Bone Season is the very definition of hype. The Marketing team was working overtime to promote the first inHype: to promote or publicize extravagantly
Bone Season is the very definition of hype. The Marketing team was working overtime to promote the first installment in a proposed seven-book series. Not only was the story itself hyped up but the author herself, being promoted as the next J.K. Rowling. Considering who J.K. Rowling is, that is not a term to be throwing around lightly. The rights to the film have already been purchased as well. Unfortunately, I think in the long run the Marketing team did this book a disservice because I was honestly expecting a masterpiece and while The Bone Season was a magical and imaginative world, it wasn’t as original as it was made out to be.
The premise is not easily to summarize. The main character is Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker, a rare type of clairvoyant. In the world she lives in, clairvoyants must hide their gifts to survive because the security force Scion forbids their existence. When Paige is captured she believes it was Scion but she finds herself in the lost city of Oxford and that it’s being controlled by the Rephaim, an otherworldly race that enslaves voyants so they can utilize their gifts.
I can’t even begin to explain my disappointment because of how excited I was for this book. I struggled to finish this. I first started reading this in print and had an awful time absorbing the details of the world-building. It’s a serious info-dump and while many people urged me to continue because it got easier to understand, it just never really did for me. In addition to the info-dump style of explaining this vast world, to add further confusion it felt like there was an entire language created for this story. There are 10 full pages of glossary in the back describing these terms and you will need to reference the glossary if you have any hope of this story making any bit of sense. Flatches? That’s money. Bunter? A young woman. Threnody? A series of words used to banish spirits. You get the picture.
Setting aside my vast confusion was my irritation at the writing style and how it’s written in short, choppy sentences. That was one of the main reasons I switched to audio because I was seeing. far. too. many. freaking. periods.The audio still possessed that jerky feel and while the writing itself and the words utilized were fine it lacked a much needed refinement. A few examples:
"My vision turned black. I’d just possessed David. Only for a heartbeat, but I’d moved his arm. I had finally possessed a human. David put his hands to his head. I hadn’t been gentle." and "Maybe I should do it. This was my chance to get rid of him. I’d killed before. I could do it again." and "I don’t know. I just want you with me. I had never said those words aloud. Now that I could taste my freedom I wanted him to share it with me. But he couldn’t change his life for me. And I couldn’t sacrifice my life to be with him."
The characters were pretty unremarkable and when a few of them died I was fairly shocked to realize that I couldn’t have cared less. The only backstory given was on the main character, Paige, and while we’re clearly meant to care about several other characters that played a large part I apparently failed to do so. I must give points though, Paige was an appropriately realistic character which isn’t often found in fantasy type stories like this. Most main characters are either extremely stupid or incredibly badass and I found Paige to be an acceptable mix of the two because she was smart yet made mistakes and badass yet was scared when appropriate. She didn’t win any awards as a favorite character of mine but I blame that solely on the unnecessary and ridiculous romance that had to be thrown in the mix.
The Warden. Dun dun dun. The Warden is Paige’s keeper and is responsible for her training in order to become of use to the Rephaim. He’s naturally extremely handsome and he puts himself in situations that forces Paige to save his life and… I’m fairly certain you could guess the outcome. The Warden reminded me GREATLY of The Darkling in Shadow and Bone and once I became set on that thought I realized that the majority of this book felt extremely similar. It can be argued that Bone Season is vastly more detailed but it’s excessively detailed and while I would typically say that I prefer more detail than not enough that is not the case with this story.
This book already has a whole slew of fans so I’m clearly in the minority but this story was unnecessarily busy and overly complicated for my liking. This is the first book in a series and the ending definitely sets the scene for the next installment, but unfortunately I won’t be joining in on that bit of fun once it’s released....more
'I knew the world was out there. I just didn't see a place for myself in it. And even if there might be, I had no idea how to go about finding it. It n'I knew the world was out there. I just didn't see a place for myself in it. And even if there might be, I had no idea how to go about finding it. It never occurred to me that the world might come find me - and that without me lifting a finger to make it happen, one day my life would change, completely and forever. But it did. And this is the story of it.'
