Worst-case Scenario: It sucked. The characters had barely any depth, even if they were moody. It played out like a really straightforward, no-obstacleWorst-case Scenario: It sucked. The characters had barely any depth, even if they were moody. It played out like a really straightforward, no-obstacle, everyday task that even I could perform. I don't even understand how I made it through this book. The writing is great in format and the author can certainly articulate herself, but goddamn I wanted to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. It was a waste of time, because I didn't care and I don't even know what the point of the story was (although every time the Cursed One burst through the ground I screamed "YOU SHALL NOT PASS", much to the annoyance of anyone in the vicinity). I couldn't even connect to a single thought, feeling, or sentence. The closest I got to even trying to empathize with their motivations or stories was when that brother and sister, Quinn and Willow, showed up. They seem like they could actually have an interesting back-story. Tree people? I want to read more about them.
Best-case Scenario: Confusing readers makes them think the story is this hardcore, complex fantasy story, when really it is a scrap of nothing disguised as shit disguised as a book. I guess the facade is still there, so if anything, people will think it's something. I guess the best thing I can say for this trilogy, I'm assuming, is that the story can't really get any worse. The writing certainly can, since it's fairly good, but the story is horrid.
Note: I find my standards slowly decreasing and my like for these low standards increasing. It is the sad state of literature today. Who am I kidding?Note: I find my standards slowly decreasing and my like for these low standards increasing. It is the sad state of literature today. Who am I kidding? I read YA novel for the immediate satisfaction and lack of effect on the state of my thinking about my current life. I like that it is simple, dumb and fanciful. Idealistic about the future of the human race, even. I even like when it is dark, negative and tears are shed over the depressing nature of it all. I like teen books because they are unrealistic, much like Disney movies, and do not require me to think. On the rare occasions that they do, I am pleasantly surprised (or mightily displeased). So heed my warning, readers, though I gave this book a low rating, I still enjoyed reading it.
Also, I swear a lot, please be wary.
Keywords: Minneapolis, dark star, morning star, single mother, teen drama, best friends, powers, small community, demons.
Sentence: I sentence Bethany Frenette to life as a mime trapped in a real box, because that is what this kind of first-person perspective does to a reader.
Review: I will keep this review short since I read this book in about an hour and a half. This was a fast read because there was not much to it. This uses a recycled plot and recycled "surprises".
For those who liked the feel of The Demon-Trapper's Daughter, this book can provide that. It's a small, close-knit community of people with power called the "Kin" who are likely ruled by some sort of council or elders or someshit I've heard before. They are responsible for the safety of Earth or the large city they reside in and murders be happenin' all over the place (more than usual for the amount of demons they deal with regularly). So hide yo kids, hide yo wives and hide yo husbands, 'cause they cuttin' errybody's ankles out hurr!
Something goes wrong and naturally the "daughter" or MC of this goddamn story must meddle because she is curious as fuck and the only real part of her personality is her incessant questioning, which is also a recycled trait.
The MC gets hurt/learns the grisly details behind her (view spoiler)[mother's "crime-fighting" and gets ragged on by not only her mother, but her obviously to-be-lover. Daddy issues, much? He follows her around, protects her, annoys her, clearly checks her out and then pretends to be an oppressive jackass (actually, I don't think he was pretending), when everyone should know she's going to do something stupid that'll get her hurt anyway.
Everyone she goddamn knows/has heard about is some sort of (view spoiler)["Kin" or part-Kin and pretty much the only surprise is that she isn't the Remnant (this everyone-might-be-Kin bit is very similar to my everybody-might-be-a-lycan complaint about Hemlock). (hide spoiler)]
Now, you're probably wondering why I'm complaining so much if I said I liked it. The answer is simple: I expect more and better from the next book; I expect more romancing; and I expect a (view spoiler)[Remnant to be found. Also Iris. Let's get this Iris plot twist all untangled. (hide spoiler)]
The reason I was able to stand this book was because the writing wasn't awful, there was a baking-cake-fight scene and possibly the cutest, clumsiest kiss scene. That's it. Now frak off.
