Here's a big 4.5 stars and a raging cry of 'WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT ENDING???'
OK, so after just finishing this book I can tell youHere's a big 4.5 stars and a raging cry of 'WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT ENDING???'
OK, so after just finishing this book I can tell you that I just had a minor heart attack. I flailed around for a few minutes. Flapped my hands in desperation, squealed a little tiny bit and raged at the cat who was undoubtedly NOT impressed at being woken up from his cat nap just because I couldn't handle my feels for a book.
Because hello, cliffhanger. I'd like you to meet my fist.
Girl Lost is a spectacular rendition of the fairy tale Peter Pan. It's a sequel of sorts - a take on what would happen if Peter Pan went to fetch Wendy after she left the island. Basically Peter Pan has grown up. And he's still got his red hair and green eyes and mischievous smirk. It's just swoon-worthy now. Peter goes from being an orphan boy to a possessively aggressive man - and oh how I loved how he grew.
Andrews took the tale of Peter Pan and put it back into the real world and modern society. She makes Gwen emotionally broken and mentally unstable. And sassy. And aggravating in the best way possible. She makes Peter a figment of imagination turned real. She brings in Micah as the ever vigilant and worried sibling. She forces Orchid into Gwen's life and hints that she is way more than she seems to be. And she throws in James who is best described as:
I wave a dismissive hand.
"He's such a charming rake. And unapologetic about it. And he's drunk all the time. How is that NOT a pirate?
Even though Peter was the male lead it was James who I fell hardcore for. Hook, line and sinker. (See what I did there?) And then there was Belle. Who was a darker, more fierce version of who she was meant to be but was still fantastically amazing at everything she did.
The characterization was pretty well spot-on for how one would expect those iconic characters to be in real life. The mannerisms of the AGZ, the spiteful hate from Belle, the sly smirks from Peter - everything could be properly attributed to each of the characters because everything they did or said just made sense.
The setting was also wonderfully set. Northern University itself wasn't mentioned much as whole but specific areas like the ocean or the frat house were described with minimal detail that actually enhanced the locations. Setting didn't play an important role in the physical sense - it was important in a metaphorical one, which is why less was more.
And then the plot. Which was nothing less than stellar. I spent a good portion of this spinning around in circles with anticipation as to what would happen next. Andrews just has this way of telling you a story but then throwing out the next piece of the puzzle in a way you just wouldn't expect. It's like walking through a haunted house, not knowing what's going to pop out at you next. The majority of the novel places you directly in Gwen's shoes, so you can't but be completely and utterly lost. But you love every crazy moment of it.
Filtered throughout the story were a variety of flashbacks from Gwen's accident - all of her delusions that apparently aren't really delusions - and they while they were interesting and helped pushed the story along at times they detracted from the story a little because they were distracting. But they explained everything really well and added to the whole storyline - like there were 2 plotlines being told at once. It was like you were really looking into Gwen's past whenever she remembered something.
The idea that Gwen was mentally unstable was a really great premise for this retelling. An obvious way to go, yes, but again, Andrews made it seem like it was a completely original idea. There was an incredibly detailed backstory that explained why and how she came to be that way and it really help feed into the allusion of magic that was forever present within the story. Was it ever fully mentioned? No. But there's a constant inkling that can only be explained by magic throughout the novel.
Which brings me to that horrid, horrid, horrid, cliffie at the end.
The last 4ish chapters of the novel? Total and utter chaos. This is the climax of the entire story and then you're immediately cut off from any and all sense of dénouement and conclusion. You get a dying person, and a pirate following you around, you get some crazy important flashback that IS NOT EXPLAINED and you visualize your insanity in the modern world - with that same pirate standing beside you experiencing the same thing.
Which means you're both crazy.
Or are you?
You have got absolutely NO BLOODY IDEA what to think because the guy that's causing you to question everything that you've worked so hard to put together? You don't actually know what to think about him either.
Belle smiles. “Do you remember now, Gwendy bird? We’ll tear you from the clouds and rip you to pieces. You can’t have our Thief.”
“It’s not real,” I mumble, my lips numb. “It can’t be real.”
I’ve spent seven years hearing that. Learning to believe that.
She smiles, a bloody rictus, and I shake my head, nausea swimming through me.
“Belle, who is Peter?” I demand.
“Peter? He’s a thief. The best and worst of all of us. He’s ours, and you stole him.”
The ending drove me insane with need for MORE. And yet as of now there's no mention of a sequel. Which means all you're left with is a memory. And you return to the place where you first met him.