Growing up in Deadweather, Egbert (although he prefers 'Egg') always thought that life outside of Deadweather would be more civilized and more respectful. Growing up with his brother Adonis and sister Venus who treated him like an unwanted brother and his father who he couldn't even be sure really loved him, Egbert didn't have the easiest of lives. But when Egbert gets a taste of what other people are truly like, even on the illustrious island Sunrise, he realizes that his family may not be as bad as he originally made them out to be. When his family goes missing after his father makes a mysterious discovery, Egg begins to suspect that he had actually found evidence of the Fire King's treasure (which was a supposed myth) and that it's somewhere back on his home in Deadweather.
This book was an immense amount of fun and I had trouble putting it down because I was so enthralled in the story. The story was told from the point-of-view of Egg which was different as it seems most books I've read are from the point-of-view of a female so it was an interesting but fun perspective shift for me. Guts was my favorite character though, he cracked me up. Guts mopped the decks of a pirate ship but was not a pirate himself. He refused to wear shoes, his hair hung in his eyes so much you couldn't be positive he could actually see, and he was quite a wild little animal.
"He'd never use that knife." "He would, actually. He's quite violent. And not well in the head." "What kind of 'not well'?" "The kind that stabs people! Look at this." I opened two buttons on my shirt and pulled it far enough off my shoulder to give her a good look at the blood-crusted bite mark on ym shoulder. "Oh, that's awful! Does he have a dog?" "No, that was him." Millicent's eyebrows jumped. "Right, then. Good to know. Thanks for the tip."
One of my kids asked me what the story was about so I told her the basis. Her immediate response was 'How long until you finish so I can read it?' She snagged it just as soon as I was done. I found it to be a bit violent but was satisfied that it was kept to a minimum. This is a series/trilogy that I will definitely be keeping an eye out for in the future. The ending sets up Egg and Guts' next adventure perfectly. Funny and definitely entertaining, this one is a true 'middle-grade' gem....more
This had several elements that have been done time and time again: sarcastic rule-breaking heroine, heroine is shipped off to boarding school3.5 stars
This had several elements that have been done time and time again: sarcastic rule-breaking heroine, heroine is shipped off to boarding school without a choice, saved by cute boy (who just happens to be a total jerk... but... he's cute. So it's cool), meets another cute boy and the dreaded love triangle is born... need I go own? I must say though, it wasn't JUST that badass looking cover that sold me originally, I actually did read the summary on this one before immediately adding it to my read pile so I was really truly interested in reading this story. Despite the immediate evidence that this was like every other book I've read, for some reason I was hooked and I attribute that to a part of me kept hoping that something un-normal would happen or at the very least something badass that lived up to that awesome cover. (Seriously, that's one seriously kickass cover).
Regardless and despite all my seemingly negative comments down below, there was just something about this story that I really enjoyed. I was completely hooked on the story line and I really liked Kala even though she had some total dumb moments where I'd slap her upside the head if I could.
I had particular issue with the actual world of Tril. Love me some world-building, and once I hit around page 250 and realized I still had no clue where the hell this world was, whether it was an area on Earth, some floating planet like Atlantis, or a completely separate planet... no clue. There was one brief description where it was describing 'the Outer Rim' which is supposedly the most dangerous area in all of Tril 'running through all three-continents - that is, Kokora, Haruko, and Kaito-in an oval shape.' I would have appreciated some additional detail of what appears to be a fascinating world, and maybe a little earlier on because that brief description didn't even come until page 271 (in my arc - may not be actual page in official edition).