I'm exhausted and still goddamn reading The Rise of Nine. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Sentence: I sentence Jay Kristoff to a stormdance-off. I suspect he will win.
Initial reaction: I was reminded of Atlantis, Eon, Avatar: The Last Airbender, How to Train Your Dragon, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Gladiator, and The Hunger Games, over the course of this entire book (in varying degrees). But only in the best ways, which I'll elaborate later.
Let me start off by saying that this book is not perfect, nor do I demand everyone read it. I really enjoyed this book and you, whoever you may be, will likely read much about this book after it has been released. That does not mean you will like it. I really enjoy steampunk, but I don't think all steampunk was really meant for me. Most YA steampunk actually sucks or isn't what I'd consider steampunk (yes, my nose is all up in the air rejecting YA, even though I love it too) and it certainly is not meant for everyone to enjoy.
Stormdancer is just the right amount of dark steampunk that I can get and nod at without argument. But Stormdancer is also many other things that I can easily get sick of; I do not normally read; and I watch and read too much of already so it's overkill. That's why I was impressed by how much I could stand some of the themes and aspects I had seen time and time again.
Kristoff takes things that are sorely overdone and then kicks them altogether into some sort of crazy-ass contraption of symbiosis. All the elements feed off each other and they make beautiful, stormy music; the conductor being Kristoff.
I will admit that the beginning was pretty slow until about eight or so chapters in. It's the first book in a trilogy so I always allow this sort of lag for world-building and character development. But that does not mean the plot had not already rooted itself into the reader's mind.
I think what killed it for me was the complexity of Yukiko's relationship with the green-eyed samurai. On the one hand, he is fucking gorgeous and he likes her. On the other, he is (view spoiler)[an awful, back-stabbing asshole (but there is probably more to it than that). (hide spoiler)] Sure, there's that almost love triangle that is so typical of YA these days, but there's also (view spoiler)[sex (hide spoiler)]. So fuck all y'all. Finally, something as realistic and impulsive as teens really can be. And don't you dare try to deny that. I'm not trying to generalize, I am just saying...okay, fuck it. I am generalizing. I used to be an impulsive teen, so I think I still (sort of) know.
Also, that last fight was pretty damn awesome.
Anyway, I do not want to really spoil this book as it is more enjoyable reading all of it play out. This would probably make a pretty decent anime movie or show, by the way. Just sayin'. There was Howl's Moving Castle, yes, but there is also this (nudge, nudge Miyazaki).["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Sentence: I sentence Rachel Hartman to have the ability to solve many sexy equations and aKeywords: Dragons, half-breeds, love, philosophers.
Sentence: I sentence Rachel Hartman to have the ability to solve many sexy equations and also a crime-free life in Vancouver. That shit be scary.
Review: I'll try to make this review pretty short, since I had barely a complaint. Actually, if I had a complaint I cannot recall it anymore because I am baffled by Hartman. I should say this is an extremely rare occurrence. I never give out five stars.
This novel started at a relatively slow pace, but with good reason. The characters and world building painted an entirely different world from what I've read before and did an extremely good job at it. I had complex questions about the history of some character or saint or weapon or even family with no doubts to there actually being a story. It's like the world has existed for so long and this story is just a minor occurrence in the history of it. A minor story I rather enjoyed, but only minor in the sense of looking at the broader picture of everything.
This is one of those rare reads where you find the two main love interests arguing about philosophers to be some sort of sexy, chemistry-filled conversation. I was practically salivating for more about Archiboros and his pompous ass. Maybe even more about Pontheus, the jurisprudence philosopher; later said to be either genius or mad.
But seriously, how is this turning me on? It must be all that intelligent talk and whatnot.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Seraphina storming about and trying to be pricklier than she is. She's brave, but shy and intrepid. She contradicts herself by loving others, despite their grotesqueness, and having trouble loving her own self.
The characters throughout this entire novel are so well built that it's only too easy to find their imperfections rather than the things that make them flat. Even the "soulless" saarantras and quigutl had me amused, laughing, and possibly crying a little. Even the Ardmagar Cormonot was confusing with his Cybermen-like reactions to emotion.