He’s backlit by the sun, a fey, smiling boy dressed all in green. There is a shock of red hair poking out of his strange hat, and a mischievous smile brightens his slanted, exotic eyes. The Boy stares at me and grins, a crooked little smile.
“Hello, pixie girl. What are you doing out here?”
“I’m lost,” I say.
His smile grows a little, and he shakes his head. “Can’t be. I found you. And I’m a bit of an expert on lost things.”
“Where did you come from?” I ask.
“My island. Would you like to see it?”
I hesitate. “I’m not supposed to go with strangers.”
“Would you rather stay here? It seems dangerous.”
There’s a certain unassailable logic to his words. I shrug, though, trying to seem very above it all and distant. “I don’t know you. You could be dangerous.”
He laughs. “Oh, I am. But I would never hurt you, Gwendy.” He takes a step closer and extends a hand in a childlike caricature of an adult gesture. His eyes sparkle, and it feels, for a moment, like the whole world is holding its breath. “I’m Peter.”
I KNOW. I'm dying too. It all ends at the freaking beginning and I just can't right now.
From Drew and Rich, to Vicky, to Cait, to *fans self* Art.
Now let's get"I smith hard, right?"
"And deep. Cocksmithery."
I love, love, loved, this book.
From Drew and Rich, to Vicky, to Cait, to *fans self* Art.
Now let's get this out of the way first, because when you're first introduced to the it at the beginning of the novel, it's guaranteed to be the first thought that drifts into your head. I know, I know, that last sentence is completely encumbered with way too many firsts, but so is this: YES, the male lead in this story's name is Art, short for Arthur. And, YES, nobody, and I repeat NOBODY, expects to completely fall in love with a guy named Art. It just doesn't happen.
Which is why when I tell you that, YES, you will stumble and tumble and trip and completely fall for a man named ART, I don't expect you to believe.
But trust me on this.
I am predicting your future.
YOU WILL LOVE HIM.
And now onto the actual review.
The beauty of this novel is the fact that both Cait and Art (get your shivers from his name out of the way now so you can get to the good stuff) have problems. Real, honest to God problems with themselves that they have to overcome. And being allowed to watch them overcome these issues together is what the real treat is. Everything down to the freaking title of this book is just so meticulously pieced together with lines that just touch the part of your soul that just feels. The two leads are so completely perfect for each other that you can't help but be swept away into their passionate romance. And passionate it is.
Cait and Art are different in the sense that they're opposites in how they came to be broken, but at the same time are extremely similar in how they are dealing with the pieces that are left over. Like Cait says so eloquently,
I can't join up the idea of wanting a boy who barely touched me with wanting a boy who touches people for a living.
Like two sides of the same coin:
Here I am, wary of touch, and he'd demonised his own.
They seem like they should be two puzzle pieces that don't fit together, but they manage to defy logic and make it work. Once they deal with their issues exes. Which is easier said than done when, A] Cait's ex Dominic doesn't seem to want to leave her alone and B] Art's ex Priya is dead and forever stained upon his skin and C] Cait has a small problem with physical touching while Art has small problem with emotional touching. Not to mention the whole Rich and Vicky situation and Cait's increasingly distancing sister Millie.
Talk about issues that need to be overcome.
Yet Morgan manages to not gloss over a single one of these issues. I was constantly being surprised at exactly how many pages I had left to read, because usually all the sub-plot tends to get conveniently shoved to the side in favour of a neat bow-tie ending. This is not case here. Every single problem that arises is addressed in a realistic amount of time and with the perfect amount of detail. There's not too much emphasis on tiny details, but not too little info that things seem unnecessarily irrelevant. Morgan just has this way of spinning a tale into the plot that is interwoven with all the other sub-plots - and altogether with the main storyline, they make a truly amazing story.
So plot? Definitely check.
Characterization? And other big check.
While Cait and Art are meant to steal the show, in my opinion, it was all the secondary characters that actually did. Rich and Drew were priceless as a twin duo, just like Vicky and Mills were quirky and excellent smithers.
And what do I mean by smithing?
"Smith. Word-smithing. It's a thing me and Vicky invented–or at least, I think we invented the term," I explain. "When you're being all smug and clever and enjoying yourself far too much with words, you're smithing."
I'm sorry, what? I have totally just adopted that word and it's definition. It is now a permanent resident of my vocabulary and for all intents and purposes belongs to me.
And with smithery like that, exactly how can this novel not be perfect?
Well, to be honest? I only really have two teeny tiny complaints. One? The Dominic issue didn't really feel completely resolved to me. The way that he and Cait talked their issues out? A little bit too unbelievable considering how that conversation stops. And two? The boxing aspect. It really didn't make as much of an appearance as I'd have liked to. But other than that?