I found the writing to be appropriate considering the main character is a 17 year old. The only issue I had was her form of cuss words... 'fak', 'terked off', (what's so wrong with ticked off?) she would refer to people who were being jerks as 'deks' (which I personally found funny because fak is a substitute for 'fuck' but dek? A substitute for 'dick'? lol Maybe not what it was truly meant to be a substitute for but that's what it made me think.) Bottom line, I get the reason for not cussing but I would've just preferred it be left out entirely instead of this silly fake cussing business. But bonus points for inventing new words.
The explanation behind the Soulbounds was pretty awesome, how the two were born at the exact same moment and were thus paired together. The couples that were just 'Bound' were a little less interesting. I understand the significance between two that are Soulbound but being Bound doesn't appear to be anything special, that just meant to me was even if you were unfortunate to lose your Soulbound he/she is replaceable. Obviously they couldn't stay alone for the rest of their lives and sure the couples that are Bound don't have as strong a relationship and maybe I'm just complaining because I'm a big sappy romantic and the concept of being Soulbound had me 'awwing' but despite that I did like the whole concept behind Soulbounds.
As far as the actual relationship between Kaya and Trayton... it was way too insta-love for me. And Trayton? Could not have been more perfect. It was kind of disgusting. The first place they go together is his 'favorite place' which just so happens to be this absolutely gorgeous library (there was even a chandelier). I mean come on. That shit doesn't happen. (And if so, where the hell is my super fantastic dream guy who takes me to beautiful libraries on our first date?!) It was a total scene copy from Beauty and the Beast, except I'm going to assume Trayton was less fuzzy.
Bottom Line I did enjoy this but not as much as I had anticipated. This had a lot of elements that reminded me of The Vampire Academy series and I think fans of that will enjoy this also. By the end there were almost too many questions that were left unanswered which left the book feeling a tad incomplete to me. (Not to mention the cliffhanger that was easily foreseeable) I understand that this is the first installment in a series but some resolution would have been nice. I am interested in seeing how this series progresses so I will definitely be picking up the next installment. ...more
Thank you to Random House Children's Books for providing me with a copy of this book.
Fantasy is a real hit or miss for me... That said, I have foundThank you to Random House Children's Books for providing me with a copy of this book.
Fantasy is a real hit or miss for me... That said, I have found some fantasy novels I have read and enjoyed immensely so I'm certainly not going to stop since I've found more bad than good. 'Seraphina' may not have been for me but I can definitely see the attraction and why this will be an extremely popular book. I will say this, Rachel Hartman writes incredibly well. You could visualize the world she created and her attention to detail was flawless. Seraphina was an awesome character (view spoiler)[except for those parts where she was trying to remove her scales... wow were those hard sections to read. (hide spoiler)] The storyline itself, with Seraphina being a half-dragon and the garden in her mind... wow. I must say it was incredibly original and was the reason for my initial interest in this novel.
But I did give this 3 stars so I suppose I should discuss why. The storyline was not fast-paced in the least and the pacing was completely off so I did find myself struggling through sections (although I do blame the fact that I'm not a very patient reader). I actually stopped about 200 pages in and set it aside for the better part of a month. I did find that the story picked up around mid-way through and I was able to finally get through it. Despite the fact that I praised the world-building I still found myself struggling to keep my facts straight. First installment novels in series often bother me because of the massive amount of info-dumping, but that wasn't the total problem for me. Again, I'm not a huge fantasy fan but the strange names of people and places was too much for me to keep straight at times. The mystery itself that was the center of the story really lost me and even when the big revelation happened and all was revealed I was still scrunching my forehead trying to remember names and who was who. (There was a glossary in the back to help you out, but, I have an aversion to novels which require a glossary. I did sign up to read a story, not a textbook.) The addition of the love interest was completely unnecessary and I would have loved if it had been left out. The attraction between the two left much to be desired plus there was the whole 'he has a fiancé' thing that was a bit off-putting.
