There has been much hush-hush about the true reality of this novel but I think hiding this does it an injustice. The true genre of this story is the s...moreThere has been much hush-hush about the true reality of this novel but I think hiding this does it an injustice. The true genre of this story is the supposed ‘twist’ and it’s not much of a twist in all actuality. For those who wish to be kept in the dark, stop reading. Bottom line: The Quick is nothing more than an attempt to combine the enthralling historical fiction aspects of Sarah Waters’ writing and the Gothic mystery of a classic Anne Rice novel. Suffice it to say it was a failed attempt.
The main issue with The Quick is the pacing. The beginning part of the novel introduces the main character James and his sister Charlotte who separate when James moves to London to complete his schooling. James spends his time writing poetry and plays, falls in love and tragedy soon follows. I enjoyed this part of the novel and even the ‘twist’ but instead of cashing in on this heightened intrigue due to the shocking nature of what occurred, the author instead switches gears and changes to a completely new characters point-of-view.
The introduction of the new character, Augustus Mould, also brings a new writing style: epistolary. Normally I adore anything epistolary, however, this was not only dull but tedious and encompassed far too many pages. Once we return to James’ story and point-of-view I had officially lost any and all interest in what had happened to him. What follows is the introduction of several other characters that lacked a much needed differentiation but certainly wasn’t lacking in excessive detail or back story. Much of what we’re given in this novel regarding the back stories of individuals and the tedious details of their lives felt like a ridiculous amount of inconsequential filler by the time I had turned the final page.
Inevitably, this is indistinguishable from the mass of books that share genres. The attempt to create a mysterious element and keep the true genre secret did not make this novel surprising and did not make the ponderous pages that followed any more palatable.(less)
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the...moreMy rating: 2.5 of 5 stars I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Another series ender that has unfortunately ended in disappointment for me this year. I found The Forever Song to be, for the most part, incredibly lacking in any sort of plot progress. Basically, there was walking, walking, then they’d fight some rabids, walking, walking, oooh let’s stop to feed on some humans, fight some more rabids, walking, walking.. throw in the occasional snarky comment from Jackal, soap opera style drama and various near death scenarios and that’s The Forever Song in a nutshell. Oh and let’s not forget how they have to save the world. Apparently, saving the world isn’t as exciting as one would think. In addition to the lack of excitement, there was an extreme lack of common fucking sense that made for frequent eye-rolls.
‘What do you mean, when he realized what was happening?” “This was a trap, Allison.” Kanin looked back at the inferno. “Nothing catches fire that quickly unless it has been doused in something.”
You mean to tell me these idiots with their heightened sense of smell weren’t able to tell that the entire house was drenched in gasoline? I realize their not needing to breathe means they aren’t smelling constantly but you think if they’re entering a house with someone shooting at them from upstairs they’d open up all their sense to check and make sure they aren’t walking into anything disastrous. Like a house drenched in gasoline.
‘The door loomed dead ahead, and I didn’t stop. I didn’t pause to reconsider my plan. Whether I was walking into a trap or straight to my death.’
And that’s the problem I have with Allison; the lack of common sense. She’s constantly trying to prove to herself/everyone around her that she’s a badass and can handle herself except it’s clear that she’s not. Now, I think I would normally say that this show of weakness is meant to make her likable or relatable or something of the sort, but it came off making her look completely senseless and like a complete imbecile.
Where Allison lacks in common sense she makes sure to make up for it in ANGST. LOTS AND LOTS OF ANGST. When she wasn’t whining about her ‘monster’ she was whining about Zeke or about Sarren or whining about everything being her fault and it was PAINFUL to read.
I read the first 1/3 of this book and had to set it aside for a few weeks because it was just too much. I understood in the beginning of this series that Allison would have to go through the inner turmoil of coming to terms with being a vampire that is forced to kill people to survive but I thought we’d be over that by now. Jackal once again made this installment bearable but even he irritated me with his shit sometimes. But his sarcastic quips did allow me to finish this and find out the ending to this story. Was it worth it? Sure. Was I disappointed how everything turned out? A bit. See, the ending involves aspects that truly come out of nowhere and only serve to be a convenient solution which kind of felt like a cop out. It also was incredibly predictable and I wasn’t surprised in the least. It could have been done worse though.