Because I got to the end of the book and I swear to fucking God there was a tear rolling down my cheek.
Eva Morgan, you are goiI cried.
Locked broke me.
Because I got to the end of the book and I swear to fucking God there was a tear rolling down my cheek.
Eva Morgan, you are going to have to be my saviour.
There is nothing I can say about this book that is negative. The ending ripped my soul out. Irene ripped my heart out. And Sherlock Holmes made me cry.
Maybe its because its 3:21am right now and I'm running on 4 hours sleep over the last 48 hours. Maybe Eva Morgan is a genie. Or maybe Sherlock stole my breath away.
I'm going to physically die and wither away into dark matter if there's no sequel.
The characterization of this novel is flawless. It couldn't have been done better. The plot didn't even have to exist, it was that good. If anything, the plot was a little ordinary but Morgan managed to capture the essence of the Sherlock created by BBC and embody it within an eighteen year old guy, who in turn takes over the entire novel and makes you completely forget about trivial things like plot. Then there's Irene, who was the epitome of every girl who has ever experienced a loss and has finally found a reason to not let it define her. But then she was broken all over again.
The beauty of it all is that you get to break along with her.
Some stories take a little piece of your soul and change you. This one is such a keeper because of that single reason. I haven't felt such genuine emotion evoked from a book like this in a very long time.
I'm at a loss for words.
But Ms. Morgan, I salute you. This book was love in every facet imaginable, with all the dark and crushing bits that we hate to hunger for.
I can honestly say the wait for a sequel will be a worthy one....more
I just can't get over how I can get so caught up in my emotions whenever I read something by Marissa Meyer.
Because, ugh, she makes me FEEL.
The LittleI just can't get over how I can get so caught up in my emotions whenever I read something by Marissa Meyer.
Because, ugh, she makes me FEEL.
The Little Android was like every story about unrequited love was twisted into one giant ball and then tipped upside down. Because Star just doesn't get her happy ending. But it was beautiful either way.
Miko and Dartaran were your simple star crossed lovers, with Miko being a somewhat kindred soul to Star and Daratan being forever unreachable.
And Star was just lost, lost in a sea of emotions that she couldn't understand, in love with someone she could never have and destined to be alone.
I love the tie-in with Cinder. She was only there for a moment but her personality still shined through.
And I totally hope that we see more Mech6.0 in the upcoming novels!
And while I'm hoping things: Why can't this be a whole other novel?...more
I don't know why it took me so long to pick this one up since Kalli can never seem to disappoint me when it comes to recommendAnd Kalli strikes again!
I don't know why it took me so long to pick this one up since Kalli can never seem to disappoint me when it comes to recommendations, but am I ever glad I finally did.
The world-building of this novel is sensational. The characters, phenomenal. The plot, intriguing. The fabled aspect that follows this story, fantastic.
But what surprisingly hooked me into this book the most?
I know, I know. It's seems absolutely ridiculous and utterly confusing BUT it's true.
I didn't get lost when it came to the somewhat meagre explanations as to how and why the monarchical system of the "trolls" worked and was the way it was. I actually was interested because the politics are such a crucial part of the plot. And Jensen manages to keep you engaged and weave the politics into every aspect of the book. There's no ass-dumping of information that boggles your mind with piece after piece of laws and regulations thrown at your perplexed brain. And it's not a dumb-downed version of how the world works either. The history and interactions of the "trolls" with humans are all carefully laden with political importance so that you're gradually introduced to it all without really realizing it. Every major event clues you in a little bit more to how this society works and what makes it tick.
I honestly think that's the best part about this novel.
Then there's the characterization.
Cécile, who isn't bad-ass per se is what I like to consider almost revolutionary. She's like a female version of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - she might not be accustomed to the world around her but she inherently knows what is good and morally just and she is willing to fight for the causes that she deems worthy. She doesn't realize it, but she is beacon of hope to a large portion of the "troll" world and I wouldn't be surprised if eventually, some of the pressure that comes with that kind of burden gets to her. She is a little self-absorbed but in a perfectly acceptable way considering she's got a lot to sift through in that mind of hers what with being kidnapped and brought into a world that she once thought to be myth. But what I think is most admirable about Cécile is that she never once strays from her morals, she is consistently true to herself even though fate and "trolls" often conspire against her.
Which is extremely important because a significant aspect of the novel revolves around the idea of honesty; the art of lying is a bit of an art-form in this book because of the deeply ingrained politics. The idea that knowledge is power takes a back-seat to a newer line of thinking - that truth is power - and it's a really interesting line of thinking at that. The power of words is especially prevalent throughout the novel, especially with the whole names-have-power motto of the "trolls".
