Library hold came through quicker than I expected. :) Hoping THAR BE MOARRR DRAGONS this time around…
…after listening, yeah, not so much with my hopesLibrary hold came through quicker than I expected. :) Hoping THAR BE MOARRR DRAGONS this time around…
…after listening, yeah, not so much with my hopes for more dragon time, at least not in the way that I hoped. It was entertaining, but it probably didn't help that this is what I listened to right after the absolutely LOVELY The Wrath and the Dawn. Not this book's fault, but it is what it is.
I don't have time for a re-read so I bought the audio since I'll need it for a refresher when the second book comes out, anyway. =) Original review heI don't have time for a re-read so I bought the audio since I'll need it for a refresher when the second book comes out, anyway. =) Original review here. And maybe I'll actually review if in full after this listen. Doubtful, though, since it's already been so difficult to put my love for this story into coherent sentences.
...And it was even better on audio, if that's possible....more
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review is based upon the audiobook, however, whichAn advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review is based upon the audiobook, however, which I procured myself. My thoughts are my own.
I had a review copy of this novel, but I just love the narrator for this series so much, that I decided to wait until the audiobook was released. And it was worth the wait! I just love where Bishop is taking this story and how slow she is to introduce the swoons -- though I wouldn't mind those coming sooner rather than later as the series progresses -- but it feels genuine to the story and makes my reader heart happy.
I mean, seriously...this is probably the sloooowest burning romance I think I've ever read. And most of the time that doesn't bother me, except when I want to smoosh Meg and Simon together and make them kiss already. They are sooo close now, too...I can feel it. I think every other terra indigene -- and some of the humans, too -- can see it. Simon and Meg seem to be the only ones who haven't clued in yet. But even if they were aware of what's building between them, they'd still take their time because Simon would never push his Meg and Meg is still fragile and child-like right now.
Though, she is growing out of that a bit. Meg is more direct, and maybe a little more confrontational, when it comes to the terra indigene, and it's served her well. She's also more attuned to her gift as a cassandra sangue, though it scares her counterparts at the Courtyard because she's taken to handling the prophecies herself at times.
The large cast of characters in this series continues to impress, especially in the manner that they treat Meg and in their attempts to be civil -- and sometimes helpful -- when it comes to humans outside of the Courtyard. Some new faces are making an impact in this installment, too, when war seems imminent between humans and the Others.
If the narrator for this series weren't so fabulous, I might need a chart of characters to keep them all straight. As it is, Alexandra Harris performs each character deftly, lending an accent for Vlad, gruffness for Henry Beargard and Simon Wolfgard, and a gentle sweetness for Meg. The audio was sixteen hours long, but even at that length, I wasn't ready for the story or the audio to be over. It seems I never am, though, when it comes to this series.
I can't believe I was ever hesitant to start reading these books. I read very little in the way of adult novels these days, but with series like this, I see that changing in the future. I am utterly in love with these books and how the story has progressed over the first three installments, and I can't wait to see where Bishop takes the story next. (But please let there be a kiss in the very near future for Meg and Simon! Pretty please?!?)
GIF it to me straight:
A howling good read! (Ha, see what I did there?!? :D)...more
Interesting but I never felt pulled into the world. Had the same problem with the first book, though.
(view spoiler)[Not a sequel. Not a companion. ButInteresting but I never felt pulled into the world. Had the same problem with the first book, though.
(view spoiler)[Not a sequel. Not a companion. But a prequel. Don't know if that's really spoilerish or not, but I didn't realize it until the epilogue. Maybe it's been too long since I read the first book, idk. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
Midnight Thief was full of surprises. It would have been a great novel to use for my "Review in a GIFfy" feature, if only to use a lot of GIFs with shocked faces. I read the novella last fall after the author graciously sent me a copy, and I think she did so to throw me for a loop once I got to Midnight Thief. Poison Dance is a prequel to this novel and provides the backstory for a very significant character in Midnight Thief, one that seems very much changed...or maybe affected is a better word choice. If you decide to read that story prior to this full-length novel, I recommend keeping in mind that the author wrote the prequel because she had lingering questions about one of her characters.