I do still plan on reading the next installment, Dracomachia in 2013. I have a feeling (and high hopes) that since all the intricate world-building has been established and we can focus solely on the story I will enjoy it more.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
'We are the inheritors of a wonderful world, a beautiful world, full of life and mystery, goodness and pain. But likewise are we the children of an in'We are the inheritors of a wonderful world, a beautiful world, full of life and mystery, goodness and pain. But likewise are we the children of an indifferent universe. We break our own hearts imposing our moral order on what is, by nature, a wide web of chaos.'
Sometimes I wish I didn't give out star-ratings and only wrote reviews, I think sometimes that would be easier than feeling it necessary to justify a low rating despite the fact that I DID like it. But there were some big problems I had overall.
Wildwood is almost a Chronicles of Narnia and Labyrinth mix (minus the fact that Prue didn't wish her brother away). Full of crazy talking animals and a mysterious world known as Wildwood, or as the locals call it, I.W.: Impassable Wilderness.
You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled I.W. This stands for Impassable Wilderness. No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.'
The writing flowed, the storyline was entertaining, the small artistic bits strewn throughout were perfection, but...
This thing was far too damn long. I may not be a patient reader but still, I know when a book is unnecessarily long. Truly, are there any actual middle-graders out there that read this in its entirety? I would really like to know. For the target audience, middle-graders, I think this would end up being far too much to handle. Extremely political and quite wordy at times (plus, we can't forget the length...541 pages was not necessary).
Despite this it was a lovely story and I will continue reading the trilogy (even though that's just as damn long). So readers beware: an extremely enjoyable story, just requires some much needed patience to get through. ...more
This is the third book that I've read in the Brian Froud's Faerielands series and is unfortunately my least favorite of the bunch so far. Bri3.5 stars
This is the third book that I've read in the Brian Froud's Faerielands series and is unfortunately my least favorite of the bunch so far. Brian Froud invited four of the top fantasy authors to pick their favorite piece of his work and write a story based upon it. The four authors and their respective books are:
The Wild Wood tells the story of Eithnie, an artist who lives in a cabin in the woods who begins seeing creatures that she believes to be faeries in her art. She determines that they are reaching out to her for help but she isn't willing to believe at first that her encounters are anything more than a dream. Once she realizes that not only are the faerie real but that she's truly the only one that can help them stay alive she resolves to do whatever she can to help....more
I admit that this was pretty awesome despite the fact that I'm not the hugest of fantasy fans. :) Took me forever to get through but that's because thI admit that this was pretty awesome despite the fact that I'm not the hugest of fantasy fans. :) Took me forever to get through but that's because this book is massive. Highly recommended!...more
A review copy of The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There was kindly provided to me by Macmillan.
'Shadows are the other s4.5 stars
A review copy of The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There was kindly provided to me by Macmillan.
'Shadows are the other side of yourself'
Hardly a day has passed since September hasn't thought about Fairyland and Ell and Saturday and the Green Wind. Sometimes she even wonders whether she imagined the whole thing, but it was all so very real because September's shadow is gone; she left it behind in Fairyland. But she's thirteen now, and so much time has passed and she begins to think she'll never make her way back, until one day she sees a rowboat floating across the fields behind her house. She knew this was her opportunity and hastened to follow them to wherever they were going. Upon her return, she realizes that Fairyland is quite different from when she left it several months ago and that September is not the only one missing her shadow now.
"...your light side isn't a perfectly pretty picture, either, I promise you. You couldn't dream without the dark. You couldn't rest... You need your dark side, because without it, you're half gone."
September was once again an incredible character: full of heart, strength, and loyalty. Realizing that the problems in Fairyland stemmed from her actions from her previous visit, she didn't hesitate for a second before starting her adventure to make things right. I loved the implications of the purpose of shadows and how their importance reaches far beyond their physical presence. Very mature topics that I see as being a fantastic 'learning opportunity' for children during a potential read-along with their parents. The writing is not just full of beautiful prose but manages to also have substantial meaning behind every word.