Okay, but srsly, this spoke to my heart (don't laugh): "do not underestimate the seductive power of math."
Basically, I have nothing else to say except GIMME MORE. And also:
Yeah, come at me dragons. I'm looking pretty sexy now, aren't I?...more
At least there is only one more book until it's finally over.
Keywords: Werewolves, wizards, murder, best friends, vampires, teen, depressing, ghosts,At least there is only one more book until it's finally over.
Keywords: Werewolves, wizards, murder, best friends, vampires, teen, depressing, ghosts, demons, powers, assault, evil family members.
Sentence: I sentence Cassandra Clare to a completely new series in which she can finally move on with her life...or career. I like you Cassie, but goddamn it, I want something new. If I see anymore of this Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices nonsense after both series' are over, I'm running in the opposite direction.
Review: It took me about 100 pages to actually get into this book. While I loved Clare expanding beyond Clary's POV, I could have done without Jordan and Maya or whatever their names are.
I did, however, find myself completely immersed in Alec and Magnus. Alec finally is beefing up with his own, surprisingly insecure personality. The little bouts of jealousy combined with desperation at getting a handle on Magnus, who he feels is too beyond his reach, endears him to me.
I just wanna pat him on the back and be that understanding friend that could possibly advise him against most stupid mistakes.
Anyway, while I was a little indifferent about the whole Clary and Jace situation, I found a total opposite reaction to the Clary-Seb situ.
I am hoping for a complete re-hash and appropriate reaction to this whole (view spoiler)[abusive, sexually-assaulting brother business. (hide spoiler)] I know a lot of readers were iffy about it, but I liked that it was real, sick, twisted and dark. (view spoiler)[Sexual assault (hide spoiler)] occurs much more often than people realize and I think that teen fiction needs more discussion of it. It needs to be addressed rather than avoided and perhaps even dealt with (appropriately and inappropriately) within books. As Clare said in the piece she wrote on her website/blog, just because there is abuse in books, does not mean that the authors of such works promote violence and rape. Writing is a form of storytelling and stories are an escape and sometimes a fantastical metaphor used to deal with real life issues.
Maybe I am taking this whole thing much too seriously, but books like Speak and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are relatable for a reason; they don't try to pretend the darker aspects of young adult life do not exist or are uncommon.
If teens were left to read happy and sappy romances, happily-ever-after scenarios and non-violent versions of everything perhaps their expectations would be set a little too high and their interest in reading diminished. Teens are angsty, over-dramatic creatures.
Alright, so I sort of went off on a tangent, but my point is that City of Lost Souls is great in that sense. It made me weep, the fight scenes were decent for once (Clary uses some quick thinking, which was an excellent change) and you feel for the characters you don't really think you like (Sebastian, Maya, etc.)
My only points of issue with this book were:
-Maya and Jordan; who really cares? And weren't they a sort of metaphor for normal abusive couples? UGH. -Simon loves Iz, but he is way too attached to Clary still. I don't trust that shit. Sorry dude, Iz is better than that. -Magnus must realize how tough it is for Alec. He is oddly unforgiving for someone who has hundreds of years of experience versus the kid that is dating a guy for the first time. -Why does Sebastian always miraculously get away? I feel like I'm watching Scooby Doo but Sebastian is Shaggy surrounded by a dozen monsters with only one door out and he accidentally trips into Fred's trap which slingshots him out of a random skylight I didn't notice before.
Anyway, I highly recommend reading this book, even if you hated the last one. In fact, pretend the last one didn't happen and enjoy this book (as much as you can) as it is. Not as great as the original trilogy, but worth checking out.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I can't even explain how many frustrayshuns this book caused me. But it also caused me much heartache and "awing" and feeling genuinely surprised at tI can't even explain how many frustrayshuns this book caused me. But it also caused me much heartache and "awing" and feeling genuinely surprised at the complexity of the characters (especially Davy Prentiss and even spackle 1017).
And the phrases are so goddamn catchy. "The Knife of Never Letting Go", "The Ask and the Answer", "Monsters of Men". I'm chanting them almost as much as Mayor Prentiss is chanting "I AM THE CIRCLE AND THE CIRCLE IS ME".
