I loved these books. Don't laugh, I really did. And why not? It's got suspense, mystery, not a little romance, and twists and turns that keep you guesI loved these books. Don't laugh, I really did. And why not? It's got suspense, mystery, not a little romance, and twists and turns that keep you guessing. (Okay, I'm talking about the whole series here). Many couldn't get past Twilight to read the following novels, which is a shame, because the story in general drastically improves.
I can understand why some would not like this book, as I've been reading quite a few reviews that state so. However, it seems to me that most of those who dislike it do so because either it's 1. popular, 2. anti-feminist, 3. not a good portrayal of vampires, or 4. annoyingly sappy and plotless.
As for not liking it because everyone else does, you have some major issues that require the need to rebel. Come up with a real reason.
Hmmm.. What is the big deal with female power? I am all about being an independent and educated woman, but why is it wrong for a woman to actually want to be with a man above anything else? It's a choice and not one to be judged. Men are allowed that choice, and when they make it in novels, it's romantic, not pathetic. Adding anti-feminist as a descriptive term for this novel is really just depriving women of another choice... Tsk, tsk...
Okay, on to the next. Fictional characters can be described in any way the author chooses. So what if Stephenie felt the urge to change how vampires have always been viewed? So what if they sparkle? That's her take on them, and if you want bloodthirsty, evil vampires who stealthily evaporate every human's life-force, don't read a young adult romance novel. Seriously?
As for sappiness and lack of plot, I will admit that Stephenie got a little carried away with descriptions, especially when it came to Edward. Small flaw. Lack of plot? Not sure that's entirely true. I've read that some think the plot took way too long to present itself, however, I think the first of the four in the series is meant to establish Edward and Bella's relationship. He struggles with right and wrong while she frustratingly tries to uncover who he really is. All four books are one huge story, not each one a tale in and of itself. Look at the big picture people....more
Pain is a constant throb throughout this novel, mostly alleviated by the effects of madapple, a hallucinogenic herb that both condemns and frees AslauPain is a constant throb throughout this novel, mostly alleviated by the effects of madapple, a hallucinogenic herb that both condemns and frees Aslaug, a teenage girl secluded from any knowledge of the world outside her home and the fields she forages with her ailing mother. There comes a day, however, when Aslaug is pushed into the world her mother worked so hard to conceal, and Aslaug realizes that her life within the cocoon of her mother’s authority, although mostly a lie, was much safer than the life she’s been forced to swallow. At least she still held on to hope within the lie; at least she knew what to expect. Aslaug doesn’t know what is real anymore and what is a dream – she seems to be looking through eyes that have been fogged over, such as the bloodshot eyes of her mother under the influence of madapple. At a very young age, Aslaug endures appalling cruelties, yet, in the end, she reaps and sews the unconditional love and affection she rarely knew as her mother’s child. Many people seem to think this book revolves around the fractured mind, but I think it’s more about emotional pain, loss, and the resulting reaction. In this novel, the characters turn to fantastical explanations, drugs that dull their tender thoughts, and scientific comparisons to simplify their situations. Everyone seems to wear a mask to conceal their true identity, but little by little their façades are peeled away by the crutches on which they lean to cope with their circumstances. This book is supposed to be geared towards a younger crowd, but I don’t think I would place this novel in the genre of ‘young-adult fiction.’ The content was seen as disturbing by some readers, and although there is a bit of a shock factor, I’ve read of more disconcerting events in reality. The real world can be pretty horrendous, and I don’t see justification for the outrage because someone chose to actually put a piece of it into words. All in all, Madapple is a fantastic read. It took me a bit of patience (a challenge for me) because there are times when the dialogue gets a bit confusing; however, once I got past that, I fully appreciated the beautiful descriptions and details provided by Meldrum. Madapple is uniquely written, combining the turbulence of the human soul, clouded memories, and the odd association of botany and religion. If you have an open mind and can see past the gritty, teeth clenching details of a situation to its core meaning, you will enjoy Christina Meldrum’s Madapple. ...more
I really want to love this book and give it five glowing stars, however, I could only manage to give it three, and I think I'm being generous. I absolI really want to love this book and give it five glowing stars, however, I could only manage to give it three, and I think I'm being generous. I absolutely love the idea upon which this story is based, but as for the story surrounding the idea, well, it's full of wide gaping holes and too many unanswered questions. In addition to that, some of the characters were a bit underdeveloped.
From the beginning of Fallen, Luce agonizes over what happened to her first kiss, Trevor. I kept hoping that there would be some insight as to what actually happened and why. Luce seemed to think it was the shadows, or Announcers, but in Torment Luce discovers that the Announcers are basically harmless beings that just allow sights and portals to the past, so was Trevor burning in flames really their doing? Doesn't really add up. I was hoping this question would be answered in such a way as to tie it to the rest of the story, but it just seems to be an odd little outside event over which Luce tortures herself, yet doesn't really explain why.