The characters in Midnight Thief were nothing like I was expecting, especially after reading the prequel story. They were so much more, and I'm actually pretty satisfied with the direction the author took with each of their stories, even if it did take a bit of deliberation to get to that point. I won't make any justifications for any of the characters, but I feel like their actions -- and what led them to them -- were fitting. Kyra is a very talented thief, one with cat-like grace who can circumvent palace guards and deadly assassins alike. But she isn't a skilled fighter. Her successes have all come from her need to survive and look out for the few people who depend on her. Tristam is a privileged knight, dead-set on avenging his friend's death at the hands of the Demon Riders. The story is told from both of their perspectives through alternating chapters, and when I got to nearly half-way through the novel, I started to wonder if the two main characters would ever meet. But meet they did, and what an encounter that was!
I really enjoyed the writing in this story. It's not high fantasy with crazy names for people and places, or one where I needed a map at the start of the book to get some sense of the land, but there is a seriously fantastical element having to do with the Demon Riders that I wasn't expecting at the onset of the novel, and that more than made up for the slightly slower pacing in the first quarter or so and kept the story from feeling generic. I did find that it was fairly easy to guess the nature of the "startling secret" mentioned in the summary, but it didn't detract from the story. In fact, I think knowing that made it easier for my brain to take a break and ignore clues to other goings on that might have made parts of the ending less astonishing. What I mean to say is, though some aspects of this novel may seem slightly predictable, the novel as a whole lends itself to an air of unpredictability, much to my delight. I'm horrible about trying to guess every secret a story holds, and I love a book all the more if it can keep me guessing, as Midnight Thief did.
I've found lately that a lot of summaries for fantasy novels like to mention assassins in the story and then not a whole lot of assassinating actually happens. Kyra is NOT an assassin, nor does she wish to become one. Honestly, there isn't much in the way of assassinations in this novel, but there is plenty of intrigue, death and betrayal, and I don't think that's too far off. Also, I appreciate that this summary makes little to no mention of a romance because this was most certainly not a swooning, fall into his arms kind of story. There are a few moments, and they were spectacularly handled -- both by the characters and the author -- but romance is definitely not where the author's focus lies in this first book. I loved where the author left things, with questions and uncertainties for both of the characters but no one's life is left hanging in the balance. Though there are definitely some major changes coming for some of the characters.
Midnight Thief is an excellent fantasy story that is sure to keep you on your toes. This novel will surely appeal to readers looking for a fast-paced story, full of danger and intrigue and just a hint of romance. It was riveting and damn-near unputdownable, and I hate that I now have to wait another year for more of this story. If you're contemplating reading this story or still unsure, I highly suggest picking up the novella, which is free for Kindle and Nook right now.
If I'm being completely honest, I wasn't as excited about this Maggie novel as I am about Blue Lily, Lily Blue which is due out later this year, but I still had pretty high expectations considering my love for The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. And I wouldn't say I was disappointed with Sinner, per se, but I think maybe my expectations were a little misplaced. As in, Cole is still a werewolf and I expected him to wreak his brand of havoc on L.A. And he did that, just not in the way I was expecting hoping for.
Initially, I was a bit unsettled by the difference in this cover as opposed to the rest of this series, but now it really makes sense. This is Cole and Isabel's story. Hardly any mention is made of Sam or Grace, as it should be. Basically, you could read this novel as a stand-alone, having never cracked open the cover of Shiver, and you'd still be able to appreciate the nuances of a rock star who's addicted to his wolfism same as he ever was to any illicit drugs. In other words, this is truly a companion novel about two side characters in the main series, and you need absolutely zero working knowledge of the other books in order to "get" this story, especially as it reads like a contemporary novel, not a werewolf story. I suppose the same could be said of the other novels, too, but it's never been more evident than in this book.
Sinner is resplendently introspective. Cole and Isabel spend a lot of time locked inside their own heads, unwilling to let the world see their true thoughts and feelings, scared to let go of that control. They each have a persona they wear for the world, which makes it difficult for each of them to express their feelings for each other, obviously, unless they become willing to shed their respective masks. Yes, the romance seems to be the focal point of this novel, but where the familiar rumblings of a contemporary novel most come into play is whether or not these two characters' have the ability to overcome their pasts and create their own destinies.