'She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, sometimes wicked and unkind parts, but often brave or wild or colorful parts, cunning or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked up away at the bottom of their hearts... all of those brave and wild and cunning and marvelous and beautiful parts they hid away and left in the dark to grow strange mushrooms--and yes, sometimes those wicked and unkind parts, too--end up in their shadow.'
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland was wonderful, original, and full of incredible prose and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland doesn't disappoint. If anything, the second installment is even more brilliant. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland will be well received by children but I so love that it's equally (if not more so) able to be enjoyed by adults. Catherynne M. Valente has definitely done it again; full of adventure mixed with a new take on old-world fairytales....more
My rating: 4 of 5 stars A copy of The Dream Thieves was provided to me by Scholastic Press/Netgalley for review purposes.
The Dream Thieves is the storyMy rating: 4 of 5 stars A copy of The Dream Thieves was provided to me by Scholastic Press/Netgalley for review purposes.
The Dream Thieves is the story of a boy with the ability to make his dreams a reality, of a continued quest to uncover the lost Welsh King and the realization that time may be running out.
I loved The Raven Boys, however I found the ending to be far too abrupt and introduced a fascinating storyline that just didn't give me enough. It felt like a pilot episode and left me eager for more but also left me disappointed. The Dream Thieves definitely solved that and then some. When I started this book I noticed a lack of a refresher and I struggled to recall particular details from The Raven Boys. I actually found a fabulous recap written by Maggie Stiefvater herself (here if you're interested) but oddly enough I ultimately didn't need it. While TDT is a continuation and second installment of a series it felt separate and completely new from the storyline that was previously established.
What I loved most about this story was it took an even bigger leap into the fantasy and magical aspects whereas The Raven Boys merely trod the line. While fantasy is not my go-to genre, this type of fantasy is done in such a conventional way that blends well with the contemporary background the story is set in; it doesn't ever seem clunky and out of place. It's such a wonderfully inventive type of magic too. The ability to draw items from your dreams and have them become a reality? I love it.
One thing which was done differently in TDT was that so much focus was placed on Ronan and Adam that the other characters became secondary characters and were oftentimes unessential. Blue's mother Maura and her fellow psychics had more of a place in the story than Blue herself and Noah was practically nonexistent (except for one incredibly unforgettable scene *sniff*). While I missed the shared distribution of characters, I did enjoy this in depth look into Ronan and finding out what makes him tick. Two new adversarial characters share a bit of the spotlight though: a fellow Aglionby student, Joseph Kavinsky, a ticking time bomb that is unknowingly effecting their search for Cabeswater and The Grey Man who is searching for the same thing.
With a double dose of fantasy in a contemporary world and a hint of romance and eternal friendship, The Dream Thieves is an exciting follow-up to a spectacular series. It is a gorgeously written story with such a fresh and unique feel to it and of course sets the scene perfectly for the next book which I am already anticipating. ...more
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars A copy of The Madman's Daughter was provided to me by Balzer + Bray/Edelweiss for review purposes.
'Dead flesh and sharpened sMy rating: 2.5 of 5 stars A copy of The Madman's Daughter was provided to me by Balzer + Bray/Edelweiss for review purposes.
'Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn't bother me. I was my father's daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things.'
I feel the need to start off by saying I didn't dislike this book but obviously considering my rating I have some explaining to do. There was creepiness, there was a decent story line, but the pacing was so incredibly slow that it had an adverse effect on my overall opinion on this gothic retelling.
Let me tell you guys, the beginning of this story had so much creepy going on it was amazing. I remember starting this book, finishing the first couple of chapters, stopping for a second and saying to myself, "This is going to be so awesome." Juliet seemed to be a very promising main character and I couldn't wait to hear her story. But the gothic thriller aspect seemed to be put on the back burner and definitely became less of a focus. What did it end up focusing on? Romance, of course.
There was so much emphasis put on the romance and her being torn between two men, her swooning and constant need to fan herself that I would go so far as to consider this 'historical-romance-lite'. If not for the creepy and exceptionally gruesome bits in this story I don't believe I would have finished this. As it was though, the romance didn't feel fitting in this type of story, like an irregular puzzle piece.