But alas, real review shall be saved for the final instalment, where I suspect I'll actually tear my book to shreds....more
This is a note for the new souls reading my reviews for the first time; there are always spoilers.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Sentence: I sentence Jodi Meadows tThis is a note for the new souls reading my reviews for the first time; there are always spoilers.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Sentence: I sentence Jodi Meadows to those awkward running-on-the-spot moments, in dreams, where you can't seem to move away as fast as you'd like.
Review: So this book is not about a girl in a dystopian society being a butterfly. Points for surprising me Meadows, I actually had no idea what I was getting into. Well, I did hear a rumour about dragons, but then assumed some sort of Eragon business was all up in this (whatever this is).
That being said, this does not qualify as a DYSTOPIAN or POST-APOCALYPTIC read, unless everyone else who read this was reading some alternative version of it. Maybe a version where Meadows reveals something to indicate this takes place post-our-kind-of-humans rather than beginning of our-kind-of-humans with a million immortal assclowns to rub it in our faces.
But I'm digressing from the matter at hand. Ana: abused, soft-spoken, clever, too honest, easy to read, and a newbie at life, apparently. She's like a child that's been given too much candy and is crashing, all the time.
Yeah, she's pretty fucking boring. I mean, come on, her favourite things are music (like the music that hasn't been created yet, in her head) and eating honey from the pot. Oh bother, Ana's not a newsoul after all, she's hipster Winnie the Pooh.
And Sam is like a justified pedophile. Damn those teenage hormones and him being attracted to only individuals of his physical age (as clarified by Ana when doing some research on, big surprise, not her own origins).
Now it may seem like I'm overly criticizing a book I gave 3.5 stars to (so more than my "meh" rating), but I actually genuinely enjoyed the writing; the funny bits that weren't really jokes so much a contemplation of the hilarity of it all; and the story, which is new and still getting started, much like Ana.
I could focus on what's great about the this story: it's different for teen fiction and fantasy; there are dragons and other mythical creatures; Sam may have taken Ana under his wing, but she actually doesn't want to have to depend on him for everything; although attracted to each other almost immediately, Ana and Sam fall into like first and are comfortable doing friend things; matching souls (in love) are not always the same age and can be the same sex (not a planned or fated feel); (view spoiler)[Sam is afraid of dragons and not all that brave; and Ana, for all her fast learning and cleverness, is impulsive and sometimes the stupid kind of brave when Sam is in danger. (hide spoiler)] But I'd rather touch on the things that I disliked or that drove me crazy.
First off, I'll start with Ana leaving her Janan-forsaken "mother" at the age of 18. I feel like it's an ad for porn/Girls Gone Wild ("I'm Ana and I'm 18 years old"). Everything that happens after that has to be legal, after all she's of age. Though I suppose those rules don't apply on this strange one-city-world. I understand there's always been a million reincarnated souls, but it isn't really clear whether they're all in the Range and Heart. But I suppose that would be too densely populated.
Secondly, what is up with the pulsing wall and why is no one acknowledging it? I really do not understand. Can only newsouls see it? Which brings me to my next issue on how Ana fails at research. She doesn't even begin with her own background, she must first familiarize herself with Sam's. (view spoiler)[Then, when her parents' journals are missing she doesn't think to look at the books scattered all over the floor of Sam's bedroom. Really? (hide spoiler)] Please let's be less ADD about this and focus on the task at hand. That last sentence is actually pretty hypocritical since I went searching for a funny "focus" picture and ended up browsing Pinterest for an hour. So, no funny pictures for you.
(view spoiler)[Anyway, Ana does not discover how she is created on her own. She is told by her father who happens to be stalking her because he pretty much is obsessed with creating more newsouls. Creepy. But what's really annoying about all this is that there really isn't an explanation for how Menehem tainted the temple or what Janan really is (certainly isn't a god if it's imperfect, by human definitions). (hide spoiler)]
I'll admit that Jodi Meadows had much world building to do and some explanation, so I'll allow the slow beginning, but then the story picked up and everything happened all at once and it ended. And I was so frustrated (mostly in a why-haven't-they-had-sex-yet way).