Because of the contemporary-type story, the plot is very character-driven with little to no action, but if you've read the other books in the series, you know that's pretty par for the course. Not that this is a bad thing...I love that Stiefvater opts more for character development than any other aspect in her stories, even making the side characters so important that they deserve their own companion novel three years after the final book in the series was released. But who's counting? :)
GIF it to me straight: Cole can be my Alpha anytime....more
I don't read and/or listen to very many adult novels. They tend to have a proclivity towards roThis review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
I don't read and/or listen to very many adult novels. They tend to have a proclivity towards romance and sex, and I'm looking for more from a story. But as I branch out and discover there's more out there than what I found on my mother's bookshelf growing up - ha! - I've discovered some real gems...this series included. I read Written in Red last year because I'd read so many glowing reviews for the urban fantasy story, and I mean to continue with the rest of the series because I was completely gobstruck by that first book.
And Murder of Crows did not disappoint. It fabulously builds upon the world presented in the first book, effortlessly elaborating on the unstable state of the alliance between Others and humans, and it does so in a way that almost makes you fall on the side of the Others. In this world, humans are the lesser creatures, but after this book, I'd say most of them get what they deserve. The terra idigene are being preyed upon by humans who want control, who want to see them fall. And the cassandra sangue, or blood prophets, are treated no better.
In this second installment, we learn even more of what Meg has suffered at the hands of humans, how it has affected her and warped her sensibilities. But intriguingly enough, we get to see a lot of it through another cassandra sangue's eyes. I'm usually wary of books with so many perspectives, but it works well in this story because there is so much story to tell, so much at play, that without the multiple points of view, some things would come right out of left field and the story would suffer for it. Bishop's succinct prose pulls the story together, keeping all of those character arcs from going off the deep end. Her writing style is very different from what I normally read, but favorably so.
It's in those character arcs that the prose really shines, further developing characters we met in the first book and introducing us to many new characters in this sequel. But if I'm being completely honest, the story shines most when Meg and Simon have page time. The romance between these two, as odd a pairing -- in their world, at least -- as the two characters themselves, is still almost comically slow to come to fruition. It's there. Everyone else sees it, but Meg and Simon are new to these feelings and slow to recognize them for what they are. And that just might be my favorite aspect of the series yet. Well, besides how territorial Simon can get over "his" Meg, in both wolf form and his human form.
Aside from not reading many adult novels, and not usually enjoying so many third-person points of view in one story, I also don't real all that much urban fantasy. This series has really made me reconsider everything I thought I knew about myself as a reader. It's the perfect blend of all of those things and still I want more from this world. Written in Red was a great introduction to the world of the terra indigene, and Murder of Crows was an equally strong sequel. I'd highly recommend this to anyone and everyone, and that recommendation doesn't come lightly.
GIF it to me straight: Brilliantly done...I have so much love for this series....more
If I hadn't seen so many other bloggers loving on this book, I probably would have passed it up, simply for the fact that I've been avoiding stories cIf I hadn't seen so many other bloggers loving on this book, I probably would have passed it up, simply for the fact that I've been avoiding stories containing werewolves and the like. But the whole blood prophet thing should have been an indication to me that this paranormal story was anything but a typical werewolf story.
First, let me get this out of the way: if you're looking for a paranormal romance, this is probably not the book for you. There is the possibility of a romance, a very slow-burning kind of love story, but it is in its infancy in this first installment, and so it's not likely to satisfy any craving you might have for a hot werewolf love-fest. This is an adult book, however, and there is mention of adult activities, though not graphically or in any detail, really.
But, if you are looking for an imaginative world, mirroring ours in some ways but completely different in the ways that matter most, and full of fascinating creatures, you should definitely give Written in Red a try. It's slow-going at first, with the author expanding on our world to include the terra indigene, the shape-shifting creatures who almost serve as overlords to their human counterparts. Make no mistake, though the creatures of the Courtyard live among humans, they are still dangerous monsters whose first instinct is most definitely not protecting the humans.
Though the story mainly focuses on Meg and her interactions with the terra indigene and garnering acceptance among them, it's told in third person omniscient, providing further details of how the various Others live and coexist. And they do coexist, which I find highly entertaining: vampires and werewolves and werebears and element-wielding horses, all living together...for the most part. I loved the characterizations given to each species of Other, from the gruff man-bear to the crows that liked shiny things, as humans and as the birds themselves. And it was fun seeing Meg interact with each group.