I had been forewarned that the middle dawdled but that the ending was a big shocker so that gave me hope. The pacing was definitely off for the vast majority of the middle portion and didn't actually start picking up until almost the very end of the book. The big reveal happened and it was definitely the most interesting aspect of the entire story but it happened a little too late for me. There wasn't a slow build-up to the grand finale which would have made this immensely better. Instead we received a storyline that plodded along, lacking in intensity, never quite gaining enough steam, and then we're hit with the big ending. The middle section certainly required something more for me to still be invested enough in the story to be excited for when the big conclusion finally did happen.
Oh, and there's a cliffhanger. Naturally. I think my response to that final page was something along the lines of, "Dude. For real?" Considering I was more than a bit bored through the majority of this story I was at least hoping we'd get some answers. I had still considered giving #2 a shot since sometimes it takes the first book to build the story (in a series) and book 2 is where we can finally get to the meat of the story. But my understanding was that this was a retelling of the Island of Dr. Moreau, however, the summary for book 2 states it was written: with inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson's 'THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE' and I'm not sure I feel about the mixing of multiple retellings.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars A copy of The Nightmare Affair was provided to me by Tor Teen/Netgalley for review purposes.
Mare or Nightmare noun 1. an evil sMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars A copy of The Nightmare Affair was provided to me by Tor Teen/Netgalley for review purposes.
Mare or Nightmare noun 1. an evil spirit or goblin in Germanic folklore which rides on people's chests while they sleep, bringing on bad dreams (or "nightmares").
Dusty is a relatively normal 16 year-old girl, except for that whole "my mother is a Nightmare". In the most literal sense. Literal meaning she's a mythical creature that feeds on what dreams are made of. One night while Dusty is doing just that, she finds herself in a dream depicting a murder of one of her classmates that is vivid enough to leave her shaken. She returns to her school that night only to find out that that was no ordinary dream, she had just witnessed a real murder.
Nightmares aren't the only mythical creature in this vibrant and imaginative world Mindee has created. Dusty attends Arkwell Academy along with other magical beings such as warlocks, witches, vampires, sirens, mermaids, demons, and of course, nightmares. The purpose of the Academy is to teach all magical creatures how to function and live in this world undetected. Considering there was so much to this world, there was a lot of information to be explained in detail for the reader and it was a bit of an information overload in the beginning. There was one particular aspect of this world regarding what was called 'The Will' which was a powerful magic that essentially acted as a 'Big Brother' and kept individuals from using their magic to harm. It played a huge part of the story as a whole but wasn't explained as easily as it could have been and I was left with unanswered questions regarding its functionality.
I dislike comparing books with out another because there is so little these days that is truly original. Some facet of every story has more than likely already been done time and time again, the part that becomes most important is how that author takes that used idea and molds and transforms it into something uniquely theirs. I could go on and on about how much the setting reminded me of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins with its supernatural school with various different magical beings. How the main character who is quirky and funny yet ultimately an outcast. How her enemies are the beautiful popular girls and even the parental setup is similar with her mother being estranged and her father being non-magical (just the other way around in HH). I could even go so far as to compare the seriousness and intensity of the mystery to a Dan Brown novel and the magical battles and ending worthy of a Harry Potter book. I could likely do this form of comparison with all my book reviews.
The point in all this, despite these comparisons that danced through my head while reading, is I loved those bits that were truly unique and given the authors special touch. Using a 'Nightmare' as a supernatural being was genius and I loved it. I also loved how she took a supernatural story and added a medieval twist (two things that I would normally never put together in my head) and really made it work for me. I'd like to see some stronger character development in future installments and please, please, make that completely unnecessary love triangle go away. This book is one Nightmare you mind experiencing. Recommended for supernatural mystery fans looking for a bit of a twist.