A copy of Red Moon was provided to me by Grand Central Publishing/Netgalley for review purposes.
'Plagues don't just kill people - and that's what loboA copy of Red Moon was provided to me by Grand Central Publishing/Netgalley for review purposes.
'Plagues don't just kill people - and that's what lobos is, a plague - they kill humanity.'
Red Moon deals with an alternate world history, one where lycans are real and all are aware of their existence. The story is told from several different points-of-view and spans several years. At its core, Red Moon is about xenophobia, racial discrimination and acts of terrorism, a subject that can be applied to today's world even when you remove the lycan factor. It touches on several genres, but ends up ultimately being a blend of horror and dystopian.
With the multiple story lines, various points of view and length of elapsed time from the first to final page, Red Moon seemed like an attempt to write the lycan/werewolf version of 'The Twelve'; key word attempt. The writing ended up being excessively descriptive and lacked a flow which left it feeling forced, like the author was attempting to incorporate poetry but resulted in an overall clunky feel. For example:
"He feels the snow of the Republic weighing him down and he feels the darkness of the grave pressing around the fire and infecting his vision so that there seems to be no separation between the living and the dead, a child born with a mud wasp's nest for a heart and its eyes already pocketed with dust, ready to be clapped into a box and dropped down a hole."
The strange way things were described: "She strikes a match and drops it on the burner and a blue flare the size of a child foomps to life[...]" "She is sitting on a rock the size of a buffalo skull [...]" "He imagines what his blood would taste like. Like cherry cough syrup."
Then the occasional line(s) that caused some eye-rolling: 'He hears a dripping and looks down to see the blood pooling from the open door. The blood of Trevor, uncorked by a bullet. It melts the snow into a red slushy pattern that reminds him of those Rorschach inkblot tests. What does he see? The fate that awaits him if he does not act.' and 'He consults his GPS one more time before finding the center and parking his bike on the wrong side of the street in front of a fire hydrant. Sometimes it feels good to be so wrong.'
And these lines just irritated me: 'A black man named Jessie with half his teeth missing.' 'The black man, Jessie, says, "Why are you telling him that?"' 'The black man's chest is rising and falling with the rhythms of sleep.'
The first sentence is the initial introduction of Jessie and describing him as such isn't an issue. It's the subsequent sentences that irritated me. Simply calling him Jessie would've been perfectly fine.
I will give Percy major credit, his evident research worked magnificently in bringing this alternate world to life and making the lycans existence all the more real. 'All known prion diseases affect the brain and neural tissue, creating vasuoles in the nerve fibers that eventually lesion and degenerate into spongiform encephalopathy.' Detailed scientific explanations are given throughout the story and while they weren't always easy to interpret (and caused extensive Google searching) it was refreshing to see some legitimate research being put into the world-building.
The ending is not tied up nicely with a pretty little bow, but I actually preferred the open to interpretation ending and I don't usually. Despite this, I still believe Red Moon to be a standalone novel. In my opinion the author was trying to convey the situation as one that doesn't ever truly end, that it's an ongoing problem and doesn't have an easy solution. I think giving it the 'perfect ending' would have been far too unrealistic. Setting aside my issue with the excessive descriptive writing style, I still really enjoyed the physics of the story. Benjamin Percy is definitely an author with a talent for storytelling.
Recommended for fans of The Passage by Justin Cronin and The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (although both are vampire novels) and readers looking for a literary story with paranormal elements.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars A copy of Club Monstrosity was provided to me by Pocket Star/Edelweiss for review purposes.
In the basement of the Holy Heart chMy rating: 3 of 5 stars A copy of Club Monstrosity was provided to me by Pocket Star/Edelweiss for review purposes.
In the basement of the Holy Heart church a group of individuals meet for Monstofelldosis (MFD) Anonymous meetings. These meetings are basically the most dysfunctional support group, as all of these eclectic individuals are monsters. Real. Life. Monsters. Natalie is one of Frankenstein’s creations, Alec is a werewolf, Kai is a mummy, and, well, you get the picture. Their support groups leader is Bob, otherwise known as the Blob, and when he turns up missing they all join together to find out what happened to one of their own. When it's discovered that he died in the same way he died in the books and movies they realize their covers are blown and they have no idea who they're coming for next.
I loved the highly original idea behind this one, a group of monsters struggling to live among humans? Each of the monsters/characters had their own leading role and they were all entertaining in their own way. A total count of eight monsters made appearances and it'll be fun to see new monster additions in future installments of this series. Club Monstrosity has humor, a mystery and even a bit of romance. This was a fun, light-hearted read that was an entertaining start to a new series.
'For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.'
Forever: the final installment'For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.'
