I'm not really sure I'm very happy with this book; that's not to say I didn't like it either. I just can't place it anywhere between like and not like...moreI'm not really sure I'm very happy with this book; that's not to say I didn't like it either. I just can't place it anywhere between like and not like.
First of all I must admit: I was about to drop this book. The story was good, actually, but the narration bored me so much. Elliot has this way of explaining and/or describing things in complete detail that makes reading tiresome. It's quite daunting to read such long paragraphs of things the heroine sees, hears or does, and it doesn't even have such a long effect on the story. To be honest, I skimmed through those long describing paras most of the time.
Also, the story really got my interest when I was almost halfway through the book. Maybe because of the long narrations in the beginning. Or maybe because I didn't try to imagine every small detail and make my head ache.
Finally, what I liked (though I can't say I loved it) was the romance. It was very little and quite confusing, actually, but those scenes made me smile. Or it could be that I haven't read anything gush-worthy these past few weeks that my tolerance level for this kind of romance has gotten low.
(I'll probably rewrite this review next time. It's so muddled up and confusing LOL)(less)
The main plot was blah. The events surrounding it--very much so. Things were so repetitive it got predictable and ver...moreAn OK start, and a boring ending.
The main plot was blah. The events surrounding it--very much so. Things were so repetitive it got predictable and very, very boring.
What made the book less enjoyable were the characters. They lacked personality--except perhaps the lead girl, but she's still too jumpy for my taste--and I found no one I particularly liked. Possibly, the only one who could have passed as a well-built character didn't stick through the whole book.
(view spoiler)[I couldn't grasp the idea of Ai Ling's power until I was almost done with the book, but Ai Ling seemed to be such a pro in using her powers, which, let me point out, she found out about merely hours/days ago. It's not like she lived knowing she had some hidden powers, so she couldn't have possibly wondered about having powers. Also, she immediately accepted having weird and uncommon powers--like "snapping" her soul from her body to another. A very strange talent, yet she didn't even freak out. She understood and acknowledged her powers calmly.
And what makes me laugh right now is the fact that Ai Ling always used her powers to defeat every demon thrown her way and save the day--even to Zhong Ye, who, when first mentioned, was described as someone worth fearing and very powerful. Yet, in just ONE night, in probably less than ten minutes, he. is. dead. WHAT! WHAT KIND OF ANTICLIMACTIC CLIMAX IS THAT, AFTER BUILDING UP ALL THAT FUSS? Gosh, the stupidity of it is just so pleasantly annoying.
Lastly, Chen Yong is such a lousy, lame hero. Honestly, I first thought he would be likeable because he's foreign, and he's kind and strong and reliable. But somehow, he became selfish and self-sacrificing all at the same time. He turned from an exotic, dashing young lad to an oblivious, pitiful, useless, weak guy with mood disorder. And I'm not saying he should be a knight in shining armor, always saving Ai Ling, but he didn't exactly do that even once. Unless you count the Ai-Ling-drowning-in-the-river thing. Which I didn't. (hide spoiler)]
Finally, the only thing I could say about the ending is it sucked. Period.
I can't say I'm looking forward to reading the next book, because I'm not really thrilled about it right now, and I have a lot of pending books which I'm sure are better than this one. But for the mean time, I'm not dropping the series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, I didn't expect to like this. My sister, who read a different book by Stiefvater, said she didn't quite enjoy it, and I was ready to be disappoi...moreWell, I didn't expect to like this. My sister, who read a different book by Stiefvater, said she didn't quite enjoy it, and I was ready to be disappointed in this. Actually, about third-ways to the book, I was about to drop it.
The beginning bored me. And the switching POVs didn't really help. I didn't like that type of writing because the story's flow is not so...fluid. This was not an exception. My dislike for the writing style somehow lessened towards the end, but I'm not sure I'm ready to read another book with switching POVs. Also, I'm not so fond of long, complicated, kind-of-poetic sentences to describe things, and...well, Stiefvater's famous for that, isn't she?
The book picked up pace somewhere near half of the book, so I suggest for other readers out there to be patient. It definitely gets better.
As for the characters, the girl neither made her way to my hated list of heroines nor to my favorite list. Annoying moments came in rarely I could count them, so I guess that's a good thing. She's impulsive and strong and quite hot-headed, but she had shown her weaknesses too. Another plus.
The boy, on the other hand, didn't make such a big appearance at first. I thought he was going to be in the background forever. But he turned out to be very likeable. His character is different from the other guys I have read and liked, and I found it attractive. (view spoiler)[For some odd reason, Sean reminds me of Percy Jackson (by Rick Riordan). Perhaps it's because they both love the sea. But I never thought that Sean was like Percy personality-wise; they're pretty much the opposite. (hide spoiler)]
I liked the ending too. I think it was just right, the way things ended. I'm not sure if others will agree with me, but the ending did seem abrupt. (It's weird; this has been a problem of mine from the books I've recently read. Is it the authors' problem or just mine? Oh well, whatever.) Suddenness aside, all went well.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I started reading this book without expecting too much. The plot sounded okay, but other than that, I didn't even think I'd like it.
The book's pretty...moreI started reading this book without expecting too much. The plot sounded okay, but other than that, I didn't even think I'd like it.
The book's pretty good. The storyline focused more on the plot itself, which is a relief, otherwise I'd be closing this book and placing it under "dropped" rather than reading through so many romantic scenes. Not much swearing, either. Maybe about three to five times only.
Simner also did a good job with maintaining the characters with their personalities, though I can't be too sure if it applied to everyone.
(view spoiler)[It is a bewildering thought that Haley's boyfriend, Jared, does not appear much. The only thing I can tell about him is he's very caring and uncaring at the same time. The ending surprised me, honestly. Your boyfriend not minding that you meet with another? Weird.