If I had to make suggestions for the next book I would include: Ana and Sam have sex (because they've been living together for weeks, the least they could do is pretend that not being all over each other is hard); more page time with other characters (there is too much of Ana and Sam, even when Ana and Sam aren't together); and Ana standing up for herself more. She doesn't know what or who she is and yet she is growing into an identity that readers can recognize. But she needs to stand up for herself, figure out things on her own rather than be handed the answers, and get distracted by Sam.
Ugh, who am I kidding? I thought it was all kind of sweet. Especially when she uses her bluntness and honesty as a weapon of getting shit done. It must be the week before that time of the month.
Okay, I seriously can't focus on this review anymore, so I'm just going to list a bunch of quotes I found hilarious for one reason or none.
"He had feminine underwear too, but that was too weird; I left them."
"Sam must have been taller than me as a woman, and bustier."
"Going after someone unknown in the dark and cold and almost-snow--that wasn't brave. That was exceedingly stupid." Says the girl who climbed on top of a not-quite-dead-dragon.
"I hadn't meant my curiosity to cause so much pain.
Before I could find an apology good enough, he said, 'I think last week wouldn't have been so dramatic if I hadn't already been killed by dragons not twenty years ago.'
That was before I'd been born, but it probably felt recent to him. 'What happened?'" And she asks even though she knows she can read about it/NOT ask him to cause him pain.
"I can't do this in-between stuff. Either we kiss or we don't." Yes. Ana telling it like it is. I kind of admire her bluntness.
"I want to tell you something." (282) and then "Can I tell you something?" (283) Janan, this must be important. "When I went north in my last life..." (284-285) Seriously? He was so eager to tell her a frakking story? He really is like an old grandfather.
"And, even though I knew better, I checked on the stairs. They were gone. I doubted I could trust anything to stay where I'd left it."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was like reading The Da Vinci Code if teens could be brilliant Latin-reading, code-cracking explorers. And also if there were many arguments abouThis was like reading The Da Vinci Code if teens could be brilliant Latin-reading, code-cracking explorers. And also if there were many arguments about god this and god that and whether god exists. It was just a little too much when, you know, they should be concerned with more urgent things like how to save their own lives.
I'm also feeling like they should've been pretty unmotivated to find the Lumen Dei or whatever. I mean did they really think it was going to destroy the world? I would've given Hledaci a few pints of my blood, safely, and went home. Who cares? Why create more problems for yourself by chasing something that is DEFINITELY putting you in harms way? These are probably the stupidest teens I've ever encountered (on paper, because IRL they wouldn't really be expert code breakers running off to Prague).
I could understand when it was a mature, grown up man whose entire career and life is practically code-breaking. But this? This was like a childish game of Finders Keepers.
I basically finished this because I thought the plot would be more interesting, but really I was more interested in the development of her relationship with this Eli guy. But then you get nada, except for an admission of loving Chris who I liked and is (view spoiler)[dead (hide spoiler)]. So fuck it. Not even my guilty pleasure vein can be stroked into liking it.
But hey, the writing wasn't cringe-inducing and was easy to get through. So I'll give Wasserman that much; she is well practiced in her art.
Edit: It occurred to me in the shower, as often things I contemplate do, that if the Hledaci knew about the vyvolena and they knew it connected directly to Elizabeth Weston, why were her documents/letters not monitored? They had to know they existed in the hands of the Professor McPhlegm (The Hoff), so they should have assigned someone to the letters and Nora. Or if it is just a spiritual bond why didn't they find a girl that could translate Latin and had a dead sibling? Or someone that could potentially connect emotionally with Weston? Or just take Nora ahead of time and force her to figure out the rest for them? I am really annoyed that the Hledaci apparently cannot even remember their own history and learn from their mistakes.
What kind of bad guy super-secret-operation is this?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
NOTE: I want to remind readers that it is important to give all books a fair chance despite negative reviews and controversy (see linked article)/theNOTE: I want to remind readers that it is important to give all books a fair chance despite negative reviews and controversy (see linked article)/the author or the author's agent being a dumbass. And that is what I did.