Forever: the final installment in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and the final story of Grace and Sam.
Final Thoughts Despite struggling profusely with this one there is no denying this was still a beautifully written story. Maggie's writing appears flawless and effortless... the words simply flow.
The Bottom Line As you can see by my rating, Forever didn't leave me with the warm fuzzies I had after Linger and especially after Shiver. It was too jumbled for me and a bit lacking in overall focus. I think that this is primarily due to the multi-POVs that didn't work for me this time around even though there were just about as many in Linger... it just made the story feel all over the place.
Too much time was spent focusing on Isabel and Cole when I desperately needed/wanted more about Grace and Sam. It also seemed like there was too much extra information being doled out that was distracting from the main storyline. Bottom line: it felt very forced.
The Romance I didn't feel the strong connection that I was used to between Grace and Sam (view spoiler)[like the Grace proposing to Sam scene? Could have been done so much better... it was completely unromantic in my opinion. (hide spoiler)] And I found it strange how Grace/Sam would be thinking about how much they loved him/her or how much they missed him/her when separated yet they never really showed it. I realize that it was done so in a way to show that they both know and understand each other so much that actions aren't required but being a bite more vocal about it would have brought back the warm fuzzies for me. :)
Despite my issues I'm still glad that I finally read these stories and experienced Maggie's writing firsthand. Even though Grace and Sam's story is officially over it will be hard to ever forget it.
'And then I did laugh, even though the future was a dangerous place, because I loved her, and she loved me, and the world was beautiful.'["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
'This is a love story. I never knew there were so many kinds of love or that love could make people do so many different things. I never knew there wer'This is a love story. I never knew there were so many kinds of love or that love could make people do so many different things. I never knew there were so many different ways to say goodbye.'
Grace has never been sick a day in her life since the wolves attacked her when she was a child. Lately, she's been plagued by a constant headache and a fever that burns deep and has her fearing that this is much more than just the flu. Sam, now human despite the brutal Minnesota cold, still feels as if it's too good to be true.
Cole is one of the new wolves that Beck turned before he changed for the last time. Cole was an interesting and multi-faceted character. An ex-rock star in his pre-wolf life that was a junkie on the road to disaster. When he was approached by Beck he agreed to the change seeking a respite from the life he had created for himself. Sam and Grace shared the stage with the introduction of the growing attraction between Isabelle and Cole. I found the two couples to be vastly different yet managed to complement each other in the story wonderfully.
Maggie's writing remains vibrant and beautiful. There's really no other way to explain it... simple yet not. She's an amazing writer. I especially loved the small snippets we were given of Sam's poetry/song writing abilities.
'I'm an equation that only she solves/these X's and Y's by other names called/My way of dividing is desperately flawed/as I multiply days without her'
The ending of Linger left me with little doubt that I needed to start Forever immediately. I needed to know the ending to the story even though I have a distinct feeling that it's going to break my heart. Here's hoping I'm wrong. :)...more
Thank you to Orbit for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Expected publication: July 3rd 2012 by Orbit
This is one of thThank you to Orbit for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Expected publication: July 3rd 2012 by Orbit
This is one of those hodgepodge of genres that is usually a catastrophic mess in my opinion. This wasn't exactly catastrophic but it wasn't anything excellent. In 'God Save the Queen' we've got vampires, werewolves, goblins, 'halvies', with steampunk and Victorian elements (think Gail Carriger's 'Parasol Protectorate series'...also worth note is a group of individuals contracted as guards for the aristocrats entitled the Peerage Protectorate. Hmm.)
I've grown to dread starting a brand new series because of the probability of huge info-dumps that occur when explaining a brand new world. When not done well it can really hurt the overall story. The massive info-dumps occurred in the beginning but were clumsily mixed with the actual storyline of main character Xandra so while you're trying to figure out who she is, where she's going, and why... you're also trying to sort through the strange world and the society and the Prometheus protein aka 'the plague' and... it could have been done better in my opinion.
The writing in general left something to be desired; with the story set in Britain it was inconsistently 'British' with only the occasional British word thrown in for good measure, it wasn't a true Steampunk in my opinion as there were just simply references to some gadgets and nothing more, and it had the feel of a YA novel except for a few dirty scenes. I wasn't surprised to find out that the author 'Kate Locke' is also YA author 'Kady Cross'.
The class system was a bit distasteful how the aristocrats were the supreme beings, then next were the halvies which basically were born to be protectors, and then the humans. It reminded me a bit of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series how the dhampirs were born to protect the Moroi's but I don't remember straight disliking the class system; I don't think that it was made as blatant that they were beneath the Moroi's. The halvies treated the aristos with a sense of awe that was a bit awkward.
