The day of Evie's birthday, the Flash happens, and the world is transformed. Nothing green remains after fires lit up the earth and incinerated everyt...moreThe day of Evie's birthday, the Flash happens, and the world is transformed. Nothing green remains after fires lit up the earth and incinerated everything. Very few humans survived the Flash and the ones who did were transformed as well. Some transformed into cannibals doing anything they could to survive, some turned into Bagmen who drank the blood of humans if it was the only source of liquid they could find. But Evie knew this was coming because she had been having visions of the sky in flames and the earth incinerated for months. Could she have done something to stop this?
My Thoughts Okay for starters: The love interest, Jackson? He goes down in history as being a member of the top ten worst love interests. He was not charming in the least and there was no obvious reasoning behind Evie's attraction to him besides him being attractive. He was the biggest jerk, he was a pig, he drank ALL THE TIME, and was constantly trying to get in Evie’s pants. Some might argue with me that his protectiveness of Evie was sweet and he only did that because he cared for her. Yeah. Well. There's a thin line between protectiveness and possessiveness. But seriously? He was a drunken loser and I disliked him A LOT, especially when he said such romantic things like:
"Hell, Evie, you're probably the last girl on earth for me. Would it kill you to put out?"
Ugh. Dude? She's sixteen. And you're officially a douchebag. There's more but it pretty much reveals all about their 'relationship' so view at your own risk. (view spoiler)[And when she expresses her need to have a meaningful relationship and not end up just another notch on his bedpost he had a mild breakthrough and I saw what everyone else seems to like about him... until he practically demands she tell him all of her secrets. Again, dude, you need to EARN a girls trust. Baby steps! Have some patience! But no. She says that she's not ready and can't, yet. So, he throws a bitch fit, stomps off, and 10 seconds later is making out with another chick. Nice. (hide spoiler)] Evie, spoiled rich girl, wasn’t the strongest character either. When I found out what member of the Tarot she embodied I was a little put-off that she wasn’t made of tougher stuff and was quite the pushover. Admittedly, she does end up becoming what I had originally envisioned her being but it happened in the blink of an eye and there was no real build to get to that point.
Moving on. Next issue I had was the world-building. Or in this case, the lack of it. The following lines pretty much sum up the explanation we received for why the skies lit on fire and everything green ceased to exist: "The Flash marked the beginning? What caused the Flash, Matthew?" "Sun." And that's all you get so don't expect anything more.
At first I was skeptical at the interpretation of the Tarot cards as people but after doing some additional research I must admit that Kresley Cole did stay quite true to form. I had a few problems though...(view spoiler)[Like, the Hermit being a psychopath who lures girls into his cabins and then chains them to a wall and tortures them?? Um. He’s a HERMIT. Meaning the dude’s looking for peace and solitude and won’t be luring girls to his cabin to chain them to his walls so he can torture them. No. (hide spoiler)] I understand that this is fiction and that embellishment is pretty much standard, but in taking something like The Major Arcana and embellishing it to the point of it being unrecognizable just seemed wrong to me.
And now for my biggest issue. I had initially given this 2 stars because I was impressed with its originality. I thought the characters were horribly written and incredibly un-likeable but I loved the potential the summary held. Except that this theory has already been floating around in the world, for several decades: 'Carl Jung was the first psychoanalyst to attach importance to tarot symbolism. He may have regarded the tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of persons or situations embedded in the collective unconscious of all human beings.' Which pretty much sums up the whole gist of this book. Now that's not to say that there's anything wrong with using other ideas and embellishing off of them, but the originality was the one saving grace for me because everything else (characters, world building, etc) was horrible so that was going to be the only enjoyable aspect for me. And to top it off, there's a line at the end of the book: "Only one can live. Um, did I get a glitch on my Kindle and open up The Hunger Games? Nope. Still the same book. So basically this book is actually a mix of Carl Jung's interpretation of tarot symbolism which was established in like the 1950's and the whole point The Hunger Games is based upon. As much potential as this had, this inevitably was a big fail because of a lack of execution and this is one series I definitely won’t be continuing. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Bone Season is the very definition of hype. The Marketing team was working overtime to promote the first in...moreHype: 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.(less)
'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...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 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.(less)
This had several elements that have been done time and time again: sarcastic rule-breaking heroine, heroine is shipped off to boarding school...more3.5 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. (less)
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 found...moreThank 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"]>(less)
'Every day I am someone else. I am myself - I know I am myself - but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.'
A is a new person every day. Boy, girl, straight, gay, white, African-American... it doesn't matter. Each day A lives life through the eyes of someone new. A is something of a spirit and has no control over where he ends up the next day but it happens without fail each and every night. After being so many different people, A has made it a point to not change these people's lives. He's able to access memories in order to determine where they need to be on each particular day and to be able to interact with others in that person’s life but A tries to interact as little as possible because of the guilt from the intrusion. I found the whole concept of this storyline to be extremely interesting and original despite a few issues.
'If you stare at the center of the universe, there is a coldness there. A blankness. Ultimately, the universe doesn't care about us. Time doesn't care about us. That's why we have to care about each other.'
First off, there was this one particular scene where A goes to a computer and accesses his personal e-mail account. To me, A seemed more like a spirit which inhabited a new person’s body on a daily basis and since this was never elaborated on then that’s the explanation I created. So, spirits with email accounts? Eh. Of course this played a huge part in the entire story, but it still threw me off for the rest of the book.
It had a wonderful message though, about loving someone for who they are inside and not for what they look like outside. The love story itself between A and Rhiannon I admit was a bit instantaneous but I ended up sold by the end pages. It was touching and incredibly sweet and I truly believed that she loved A and not because of an outside appearance as that changed daily. But...
'If I were in a different body, this would be the time I would lean down and kiss her. If I were in a different body, that kiss could transform the night from off to on. If I were in a different body, she would see me inside. She would see what she wanted to see. But now it's awkward.'
Then A woke up in a 300 pound body. It was definitely disconcerting how A acted because of his appearance, how everyone treated him that day, and how it resulted in (view spoiler)[Rhiannon rethinking their entire relationship. She seemed to be fully content with continuing to work out their ongoing body switching issue but as soon as A showed up in the 300 pound body of Finn despite the fact that they had a wonderful dinner and movie date the very next day she's deciding she couldn't do what they were doing. It was heartbreaking and I hated it and it really ruined the 'message' for me. (hide spoiler)] Also, I found it to be a bit over the top when A and Rhiannon were struggling to see each other every day. A was always calling in sick or leaving school early just to meet up with her to see her and Rhiannon was doing the same. It seemed as if the majority of the story was finding rides and making excuses to get to see her and it got a little exhausting.
Despite my few issues, I still found this to be a fast and enjoyable read. This is only my second David Levithan book (first being The Lover's Dictionary) but his writing continues to amaze. Definitely won’t be my last book of his.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
'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...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 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. (less)
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. Bri...more3.5 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.(less)