Side note! (By now you've probably noticed the reappearing quotation marks around the word "troll" whenever I bring them up. The reason for this becomes completely obvious as you learn that the trolls aren't really what they seem to be when you get about a third of the way into the book.)
I found it oddly compelling that Jensen managed to switch the roles of the liars and the fools even though the "trolls" cannot outrightly tell a lie while humans are not subject to such trivial matters. Cécile was undoubtedly honest even while trying to lie while Tristan twisted words around and danced around them as to avoid the truth. This reinforces everything that you know about Cécile and the "trolls" to be true - that Cécile is almost unfortunately too kind-hearted while the "trolls" can never fully be trusted. It's the notion that not being able to lie in fact makes you better at omitting the truth which I feel will play an increasingly important role in the books to come.
Other characters were also a joy to read.
Tristan, as mysterious as tried to appear to be, was still likeable. Perhaps not to the extent that I wish he was but he seemed to me to be a bit of an old soul. He wore mask upon mask upon mask to do what needed to be done in his eyes and was actually very manipulative but in a very inconspicuous way. Almost like he didn't even realize he was being so, which is potentially more dangerous. Victoria and Vincent were minor characters but it was still a pleasure to read about the bickering siblings. Marc was a little bit broken, a little bit stoic, a little bit emotional and a whole bunch of bits the perfect best friend/cousin for Tristan. And Anaïs was a fantastic warrior suffering from unrequited love and the curse of her family name.
But the characters that I loved the most were the villains. The political standpoint of many characters allowed there to be a variety of different villains all with different nefarious plans for the future. Thibault was connivingly superb as an evil tyrant. Angoulême was a blatant textbook enemy of the Montigny family. And Roland, though constantly alluded to and only allowed to grace our presence with a mere glimpse of his character, was by far the most dangerous and interesting - dare I say psychopathically deadly. Everyone had their own edge to stand on and I was really enjoying trying to decipher who could potentially be a true friend or foe. As of now, a lot of the characters are still up in the air for me.
As for the things that made this only a 4 star instead of 5?
The title of this book is called Stolen Songbird. Pretty obvious title but not enough to back it up in the long run when you read the book. Why? Well OK, yes, Cécile can sing. It's established, she does it a couple of times throughout the story. But so what she can sing? I can sing too. Why is this something we need to know? It just doesn't seem to be important enough to warrant a title slot. The prophecy only alludes to her singing ability if interpreted a certain way. I just felt like there should of been a little more oomph to the whole singing thing. Maybe a plot twist or something could've shown the significance of her "angel voice". As of now, it seems like a loose thread in the plot - but I'm hoping it gets tightened as the story continues.
And then the romance. It was by no means horrible. But it really threw a wrench in the character development for me. Tristan stating he loved her from the moment he saw her? Cécile practically throwing herself at him when I didn't even understand why she was suddenly so horny? The romance itself was actually really good. It was gradual. It had substance. There was not rainbows and pretty butterflies the entire time. But when you factor in the characters themselves? It was like the puzzle pieces didn't quite fit for me. I found myself huffing a little too often during scenes where romance was at the forefront of the plot. It didn't get to the eye-rolling stage but something just wasn't quite clicking for me. There were too many secrets and too many differences between them for the romance to play out exactly the way it did. I'm not saying the romance was wrong, but the execution wasn't as stellar as some of the other parts of the novel.
Which is the real reason why we're only at 4 stars. The political angle of the story was so strong that other aspects of the book, mainly the romance, seemed a little lack-lustre in comparison. The length of the book was a little long in terms of the telling of the story rather than the showing of their growing romance.
“In August, we agreed to go to the prom together this year,” Pam reminds Josh. “So I’m just formalizing the agreement. You sign here”—she points to t“In August, we agreed to go to the prom together this year,” Pam reminds Josh. “So I’m just formalizing the agreement. You sign here”—she points to the first page—“and initial here.”
“Shit,” Josh says, shaking his head. “This thing is four pages? What does it say?”
"The first page is the agreement to be each other’s dates,” Pam says. “The second page says you’ll pose with me for at least twenty-five pictures. The third page lists acceptable colors and styles for your tux. Read that carefully, because if you show up wearing a ruffled shirt, I am legally entitled to kick you in the crotch.”
Word of the Wise:
Do not read this book in the middle of the night. Not unless you want to wake up an entire household.
So I've had this on my TR list for a while. And yeah, I've started like 5 other books but I wasn't really feeling them last night at 12 midnight. Instead, I opened this one.