When Meg comes to the Courtyard, she is a young woman, but she has the social ineptitude of a child because of how, or rather where, she has grown up. Seeing how she was brought up and for what purposes brings new insight into why the Others are much more willing to trust her than other humans and vice versa. The relationship between Meg and the Others is tentative at first, but as she proves to be a hard-worker and shows that her kindness is genuine, the Others warm up to her, even the unflappable Grandfather Erebus. Once your under his protection, you're golden. And so it is with Meg, who even won the heart of young wolf pup Sam. That relationship was the one to melt my heart because the two have suffered so much at the hands of other humans, and despite their hesitance and fears, they bonded...something no one saw coming. Well, except maybe Meg...but she is a blood prophet, after all.
At first, I thought the narration of this novel was going to hinder my enjoyment, as it appeared that the narrator was going to use a gruff voice for every male character. But as it turned out, that was intentional on the parts of the werewolf Simon and the werebear because their manners were, well, gruff. Ms. Harris delivered a perfect Meg and even Tess's brusque manner grew on me. If it hadn't been for such a great performance on the narrator's part, I might have had to keep reminding myself that the terra indigene were monsters and not the humans they appeared to be most of the time.
Written in Red ends on a great note, one that left me grinning. There's no cliffhanger, but there's still so much of Meg and the Others' story to tell. And knowing that the Controller will stop at nothing to get back his property means the action should spike ten-fold in the next installment. The sequel Murder of Crows is due out in March 2014.
You had me at gargoyles. ___________________________________________________
Actual Rating: 1/2
Gargoyles! That's the only word I needed to see in the sYou had me at gargoyles. ___________________________________________________
Actual Rating: 1/2
Gargoyles! That's the only word I needed to see in the summary to know that I had to read this book. And then, I immediately started picturing this:
What? You didn't? :P In all seriousness, I'm usually a little squeamish about inter, um, species (?) relationships in books...I mean, how would that even work? Especially since the gargoyle in his true form lacks any reproductive organs. ;0)
Now that that's out there...I kind of loved this novel. It takes place right at the turn of the century, in beautiful Par-ee (that's Paris for those of you who don't speak French), and though I've never been to The City of Light myself, it wasn't hard to imagine myself there among les grotesques, basking in the beauty and the culture, while hoping that this missing brother turned up unharmed.
This book was everything I was hoping for and more. From the sometimes complicated relationship between siblings to the history of the gargoyles in Paris, I was utterly captivated. Throw in shape-shifting gargoyles, a secret alliance that keeps their existence hidden, and crazy underworld magic, and I am a very happy girl. I'm usually iffy when it comes to multiple third person perspectives because they tend to give away too many secrets while providing glimpses at each characters circumstances, but I rather enjoyed reading from Ingrid, Gabby, Luc, and yes, even Grayson's point-of-view. Though, Luc was probably my favorite because he was such a tortured soul...I have a soft spot for characters that cling to their guilt and the remorse that comes with it. Also, I loved his fierce protectiveness.
There is some swooning to be had from this book, as well...no chaste pecks on the cheek or hand, despite the time period. It nicely counteracts the ugliness of the situation but doesn't detract from the overall plot. But I feel I must warn you that a love triangle is afoot, if all indications prove to be true. I hope that doesn't come to fruition, though. It's the standard safe choice versus dangerous and brooding guy, and you can probably guess which one Ingrid is leaning toward. Her sister Gabby, on the other hand, has no such decision to make. If only she didn't love to hate her own swoon-worthy rogue. *sigh*
Above all else, I loved the lush use of descriptive imagery, from the way the author describes the physical attributes of the gargoyles to the way she depicts their shifts. The book cover immediately grabbed my attention. The mention of gargoyles held it. But the writing ensured that I will be back for more of this beautiful story and its tragic characters. And that I'm going to be pestering the husband for a trip to Paris for months to come.
Thanks to Random House for providing an ARC for review!