Minus the angst and ending cop-outs, there is one aspect of this book that was done extremely well: the atmosphere. Kagawa knocked it out of the park describing this broken and gloomy world. It truly immerses you. If only the characters had been a bit more tolerable. The Forever Song is a satisfying conclusion that answers all the lingering questions but is undoubtedly the least interesting of the series. This is the second series I’ve read of Kagawa’s that has ended up feeling very mediocre for me but I can see this one being a good one for fans of dark, gritty and violent dystopians that are heavy on the romance.(less)
*spoilers from Immortal Rules. Please don't read if you haven't read the first installment!*
Admittedly, Eternity Cure was not a planned read for me. I...more*spoilers from Immortal Rules. Please don't read if you haven't read the first installment!*
Admittedly, Eternity Cure was not a planned read for me. I wasn't a big fan of Immortal Rules, I gave it 3 stars but it was a reluctant 3 stars because when I think back it was deserving of less because it was dreadfully dull at times and took me forever to get through. There was so much potential but it was severely lacking... in what? I can't quite put my finger on it but it could have been much better. The outpouring of immense love for Eternity Cure started rolling in and as soon as I read those magical words "even better than the first" I knew I had to give this one more chance. For those of you, like me, who weren't in complete love with Immortal Rules I suggest you check this installment out. It's not perfect but it's immensely more exciting.
The story picks up right where Immortal Rules left off: Allison has continued her quest to free Kanin after leaving Zeke and the rest of the human group in their new home, Eden. After teaming up to save their master, Jackal and Allison set aside their differences and join forces against the much imbalanced Sarren who has captured Kanin after a many years long grudge.
Jackal and Allison were quite the pair. Definitely entertaining, these two together really added some much needed humor to the story that made me love it infinitely more than the first. And I can't even begin to explain to you the excitement. This for me, was the best part of the whole thing. My biggest complaint about Immortal Rules was the parts that dragged on for far too long. With Eternity Cure, it was non-stop excitement and there was always something going on. This was truly an edge of your seat thriller and there were twists you will not see coming and turns that will leave your jaw on the ground.
The relationships... for me this was a huge flaw in Immortal Rules. I never quite understood Allison's need or desire to continue staying with the human party despite their ongoing terrible treatment towards her (despite even knowing she's a vampire) and her ongoing blood lust which made it extremely hard to travel with them. The relationship with Zeke was so touching and sweet and really made Allison's ongoing desire to remain human make complete and utter sense. To me, this is what truly sets this series apart from the rest of the 'typical' vampire stories. Allison has constantly struggled to retain her sense of humanity and still has a desire to remain a 'decent human being' minus all the feelings of entitlement like her brother Jackal has. She doesn't feel she's better in any ways to the humans and wishes to be like them but has no way of ever making this a reality. Her feelings were true and something that I could completely understand and empathize with.
Yeah, seriously. That ending?
I have to wait how long to find out what happens? Cliffhanger... yes. Mind blown... yes. Well worth it... definitely yes. This is one thrill-ride of an installment you won't want to miss.(less)
"Fantasy was always only a reality waiting to be switched on."
I’m going to avoid my normal spiel about the basics of the plot because unfortunately an...more"Fantasy was always only a reality waiting to be switched on."
I’m going to avoid my normal spiel about the basics of the plot because unfortunately anything I say sounds silly. Truly. Imaginary bridges. Soul sucking cars. Creepy vampire children. Christmasland. I just can’t do it justice and describe the enormity of the plot sufficiently. It also fails to fall under a single genre. It’s classic horror, paranormal and even a bit of a fantasy. I will say though, this is one extremely well told story that brings to life everything that’s considered out of this world and makes it real.
"No one had ever determined his age, but he looked older than Keith Richards. He even looked a little like Keith Richards--a bald Keith with a mouthful of sharp little brown teeth."
