Really, it's three and a half stars, but I couldn't quite bring myself to round up. I think that's partly the fault of the hype on the book. I had hea...moreReally, it's three and a half stars, but I couldn't quite bring myself to round up. I think that's partly the fault of the hype on the book. I had heard so many good things going into it that I had very high hopes. Perhaps my impression of the book suffered because of my false expectations. Everyone kept saying how creepy and scary the book was, but I did not find it so. The ending was intense, but I was never actually scared (the tone of the book made me pretty sure that there would be a relatively happy ending) and I certainly never once found the book to be "creepy". I don't understand why people keep comparing it to Doll Bones and finding Doll Bones wanting in the creepiness department.
I saw the main villain a million miles away, almost from the first time he was mentioned. (view spoiler)[He kept being described as nice and jolly and generally in such a way that it immediately made me suspicious. I knew the moment he left to "bring the boy to a college far away" that he was really kidnapping him, so that was not a surprise at all, though it clearly was supposed to be. Perhaps seeing through this basic plot point very, very early in the book made the book less scary and creepy to me, since it was less an unknown menace and more one that I was well aware of and simply needed everyone else to catch up with?One touch I did especially like (and which was also a giveaway) was that Jacob rarely if ever refers to him as Sten Blix, instead constantly calling him simply "the baker".
I thought the ending was too happy and cliched. I knew from the moment that the oven was introduced that the baker was going to end up dying within it, and was not particularly surprised when he killed himself, though I thought that was remarkably out of character. His entire giving up was out of character. The fact that all three teenagers were basically okay, and that the only other named kidnap victim, Possy, turned out to be okay too was a bit much. Possy should have been killed.
I also thought the book was much too long. The entire Uncommon Knowledge bit could have been cut right out without losing much. It's only real contribution was to show how moral Jeremy is, and I think that could have been gotten across more subtly.
The book itself is four stars, but I would give the audiobook five stars. The narrator was great, and able to navigate many different accents and voic...moreThe book itself is four stars, but I would give the audiobook five stars. The narrator was great, and able to navigate many different accents and voice ranges in a believable manner.
I was not particularly keen on the ending, and while I had thought there was some underlying tension between Stephen and Rory and, like Boo, expected it to happen before the end of the series, I thought her penultimate scene with him was somewhat out of nowhere, and seemed a bit manipulative to add further drama to the very end of the book. (How's that for no spoilers?)
If the second killing was orchestrated, then does the crack have any actual signficance, or was that a red herring? I guess we'll find out in the next book.(less)
I had forgotten how much I love this book. Superhuman powers has always been a draw for me, but even beyond loving the premise, the book is so well wr...moreI had forgotten how much I love this book. Superhuman powers has always been a draw for me, but even beyond loving the premise, the book is so well written! Mibs's voice is distinct and fun to read. The characters are all well drawn with their own character arcs, thoughts, and motivations, even if we only every see Mib's views (and the occasional stray thought gleaned through Mibs's savvy.) The themes of figuring out who you are and what "voices" have contributed to that sense of self, along with which voices to listen to and which to ignore was well developed and very pertinent to the target adolescent audience. Growing up and what it means to start leaving childhood behind was another major theme that was handled very well. (less)
This book was okay. It kept me turning the pages, and I always wanted to know what was going to happen next, but I also found myself skimming occasion...moreThis book was okay. It kept me turning the pages, and I always wanted to know what was going to happen next, but I also found myself skimming occasionally so that I could find out what happened without having to fully read the text.
The plot is predictable (I called it very shortly in) and also doesn't make any scientific sense. A clone would not have her "original's" memories, unless Lily really is being haunted by Iris. Being able to play the violin also didn't make sense. It doesn't matter if Lily was implanted with musical aptitude in her DNA. Instruments are a learned skill, it is impossible to pick up an unknown instrument and know how to play at an expert level, including full musical scores. The book couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a paranormal or a sci-fi book. The drama all felt manufactured. Amnesia and/or a character that can't remember all the details is starting to get very, very old.
Jake's brother also didn't quite fit in with the rest of the story. After all of the hype about Iris's magical musical playing, and the way that the book couldn't decide if it was paranormal or sci-fi, I thought the constant harping about music and Jakes's brother would lead somewhere, but it just sort of fizzled out. She plays but we don't find out what happened. THe implication is that Kyle dies anyway, but at least he dies in peace. If this was a different kind of book, that would be fine, and even moving. But this was not that sort of book, and the expectations leading up to that scene were not met.(less)
This was a fun ride. I'm not sure that I fully believed the characters to be in their early teens, or, in the case of Vieve, a young a child, but I wa...moreThis was a fun ride. I'm not sure that I fully believed the characters to be in their early teens, or, in the case of Vieve, a young a child, but I was willing to suspend my disbelief because the book was entertaining. I wish that there was more humor in the vein of the adult books set in this world, where the juxtaposition of modern morality and Victorian sensibilities was used for good effect, but I can see why the author chose not to do more of that sort of humor, since it assumes a certain knowledge of Victorian era that younger readers may not have formed yet. (less)
A solidly good book, quite funny in places. Slightly predictable plot, slightly too much melodrama. I didn't quite buy that Jared had kept so many sec...moreA solidly good book, quite funny in places. Slightly predictable plot, slightly too much melodrama. I didn't quite buy that Jared had kept so many secrets from Kami before they met in real life. Why would he have bothered to not mention these things when he thought she wasn't real? And they never exchanged last names?? Actually, that's a good point. If she sent him a penny in the mail, wouldn't she have had to have known his last name for the address?(less)
Not bad. I really liked the revenant concept and enjoyed that the author came up with something different instead of relying on the overly familiar va...moreNot bad. I really liked the revenant concept and enjoyed that the author came up with something different instead of relying on the overly familiar vampires and fallen angels and whatnot. I do wish that there was less of the paranormal YA cliches of "this guy is soooo gorgeous, what could he possibly want with me?" and people pining away for someone that they had essentially only just met. I can understand why Kate would be a little unstable and unhealthily obsessed, since she's still recently grieving, but Vincent has no excuse (unless you count his rescuee obsession...but he specifically says that it's not that.)(less)