Other little things that I thought would have something to do with the story because they took up such big chunks of the book, didn't amount to much of anything. The whole fencing bit where Luce used the advice of the Announcers and seemed to take knowledge of her fencing skills from a previous life to beat Lilith was exciting, and from the way it was portrayed, I though Luce might start to hone in on some of her memories and her knowledge of the past and do something surprising with them. Sadly, my expectations were not met.
I'm not really sure exactly what Luce is supposed to be figuring out at the Shoreline school, what specific truth she is supposed to discover. I know she's trying to glimpse images of her past through the Announcers that Steven and Francesca forbid her from 'messing with,' yet help her for reasons untold. Steven claims its because she will glimpse the Announcers with or without his permission, so she might as well do it safely. However, it also feels like he's pushing her to summon the Announcers, as if he's trying to help her stay on the right path to discovering whatever it is she is at Shoreline to discover. There weren't many answers here.
A lot of readers seem to have a problem with how Daniel treats Luce. I don't think he was trying to 'order her around' like he's the dominant male and she's the cowering, obedient female. He was telling her what to do to keep her safe. Still, I don't understand why he couldn't tell her anything. I understand there seems to be a reason for his silence, but, again, it wasn't explained. So Luce, frustratingly, goes off on her own because she's desperate and miserable, even though she has some inkling of how dangerous her surroundings are and that there are others who are working around the clock to keep her safe.
Luce frustrated me beyond belief. She seemed to be entirely too whiney and selfish. Daniel dropped her off at Shoreline for eighteen whole days, which seemed to be way too long for Luce, with a promise that they would be together when they could. If she claims to love Daniel as much as she says she does, eternally, then why can't she have a little faith, a little trust in him? She acted like it was months, or even years, that he was gone, and she even found a new cute face on which to crush. All this in a matter of a week. Doesn't amount up to 'eternal love.' She doesn't seem to realize, at least for a while, that Daniel has watched her die countless times and has waited seventeen years for her to appear each time. And she thought eighteen days was long. Once she finally realizes the agony Daniel must have gone through, it doesn't even faze her; she blames him for everything that is happening, blames him for loving her, and blames him for the deaths of those around her. She can't decide what she feels or thinks, and it's ten chapters of her going back and forth between claiming their love is untouchable and wondering if she wouldn't be happier with someone else, like Miles. I caught myself yelling at her and having to throw the book down a few times to take a deep breath and count to ten.
And another thing, why bring up Shelby and Daniel's past if it isn't going to have any significance? What did that little bit of information have to do with anything?
We never really find out who the Outcasts really are and what they want with Luce. We know she's their 'price' to get back into Heaven, but how and why? Who is Luce in this confusing story? Why is she important? After the first book, I was super excited to read Torment because I thought these questions would finally be answered, yet all I ran into was disappointment. I still had all the same questions and more after reading the second novel. I understand it's all about keep the readers interested in buying the next book in a series, however, you can't write two books with the same storyline and keep all of us guessing throughout both. I like a little mystery, but this is a little much. The idea is to shed some light in each book, not frustrate readers beyond belief so they'll have to buy the third book just to, hopefully, find out what the heck is going on.
I gave the book three stars because, again, I really love the idea of this book. It's just a shame that it couldn't live up to my expectations. The covers are so beautifully done and the subject matter is so interesting, I just wish the writer would have been a little more clever when it came to tying up loose ends and fitting all her clues together. Instead, everything is a jumbled mess of questions with no answers.
We are born. We discover. We feel. We live. All this time, we never imagine our lives are on a predetermined path that will lead to the alteration ofWe are born. We discover. We feel. We live. All this time, we never imagine our lives are on a predetermined path that will lead to the alteration of everything we've known and will know. Diana Bishop is one such person who, despite her best efforts, is unable to flee from her past, present, or future.
As a historian of science, Diana calls upon ancient manuscripts daily in her organized corner of the Bodleian library at the University of Oxford. As such, Diana does not expect anything out of the ordinary when she calls Ashmole 782, an alchemical manuscript that holds not a little magic and ultimately causes an uproar in the life she thought she could leave behind.
Diana is forced to face herself and who she is, a witch with extraordinary power that other creatures around her question. She soon finds herself threatened because of her unexplored abilities and reluctantly falls under the protection of Matthew, an ancient vampire with a flaring temper and a tendency for over-protectiveness. Despite suspicion of each other, Diana and Matthew fall victim to an unseen force neither expected. Forbidden, their relationship causes the uprising of a formidable enemy, one which will test Diana's restricted power and her newfound love.
Deborah Harkness's debut into the world of fiction is filled with ancient secrets, unknown power, incredible courage, and surprising twists.