Which, now that I think about it, was probably the worst decision I could have come to in my sleep deprived state.
Because of the amount of times I burst out laughing. I'm talking extremely loud guffaws and unbelievably piggish snorts that echoed throughout the entire house until I realised exactly what time it was and that people were trying to sleep.
I don't even know how many times it was exactly that I had to hold the uncontrollavke giggles in as silently as possible, all I know is that Flynn Meaney is freaking hilarious.
That said, there were a few things that bothered me throughout the whole thing that hindered me giving this book a full 5 star review. The alternating points of view in this novel irked me a bit at first. The time jumps and random tidbits of information about what was happening elsewhere kind of threw me a little in terms of how they connected plot-wise. But after a while I got used to it. Wasn't exactly thrilled with it, but I got used to it. I was also a little disappointed plot-wise in general. I didn't enjoy the ending, it just fell flat for me and I wish there could have been more said for the PMS - which makes waaaaay more sense and sounds less weird when you read the novel.
But other than the less-than-lack-lustre plot - things were great!
I can honestly say I loved each and every character - they were just written so well. Diva was a perfect diva, Eugene was oddly amusing and the 2 MC's different perceptions of the world around them were so realistic. I have no idea how Meaney came up with the idea of the boy recession, but the way her characters responded and acted in the situation that she put them in were downright hilarious.
Aviva's headlines were classic. A fantastic way to start off each chapter. Eugene's crazy money making schemes? Freaky genius. Pam's prom contract with Josh? Kind of bad-ass and bitchy at the same time - I loved it!
And the relationships? Were so well balanced romantically, especially with the secondary characters who got partnered up. There was a certain delicacy between the characters who ended up together; it reminded me of Buckleys cough syrup - it tastes awful, but it works. When you hear about a match, right off the bat you are totally opposed to it, but then you let it sink in and then you're like huh, that actually works out great!
And the ending? Total companion novel/sequel set up! Aviva at engineering camp with a low girl to guy ratio? That is The Girl Recession waiting to happen!
So I await your next novel Ms Meaney. Hoping you can top this one off with a bang. Until then I guess I'll just have to use these quotes to tide me over:
“Pam thinks it was about a fat girl,” Aviva says, not even looking up as she fills the last line of her notepad.
“Because it goes”—Aviva removes the pen from her mouth and uses it to flip her yellow pages back to where she jotted down lyrics—“ ‘You’re the soft place that I fall.’
“Eug, what is this?” I ask him.
“Pride and Prejudice!” Eugene says, tossing the DVD remote to one of the guys on the couch and coming back to stand with me. “Girls love this shit. Trust me.”
One escort turns around to say, “This version’s not bad. But I prefer the BBC miniseries. Six hours. I own it, if you’re interested.”
When the guy turns back around, Eugene tells me, “I got him from the divorced parents’ meeting.”
"This is as romantic as my prom night is going to get,” Darcy says. “Taping Aviva’s nipples down.”...more
“You’re not exactly what I’d imagine an angel would be like, you know.”
“I’d always pictured something, well, fluffier.”
Lou Morgan has recreated Hell.“You’re not exactly what I’d imagine an angel would be like, you know.”
“I’d always pictured something, well, fluffier.”
Lou Morgan has recreated Hell. And I, personally, love what she's done with the place. She's taken the stereotypical fire and brimestone and changed it completely into something even more frightening: a world where everything is ice and ever-numbing cold. She's added a waterfall made of ice, a gate made of bone and on top of that, added some kick-ass characters to the mix.
Blood and Feathers is simply put, fantastic. Why? It hits almost all of my top 5: characterization, plot, style and humour.
Morgan just has a way with words. The language and style she weaved into this story made it ridiculously enjoyable, I couldn't put it down for a second. I had to read it one sitting. Her descriptive words pulled me in hook, line and sinker. And so did the plot. Her take on angels was so new and refreshing that I actually wanted to learn more about the Descended, the Earthbound, the Fallen, the Travelers and even the 12. Her divisions within both Heaven and Hell created this backstory that was just so enjoyable to read.
The angels themselves really became the soldiers Morgan set them out to be; they were cold, blood-thirsty and always fighting for their cause, which is something I never thought could be attributed to an angel. Even the Fallen angels seemed to be more demon-like if anything.
And by tipping the term 'angel' on it's head, it made the characters that much more entertaining:
Alice was a kick-ass heroine. A half-blood who refused to follow orders and refused to take no for an answer. Not to mention the cool fire thing. She was a so-called human placed into the middle of a war between angels, and I have to say she handled herself pretty spectacularly.
