I just love mermaid stories. Make it a story about killer mermaids and I'm even more entranced. I had a lot of fun reading Wake by Amanda Hocking.
Whi...moreI just love mermaid stories. Make it a story about killer mermaids and I'm even more entranced. I had a lot of fun reading Wake by Amanda Hocking.
While the plot didn't amaze me, I was intrigued. I hate to say this, but there is only so much you can do with a story about sirens. It was everything I expected it to be, and very little more. Now, don't take that the wrong way. I did enjoy it; it just didn't break the mold.
Gemma was a decent character. She was strong and beautiful-- perfect bait for a gang of deadly sirens. I know the majority of the story focused on Gemma and her plight, but I was really more interested in Daniel. He was mysterious and fun. He had this aura of bad-boy swirling around him that had me hooked from the beginning. Alex was that "boy next door" kind of character, which worked well with being Gemma's love interest. Gemma's sister was also decent as far as foils go. Overall, the characters were all balanced out and did a nice job of supporting one another-- but I'm still team Daniel.
What review of a book about mermaids would be complete without mentioning the main characters? These sirens were not all singing crabs and sunshine. These girls were hard-core. Penn is certainly the most vicious of the three. Talia came across as aloof and uninterested. I'm sure there will be more to that in future books. What I did enjoy about this book is that the focus really wasn't on sparkling mermaid tails. Yes, it was mentioned a few times, but not as much as you would think. There was certainly an underlying mystery that was more prevalent to the plot. The mythology that was subtly introduced was also used in a very clever way. I am curious to see how Gemma and the other unravel that mystery in future books.
Overall, Wake was a fun read. It was quick and had enough romance to make it a page turner. (Very clean romance by the way.) I feel like this was a nice introduction to the upcoming books, which will probably have more plot twists in store. (less)
Arise is the second book in the Hereafter series by Tara Hudson. The first book, Hereafter, was amazing. I loved it. The story of a living boy falling...moreArise is the second book in the Hereafter series by Tara Hudson. The first book, Hereafter, was amazing. I loved it. The story of a living boy falling in love with a ghost was so fresh (at the time) that I found myself completely caught up by their romance.
I found myself still caught up in the story of Amelia and Josh in Arise, but this time it was for different reasons. The setting of Arise moves from the some state that begins with an O (see how much that setting did not impress me) to New Orleans. New Orleans is the perfect setting for a ghost story, don't you think? While I don't think Tara Hudson did a fantastic job of making the city feel real, it still worked for the book. She focused on the tourist sites that were pretty easy to describe (Café du Monde, Jackson Square, etc.) instead of making the culture of the city come alive through the characters and their interactions. (Minor drawback) If you have read the Beautiful Creatures books, you'll know what I'm talking about when I say creating setting through character interactions. (Even though I find those books way too long for the story, the settings are top notch.)
Adding to the new setting, the new characters also made the story more interesting. We now have more ghosts and Seers. I was a little disappointed by how flat the new characters were. I never felt like I learned anything substantial about them-- or made a connection to them. I did, however, enjoy Gaby's brief role. I'm pretty sure she will reappear in Elegy, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm also pretty certain that some of the newer characters will reappear in Elegy and help tie up the loose ends I felt were rushed in Arise.
One thing I hope I do not find in Arise is Amelia being so annoying and wishy washy. I started skipping parts of Arise-- whole paragraphs at the time-- because I got sick of reading her thoughts. They never changed and they were tiresome. I'm not sure how many times she has to mention her dilemma and rehash it. It was very Bella via New Moon.
While Arise wasn't as great as Hereafter, it was a necessary book in the series. It helps set the stage for the final book, Elegy. If you skip this one, you probably won't understand the role some of the newer characters have in the final book. (less)