You know how it is. You follow a series religiously--skulking around amazon or audible or your favorite brick and mortar book seller waiting the relea...moreYou know how it is. You follow a series religiously--skulking around amazon or audible or your favorite brick and mortar book seller waiting the release of the latest book. And somewhere the characters start feeling like they are YOURS. Like they belong to you even more than they belong to the author. And you feel like you know them and know the types of things they would do and know what you want to happen. And lately, it seems like a lot of authors of long running series start "phoning it in" or making decisions based on the movie or the tv show or something. (Charlaine Harris, I'm talking to you!)
It's happened so often lately that while I was looking forward to Ever After, I was half afraid that Kim Harrison would screw up Rachel and Al and Trent, et al.
And yes, there were a couple things that I am not too happy about, I have to say that all in all, this episode is Right. Exactly Right.
Well done, Kim Harrison! Whatever you do, don't hang out with Charlaine Harris, okay?(less)
I've read a couple of Kelley Armstrong's other books, Bitten and Stolen, and really liked them. When Audible had this one on sale for under $5 I snapp...moreI've read a couple of Kelley Armstrong's other books, Bitten and Stolen, and really liked them. When Audible had this one on sale for under $5 I snapped it up thinking it was a sure-fire winner. And I enjoy books that are in series in general. Same characters, new situations, furthering the plotlines.
And the story here is good. Maya is 16. She lives in a very small town on Vancouver Island. Her father is a ranger on a park reserve. She is close to her parents. She loves the wild life available and seems to have a gift in healing the injured ones. She is pragmatic, respects nature and appears content in her life.
Then, like a pebble in your shoe, things begin to go slightly off. Not in a your world is turned completely upside down kind of way. But subtly. At first not noticeably . Her best friend, an extremely strong swimmer drowns. Then she starts have weird dreams. And cougars are hanging around her. You know, the usual.
Armstrong has a set of characters that are interesting and likable. And I care about them and want to know what will happen.
When I read a series, I know there will be certain plot lines that will float from book to book. I get that. That is one of the things that keeps me excited about reading each installment. However, I really want the individual plot of this volume to be wrapped up. And in the Women of the other world, she did that. But not here. This book just ended like a B Movie serial on a Saturday afternoon. When I am late to discover a series that is okay because I'm usually several volumes behind. But not this time. The next book is supposed to be out sometime in 2012? I wish I had paid more attention because I would have waited.
That doesn't mean this book is awful and I won't downgrade the star rating or anything. But I figure I owe it to you to warn you.
It's hard for me to give a clean and clear review of this book.
It was recommended as a book for people who like paranormal or supernatural themed boo...moreIt's hard for me to give a clean and clear review of this book.
It was recommended as a book for people who like paranormal or supernatural themed books. I read the blurb on the book. It looked interesting and had a good star rating so I read it.
Vampires? Yes. Werewolves? Yes. Our heroine is "soulless." With soullessness comes her "superpower." I didn't read too many of reviews--I don't like to risk spoilers, so I also didn't realized it was a steampunk novel. I only know enough about steampunk to be terribly misinformed. I don't dislike it. It's just not my thing. So I spent the first third of the book feeling like the only person in street clothes at a Star Trek convention.
And the book is terribly terribly twee. I know it's all tongue in cheek. But names like Hisselpenny? Floote? The naivete of our main character, who is a 26 year old (gasp!) spinster bluestocking. I feel like I am fairly capable of dispensing disbelief and accepting a story where it is and for what it is. But sometimes the cutesy-ness caused me to lose my spot on the page from near involuntary eye rolling. (And this from a person who read Elsie Dinsmore novels to her daughters when they were little. I have a strong stomach for cutesy.) Because I am so ill informed re: steampunk, I don't know if this is an aspect true to the steampunk theme or a special offering of Ms. Carriger's.
However, now that I've said that. The book is clever. There were definitely witty moments. Carriger manages to take the tired werewolf/vampire genre and stand it on it's ear. Kudos for that! I did like the book and would recommend it, with the warning for the utterly charmingly saccharine appeal. I will probably read the rest of books in the Parasol Protectorate series because I did end up liking the characters. But I don't think I could read a couple of these in a row.
BTW, when I read this, Lord Akeldama is totally Austin Scarlett from the first season of Project Runway. (less)
Ugh. First of all, I listened to the unabridged audio book narrated by Jim Frangione. I read many audio books. Sometimes it is the perfect marriage of...moreUgh. First of all, I listened to the unabridged audio book narrated by Jim Frangione. I read many audio books. Sometimes it is the perfect marriage of narrator to book. Sometimes, it doesn't seem to "fit." But I can usually get past a narrator that doesn't "sound" like what I think the characters should sound like.
In and of itself the plot line of the first book in the series was okay I guess. It's not great literature. But the plot points were fine.
But the dialogue! I would have rather plucked my eyeballs out with a spoon than to listen to some of the terribly stilted phrases.
I've given this a lot of thought. I've tried to be completely unbiased and asked myself if perhaps this was just a case of a poorly chosen reader for the audio book.
I honestly have to say, that if I had been reading the printed version, there is no way I could have read those words in my mind without them sounding trite and stilted and uncomfortable.
Back in the 80s, I remember hearing my grandmother try to say, "Homey does not play that game" and cringing. It was just wrong. And yeah, a lot of the dialogue felt like that--like someone was trying to throw in lots of cool phrases and words to make the characters cool and interesting. And it just fell flat for me. It never felt like real people to me. I know they're vampires. Whatever. The dialogue made the characters feel cardboard and I could never get past that.
But hey, a lot of people really like the book. What do I know? I liked Twilight. I thought that proved I could handle a reasonable amount of trite. This exceeded it for me.(less)