Immediately grabbing the reader's attention, the story develops rapidly even though the character's secrets are revealed at a slower pace. (Especially Matthew's, the sneaky devil.) That's not to say the characters do not experience growth, for they do tremendously. Each character is creatively allowed little quirks and imperfections in addition to their noble and magical qualities, giving them a surprisingly realistic persona in a world filled with witches, vampires, and daemons. In addition to that, the characters do not remain stagnant, learning and growing as the story unravels, discovering what is within themselves and each other - changing as a result.
A combination of science, history, and fantasy create this incredibly twisted plot. Harkness doesn't simply fill the book with chaotic revelations just to keep the reader guessing; she reveals new discoveries and kept secrets that allow questions but never misunderstanding, connecting each detail beautifully. As readers, we are forced to wonder if what we initially perceive as good is truly evil, if the impossible can be possible, and if time is merely relative. In the end, we are left thirsting for more and anxiously anticipating what is yet to be unveiled.
Of course, this is the first in a trilogy, so the story does remain unfinished at present. However, A Discovery of Witches leaves us with the promise of an unforgettable sequel, uncovering new truths of the future through the past.
Very much looking forward to more of Deborah Harkness's work.
Even if you're not a huge science fiction fan, you'll like this one.. When reading the little summary you usually come across before actually purchasiEven if you're not a huge science fiction fan, you'll like this one.. When reading the little summary you usually come across before actually purchasing a book, it sounds like something related to The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but I can tell you that this book is more about the beauty of being human than extraterrestrial homewreckers. I know Stephenie is known for her Twilight series, but you really shouldn't overlook her other work. Loved this book-have read it multiple times. ...more
I just finished reading Passion literally 10 minutes ago, and I cannot describe how disappointed Lauren Kate has made me. I was so looking forward toI just finished reading Passion literally 10 minutes ago, and I cannot describe how disappointed Lauren Kate has made me. I was so looking forward to reading this book, not because I loved the first two books, but because I thought we'd finally get some answers and that the situation might begin to make sense. Instead Lauren Kate decided to drag her readers through another excruciating couple hundred pages just to leave them scratching their heads in even more confusion than the last two novels.
Three books later and I'm still not sure what the heck Luce is supposed to figure out about herself. Apparently she's supposed to be learning something new in each life she visits, but it all seems to be a muddled mess of the same situation and chain of events every single time until she realizes Daniel is afraid of her. Even then, we never find out why he’s afraid of her “light.”
I'm glad she finally realizes what Daniel has gone through for thousands of years, as her self-centeredness only allowed her to see the pain she's gone through in the span, of what, a few months or less?
Luce drives me crazy!! She makes ridiculous decisions based on her selfish attitude and the advice of a weird, random little gargoyle who's name is Bill, of all names. She goes back and forth throughout the whole book and it's annoyingly redundant. “I have to let Daniel go…Wait, no, I can’t give up on him.. O but I have to for his sake… O but I can’t…” Really?? Make up your mind…
There were so many things I was hoping would be revealed that were briefly mentioned and tossed to the side – like Lauren Kate was experiencing an extreme attack of ADD while she wrote this novel. We never find out why Luce’s little fling in the woods in the beginning – the whole reason she ended up at Sword and Cross and met Daniel again – went up in flames. Why did that boy die in a fire that Luce apparently unconsciously started, and why does Luce burst into flames every lifetime? I guess it’s a punishment, but I was also led to believe that it’s something inside Luce that puts fear in Daniel’s eyes… Not sure why because that little tidbit is never explained…
The dialogue is completely monotonous and the narration constantly contradicts itself. There is so much going back and forth – Yes…No… – and so much build up that the readers are left flat when there are finally some revelations - if that’s what you want to call them. We still don’t know the basis of Luce’s and Daniel’s love. They go back in time 6,000 years, so you’d think Lauren would have the decency of giving us a glimpse as to how and why they fell so deeply in love in the first place. The reason for the curse is no surprise and the so-called “loophole” in the curse, that supposedly has more to it than just the fact that Luce Price was never baptized, ends up being what we thought it was from the beginning. It’s like Kate wanted to make the curse so much more complicated and in-depth than it ended up being – always giving cryptic little hints here and there that never amounted to anything significant. In the end, it seemed she couldn’t keep up with her own story, severely letting her readers down.
There are many other problems I had with this book, such as the …drumroll… “revelation” of Lucifer and his entire conversation with her… the fact that the ending made absolutely no sense and wasn’t any kind of conclusion whatsoever for the events of the entire book… the fact that almost every other character we had gotten to know in the first two books were practically nonexistent… and so on and so forth… you get the point…
Anyway, the only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one is because I love the idea and concept upon which this book was based. It’s really a shame that it was ruined by poor planning, lack of editing, and just plain bad writing. It really had awesome potential… ...more