Although this is definitely a unique series, I noticed a lot of parallels to the Kate Daniels series. And that's a good thing. If something worked forAlthough this is definitely a unique series, I noticed a lot of parallels to the Kate Daniels series. And that's a good thing. If something worked for me in one Ilona Andrews series, I imagine it will work for me in this one too. I'm so excited for the next book!...more
Dr. Tarsus has strong similarities to a character in a well-known series: (view spoiler)[Severus Snape from Harry Potter (hide spoiler)]. AsLoved it!
Dr. Tarsus has strong similarities to a character in a well-known series: (view spoiler)[Severus Snape from Harry Potter (hide spoiler)]. As soon as I noticed that, some parts of the story became predictable. But it didn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of this book. Give me more Lauren Miller!["br"]>["br"]>...more
March 5, 2014: Second attempt at reading this. My original review is here. Wish me luck!
April 6, 2014: Well, I finished it this time. I did not love iMarch 5, 2014: Second attempt at reading this. My original review is here. Wish me luck!
April 6, 2014: Well, I finished it this time. I did not love it, but I see reasons why people do. I may write more here later.
April 7, 2014:
I spent part of the night stewing about this book. Frakking self-important book! Frakking non-existent ending! Frakking shrike!
Hyperion is a lot like a science fiction Canterbury Tales. (Granted, Canterbury Tales is a classic, so this may totally be your thing.) Seven pilgrims are on the way to see the big, bad shrike—who may or may not be a godlike entity, but who definitely likes to murder people and impale them on his steel tree. During the trip, each pilgrim tells his (or her) story about why he (or she) is on the pilgrimage. All of the stories were long; all of the stories were fascinating; and most of the stories rambled on until I was past bored.
The one story I loved was about a scholar and his daughter, who suffered from a unique illness; their story touched my heart and made me pull for him. A second story, about a priest, provided a reasonable enough explanation about why the priest wanted to see the shrike. I continue to believe that the remainder of the pilgrims are cray-cray for wanting to see the shrike and should probably turn around, save themselves, and go the heck home.
Did I mention there's no ending to this book? I sat through all these rambling stories. And at the end of the book, they're finally about to meet the shrike. Are you frakking kidding me?! I'm fuming.
Even though this book frustrated the heck out of me, I get why it's so popular. It's fascinating and dark, and the world-building is astounding. I'm itching to know what happens. But I can't promise to read the next book....more
My five-star rating is based on the assumption that the information presented in this book is accurate. I don't know enough about magic to judge thisMy five-star rating is based on the assumption that the information presented in this book is accurate. I don't know enough about magic to judge this for myself. Based on that assumption, in my opinion, this is a great reference for anyone who has experienced a string of misfortunes and is open-minded about the existence of hexes.
There's some guidance here about how to determine whether you've been hexed: what to look for, what tasks may be performed to test for hexes, and what circumstances indicate lack of a hex. There's also guidance about how to remove hexes and how to deal with psychics so you don't get cheated when it comes to determining whether you have been hexed and, if so, removing the hex. Should you determine that your misfortune is not the result of hex after all, there's also some guidance about how to deal with negative energy that may be causing your misfortune.
Overall, I found this to be a great reference for the lay-person. It uses understandable terms and presents logical steps for approaching the problem. Most of all, I appreciate the general focus of the book on, first, determining whether a hex exists before addressing it. A less cautious author might have jumped right into how to remove hexes, but the approach taken here seems more trustworthy.
Thanks to the publisher for the free review copy, provided through NetGalley....more
When the story opens, we find the main character, Em, held captive in a cell, staring at a drain. This may sound dull,I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
When the story opens, we find the main character, Em, held captive in a cell, staring at a drain. This may sound dull, but I found the tension to be wonderfully done. As captive, held in a dark room, Em found something to obsess about. It was dark and psychological, and I was immediately hooked. Then she finds a message that a prior version of herself left for her, saying she has to kill him.
Em goes back in time to do as the note says. I figured out pretty much right away who Em goes back in time to kill, but that's fine. I don't think it was meant to be a big secret. I was still invested in the story and in watching it unravel.
You won't find any Mary Sues here. Em was conflicted every step of the way. She was a good person, on a mission to do a bad thing. I found her struggle with her task to be both believable and compelling.
This book had just the right amount of romance--enough that I could latch onto it and root for it, but not so much that I got frustrated with the emphasis on romance as opposed to important, world-saving tasks. I found Em's love interest, Finn, to be likable in both his past and future selves. He was loyal and considerate, but tough enough to give Em a kick in the pants when she needed it.
I will admit though: On a couple occasions, I referred to Finn in my head as "cool Peeta." He has some similarities to Peeta from the Hunger Games, but I liked Finn better. Finn and Peeta are both blond, and both play sidekick to their love interests. But Finn was plenty kick-ass on his own, hence the "cool" label even though I found myself comparing him to a character in a different book.