The inevitable relationship with the two main characters was done all sorts of wrong. Sure, you ended up loving the two together but the whole introductory period was completely missing. If you're going to have a character in a book have a one-night stand then treat it as such. It's completely unrealistic and downright ridiculous that after sleeping together that you end up a couple without even having a discussion about it and he's making you breakfast and meeting your family and... I had whiplash. And a headache from all the eye-rolling.
The one saving grace for me was that I felt a semblance of originality finally bloom before the book ended. I was left intrigued and I will say that it was an overall enjoyable story, but didn't bring enough of anything 'new' to garner a higher rating. I will be interested to see how this series continues to develop in the second installment The Queen Is Dead....more
I read this short little novella (free!) immediately after book 4 and it worked out perfect because this story acts almost like a deleted scene, justI read this short little novella (free!) immediately after book 4 and it worked out perfect because this story acts almost like a deleted scene, just from Curran’s point of view. It’s actually the perfect accompaniment following the completion of book 4. Even though book 4 didn’t leave you with any lingering questions, this novella provided additional scenes that answered questions you didn’t know you had. ...more
A tiny yet enjoyable little tidbit. I liked it but considering that it didn't exactly add anything to the original story, just told it from a differenA tiny yet enjoyable little tidbit. I liked it but considering that it didn't exactly add anything to the original story, just told it from a different point of view, I didn't rate it as highly. Still recommended for any Kate Daniels fans. :)...more
I first listened to this and not sure if it was the narrator or the fact that I was super new to audiobooks but I'm going to give this one another shoI first listened to this and not sure if it was the narrator or the fact that I was super new to audiobooks but I'm going to give this one another shot in print.. someday....more
'I didn't think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, wa'I didn't think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, waiting for me to follow, I knew I'd do anything to stay with her.'
There was something incredibly beautiful about Maggie Stiefvater's writing style... I found myself completely mesmerized. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for beautifully written stories that fill me with a deep longing... and this one definitely did it. Sam and Grace's passion was palpable and heartbreaking. These too definitely had a connection that lacked an easy explanation; it just was.
As this is the first time I've read Shiver, I've heard opinions about this book from every end of the spectrum. The one that stuck out the most for me was that it was 'Twilight' rewritten if Bella were to have went with Jacob instead of Edward. Being that I have now personally read 'Shiver' and can formulate my own opinion I can see some slight similarities but there was a depth to the characters and the story itself that was sorely lacking in Twilight... plus the writing itself was on a completely different level.
Incredibly enjoyable, I loved every minute of it. I can't help but wonder though what the next installment will bring. If I didn't know that the second (and third) book was already released I would have been completely content with how this story ended. I suppose we shall see. :)
'I closed my eyes. For a brief moment I wished with all my heart that he was just a normal boy, so that I could storm away with my pride and indignation. But he wasn't. He was as fragile as a butterfly in autumn, waiting to be destroyed by the first frost.'...more
’Magic could not be measured and explained in scientific terms, for magic grew through destroying the very natural principlesMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
’Magic could not be measured and explained in scientific terms, for magic grew through destroying the very natural principles that made science as people knew it possible.’
So I finally got around to reading about this ‘Kate Daniels’ I’ve heard so much about. I found the world building to be extremely choppy and confusing, but by the end it started coming together and making more sense. I won’t bother trying to explain it to you though; I would only fail miserably so instead I’ll just tell you what I thought about the book.
This story was quite a bit more gruesome than I was expecting! Quite a few eww moments. I’ll share a few with you:
’Garbage fell, revealing yellow bones and shreds of rotting oozing putrid juices.’ ‘The flesh and cartilage parted before the blade and I pulled her rib cage open like a bear trap.’ ‘The vamp must have been turned on its side to allow the stringy clot of its nearly atrophied intestines to fall out.’ And my personal favorite: ‘Slayer sliced through decaying tissue in a spray of putrid sluice.’
I think by now you get the picture. Haha!
The author(s) also had an interesting and original take on vampires.
’Homo sapiens immortuus, a vampire. The vampires knew no pity and no fear; they couldn’t be trained; they had no ego. On a developmental level they stood close to insects, possessing a nervous system and yet incapable of forming thoughts.’
Definitely a diversion from the norm, and like Maja stated in her review, it was not one that I particularly enjoyed as I’m quite the vampire lover (the normal vampires that is).
I loved the characters and oh how wonderful it is to find another snarky and spirited female character in the world of Urban Fantasy. Kate is my new best friend; definitely my kinda girl. Despite the fact that ‘snarky’ is slowly becoming commonplace is many novels I read these days, I must say, I’m not getting tired of it at all. Derek was also an enjoyable additional character.