Sentence: I sentence Kiera Cass to a season of The Bachelor in which everyone is selected to be dropped off on a deserted island and are made to fight to the death (to be the lone survivor). But then, as a prize, the survivor has to marry some asshole she may or may not like.
Review: I wasn't really blown away by the cover, although I'd love to twirl around in a dress that freaking huge.
It'd probably go down like this though:
But really, I was excited for this bizarre twist on dystopian caste systems and competing with each other (yet again). What I found, however, was a cheap imitation of The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor meets A Little Princess (competition against nation of numbers for prince's hand in marriage, but with a little homesick orphan-like story time/bonding in their boarding school the palace). I wasn't sure whether to be pissed I had wasted my time or just relieved I had found something else to read to cleanse my mind afterward.
I settled on being productively angry at the world, through a chart, which I made to compare The Hunger Games to The Selection.
Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of things different between the two books. Mostly how America is a total fucking pushover (see idiot) and signed up to change her life for her boyfriend's piece of mind. Then when he wanted her back she realized she had to see the Selection through because she is doing it for herself. WHAT A LOAD OF HORSESHIT. Unless she's a gold digger, which might just be her reasoning. I do know she's a fucking narc though.
I have determined that America clearly doesn't know what the hell she wants, and needs to realize that if she is oh-so-good at giving the prince political advice, and is just as pretty as everyone claims she is, she needs to consider becoming a goddamn symbol of rebellion. Maybe even, heaven forbid, become a better person. Because that's where this is headed, isn't it? America: the symbol of freedom and rebellion. Now why does that sound familiar? Everything was so frakking predictable in this book.
(view spoiler)[Even Aspen ending up in the palace as a guard. Puh-lease, I saw that even before Cass wrote this book. Oldest freaking romantic-triangle-coincidence in the playbook. Barney Stinson was so on that "oh, I happen to be stationed at your bedroom door" B.S. like three centuries seasons ago.
What really bothers me though, is that America lets herself continue this competition and to be pressured into falling in love with Maxon, who she seems to like as a friend. Oh wait, I forgot, it's impossible to be just friends when it's the prince, right? And I'm not saying she should go back to Aspen because, let's get real, his ego is bigger than Keira Cass' agent's ego. In any case, Aspen's pride comes before his need for food, which totally blows Maslow's hierarchy of needs out of the water. Speaking of inaccuracies, the caste system is totally contradictory. On the one hand, I'm imagining a real life caste system, but then you hear of a five and a six watching frakking television and having enough money for popcorn, at the end of the day. And even the eights seem to find a way to live and not be considered complete untouchables. What is this, a Disney version of caste divisions?
I think the worst part of all of this was finding out, upon finishing the last paragraph, that this was only the first volume in what was promising to be one of the worst teen series' (I'm assuming trilogy) I have ever read out of seriousness (not reading for the lulz). (hide spoiler)]
Apparently the southerners are going to kill everyone in the palace before Maxon makes a decision. I won't stand for such tomfuckery. This series is seriously over in my head and I won't hear of it again, much like Kelly Keaton's Darkness Becomes Her (that one made me physically vomit).["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Alright, so I was going to do a proper review, but I just can't. I'm punned out, folks.
Besides I fear I love this book too much to be silly about it.Alright, so I was going to do a proper review, but I just can't. I'm punned out, folks.
Besides I fear I love this book too much to be silly about it. And I have to say, when I first started I wasn't sure if I loved it or hated it. I was struck by how Briony was so annoyingly self-loathing. But then there was the pity and how she pathetically claimed she felt nothing because of witchery.
I found myself appreciating her character much more when she and Eldric created this secret society of awesome swamp-friend-creatures (the lion and the wolf). It was like freaking Adventure Time, but for realsies.
But srsly, this book reminded me much of my favourite Scottish ballad Tam Lin. It was probably influenced by such work, in fact, without the focus on a faerie queen or any of that.
People who loved this book will want to read Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock. You will find that Jones' book is what teen was like in the 70s to early 90s: goddamn literature.
