Never More is the sixth book in Dana Marie Bell’s Gray Court series.
As a favor to a close friend, Amanda Pierson agrees to be the planner for Robin GoNever More is the sixth book in Dana Marie Bell’s Gray Court series.
As a favor to a close friend, Amanda Pierson agrees to be the planner for Robin Goodfellow’s wedding. As they tend to do, things quickly go wrong when the groom’s adult son, Raven, takes a shining to her.
The concept behind these characters is fun and I was fairly excited to read this since I had enjoyed Robin’s book and Raven’s role in it. However, this book dragged.
I’m not a huge fan of stories centered on weddings, but I thought I’d be safe with this one since there was the promise of an assassin plot. Unfortunately, the larger concentration was on the wedding and all the characters’ wacky hijinks. This wouldn’t have been so bad if the story didn’t suffer from including nearly every single main character from previous books into the storyline.
It’s usually a problem when romances do this because there’s typically no point to these characters’ inclusion. They don’t drive the plot forward and have no story arc of their own. So, they’re only there to show how deliriously happy they all are and to weigh the plot down. This was the case with this book and it was made worse by the lack of conflict between the main characters. There was a little hemming and hawing by Amanda about her developing relationship with Raven, but nothing that really lasted more than a couple of pages. There’s also very little drama that occurs around the side plot of the Dark Queen wanting to kill Raven. So unfortunately, this book was extremely slow moving.
I also had an issue with the amount of really awful jokes that are peppered throughout the dialog, which had me cringing. At one point the main character asks if Raven is going to stick his jalapeño in her enchilada.
Between the lack of conflict, abundance of side characters and corny jokes, this book wasn’t my cup of tea....more
Gotham City Sirens: Songs of the Sirens features Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn who are now roommates and making an attempt at leading "normal"Gotham City Sirens: Songs of the Sirens features Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn who are now roommates and making an attempt at leading "normal" lives. The collection is as hokey as it sounds.
It opens with a darker story centered on Catwoman confronting a ghost from her past, which gets dropped until the very end of the volume. This theme of the women dealing with repercussions from their pasts while trying to start new lives, would have been great to stick with. Unfortunately, from here, we go into contrived stories with forced humor. Like Poison Ivy getting a job and Harley Quinn looking for someone's lost dog with Catwoman.
The only section of this collection that I really enjoyed was when the girls recruited The Riddler to investigate a dead body in their home. The ending was ridiculous, but I enjoyed the mock film noir set-up too much to care.
All in all, I'm extremely glad that I managed to borrow this from the library, rather than have spent money on it. ...more
Nearly every page in this collection had characters just wailing on each other. The small bits of plot included were pretty vague and only served as an excuse for more fight scenes. At the beginning, there’s a semi-interesting story involving the Joker returning that ties in to the "Death of the Family" arc. But that was fairly short lived and mostly just an extended scene of Harley and the Joker beating each other to a pulp. It was also annoying because we’re told that Harley Quinn was only brought into the team as bait to get the Joker out of hiding. Seriously? The one female on the squad was only included because they wanted her boyfriend? If I hadn’t heard how much better this series gets in volume four, I definitely would have given up on it at that point. From there, the story devolves into more random fight scenes while the team tries to recover a “package” for Waller.
The most confusing aspect of this volume was how much emphasis was placed on the “relationship” between Harley and Deadshot. In the previous two volumes, they interacted very little except for one quick fling and to shoot the occasional threat at each other. So, I didn’t buy that that the Joker threatening to dismember Deadshot’s corpse would be a huge deal for Harley or that Joker’s taunts about him would have very much impact. I thought Deadshot was just some dude she had sex with once.
Overall, this collection wasn’t very good. Very little actually happens and we’re treated to some recycled material. Like the killings of a handful of characters we had already seen die in the series. Considering that this volume ends at issue 19, that’s verging pretty close to “Oh my god, they killed Kenny” territory with a few of these characters.
Suicide Squad: Basilisk Rising picks-up in the aftermath of Harley Quinn’s jaunt through Gotham to retrieve what was left of the Joker. Deadshot is deSuicide Squad: Basilisk Rising picks-up in the aftermath of Harley Quinn’s jaunt through Gotham to retrieve what was left of the Joker. Deadshot is dealing with the emotional trauma of what Harley did to him and the rest of the team is getting crushed under Amanda Waller’s thumb for various reasons. When new information on the Basilisk organization comes to light, Waller recommissions everyone to help bring its leader down.
The first volume (Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth) focused mainly on Deadshot with the government portrayed as an underlying antagonist, willing to use convicts as expendable resources. Where I had issues with the astounding amount of cliches in the first volume, it at least had direction. Here… I’m not sure what they were trying to do.
In Basilisk Rising, the concentration shifts to Amanda Waller as she presses the team to discover which member is working for Basilisk. Personally, this didn’t work for me. For most of the series, Waller is painted as an antagonist to the squad. She’s the person who has them all under her thumb and would be happy to see every member on the squad die. She’s kind of insane, and not in a fun way. She has random bursts of violence and is a fairly vindictive person whose job is to play god with the squad. So, I really didn’t care enough about her character to read about her back-story. Especially when it’s main goal was to justify her actions and gain sympathy for the character.