"Derek, never ever tell a woman that someone is prettier than her. You'll make an enemy for life." "You're funnier than she is. And you hit harder." "Oh, thank you. Please, continue to reinforce the fact that she's more attractive. If you say that I have a better personality, you'll find out how hard I can hit."
And of course I could never forget Curran. :) Rawr. I took an immediate liking to him, despite the fact that he can’t hammer for shit. :D I look forward to seeing what happens between the two of them. AND finding out what the hell Kate is! Ack!
I must say I was quite impressed overall and am really looking forward to continuing the series....more
Okay so the main character Evie is like some Paranormal Agent for the International Paranormal Contaimment Agency (IPCA). Right off the bat this bookOkay so the main character Evie is like some Paranormal Agent for the International Paranormal Contaimment Agency (IPCA). Right off the bat this book reminded me of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series…just with a vampire here and a mermaid there. It’s an easy read but I have a hard time with YA novels that are extremely immature. For example, one of the intro lines about her taser is pink with rhinestones and named Tasey. That was almost too much for me.
The story continues with Evie doing her job to capture paranormals and bring them back to the agency for their protection or if they’re wreaking havoc on humans. All kinds of paranormals too; werewolves, vampires, mermaids, shapeshifters, banshees… hags? There’s also an underlying story about Evie and her kind of ex-boyfriend faerie. I found him extremely creepy and didn’t like him one bit. Or Raquel. That woman sighed way too damn much.
Once the story picked up around the halfway point, it actually got pretty interesting, but there was just something about this story that didn’t click with me. Not sure what exactly. Maybe it was the continued reference to Tasey and her pink knife.
The Storyline Regeane is a half-Saxon and half-Frankish woman without a father; her mother, Gisela is tInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
The Storyline Regeane is a half-Saxon and half-Frankish woman without a father; her mother, Gisela is the cause of his death. After Gisela discovers that Woflstan, Regeane’s father, is a shape shifter and is able to take the form of a wolf she is convinced by her brother Gundabald that he must be the devils child and must be killed. Gisela is thankful that her daughter doesn’t appear to have any of the traits of her father; however, when she gets older she gains the ability to change into a wolf as well. Regeane had an extremely hard life as her mother attempted to ‘fix her’ and forces her to drink concoctions, pray for hours on end, and to swear that she would never change into the wolf. Nothing works.
When Gisela dies, Regeane is left in the care of Gundabald and his son Hugo who treat her horribly by keeping her locked in her room, feeding her scraps, and barely passable clothing. Gundabald informs her one day that she is to be wed to a wealthy mountain lord named Maeniel. Scared for her life she runs away from Gundabald and seeks solace in the care of Lucilla, the Pope’s mistress. Lucilla learns of her secret and promises to keep her as safe as possible from having her future-husband discover it as well. As Regeane says regarding Maeniel:
”I don’t plan to love him. I plan to survive him.”
The Characters The characters were positively vibrant. Regeane was the epitome of strength and smart beyond her years. My favorite though? Maeniel. He has his own secrets just as Regeane and you can’t help but be entranced by him as well. Read it, you’ll see exactly what I mean. :) Regeane and Maeniel didn’t meet until close to the end of the book, but the passion and love that developed between the two was well worth the wait.
Just a Note I feel the need to write a word of warning for this novel. Many of you who have briefly scanned over the summary of this novel and said, “Oooh! Werewolves!” Stop and listen before you read this, end up severely disappointed and end up rating it all kinds of awful. This is what I like to call a ‘big girl book’. You will not find any melodrama here nor any love triangles. The main character may be a teen girl; however, you will not find any typical YA storylines here. I think a lot of people have the wrong expectations when going into this book. This is like, werewolves being thrown into a Game of Thrones or Mists of Avalon type storyline. Very mature writing, very mature situations, just with a teen girl that turns into a wolf.
This book has been on my bookshelf for YEARS. Being a huge fan of Anne Rice I had always wanted to read her sisters writing as well. Yep, Alice Borchardt is the sister of Anne Rice. But as far as my first experience with Alice Borchardt’s writing? I was not disappointed in the least. This was truly a book to be savored rather than gulped down, so don’t let the fact that it took me forever to read it discourage you.
This was a very detailed and intricate story that was beautiful in its intensity. Alice Borchardt was an extremely talented writer and it’s a shame that she isn’t around to continue creating beautiful stories. I finished this book with a smile on my face and will most definitely be reading more from her soon.
My Favorite Quote "Love is eternal. That is its terror and its final beauty. Love never ends. The joy may go out of it, and, in time, even the pain may end. But it lingers like a living thing and follows you every moment of your life." ...more