The characters were not one-sided and were much more complicated than the usual young adult novels out there. Eldric and Briony form a friendship first and romance later. They can verbally volley and Eldric certainly challenges Briony at every opportunity. And not challenging like a slap to the face and making her agree with his overt manliness. In fact he doesn't try to be overtly "manly", which in turn makes him seem more of a man than others.
Yeah wrap your head around that one, boys. :D...more
SPOILER ALERT FROM REAL HISTORY: Brittany is eventually absorbed by France.
Keywords: Death, Mortain, saints, medieval, witches, female heroes, assassiSPOILER ALERT FROM REAL HISTORY: Brittany is eventually absorbed by France.
Keywords: Death, Mortain, saints, medieval, witches, female heroes, assassins, mercy, angel, nuns, badassery, Olden times, Brittany, France, duchy, Anne, cool clothing, poison, crossbows, killing, murder, politics, scandal, marriage, turmoil, civil war, war, loss, grief, abuse, women, untouchables, England, Roman Empire.
Sentence: I sentence Robin LaFevers to an orgy of limbs that do not include elbows. And don't mistake that for irony; it is satire.
Review: Fans of Alison Goodman are in for a pleasant surprise. Grave Mercy is another story of a strong female character shaped over time to become some sort of badass...asskicker. Or in this case, assassin for Death. Lafever's book reads very much like Eon, in that you start off with a girl who believes herself so deformed and untouchable that when others value her it seems unfathomable. It's almost like a really extreme metaphor for teenage girls establishing self-respect. Actually that's not really an "almost" situation; it's a given.
Anyway, Grave Mercy does not fail to immerse you deep in the dark world of the most ridiculous assassin nuns. You may laugh at the thought of that but beware of their deadly ninja skills. But pretty much they're just good at poisoning people and pretending to be all secretive-like when really everyone knows about them. That's okay, it was fun all the same.
And that's pretty much where my positive critique ends. It was fun.
Here are my points of issue:
(view spoiler)[1. Much too Much Ado About Nothing. Come on, practically every teen romance is about some sort of hatred or distrust between the two lovebirds. We all know they're going to end up together now. And of course just when Duval is about to die Ismae realizes her body is a fucking sponge. A SPONGE FOR POISON. What is this? SpongeMae PoisonPants?
And to heal him she doesn't just, you know, sleep with him; she does some serious planking shit.
2. JUST DO IT. This is something the girls and I, at the bookstore, call the ultimate rule of teen fiction. Teens are rash dumbasses that let not only their hormones, but their pride guide them. In a situation where a girl has barely any clothes on, in her bedroom, with the guy she's pining for (no parents around and he's pretty much into her more than he is into his life being threatened)--just do it. What is the hold up? You're already spooning.
3. Elbow fetish. I am slightly disturbed by the amount of elbow grabbing Duval does. It's almost bad as those weird armpit fetishes. But pretty much every chance he gets, Duval is shoving or forcefully grabbing Ismae's elbow, which she is constantly twisting out of. Look Duval, you may want to lick her elbow or whatever and hope it's her "sweet spot", but I'm pretty sure she'd just send that elbow straight into your mouth and knock out a couple of teeth. (hide spoiler)]
4. Repetitive language and phrases. Repeating things in different ways may make the reader remember things better, but it also annoys the shit out of me. If one says the same thing over and over again in different ways, it is not only hammered into one's memory, but also an irritant. I find repetition particularly annoying, but also effective for accurate recall, even when the subject matter being repeated is completely unnecessary.
5. Irony. "1. Verbal irony is a trope in which the intended meaning of a statement differs from the meaning that the words appear to express.
2. Situational irony involves an incongruity between what is expected or intended and what actually occurs.
3. Dramatic irony is an effect produced by a narrative in which the audience knows more about present or future circumstances than a character in the story."
Please, Lafevers, see this excellent explanation: The Oatmeal's 3 Uses of Irony. You will find irony easier to identify this, rather than claiming every other sentence that something is ironic.
I will give Lafevers this much, I loved her intro of Death Himself as a utensil for mercy, not revenge. Death is mercy for the suffering. And that was pretty awesome.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more