But Ari himself is quite attractive, I have to say. His English (I wish he spoke in it more often) is amusing and cute. And the fact that he has green eyes makes him more crush-able. I think Ari is the second or third person I liked with green eyes. It's an amazing thing. And white polar-bear hair appeals nicely too.
And Haley? Well, she annoyed me at first. She no doubt falls into those self-righteous heroines category, but I guess she didn't turn out to be so annoying. The fact that she doesn't gush so much helped. (hide spoiler)]
As I said, I liked the book, but I can't say I'm very willing to buy this book. And if I'm going to be reading this a second time around.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I looked forward to a book by Anthony Horowitz. Maybe the reason I was excited to read this.
I'm not disappointed by the writing style. I have a great...moreI looked forward to a book by Anthony Horowitz. Maybe the reason I was excited to read this.
I'm not disappointed by the writing style. I have a great feeling I'll like the Alex Rider series.
The plot was OK, and the set of characters accompanying it was average to maybe-likeable. (view spoiler)[The villains, though, were pure evil. Like they were created from the bones of wickedness. Not so much spectacular. (hide spoiler)]
I gave this a rating of only two simply because I found the whole book very depressing. (view spoiler)[Matt Freeman is an orphan, taken care of by his aunt. No one loves him, and no one wants to take care of him. He has no friends. People always take advantage of him. And people who do care always end up dead. In this first book, already 3 people had died trying to help Matt. It would've been 4 if Richard didn't survive.
Which reminds me, Why was Richard saved by Mrs. Deverill? The only thing he ended up doing was spoiling the ritual, and that was not for her sake. (hide spoiler)]
I'm probably still going to read the series, despite its creepiness. I hold a big hope that things will brighten up in the future.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It was pretty good. The plot, the introduction...all good. But, well, it didn't reach my expectations much. It's a good read, vam...moreTwo point five stars.
It was pretty good. The plot, the introduction...all good. But, well, it didn't reach my expectations much. It's a good read, vampires and all. And for once, it's not the romance head-over-heels type of vampire fiction.
I like Alex, though he didn't make it on my "crush" list. He's a good protagonist--brave, adrenaline-powered, smart in a battling kind of way, cares for his friends--but honestly, his character's so plain and flat. And sometimes, the opposite: very unstable. And the rest of the casts have fluctuating personalities too, except for perhaps a handful.
The book started out great, really. It got me hooked so quickly it felt nice. But it did disappoint me, though very little compared to other books I've read.
Besides the characters' personality defects, Jason Henderson's narration sometimes confuses me, especially during action and descriptive moments. It's either I end up not imagining the place, human, creature, whatever (in short just almost skipping through the sentences) or I keep rereading but barely manage to get the details in my head. And one more thing. He italicizes words too much. Sometimes I think it's not even needed, but he does anyway.
This series, currently, is not on my "worth-buying" list. I'll have to check the second book and see if the writing improves. Though it's not completely worth buying (except for the handsome boy on the cover), it's worth a read. Not the best, but still worth a try.(less)
I heard that this series was like Harry Potter. Well, it's not exactly like it, but I think its value is pretty much the same. I can't say just yet, s...moreI heard that this series was like Harry Potter. Well, it's not exactly like it, but I think its value is pretty much the same. I can't say just yet, since it's the first book. But it didn't disappoint me, and I think it's going to be a great series.
To be honest, Percy's character is not very great. I mean, I didn't think, "Percy's soo cute!" But I like him. I guess I didn't expect him to be like that, but I gradually accepted him as is. He's not a typical young male lead; he's really great.
The plot was delivered nicely too. It's not confusing, and not too abrupt. Well maybe, but it went along with Percy's train of thought, and I think that's just all right. Sometimes, you'd actually know something before Percy realizes it, but it's not the oblivious type. Riordan's way of writing and telling the story is really great.(less)
It's OK. Perhaps not the best fantasy-romance novel, but it's pretty decent.
If I'll base it solely on the story, I'd give it a four star. One good thi...moreIt's OK. Perhaps not the best fantasy-romance novel, but it's pretty decent.
If I'll base it solely on the story, I'd give it a four star. One good thing about Red Riding Hood is that it didn't focus wholly on the love story, although it had its effects in the flow of the story.
As for the characters... Valerie is not the best lead out there, but she's OK. She's obsessed at some point (which I hate) but she has a few redeeming qualities too. Throughout the story, I knew her basic qualities, but Sarah Blakley-Cartwright didn't put into light her other personalities that made people in the story like her. Which is probably why I feel she's not the best female lead. And Peter is hot, as the author described, and he's not your typical bad boy neighbor--he's really bad, which taints his handsome appearance. (And I like that, since the guy doesn't always have to be perfect.) Though, he lacked character development, big time. Lucie is a great sister, I think. Just some parts left me questioning her motives, though. And I can't say much here or I'll spoil the story. Henry Lazar is probably the perfect guy in the story, but I don't hate him. Actually, he's pretty scarred too, and his character was developed (at least much more than the others) so the readers can actually like him for his personalities, not just because he looks good. And honestly, if Valerie liked Henry, I wouldn't hate her (which was something usually did, because I hate girls who switched from one guy to another). I think I would if I was in her position. XD
Except for one part (perhaps two to three pages), the novel is pretty "clean" and YA-ish.
And if Sarah Blakley-Cartwright was planning on a second book with her ending, I'm still disappointed. She left a lot of questions left unanswered. It's like she opened ten boxes of jigsaw puzzles throughout the story, but answered only one or two. Every reader is left with his/her own to think of the answers.(less)