I am going to be completely honest here. The sole reason I added this book to my TBR was because of that exquisite cover. It's so reminiscent of one oI am going to be completely honest here. The sole reason I added this book to my TBR was because of that exquisite cover. It's so reminiscent of one of my favorite childhood movies ever that I knew I'd read it, no matter what it was really about. But with a gorgeous cover like that, there's little chance the book will be a big ole fail, right?
The story wasn't a failure...not really. It only failed at being the epic fantasy novel indicated by the cover, and the author even admits as much in her acknowledgements at the end of the book. Even the book trailer makes this book seem infinitely more epic than it is. But despite the fact that the novel didn't quite live up to the amazing cover, I still found it relatively engaging, full of murder and intrigue. However, the rather slow pacing and the not-so-mysterious mystery both left something wanting.
Nisha is an orphan, as are all the girls in the City of a Thousand Dolls, henceforth known as the City in this review. But somehow, Nisha is different. Unlike the rest of the girls in the City, she is not trained for a specific house, to be purchased by the highest bidder at the Redeeming. Nisha learns what she can from a couple of the houses, including wielding a weapon and dancing, but what she excels in is collecting secrets for Matron, head of the City. She is already not very popular with the other girls, but this skill leaves her even less so.
Her only true companions are the cats that follow her around the City and speak to her in her mind. At first, I was afraid that the presence of these feline friends was going to annoy me, but the spotted cats actually ended up being one of my favorite aspects. The murder mystery and the romance both took a backseat to these creatures who seemed to know way more than they were letting on.
This is a book full of secrets, just waiting to be uncovered. Sadly, though, by the time Tac made his first appearance -- could that subplot have been any more glaringly obvious? -- I had every secret and mystery sorted out and compartmentalized until nothing surprised me anymore. All of the deceptions and trickery were very obvious and not at all subtle, at least not to this avid reader. Had I not been able to guess literally every element of the ending ahead of time, this might have been an even more enjoyable read.
As it stands, I liked it. I wouldn't recommend it to those who get bored easily or who are expecting high-action fantasy. But if you love a multi-layered plot full of mystery and intrigue, or if you just love cats, this might be a good fit for you. I'm definitely interested enough in the characters and the storyline to continue it should this turn into a series, but I'm also happy with the material presented and the way it ended. I'm game either way.
This series ended about as I expected. It had its high points and its low points. What I think I like best about Vincent's writing, though, is that shThis series ended about as I expected. It had its high points and its low points. What I think I like best about Vincent's writing, though, is that she isn't afraid of taking risks, of killing off favorite characters, or making enemies by choosing differently for her characters than maybe what most of her readers are hoping for. I think the ending was fitting, but even though it ended amid a battlefield of death and destruction, it still felt a little too happily-ever-after for me. But that's me.
*Side-note: I finished listening to this last week and have had a girls weekend in-between, so I'm not going to review it any deeper than this...mostly because I've already forgotten some of the details. I liked it...I think that's all that matters, right? :)...more
This was probably my least favorite in the series thus far. There's the addition of thunderbirds, humans that shift into huge birds with massive wingsThis was probably my least favorite in the series thus far. There's the addition of thunderbirds, humans that shift into huge birds with massive wingspans. Then there's all of the awful decisions that Faythe continues to make. The story wouldn't be so bad if she could just act like an adult for a change. Not every problem a protagonist faces has to be some sort of internal struggle or the result of bad choices. And, sure, Faythe deals with her share of external conflicts, but it's the ones she sets herself up for that bug me the most.
One more audiobook and then I'm done with this series and can decide if it was all worth it or not. And then the countdown is on to the final Soul Screamers book, which I know I'll love. :D...more
I would enjoy this series a lot more if it weren't for Faythe. There are moments when I see the appeal of this character, but for the most part, I simI would enjoy this series a lot more if it weren't for Faythe. There are moments when I see the appeal of this character, but for the most part, I simply find her annoying.
Something else that I find mildly irritating: Faythe's habitual observation that the person on the other end of the line can't see her shaking/nodding her head. The werecats communicate often via phone, so Faythe notices herself doing this a lot. I should've taken notes while listening because there was another habit of hers that grated, but I can't recall it at the moment.
