Okay... so Blackwell forced me to highlight (it's her fault, if she didn't have such an *awesome* narrative voice I wouldn't have to bother), so it ja...moreOkay... so Blackwell forced me to highlight (it's her fault, if she didn't have such an *awesome* narrative voice I wouldn't have to bother), so it jacked up my review to 5-star category right away. When I highlight, it's automatically a five star. She is almost poetic in a few passages and I lingered over them, faithfully highlighting them for future reflection.
The best news about this book is the level of tension and intrigue. Blackwell masters that feel perfectly. It is not a full-blown mystery, she always stays firmly in the intrigue realm and it's fascinating to me. It's like that blow pop that melts in your mouth, you know what's at the end, but the wait is at once bearable and pleasurable, equally balanced. Speaking of endings, I've never read an ending that was a "soft" cliffhanger. I totally loved that finesse! I won't give it away but I was stoked for book three. I was hoping it would go in that direction and it did.
Things I loved: the intrigue and tension, from the fighting, to Scout's unravel in her new life. She's sort of pulled in all directions and this is showcased beautifully. Blackwell does a great job at characterization and fairly accurate teen dialogue, mixing in contemporary vernaculars along with her regional ones, is clever and grounds the work's prose (for me). Scout's sort of a porcupine, she's not the "helpless" female and is contrary in her manner. This is a unique take that is not used very much in YA and I liked Blackwell doing it.
Things I didn't like as much: See above where I say Scout's a porcupine? I don't really like her very much. She is difficult to connect with and seems selfish to me. I think Blackwell endeavors to mature her as the MC so I'm withholding judgement until book 3 but hope for more growth into the woman I see peeking out around the edges. Also, (see above), although the dialogue is spot-on for the most part, the absolute lack of profanity in the internal and external monologue is not reflective of most teens. The shying away from that in the writing made the dialogue have a false ring at certain points during the read. The converse of that is, of course, parents that are ultra-concerned about profanity or the relatives of that: gratuitous sex/drug reference, etc. will be more than pleased by its absence.
Overall, it's a fantastic read and one everyone should enjoy~
I am reading this series back-to-back so no reviews on other books unless they fall from the sky like rain! This author seems to be on my exact freque...moreI am reading this series back-to-back so no reviews on other books unless they fall from the sky like rain! This author seems to be on my exact frequency! Suttle offers just enough of a variety of different genres to keep me losing sleep over reading her work! The Kindle abuse continues, guys!(It hits my face at 2AM, wakes me up, I go back to reading!). Great recipe right before Christmas. So, why are these so addictive?
You just have to know what happens next.
From one unbelievable scene to the next. I see elements of other authors in her work. If you like the following authors, you may also like Suttle: Evanovich, Laurell K. Hamilton and J.R. Rain. She takes the best of the humor from Evanovich, the great criminal mystery of Hamilton before she digressed into erotica, and the "normalness" of the MC from Rain and combines those riveting elements in one fell swoop of her own. Brilliant and enthralling.
Lissa continues to be a bottle in the ocean for the vampires, mercilessly swept along in a current not of her making. Independent, engagingly intelligent and vital in her own skin she cannot help but resent their inability to trust her instincts. Instead, the vamps plow over the top of her with their "laws" while simultaneously abusing her gifts for their personal exploitation. I was so ticked on a few parts I had to take a moment. I was enraged for the MC! Unreal! Suttle seems to have an interesting "who dunit" thread running through her work that pleases the heck out of me and I am already enjoying that continuity in book three.
I almost cried at the ending. I was in agony for Lissa's treatment in book two and sincerely hope that Suttle takes that full circle and gives those responsible a suitable reckoning. I have a short list for her anyway. I love that when I finished that horrible cliffhanger, I was able to achieve closure with the beginning of book three, which seamlessly picks up where two left off. These books are not for the faint of heart, there are disturbing human elements throughout and described in horrifically honest fashion... unflinching. Non-homogenized fare.
Okay, where is my option to give more than five stars on this book... really? I absolutely loved this book, it was a face-plant-with-the-Kindle guys.....moreOkay, where is my option to give more than five stars on this book... really? I absolutely loved this book, it was a face-plant-with-the-Kindle guys...a two AM shot for sure. Hubby bought this for me using his secret recipe and does it have fantastic diversity! It's not some tired vamp story with a few cookie-cutter werewolves thrown in for fun. It's an "all-aboard" speeding bullet of action, paranormal and supernatural powers. Most importantly for me it provides an intense connection to the MC. That was critical to maintaining my interest and Suttle did it.