I think it's a given with a serious time travel story that there will be paradoxes. All Our Yesterdays does a solid job of laying the groundwork with respect to how paradoxes are handled. And this groundwork starts early in the story, which adds some credibility to the resolution of paradoxes after the book's conclusion. I appreciate that.
An excellent book. One of my favorite reads of 2013! I'll be looking for more work by Cristin Terrill.
My thanks to Disney Hyperion for the free review copy.
A couple little things seemed a bit too easy, but they didn't affect my enjoyment of the novel. So I'm adding them to my review only as footnotes.
1. Finn was able to set the time machine to show a false date because he "knew a code." As a former programmer, I have yet to see a standard code that can simply be entered into an unknown program (specifically, a program heavily guarded and which must therefore have some kind of digital security, having been built by a genius and all) from the graphical user interface, in the span of only a few seconds, to make the program provide false information. A little farfetched.
2. There's a lot of chatter about how time is sentient and resolves its paradoxes. The characters were willing to go back in time and kill someone, thus creating a shit-ton of paradoxes (which would be resolved by sentient time), but they had to wait until a certain date because any date prior to that would create too big a paradox. This seemed like a bit of a cop-out way to pick a date that would create some sense of urgency, as opposed to, say, killing the guy two days earlier in a more relaxed timeframe.
3. I'm not convinced the time paradoxes created in the climax scene would have resolved themselves the way they did. But I guess there were a lot ways that could have gone....more
My book of the month discussion/argument with Kenya Wright, Megan D. Martin, and D.T. Dyllin (wherein Megan and D.T. are wrong) about the Opportunist:My book of the month discussion/argument with Kenya Wright, Megan D. Martin, and D.T. Dyllin (wherein Megan and D.T. are wrong) about the Opportunist: http://www.fantasyfloozies.com/2013/0....
This is the June book of the month to be featured on my blog. It's not one I would have picked for myself.
I wasn't particularly a fan, but I do understand why a lot of people like it. For me, both the main characters were selfish jerks, and their backstories didn't come close to accounting for their flawed choices. All their problems would have been solved if they'd been honest with each other. I couldn't root for them because I didn't like them. They showed little respect for their relationship throughout, so I couldn't bring myself to care.
Vicious was so incredibly refreshing. It was everything I hoped it would be.
When the story opens, Victor and his buddies are digging up a grave. And tVicious was so incredibly refreshing. It was everything I hoped it would be.
When the story opens, Victor and his buddies are digging up a grave. And their task has something to do with getting Eli's attention. As far as I'm concerned, a story that starts like that--death and mystery right from the start--skyrockets my expectations. And, lucky for me, it never disappointed.
Victor and Eli both became EOs (ExtraOrdinaries) when they were best friends in college, thanks to some dangerous experimentation they performed on themselves. Years after college, they are on opposite sides. In a way, it's a classic story--two friends who become enemies. One of them is viewed as a hero, and the other wants to take the hero down. What's wonderful about this story is that neither is a hero. They have their own agendas, and they'll get rid of anyone who tries to stop them.
By the end of the book, I knew these main characters. I understood them. Eli: the one who thinks he's on a mission to save the world from EOs. And Victor: who has his own reasons for trying to stop Eli. You know that saying about how "power corrupts"? How about the one saying that great power means "great responsibility"? Well, both of these men feel they have responsibilities, and both are thoroughly corrupted. The result is something dark, and twisted, and beautiful.
I will almost certainly pick up another book by Schwab.
Footnote: Some folks have this shelved as young adult. This is not a young adult book--not even a little. It's not a new adult book either. There are some scenes that take place while the main characters are in college, but even those few scenes have an adult vibe to them....more
This is not a bad reference, but I wouldn't recommend reading it cover to cover. Maybe hit the table of contents and view the topics that seem worthyThis is not a bad reference, but I wouldn't recommend reading it cover to cover. Maybe hit the table of contents and view the topics that seem worthy of your time. There were many topics that address issues beyond my control, and many others just aren't relevant to me personally....more
The Emotion Thesaurus contains some opening material about characterization, showing versus telling, and using this thesaurus as inspiration and applyThe Emotion Thesaurus contains some opening material about characterization, showing versus telling, and using this thesaurus as inspiration and applying it naturally to characters and their surroundings. This opening material is nothing particularly new or ground-breaking, but I see how it's necessary--sort of a why-you-need-this-book combined with a disclaimer.
The bulk of of the text is made up of sections dedicated to many different emotions, where each section includes a list of ways to display the emotion. This is a pretty awesome and unique reference manual. I've been looking for books about facial expressions and body language, and this fits the bill, while also being directed toward writers.
I expect I'll keep this handy during my editing process....more