!?
Honestly, I really do enjoy the novellas some authors release between books, not just because I get another little taste of the story I know and love, but also because these short stories give more insight into the characters and are often told from a different POV than the main storyline.
This story, for instance, is told by Puck. I've loved Puck from the beginning, but reading his feelings, his motives, has secured his place in my heart. And it was nice to see some of the camaraderie back between Puck and Ash, no matter how fleeting. Throughout the series, it was sometimes hard to believe that these two were ever friends before their, ahem, falling-out, but seeing them work toward a common goal and not even attempt to kill each other in the process was rather impressive.
I'm quite depressed, knowing that the end of this series is imminent, but I have faith that Ms. Kagawa will not disappoint. Her writing and the storyline itself have only gotten better with each book. However, her endearing characterizations have made it very difficult to choose a side, so I will forever be planted firmly on Team AshPuck. (less)
this book was a quick, fun read. it had everything: suspense, danger, a love story, and a doomsday prophecy for all paranormal beings. the substance i...morethis book was a quick, fun read. it had everything: suspense, danger, a love story, and a doomsday prophecy for all paranormal beings. the substance i appreciate in a well-written novel just wasn't there for me, though. it just didn't feel like it had any depth, but maybe i'll feel differently after reading the sequel, supernaturally, which is due out this summer.
the evie/reth relationship really rubbed me wrong. not necessarily the relationship aspect of it, but the whole back-and-forth with evie always asking the wrong questions (or maybe just not the right ones) and reth never giving a full answer. but i liked evie as the main character; she seemed immature, though i think that's to be expected considering her upbringing. she was always treated like a child, never being told more than she needed to know, never allowed to venture off on her own. her entire life, at least since she was brought to the agency, has been capturing and tagging rogue paranormals. i really hope to see her develop as an individual and as the main character in the follow-up to this debut.
i read the author's blog on occasion, and she's funny and quirky and highly entertaining, and that was evident in this novel, as well. i'd definitely recommend the book to fans of the paranormal, as the premise has a lot of potential and the storyline hints at something that might just make this the most unique paranormal ever...i'm just not going to gush until i'm sure of it.(less)