Starting off this book, I was a little taken back by the opening of it with the character, Stanley. Total sleazy creep - slacker of**spoiler alert**
Starting off this book, I was a little taken back by the opening of it with the character, Stanley. Total sleazy creep - slacker of a B-horror movie producer who stumbled upon a Grimoire in the Goodwill, of all unlikely places. He immediately sets to using it, accidentally of course, as he begins to reanimate a stuffed duck in his home. Once he discovers his ability to reanimate dead bodies, his evil genius plan begins. Remember Stanley is an idiotic sleaze, so his master plan is really quite simply, world domination, one bad, and slightly disgusting, plan after another. He even has creepy sex, but luckily us readers are only spared by hearing one detail of it, and it's told after the fact so we don't have to really visual it along with sleazy Stanley.
Nick, the lych detective, and main character is introduced to the readers as a very ancient supernatural. His character describes the authors world of vampyres, lychs, zombyes (were they spelled this way? there was little mention of zombies, but...) Everything the author describes as being "real" in this story was spelled with a "y" to differentiate between what most of society commonly believes to be real about these supernaturals, and what is actually real. This cracked me up a little, because back in my teens, my friends and I used the same exact logic of spelling those things with a "y". Nick describes this all to Elphaba, his witch companion and assistant. I was a little disappointed that as a practicing witch in a coven, Elphaba wasn't empowered at all, in fact she had little knowledge of any of the supernatural world, which is hard to believe since she is firstly, a witch, and secondly, we are led to feel that she's been working with him for some time so why does she know so little of this world that Nick knows so much about?
Nick is written as a dramatically sweeping kind of character. He's kind, he's chosen good over evil, and he has been around for so long that he has even known some very famous humans in history (more on that later). To increase his presence, he constantly uses phrases and endearments in other languages, but it makes him come across, to me, as a bit of a show-off because they are almost always a different language than the last one, and they just don't feel like it fits. His FBI friend, John, along with Elphaba seem quite like the groupies to he who is Nick, and that part doesn't feel believable to me.
The writing isn't bad overall but it's execution of dialogue is too simplistic in how Nick just educates us all on how it really works in the world. I think part of the trouble is the writing does not lend me to feel invested in the characters, they still felt like characters until the end of the book. There is a moment where you have to make the readers really believe in what's happening, no matter how unrealistic it can be, and because I'm not drawn into the world and taking the characters seriously, it didn't happen.
Nick comes across as feeling that he's so calm and intelligent, but he makes poor choices throughout the story, in order for Stanley to be written as having a reason to gain more power, and this contrast of the ridiculous Stanley who is attempting world domination with an enchanted beer mug, and remote control doesn't mesh enough to make it cohesive. One concept, either serious Nick or comically sleazy Stanley would have worked better to make me get into the story. I was really following pretty good, enjoying it's silliness until about 30% in, when Nick decided to abruptly tell us his story about how he helped bring Rasputin to power in an effort to showcase the characters age and importance in always being around in history. After that portion, it took me until about 80% in, when Nick brought Elphaba to his fortress and suddenly it got interesting again. Sadly, we had to go back and visit Stanley's incompetent war at the high school and get goofy again.
There were a couple of parts where Nick and Elphaba suddenly broke character in the story from how they had been built up so far. Instead of it being a sudden victory in personal power (where Elphaba suddenly saves everyone by reading from the Grimoire to stop Stanley and unfreeze Nick, as well as deanimate everything else), or a quick, dark moment that developed Nicks character further (where he abruptly decided to euthanize Dwaynes family by taking their life force to save them from suffering from the fact that Dwayne had died) they just seemed like very uncharacteristic moments from how these characters had thus far been developed. Perhaps it was because there was not enough cause written into why and how they suddenly deviated from their usual paths in action? I'm not sure of how long the book was, but it read pretty quickly during the times I was reading so I would guess under 200 pages. This might be part of the issue I had; that there wasn't enough dialogue to bring some of the parts to a believable fruition.
I did appreciate the mention of Harry Potter, D & D, & WoW. Definitely I got the impression the author was wanting to prove his personal opinion that people that like Twilight and kids who imitate it know nothing of the "real" world of Vampyres. Luckily for us, Nick, Lych PI does right? :)
This would make a good B-movie premise, and probably TV supernatural show if the elements were combined cohesively (or maybe not!). I just wasn't sure if I was supposed to be reading a parody of vampire stories, or taking Nick's explanations of the supernatural world seriously.
Wow, there is a lot to process in this story... the direction of the characters is drastically different from what they were doing, say 7 book ago. YoWow, there is a lot to process in this story... the direction of the characters is drastically different from what they were doing, say 7 book ago. You can say that's life though, and this is completely normal to evolve and change.
I feel like so many people are disappointed in the direction of the story because it's no longer that happy little light and sassy book you could pick up and read, expecting laughter, tons of sex, lots of blood and crazy shit every chapter. In many regards it reminds me of some of her other series in the mood of the book. Although....