Lissa is a middle-aged faithful wife that becomes a widow and vampire in the same day. She's been a methodically diligent person her whole life and brings those little-appreciated skills to her new life as a rare female vampire. Her "sire" took a wager that he could turn a human female in a certain number of days and when he was complacent after turning Lissa, she escaped. Through sheer grit, determination and using her keen mind, Lissa proved she could survive the challenges she faced. Suttle is tremendously astute at forcing the reader to feel Lissa's struggles. I had a physical reaction to some of the passages where my guts actually clenched (I didn't know this was possible). I was that struck by her circumstances, that moved by Lissa's agony and feelings of uncertainty and limbo with the circumstances of her existence.
In walks Gavin, who as an older vampire has been assigned to terminate Lissa. Without having been turned "legally" she is now considered rogue. She never knows that he is vampire out of ignorance. Gavin gets an unabashed perspective as to who she is. Gavin becomes troubled at extinguishing a flame that burns that brightly, a rare illumination for their race. From the way she handles herself to her fierceness in protecting those that she's promised to, she is unwavering and brave. I like who Lissa is. Her fragility and tenaciousness were captured perfectly in this story. So perfectly, that I ran out like a one-click spaz and bought the rest of the series!
Although this is really a dark urban fantasy book, I'd say the world-building she accomplishes is more than simply urban. I really felt like the vampire and werewolf "worlds" that she alludes to then begins to construct its framework in book two may appeal to high fantasy lovers as well.
If you like perfect pacing, non-stop action with intrigue throughout, this is the story for you. Suttle IS subtle, allowing the reader to appreciate tension that at times is sprung so tautly you think you'll die, while giving us just enough information to be intrigued and fashion our own precepts. Wonderful!(less)
I have never read anything like "Six Moon Summer." The narrative style is completely unique and that got a three star out of me just for its sheer dif...moreI have never read anything like "Six Moon Summer." The narrative style is completely unique and that got a three star out of me just for its sheer difference. It had a "diary" type feel to it. I really felt like I WAS Rylie, like I was seeing and feeling things through her eyes.
Rylie's character feels like a fifteen year old that's been dropped and has a small fissure that continues to "run" like a crack in the windshield that grows. Life for her has been challenging of late as she comes to terms with her parents split while being shuttled off to a summer camp.
Her loneliness is profound and she turns inward, spending a lot of time just wanting to be left alone. Rylie has unusual coloring and looks so she never is quite successful in her desire to remain incognito. The other girls are petty and never give her a break. I felt a lot of empathy for her. Eventually she is befriended by Seth who turns into a supportive friend. The author was really clever about "outing" people that were more-or-less a surprise and I really enjoyed the way she peppered werewolf legend throughout the book. It was interesting but not like I was being "educated."
Reine was brave and never shied away from violence or the rawness of how awful things can and do happen. I really dug that. The author must be a unique person to have written this, it's just such a different perspective than I'm used to reading and that was welcome. Sometimes the YA genre gets a "homogenized" feel that gets tiresome. This work is a fine example of a "break-out" feel that is really unique, as was the premise.
First off, I absolutely ADORE the narrative voice this author uses! It has a conversational internal monologue and dialogue that makes the reader feel...moreFirst off, I absolutely ADORE the narrative voice this author uses! It has a conversational internal monologue and dialogue that makes the reader feel like they're eavesdropping on the MC and her friends! "Destiny Binds," captures this essence and immediately engages the reader and you never pause to question the reality she's created; it's flat-out that good.
The premise is a little more mundane and centers around shifters but Blackwell's humorous dialogue and interesting characterization really help boost what might be a tired or overdone premise into something captivating. She has a thread of mystery woven throughout that centers reader interest and a slow revealing of many small surprises throughout that maintain it. The ending was climatic and left the reader hanging but not in an I-want-to-strangle-the-author-cliffhanger feel. More like a, "What's going to happen next? I'm dying to read the sequel!" The author is definitely clever and comedic and lets all that flow through the story in an edgy "out there" feel that I really enjoyed. The romantic inference for the next book is clear and I can't wait to find out who Scout will end up with!