You know that gaping emptiness when you finish a book, an emptiness that seems will never be filled by another story? One that makes you stare off int...moreYou know that gaping emptiness when you finish a book, an emptiness that seems will never be filled by another story? One that makes you stare off into space, absently brushing your fingers across the cover of the book as if you could magically dive back into that world and be deeply involved yet again with those people and their lives? Yes. This. This book did it to me.
I wasn't actually expecting to love it as much as I did or to get as caught up in the story and the lives of Elliot and her Kai. But I was dragged into the world, sucked down the rabbit hole, so to speak. The relationship between Elliot and Kai (or Captain Malakai Wentforth, as he is later known) is one that spans the deep divide between their classes, one that--while broken temporarily--transcends the bigotry and prejudice of their small world. Told through a series of notes passed between the two as children and through Elliot's eyes when Kai returns to the estate, their relationship is both heartbreaking and beautifully rendered, much like Jane Austen's PERSUASION, the story upon which FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is inspired.(less)
Positive: The awesome wrap-up to an amazing series. Oh, holy cow. Lilith Saintcrow certainly knows how to draw out the tension. Throughout the first f...morePositive: The awesome wrap-up to an amazing series. Oh, holy cow. Lilith Saintcrow certainly knows how to draw out the tension. Throughout the first five books, trouble continued to build, the Nightside got creepier and more aggressive, and Jill ran herself ragged. This sixth and final book weaves together every thread, pulling together all the frayed edges into a beautifully rendered Gordian knot.
Positive: Jill Kismet. Wow. What a kick-ass heroine. She's scarred and almost broken but she just keeps fighting back, unwilling to let those she loves die at the hands of the dark forces that seep through every crack in her beloved town. I compare every other urban fantasy heroine to Jill Kismet and, sadly for them, many come up short. She's someone I'd want defending my back, should my town ever be overrun my demons (or zombies or blood-thirsty bunnies or whatever).
Positive: The worldbuilding. Santa Luz is a dark, troubled town filled with people who are willing to bargain away their humanity for power. But there are people around who battle to protect the town, people like Jill. A hunter, Jill works with the police, who call her when things get...weird. I love how each hunter has his or her special way of dealing with the Nightside and own belief system, how silver spits sparks when darkness comes, and how the demons have a slimy, politician-like charm.
Wish: Do we have to leave this world? Don't wanna.
Overall: Jill Kismet will forever have a place in my heart. Write on, Lilith Saintcrow.(less)
What do you do when your entire world is dying? Go party and shoot up! Woo! That's what Araby and her BFF do, anyway. Hidden behind air-filtering mask...moreWhat do you do when your entire world is dying? Go party and shoot up! Woo! That's what Araby and her BFF do, anyway. Hidden behind air-filtering masks, the girls try to lose themselves in music and guys and blot out the world.
Araby's a sad case: her twin brother died because of her, her mother's a basket case, her father's a noted scientist with a secret, and she lives in constant fear of the plague and the prince who runs everything.
I'm not a fan of the love triangle in this one because Elliott is a jerk. Okay, I'm not a love triangle fan in the first place but I had a strong reaction to Elliott. Will, on the other hand, is sweet and caring. Sure, he has some bad secrets that could get Araby killed but his reasons were understandable. Elliott...meh.
With a beautifully dangerous setting and tragic characters, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH lives up to its Edgar Allan Poe inspiration and immerses its reader in a dying world struggling to survive.(less)
Positive: Rosa and Alessandro. An admitted kleptomaniac, Rosa is snarky with a serious inner-focus and a rather hard outer shell that she's worked har...morePositive: Rosa and Alessandro. An admitted kleptomaniac, Rosa is snarky with a serious inner-focus and a rather hard outer shell that she's worked hard to build. Alessandro is a charming Sicilian who slides under that shell, despite the fact that Rosa's family doesn't like him or his family at all. They're a modern Romeo and Juliet, a pair that might actually have a tragic ending, unlike many of the retellings these days.
Positive: The creepy feeling of impending doom. There's something very dangerous swirling in the hot Sicilian sun and the reader isn't given too many hints as to what that is--just that it's really, really bad.
Positive: The Mafia. Of course, we're in Sicily. There has to be Mafioso hanging around, running things, right? While that might be a stereotype, it's used very effectively in this story, adding to the feeling of darkness surrounding these two families. Plus, it's a great excuse for violence and adds some action and suspense.
Wish: Backstory. At times, there was too much but then I also felt like I didn't really know what was going on, despite all the information provided. I'm not sure if this is because the original story was written in German and it's a translation issue or my brain just being squishy (I'm voting for the latter!). This is a very intricate world the author's created here.
Overall: Dark and foreboding, ARCADIA AWAKENS takes its readers to a beautiful but deadly world.(less)