But Mallory by far was my favourite character. Another character I have to add to my list of fictional guy's I have a huge crush on. He was a crude, messy, Earthbound angel that had a drinking problem and was a bad-ass fighter to boot. What is there not to love? His humour was hilarious and his 'I care but I don't care' attitude was frustrating but I love him to pieces.
And the Archangels were so well-written. Michael was scary and hardcore and kind of amusing. Like he was the Big Bad. With that kind of entrance, it made him an awesome character with awesome powers who knows how to take charge. Gabriel on the other hand was a corrupt idiot fond of having temper tantrums (which I never thought I'd say) and I while I loved seeing him get put into his place (view spoiler)[Gwyn too. Killing an innocent comrade, cavorting with the Fallen, I knew there was something about him... (hide spoiler)] I can't wait to see what's in store for him in the sequel. And Raphael was just... fluffy. He made me smile goofily in contrast to the other 2.
And a shout-out has to go to Vhnori, or Vin for short, who was just too frickin funny (view spoiler)[that scene where he gives Mallory another gun and then throws Mallory's flask away? Classic. (hide spoiler)]. Plus he has such an awesome name.
The only thing I felt was missing in the novel? Romance!!! While the action scenes were great, the absence of romance was felt. I would've loved to see at least a kiss or two, especially between Mallory and Alice because I have totally hopped on that shipping train (view spoiler)[even despite the whole Mallory and Seket relationship (hide spoiler)]. I would've been happy with a little Vin and Sari action. But no, nothing. Zip. Nada. Guess I'm just gonna have to wait.
All in all, Blood and Feathers was a great novel from a great new debut author. And you can be sure as Hell freezing over that I'm going to get my hands on the sequel.
And so, in conclusion, I offer you all a little taste of what I have dubbed, 'Mallory humour':
“I told you, Alice. I know you. You think we’d leave you unprotected all these years? There’s always been someone watching over you. Your junior school teacher, Esther Charles? A half-born. Eddie North, your college lecturer? An Earthbound. Your therapist...”
“You’re telling me that Dr Grove is an angel? Seriously?”
“No, I was going to tell you he owed me money."
“And to think, when we first met, you were giving me the whole ‘brothers’ spiel. What happened to that, by the way?”
“Fuck it.” Mallory kicked a stone that lay in his path, and watched it bounce along the rock. “That was clearly my charming naivety speaking. It won’t happen again. In the meantime, I suggest we find a way out.”
Sigh. What a guy.["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I don't know what I was thinking tAwesome or nothing.
The last 3 words of the book.
The last 3 words of the series.
And in the end... it was awesome.
I don't know what I was thinking the ending was going to be like for this series, all I knew was that I was really excited to find out. And I have to say, I think the way Jana Oliver ended it was spot-on awesome.
Everyone's been wondering about Beck's past and it played a major role in the plot development of this story. His interactions with his mother, the memories of this childhood were enough to bring even me to tears. And I hate crying. (It was only like one or two tears anyways). I think Beck really pushed this book along and it was really enjoyable to see him so integral to the plot.
But don't get me wrong, Riley was still kicking ass. She had more of a mental strength to uphold in this one, ending up being Beck's pillar of strength and it added a different element to the story compared to the previous books.
And their relationship? Can I just say, finally? FINALLY! Fans have been waiting for this since the beginning and Jana Oliver delivered. Riley grew up in the sense that she really took the bull by the horns when it came to fighting for their relationship and Beck learned to open up. Ultimately they still had their discrepancies and difficulties but they way they put up with each other, having each other's back through thick or thin really solidified the bond between them. I loved almost every minute of it. The thing was, there were no major squealey moments. I was kinda hoping for those. I wanted a jaw-dropping moment where I physically had to put down the book for a second and walk away in fit of passionate emotion. I didn't get it. I was really hoping I would, but I didn't.
But there are some shout-outs that really have to go out to some of the other characters who actually made me smile with glee or made me want to bawl my eyes out:
Ori: Ah the return of the infamous Fallen angel. He was back and bad-ass as ever and his new demeanor was killer. I totally fell for his righteous act towards the end and what a finish for this guy, let me tell you. Bittersweet. I kind of fell in love with him a bit. So sue me.
Simon: The little Simon that grew. I went from absolutely hating this guy to liking him again by the end of the novel. His interactions with Riley just totally redeemed him in my eyes. It was nice to see.
Grand Master Stewart: I can honestly say I think Grand Master Stewart is hot for an old guy. I think it's the accent, but I could be wrong. I just love his attitude, the fatherly figure he plays, and his little backstory revealed throughout the novel was so fitting.