Be prepared that this story is moodier and sadder than any of the other Sookie Stackhouse mysteries. It's grown up a lot, well, Sookie has grown up. She's been through an amazing number of outlandish adventures, and has had some very tough relationship issues. Heartbreak, friends & family dying, and it's bound to affect a person.
I just finished this story, and I'm left feeling really sad. Sookie's got such relationship troubles, not the usual funny kind she used to have. Just... it's sad how her and Eric aren't even really talking anymore. To show how different these stories are from before, there was not one time that Sookie or anyone that I can think of had sex in this book. Now, from the other stories, that's practically shocking. I can see how some of the fans are disappointed. This more serious and meaningful story maybe wasn't what they were anticipating. Some people read to escape, and to dream of what they wish they could do or have in life, not to see the struggles and pain others go through. This book may not end up being for everyone who was a longtime fan in that regard.
I can't wait to read the next installment. I'm happy with the direction that Charlaine Harris has taken her characters. I want to know what happens after Sam and Sookie got home, and what's going on with the Queen of Oklahoma and what the hell is going to happen to all of these people. I've been reading about them for so long, I care about what they're going through, and where they are going to end up. One thing I always like is that I can relate to what Sookie goes through or feels. There's a brevity to her pain this time, it used to be more of a joke in the sarcastic way it was portrayed. Now you actually really can feel more of her pain, and that might just not feel funny anymore, but it's a great way to bring a character to life and make you see how things affect people instead of just laughing and assuming they can just keep amusing you.
There are major steps in the characters lives, but I don't want to go into it and reveal parts of the story in a spoiler. But there is a lot happening, and I feel like this book is a bit of a transition to the next aspect of the residents of Bon Temps.
I'll be honest though, when I first started reading, I was feeling a little drab mood from the book. I was waiting for all the excitement that always used to jump out of a Sookie book. Then I started to think about how many books there are, this is book #12. How long can one character believably just have crazy shit happen and never move onto something else? Without the series just becoming an entire joke? Look as what the HBO series did to the story. They took it and made it outlandish with absurd shit that didn't even happen anywhere in the books.
As an author, would I want to keep writing stories that just end up being taken so lightly? Maybe it was time for the characters to evolve, grow up, and move on? Maybe it was time for me to reset my thinking to neutral for this story. So I could enjoy it, stop judging it and trying to compare it to what Sookie books used to be. I decided to evolve with it. I ended up really really liking it. The writing is great, she's even improved upon not repeating everything the characters used to do and reminding readers about it. That was a little peeve of mine in some of the books around book #8. Her writing is tight, the story and plot are there, and I'm looking forward to book #13.
This story starts off with 8th grader, Vladimir Tod, who is definitely not the virile, strong vampire character most are accustomed to. I think that tThis story starts off with 8th grader, Vladimir Tod, who is definitely not the virile, strong vampire character most are accustomed to. I think that this is what will make this story endearing to young readers, and likely adults as well. That is, if you ever knew what it was like to be the outcast, and have to move through society with a secret.
It's a YA novel, so the plotline is simple, but I don't feel it draws away from the story being a great read. It's love interest isn't treacly, and there's nothing that would be inappropriate for kids reading this book. I say that because my 4th grader wanted to read this series, most likely because he shares a first name with the main character and was fascinated by that.
The characters deviate from where other YA novels go; this novel has a teen character that had a great relationship with his parents. He's a regular teen that doesn't always do the best in school, doesn't date all the most popular girls, and all the other kids refer to him as "goth boy" (not his own perception of himself nor is he really even anywhere near being goth. They simply do not know how else to label him).
It's a real, sometimes angst-ridden, but overall very funny and enjoyable tale that moves you through Vladimir's life, his relationship with his best friend Henry, and his "Aunt" Nelly. She is actually the best friend of his mother, but is now his guardian as his parents died in a tragic accident 3 year prior.
Hopefully the next books will expand more on the vampire legend and world, as this books takes a different approach than others I've read in the past. Looking forward to the next in the series to learn more about The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.
Great first book for author Heather Brewer... I love her style already.
Starting off the review, with a note from the author, found at the end of the book: "Most of the Hallows mentioned in this novel still exist, as do theStarting off the review, with a note from the author, found at the end of the book: "Most of the Hallows mentioned in this novel still exist, as do the group of people known as the Hallowed Keepers."
Wow, I was surprised by the overtone of darkness and the grisly nature of this novel. I wasn't expecting it since Michael Scott last wrote "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" which is a kids series. This is definitely an adult novel in such contrast, with the magical rites using sex, torturous ritual, and lots of bloodshed. However, compared to other adult novels that involve murders and mystery it's not unusual. I would classify it as supernatural/adult fiction/fantasy, maybe a little horror in it as well. Nothing frightening though, you can definitely sleep at night after reading it.
I love that the author has studied mythology and folklore, because the tie-ins to religious mythology such as the number thirteen relating to the thirteen names of God, and the Hallows, regular items that were imbued with power, being the keys to locking away the demons that used to roam this earth before man existed.