The ‘bad’ guy was fantastically written. Charles Talent Manx has nothing but the best intentions for the children he takes to Christmasland. He believes that he’s taking them from broken homes and saving them from a life that will be less than satisfactory. How does he know this for sure? Well, he doesn't But he’s completely convinced himself regardless. Charles Max is complex and fascinating and is undeniably one of the finest written bad guys I've ever read.
"But everyone also lives in the world inside their own head. An inscape, a world of thought. In a world made of thought--in an inscape--every idea is a fact. Emotions are as real as gravity. Dreams are as powerful as history."
Another thing I loved was how the characters came to terms with the fantasy aspects. Vic has a gift for being able to find lost things by crossing a bridge that she brushes aside as a result of a hyperactive imagination. She had a brief stint in a mental institution but slowly came to terms with the fact that everything is in fact real. Vic is an amazing character and despite the implausibility of it all, it was given a slow and appropriate build before Vic finally believed it herself. I've read so many stories where characters have a gift or something impossible occurs and too many times it’s not flushed out and explained so when the character(s) accepts it completely almost immediately it makes the characters actions from then on illogical. Vic may have been damaged and imperfect but she was entirely believable.
This was a solid five star book for me and was a complete delight throughout. The last 15 pages or so? Fell flat. It inevitably dropped that solid five star rating down to four. Despite that though, it was a pleasure. What I loved most about this was as creepy and full of horror as NOS4A2 is it still manages to produce an almost involuntary comicalness. It’s obvious that the author had an immense amount of fun writing this. Joe Hill is unquestionably one incredibly gifted storyteller.
Final Note: For those of you who have read Heart Shaped Box, did any of you catch the reference to it? "There was Craddock McDermott who claimed that his spirit existed in a favorite suit of his." I take that to mean the world of NOS4A2 and Heart Shaped Box are one in the same.
I can’t resist matching up a Christmas cocktail to go with this book. This is perfect for the chilly atmosphere nestled in these pages and would even warm up Charlie Max and his little ‘pint-size vampires’.
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)
Big thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this!
'There will come a time when the road before you splits, an...more3.5 stars
Big thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this!
'There will come a time when the road before you splits, and you must decide your path. Will you choose to become a demon with a human face, or will you fight your demon until the end of time, knowing you will forever struggle alone?'
Allison Sekemoto was a survivor living in the Fringe struggling to survive on a daily basis. Now that she's been turned and is now learning how to live as a vampire she's struggling to maintain her fleeting humanity. Allison intrigued me in the first part of this novel with her strength and her constant persistence to stay as human as possible. The Immortal Rules compared to most vampire stories was vastly different as Allison was sympathetic towards the human race despite the fact that she relied on them in order to stay alive. In that same sense it reminded me a lot of Warm Bodies and how R cared for the human race, or Julie in particular. It's an interesting and original take on a consistently similar story but, I didn't fall completely head over heels for it. I think for me the main issue was that she was almost too humane to be a 'credible' vampire and I missed the typical bad-ass vampire.
I felt that after the interesting start, when Allison and Kanin part ways and she discovers a group of human survivors seeking a place they call 'Eden', what followed was easily the books lowest point as it was in desperate need of some excitement. The story really lost its hold on me during this time and it took me several days to get through it. After getting a small glimpse of Kanin in the beginning I kept waiting for him to make another appearance in order to spice things up. I just had a hard time understanding her attachment to this group of people and why she never decided to go back to Kanin. The group reminded me of some creepy religious cult-type group much like the one in Ashes. It was inevitable that she be discovered as a vampire and I didn't understand the insistence that she stick around in order to make sure that the group remained safe since the majority of them were incredibly unlikable people and were constantly rude to her. I suppose this was just another facet of her attempting to keep a hold on her humanity.
The ending was a bit lackluster but fortunately didn't leave off with an enormous cliffhanger. Will I continue this trilogy? More than likely. I went into this book naturally comparing it to the Iron Fey and was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like any of the books in that series (which was a good thing as I wasn't the hugest fan of that series) but I was still hoping for something more but more of what I'm not completely positive.
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 th...moreThank 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.(less)
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, just...moreI 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. (less)
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 differen...moreA 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. :)(less)