But my favourite shout-out character is definitely Sadie. She was everything I pictured her to being and more. She was just a horrible mother figure who never had the will to live for her kid and didn't know what do with him. So she abandoned him. Not once did she offer her love to Beck, not even at the end (you'll know what I mean when you get there.) She was just so damn good of a character, so real and shocking that I couldn't get enough of her.
All in all, plot-wise I feel like the ending leaves enough little openings that make me wish there is a possibility for a sequel. It's just the little comments that were said and lack of tattoo removals.
But even if it's wishful thinking I don't mind. Riley and Beck's story might be over, but that doesn't mean I can't read it all over again....more
“How artfully we plants beckon; how perfectly we punish. . . .”
First reaction to the book upon finishing...
Holy Mother of Shit Sticks! Where is the s“How artfully we plants beckon; how perfectly we punish. . . .”
First reaction to the book upon finishing...
Holy Mother of Shit Sticks! Where is the sequel?!?
After that, I am speechless.
I actually can't believe it took me so long to finish the one, but MAN, am I glad I did!
Kresley Cole's debut in the YA world has literally blown me away. There is no other way for me to describe it. First off, you have to realize that I have a fascination with anything and everything paranormal, especially Tarot. I have my own deck and the concept of any book incorporating the mysticism behind the Major Arcana - it just mesmerizes me. So this book? Totally up my alley. Coupled with not only the dystopian aspect but a hot Cajun guy who speaks French?
Again, Holy Mother of Shit Sticks! Where is the sequel?!?!
To start off, the world building in this story is just phenomenal. From before the Flash, to after the Flash, the juxtaposition between the two was just so thought-out and meticulous that at times it was like I was actually there, like a little spider on the wall watching the entire thing pan out.
And did it ever pan out! The Bagmen were terrifying, the militia were too, the other Arcana were as mysterious as ever, even when some of them were introduced to Evie personally. And while the beginning was a little slow, I can totally understand the need for it. You need to see exactly how big of a change it is to go from Before Flash to After Flash. The backstory helps fuel the book plot wise, and I am hooked. The cause of the Flash, the idea of slavers, the lack of women which I am now realizing is very intriguing, it's all served with a bunch of twists and turns and cartwheels and butterflies that you just cannot avoid. One thing I really loved? The cryptic Arcana calls. All of them were just so obscure and catchy from "Eyes to the skies, lads, I strike from above!" to Come, touch. But you'll pay a price. Together, the Tarot cards integrated with the idea of the Flash apocalypse is just so hauntingly fresh and unfamiliar that you can't fight the pull. I sure couldn't. I mean that ending just about killed me.
And characterization? It has got it in spades! Clubs, hearts and diamonds too, even if that is the wrong deck of cards! Every single character is just so well-written with perfect dialogue and even greater personalities. Matthew makes me want to coddle him and smack him at the same time, Selena intrigues me yet I still want to punch her, and Finn? After the sugartits line he had me. No qualms about it, I think I love him.
But not as much as I love Jackson Deveaux. Even the name has me squealing and fanning my face like a crazed fan lunatic. I haven't fan-girled this much since Daemon Black! Everything from this guy's entrance on a motorbike - which is so totally hot by the way, kudos Cole - to his accent, to his goddamned leather jacket just screams sex appeal and he had me right from the beginning. Hook, line and sink-her!
And the chemistry between him and Evie? Scorching. Torrid. Burning-my-eyeballs-but-I-don't-even-care-at-this-point-he's-so-yummy hot. The way the story balances the romance and action is superb, but it is heightened with these two characters.
Which brings me to the leading lady herself. Honest? At first, I didn't know what to make of her. Didn't know whether I should like her or hate her. I'm feeling the love now though. Brushing off Jackson is not something I would've done, but I now idolize the kick-assness of this chick after the whole Arthur debacle. This girl can fight and she can fight dirty and I love that about her. Her insecurities are totally reasonable, her thoughts are engaging and when push comes to shove, she shows she cares, even though the blood of murderer pretty much runs through her veins. And her powers? I never would have thought that plants could be considered awesome to control but I see the allure now. Still don't like gardening, but see the allure.
One thins I find myself pondering are all these questions now that have arisen. Ones like:
Is it really just the Major Arcana involved here, or will we be seeing things Suit related? Is Jackson really a non-Arcana? Could he belong to a Suit if they come into play at all? And what is up with this war really?
So many questions, not enough answers. And too many days to wait for the sequel. So here's one quote shared with the aim to pull into the thrall of this book. Here's hoping you'll be here with me as I wait for the sequel.