As per usual, book 4 was a windy road for the werecats. Some things I saw coming - (view spoiler)[Faythe going to check on Jace and ending up sleeping with him because of their shared grief and her worry for Mark. Oh, and a bottle of tequila. And her immediately regretting it. GRRRR. (hide spoiler)] - and some things I didn't, though I should have seen the signs - (view spoiler)[Who knew Dan Painter could play double-agent so well? (hide spoiler)] - but I should know to expect anything where werecats are concerned.
I've been told Faythe gets better at the end of the series. Here's hoping. But I'm not really reading for her. (view spoiler)[That scene with Jace was way hotter than the steamiest encounter she's had with Marc all through the series. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I think I liked this one best in the series so far. Sure, Faythe is still impulsive and her mouth gets her in a ton of trouble, but she's at least actI think I liked this one best in the series so far. Sure, Faythe is still impulsive and her mouth gets her in a ton of trouble, but she's at least acting a little more mature and taking her role in the pride more seriously, especially now that she's on trial and looking out for a 13-year-old tabby while she awaits the verdict. Her behavior toward her relationship with Marc is even more suitable for someone her age. In short, Faythe has grown up quite a bit in the last three novels, and I'm glad to see it happen. She couldn't act like a rebellious teenager forever, bad as she might want to.
Same narrator as the first two books. Still doing a great job in her portrayal of my favorite werecats....more
There were times when I was really into this story and practically came unhinged at interruptions, and then there were times when I wanted to bang myThere were times when I was really into this story and practically came unhinged at interruptions, and then there were times when I wanted to bang my head against the desk. Both had a lot to do with the way Faythe treats the men in her life. She's bada$$, but she's a little lacking in the emotional department at times. Still, it's a fun story, and it just got a whole lot more interesting. Should be starting the next book in the a.m.
As for the narrator, she's already taken on the role of Faythe for me, and I'd almost forgotten that she was the voice of Eugenie, Dark Swan, Storm King's daughter, Queen of the Rowan lands, etc., etc. :) She's very throaty and takes on the air of an older woman when voicing a character's inner-most thoughts, but she can also become the young woman when she's narrating the dialogue. She was a great choice for both Faythe and Eugenie....more
Werecats. That's different. But it was fun, and there was plenty of a$$-kicking to go around, which is always good. Tired of heroines that make bad juWerecats. That's different. But it was fun, and there was plenty of a$$-kicking to go around, which is always good. Tired of heroines that make bad judgement calls, though, and whine "woe is me" when they realize it. Still, I'll finish the series. Probably start the next book today, actually....more
Hemlock isn’t your average werewolf story. In this book, the existence of werewolves is common knowledge, though the creatures are stil**3 1/2 stars**
Hemlock isn’t your average werewolf story. In this book, the existence of werewolves is common knowledge, though the creatures are still feared, as one might expect. These werewolves are not mythical but exist because of the spread of Lupine Syndrome. And once a person is discovered to have contracted LS, they are shipped off to internment camps and never heard from again. The ones who aren’t caught either hide what they are, or they wreak havoc on the humans, further spreading the disease.
I wasn’t immediately grabbed by this book. I found the first 100 pages or so very tedious, and if I hadn’t received this book for review through an ARC tour, I might have given up on it at that point. I’m glad I didn’t, though. It wasn’t the best werewolf-based novel I’ve read, but its unique storyline intrigued me, and once I got past all the angsty, hormonal stuff, the pacing picked up and I was able to enjoy the book.
Unfortunately, Hemlock does stumble into a lot of the plot pitfalls that so many YA novels seem destined for: a love triangle, cringe-worthy dialogue (at one point, one of the bad guys calls a werewolf sympathizer a “twerp”), and another case of the love interest running away from the heroine in order to protect her. Toward the end of the book, when things have hit the proverbial fan, Mac thinks to herself, “It was official: my life belonged on the CW,” and I couldn’t help thinking how apt her observation was. Normally, I really dislike those kind of pop-culture references, but in this case, I really could see Hemlock being made into a series on that network. And I’d watch it, too.