The story itself is written in excellent form. It's well-edited and the story is absolute. It's a bit predictable in how it's all going to end up, but the details of how it all goes down along the way is different many other novels of it's genre so that is a major plus. The authors historical knowledge of folklore from many walks of religion (Christianity to Pagan) is wonderfully tied together to weave a tale that makes you realize that there really is no good or evil, just power and energy and how each individual chooses to wield. Personal choice is what it always comes down to. Then, and now. Picking otherwise is just an illusion of immunity (and often superiority).
The writing is a little dry to me, and some parts of the book seem somewhat dull and unnecessary. Overall, a good read in the end, especially to those that enjoy mythology, history, and the supernatural....more
This was a delightful ghost story, and a quick read. I didn't find myself getting too drawn into the characters lives, but I did enjoy the story enougThis was a delightful ghost story, and a quick read. I didn't find myself getting too drawn into the characters lives, but I did enjoy the story enough to want to keep reading it and find out who the mysterious drowned ghost was and why she was appearing.
It was a nice touch to have it be set in the mid 1800's, as the historical factor was definitely a positive draw for the storyline. The mother in this story is horrid, as in most young adult fiction, but it is saved as Violet has a dear companion Collin, and her newly found Lord Jasper to help keep an eye on her.
Overall, a great little ghost story to read. Simple, easy to read, and an enjoyable tale for lovers of ghost stories. It's nothing fancy, nothing to write home about, but good nontheless....more
Mmmm, this book is funny! I am loving Rosemary Clement-Moore's writing so far. The dialogue between sisters Amy and Phin is just great!..... my kind oMmmm, this book is funny! I am loving Rosemary Clement-Moore's writing so far. The dialogue between sisters Amy and Phin is just great!..... my kind of story so far.
Interestingly, and much to my joy, this book has ghosts, magic, a mysterious skeleton unearthed, and an archaeological dig going on from the first 20% of the book. All favorite elements of mine! I'm loving the manner in which the author ties in the aspects of this tale. It's so believable, and honest. The main character Amy is strong, yet realistic with her own vulnerabilities, and is so easy to relate to.
The author so easily understands what it's like to be that "different" one, trying to not really fit in, but just trying to not draw any attention to herself or her family; Staying under that radar. She really nails that feeling in the character Amy. Then, on the other hand, the sister Phin, is just the opposite. She never minds making remarks that will get her looks from all the mainstreamers that don't understand anything outside their scope. Phin doesn't try to stand out, she just doesn't even think about trying to fit in. Being yourself and being unafraid of societies reaction to you is refreshing. Once you have the cognitive realization that you are different and others might not be warm to that, it seems to allow them to affect you. In this book, the author so clearly shows those two opposing traits in the sisters, but in a realistic way that shows she really understands how it feels to be in that place and isn't just writing about a topic that people hear "different types" have to go through. It's not whiny, it's not apologetic, it just IS. I love the manner in which she writes it.
The setting's in small town Texas, and she weaves Southern flair into the story, without alienating those that aren't from or familiar with the south. It's a southern-based novel that's not out to be a southern-only club with inside jokes. Her flow on personalities and life are well-done. I would imagine the only people that might feel on the outside reading this, are the ones that spend their time making fun of non-traditionals and those that are different. I also imagine that they likely wouldn't pick the book up anyhow, with a title that has "Gothic" in it and talks of (kitchen) witches and magic, dead bodies, and ghosts.
The one aspect I didn't like was Amy's allowance of others to make her feel guilty. She too often let them decide how she would react to a situation, and took all of the internal blame on situations. Gratefully, by the end of the story, I felt that she redeemed herself by finally deciding she was no longer going to be that person....more
I've had such trouble getting into this book. It's really, well, boring. Truly, the words are so silly... and I'm a romantic person by nature. I'm thiI've had such trouble getting into this book. It's really, well, boring. Truly, the words are so silly... and I'm a romantic person by nature. I'm thinking it would appeal to girls that are lost in wanting a tormented lover. I've had them, they suck in real life, it's really not so cool. If you loved Twilight, deeply, and g-rated truly, you will probably love this.
I'm thinking the main character Grace suffers from Stockholm syndrome, where she's obsessed with her attacker, that's now become her stalker. She's also a little bit of a stalker too. She's listless, tormented, melodramatic in an apathetic manner. Her parents are awful, they ignore her, and are complete bumbleheads; too dumb to pay attention to their daughter because they are obsessed with their own lives: it's every woeful emo girls dream. It's like she wants the world to feel sorry for her, and yet at the same time, just leave her the hell alone. So she can stalk her wolf that she's in love with. Before she realizes he's actually a werewolf and could even be non-beastual boyfriend material.
Well, I tried to get into this book because I saw it had such great reviews (then i read a little more on it), and it has beautiful artwork on the cover. I cringed inside with embarrassment when I read the blurb on the back, then stubbornly tried to keep at reading it. Cheesy non-romantic stuff... Real romance isn't built upon guys that have issues, try to eat you, and where you ignore everyone in the world except your guy.
I just wasn't into it. I guess I'm too old, and too concerned with a story of some entertaining substance as well as not being into screwed-up impossible relationship concepts....more