I guess I had been fighting her this entire time, resisting the realization. Indeed she had been coming for me. Even now I could feel her arising—inside of me.
Surely Matthew had sent me those nightmares? Or were they included in the Empress package?
As I peered at my emerald eyes, I recalled other details about the Empress card.
Rolling hills had stretched behind her, but now I realized her empire had been awash in green and red—from both crops and blood. Her hair had been strewn with blossoms, vines—and strands of red.
Her hands had been upraised, arms spread wide, beckoning. Yet her gaze had been deadly, her eyes saying, “Come, touch . . . but you’ll pay a price.”...more
“We were going to have such a passionate romance, too, like in the dramas. But, no—I’ll die alone, never kissed, not once.”
He groaned, but it was out“We were going to have such a passionate romance, too, like in the dramas. But, no—I’ll die alone, never kissed, not once.”
He groaned, but it was out of frustration, not heartbreak. “Listen, Cress, I hate to break this to you, but I am sweaty and itchy and haven’t brushed my teeth in two days. This just isn’t a good time for romance.”
Oh my god Cress.
Oh my god Carswell.
Words cannot explain how very serious and passionate my romance with this book is.
This is a full blown love at first read kinda romance guys.
Meyer's is actually just my idol. A genie. In a freaking bottle that is basically fulfilling my every wish.
And we are so past major fangirling right now and I don't even care. I have no shame. I would scream this from rooftops I swear.
Cress takes the story building from Scarlet and the fantastic characterization from Cinder and just explodes with magnificent plot lines and connections.
We start right back into the thick of it with Cinder and her crew and the lovely introduction to Cress. Cress is a different kind of girl than both Scarlet and Cinder and she, like them, is perfect. She is quirky due to her pretty solitary life and is rather shy, but she has moments of pure melodrama and just a hint of the fighting spark in her that just make her a rather girly kick-ass. But she makes it work.
Her relationship with Carswell Thorne- who's name is 50 shades of awesome sauce and is totally going to be given to one of my future children - is so sweet and I just get crazy feels about how well they perfectly balance each other out. Thorne is pretty much the Han Solo of this crew and every bit as swoon worthy as he should be AND MORE. And his one-liners. Priceless. Especially considering his condition for most of the book.
So what does this mean?? Basically that I'm at the point where I have physical and emotional attachments to pretty much every character in this novel.
Cinder is still bad-ass and resourceful, so basically she's still No. 1 on my 'if-you-could-be-any-female-character-from-a-novel-who-would-it-be' list. Her worries became my worries and the whole Sybil faceoff had me gripping my tablet so freaking hard I pretty much went into a coma and needed Thorne to switch me back on too.
Kai is really developing too and getting to see his point of view was a real treat. Scarlet and Wolf didn't have too many POV's but they still shined whenever they did, especially the Scarlet - whose quick mouth and crazy nerves were so called for towards the end. And Wolf was pretty much heartbreaking the entire novel, so MAJOR feels for him. Even Dr. Erland and dare I say Sybil were great, especially the revelations and inside looks at other characters that we get from them.
Which brings up the question, what about the POV's? Don't they get distracting? NO!! They actually push the story along because Meyer managed to tie the plot into the different POV's and weave them so the story was enhanced instead of detracted from. I think it's what makes this novel virtually perfect. The POV's are so well written that once you get absorbed into the story, not only can you not stop reading, it feels like a movie going by. The magnificent world-building is kept up to par and the story flows according to the perfect pace.
The introduction of Winter to connect to the final book is just so well placed and her backstory is given in little slips from the other characters yet still kept pretty mysterious, especially when she speaks herself. I can tell she's going to be a very interesting character in the next one.
But my favourite part of the book?
Well there was Jacin and then there was Darcy.
And then there was Iko.
Who pretty much stole the show for me.
She was hilarious and played her role to a freaking capital T and more. She was basically a version of me inside the novel saying the exact little comments I would have said if I'd been there myself. So I seriously need her to have her own novel and HEA. Marissa Meyer if you're reading this please MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
And so to end off, a moment with my gal pal Iko. Because we all need a little Iko in our lives:
“See? Injustice. Here we are, risking our lives to rescue Kai and this whole planet, and Adri and Pearl get to go to the royal wedding. I’m disgusted. I hope they spill soy sauce on their fancy dresses.”
Jacin’s concern turned fast to annoyance. “Your ship has some messed-up priorities, you know that?”
“Iko. My name is Iko. If you don’t stop calling me the ‘ship,’ I am going to make sure you never have hot water during your showers again, do you understand me?”
“Yeah, hold that thought while I go disable the speaker system.”