Speaking of the CW…anyone remember Veronica Mars? I loved that show. I still watch it in re-runs. This book reminded me a lot of that show, with Mac super-sleuthing it up, trying to figure out who really murdered her best friend. I mean, that’s exactly how the show started off: murdered best friend, killer on the loose, cute girl trying to solve the mystery. But that’s not the reason I bring it up. If you remember Veronica Mars, you probably also remember that yummy on-again, off-again boyfriend of hers, one Logan Echolls. I liked all of the characters in Hemlock well-enough, but I felt like I already knew Jason, the murdered best friend’s boyfriend. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this character felt so familiar because I’d seen him before…in the form of Logan on VM. Let’s do a little comparison for demonstration purpose:
Logan Echolls -wealthy son of a famous actor -attractive and cocky -murdered girlfriend -hooks up with murdered gf’s best friend, after the fact -wannabe bad boy -drinks a lot -always looking for a fight -played by Jason Dohring
Jason Sheffield -wealthy son of one of the most powerful men in Hemlock -attractive and cocky -murdered girlfriend -declares his feelings for best friend of murdered girlfriend, after the fact -wannabe bad boy -drinks a lot -always looking for a fight -named Jason
**Sorry...the chart on my blog is much prettier, but you get the point.
The resemblance is startling, no? Not that I’m really complaining. It just seemed so glaringly obvious where the author drew some of her inspiration from. Just as obvious to me was who the killer was. Almost as soon as the character was introduced, my hackles were raised. I found the story to be rather predictable, but that fact didn’t keep it from being entertaining.
If you proceed with caution and don’t expect to be completely wowed by Hemlock, I think you’ll end up pleasantly surprised. The story covered all the bases: romance, humor, action, and mystery with a little violence and heartbreak thrown in for good measure. There’s no cliffhanger, but the ending definitely left me curious enough to pick up the next installment. Final verdict: not half bad for this author’s debut.
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
I won a copy of this book from Rachel Vincent a couple of years ago during the YA Crush Tourney (go #TeamTod!), but even before that, I'd heard friendI won a copy of this book from Rachel Vincent a couple of years ago during the YA Crush Tourney (go #TeamTod!), but even before that, I'd heard friends singing this book's praises. I've only read one other novel -- Every Other Day -- from Jennifer Lynn Barnes, but I've got Nobody on my shelf as well, thanks to another giveaway and I have The Naturals for review, courtesy of Netgalley and Disney Hyperion. (I apparently have really good luck with procuring this author's books for free. :D) And I thought that before I dived into Barnes' newer works, I should get another taste of her earlier novels.
So, hype aside, I thought this book showed signs of some of the same things I enjoyed in Every Other Day: a take-charge protagonist, strong writing, and a complicated back story that the main character is only just beginning to understand. There was also political turmoil between packs, a series of rabid werewolf attacks, and one of the most serious cases of insta-love I've ever witnessed. Almost as bad as Jacob imprinting on Renesmee.
The book wasn't as terrible as all that, though. Where other human girls might have simply obeyed and done what was expected of them, especially when tethered to the Alpha of a wolf pack, Bryn questions everything and learns the hard way that even those closest to you might not be who you thought they were. But Bryn's not alone. She has some seriously awesome sidekicks. And her adoptive mother proves to be one hell of a lady. I really loved the group dynamic there.
I think what I like most about werewolf/shifter stories is trying to comprehend that whole pack-mentality thing. Remember that scene in BD1 where all the wolves are communicating telepathically and Jacob is supposed to submit to Sam as the Alpha but decides to go off on his own? Yeah, something similar happens in this book, and it's kind of just as hokey sounding in this story as it appeared on screen in BD1. But it shapes the whole story, so I'll let the eccentricity of that whole act slide.
I've never heard Eileen Stevens narrate before, but I daresay she sounded the part of stressed out and pissed off Bryn. However, it did bother me a bit that every male she portrayed, whether in wolf form or not, was pretty much growling. So, even when one was telepathically conversing with Bryn -- yes, because of the pack bond given to her at the tender age of four, she had this ability -- he was growling at her. And when they were speaking to her wolfman to human girl, they were growling. I don't know...it's a werewolf book, sure, but it just seemed a bit unnecessary, maybe even overkill at times.
Of all the werewolf novels I've read, this one is definitely not the leader of the pack, but it was definitely entertaining. It was good, but considering the sheer size of my TBR, I'm not sure if I'll be continuing the series anytime soon. I will be picking up those other books I have from this author, though, and hopefully I'll find something more redeeming and less convenient for such shoddy comparisons as I made in this review.
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