Sitting through Waller’s back-story might not have been so bad, if the sections that concentrated on the actual squad weren’t so chaotic. These areas suffered from trying to do too many things at once, with a lot of characters, in a very short amount of time. Harley Quinn is given a split personality, Deadshot is dealing with PTSD, El Diablo thinks he’s divine justice, Yo-Yo is back, Light is dealing with her sister’s death and there are new characters up the wazoo. On top of this, there’s the introduction of Regulus, the leader of Basilisk. All this going on at once made it hard to get invested in anything since no time was given to any one plot point.
Overall, this wasn’t a very good collection. Kicked in the Teeth at least had a couple of fun moments and a some inklings of potential for the series, but Basilisk Rising was just boring and often confusing. I plan to muscle through the next volume (which I hear is just as bad) because the series apparently gets better with volume 4....more
Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth centers on a group of villains unleashed to do the government's dirtier assignments for a shorter prison seSuicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth centers on a group of villains unleashed to do the government's dirtier assignments for a shorter prison sentence. To keep the team under control, each member of the squad has a nanite bomb injected in their necks. Problem with villains, such as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, Black Spider and King Shark, is that sometimes a death threat isn't enough to keep them in check.
Suicide Squad is primarily Deadshot's story, with the comic trying (and basically failing) to set him up as an anti-hero. Despite being the leader of the group, Deadshot is entirely self-serving and has no compunction about treating everyone he encounters as expendable. Based on the gimmick of the series, this part works. What did not work was the painful attempt to make Deadshot an empathetic character. I guess we're supposed to root for him because he has a soft spot for something vulnerable and innocent, but it didn't gel for me. At that point, it was yet another painful cliche in a storyline that had been riddled with them.
What I did enjoy about the collection was Harley Quinn. She plays a pretty minor role during the first half. Basically, Harley was there just for some chuckles, occasional cheesecake poses and to bang Deadshot. During the second half, the plot shifts to the squad having to hunt her down and I enjoyed Harley's small moments in this part. Like how quiet and serious she got when suddenly motivated. It was a nice contrast to how she was just doing her own thing and having fun on the team in the first half. I have high hopes that something great will be done with her character down the line, but I fear that she'll be relegated to the background once the Joker makes an entrance.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the series will get better further in, so I'll definitely be picking up the next volume....more
Atoning is set after Armstrong's Darkness Rising trilogy. Chloe, Derek and gang go on a mini-camping adventure that gets interrupted when someone trieAtoning is set after Armstrong's Darkness Rising trilogy. Chloe, Derek and gang go on a mini-camping adventure that gets interrupted when someone tries to kidnap them. This novella is more for fans of the series, but I read it to see if I could to get into Armstrong's Young Adult books. After reading this one, I'm unsure if I can.
Armstrong has said that she started writing Young Adult because she wanted to create something that her daughter could read, and it shows. This story was laden with morals that Armstrong probably wanted to pass on to her kid. This is fine, except when all of your main teen characters are extremely responsible and understanding to the point of having no major flaws. It makes the characters boring and gets pretty heavy handed when the adults are all commenting on how crazy responsible they are.
However, I'm willing to give Armstrong the benefit of a doubt and will probably one day read a full length book in this series. I'm just not in any rush to do so. ...more
Glory In Death follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas as she works to capture the person slashing successful women's throats. This was my second "In Death" booGlory In Death follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas as she works to capture the person slashing successful women's throats. This was my second "In Death" book and while the murderer is fairly easy to figure out, I enjoyed the mystery plot a lot more than Innocent in Death. However, my rating for Glory In Death is entirely for the mystery because I hated the sub-plot of Eve's relationship drama with Roarke.
Basically, the characters are on different levels in their relationship. Roarke wants commitment and for Eve to move in with him. Eve isn't quite ready for that step and is trying to adjust to Roarke's constant, I love you's. Instead of respecting that they've been dating less than a year, and that Eve is not ready for the next step, Roarke plays mind games. I was extremely frustrated with the direction this plot thread took and with how high-handed Roarke was with Eve. Forcing someone to move in with you and say I love you, does not automatically fix their commitment issues. If anything, this would only cause more problems down the road. But since Roarke is devoted to Eve and he's "oh so sexy, smart and rich", we're supposed to think his manipulations are romantic. While reading this, I could not understand why a character like Eve would put with Roarke's actions. It didn't gel for me. So, after finishing this, I decided to read the first book in the series to see if I could figure them out as a couple
If you're looking to start this series, I would recommend reading one of the later books. The stories stand well on their own, so you wouldn't be lost....more
Celia Kyle is great if you're looking for a quick read without a whole lot of drama. However, Chasing Tail had an issue with nothing having consequencCelia Kyle is great if you're looking for a quick read without a whole lot of drama. However, Chasing Tail had an issue with nothing having consequences. A character would do something and the moment would be built-up as having an impact on another character, then in the next scene it would be completely forgotten. By the end, there were a lot of loose threads that never got tied-up. This made the end feel abrupt and pretty unsatisfying. ...more