Will be writing a review on this tomorrow (this is more a reminder to myself then to you guys, but, here is a gif of a cat who is so disappointed in iWill be writing a review on this tomorrow (this is more a reminder to myself then to you guys, but, here is a gif of a cat who is so disappointed in itself it just collapses. Enjoy)
Actual rating is 4.5, but, fuck it, I rounded up. Okay, as my first real review back since I basically dropped off the face of the earth (college plu Actual rating is 4.5, but, fuck it, I rounded up. Okay, as my first real review back since I basically dropped off the face of the earth (college plus job plus trying to just have a normal life is incredibly more difficult than I thought it would be. Surprise, surprise), I decided I would start off with a review of a book that I really, really enjoyed.
Just let me tell you something: I truly enjoy books in two very different ways. One way is that I literally sit there and read a book until its completion, not saying anything, just completely enraptured by it. But, then, there's the second way, where I get to a part and I am literally so filled with emotion that I just have to put the book down and re-collect myself before I can even move on. This was one of those times, let me tell you.
Stormdancer and one of my favorite female protagonists of the year so far, Yukiko, was kick-ass incredible for so many reasons that I would probably run out of word count for this review if I tried to describe it all, and many of my other lovely reviewer friends have already loved this book to death, as well, so I will try and keep it to the main things that I loved the most about this book:
Now, I know many of you may or may not be surprised by this and I know that's why some people rated this book three stars or below because it just got too wordy, a little bit confusing in the way it kept switching perspectives, and took too long to truly get started, but Kristoff's writing had me praisin' the lord like a black church sermon
I, personally, found it absolutely incredible, and maybe because I'm so starved for such a beautifully descriptive type of writing that is only really found it books before the 20th century these days, and the fact that, although I was slightly bored in the beginning, that was all part of Kristoff's plan. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to keep pace with him and truly read the book. He filled it with so many Japanese/Asian lore and stories and, just in my own personal opinion, we don't get enough of that really amazing culture in books. And they're missing out, let me tell you.
But, anyways, because he spent so much time on Yukiko, her life before she meets Buruu (aka mister badass griffon who gives no shits), that, without me even knowing it, I became truly invested in her life and took on her story as my own. When she was angry at her father, I never questioned her anger, never thought for even a moment that maybe her father had other motives than what Yukiko thought he was: just a drunkard druggie who only cared about regaining his past fame. Sure, Kristoff uses a lot of words, but he puts each of them carefully in their place. He doesn't waste them. He purposefully didn't give us many scenes from Yukiko's father's point of view until after Yukiko and him split up for that specific purpose. He wanted us to hate him and let Kristoff truly build up the dichotomy between them, but, before I get too off-track about relationships and I get to my portion about just that, let me get back to the writing.
Because I think it's fucking gorgeous. It is a stud of writing; a majestic horse whose words are made out of spun literary gold
Just like this horse. Oh, you majestic words, you but seriously check out this horse it literally looks like it fell from heaven WHAT IS THIS
Just let me show you the difference between writing that people say this book is like, and what the actual book contains. Here's an excerpt from Shatter me; a novel that I personally had a problem with where the author wasn't a bad writer, but some of the descriptions she used were just too much and I had a serious problem understanding and could never fully connect with her character:
I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder about how they're always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky towards and uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where those pockets fall, doesn't seem to care if the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.
My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab
I mean just what the fuck. It's rain. There are plenty of other, better ways, to try and relate yourself to something inanimate; even to rain if you're really that stubborn on the metaphor, and this certainly isn't it. I'm just left scratching my head and wondering how in the hell I'm supposed to relate to someone who think that raindrops have arms and legs and are always forgetting about their fucking parachutes and dreading evaporation.
And here's Kristoff's writing that reveals something about Yukiko's character towards the beginning of the novel:
The crowd in front of them parted, stepping out of the path of an iron motor-rickshaw marked with the kanji symbols of the Lotus Guild. Yukiko stayed in the street as the sputtering metal beast rolled toward her on thick rubber tires, bulbous headlights aglow, spewing blue-black fumes into the air behind. It creaked to a stop a few inches short of colliding with her shins. The driver sounded the horn, but Yukiko refused to step aside. The driver blasted the horn again, waving at her to get out of the road. His profanities were muffled behind the beach glass windshield, but Yukiko could still make out the best of them. She plucked a noodle from her bowl, popped it between her lips and chewed slowly.
“Come on.” Akihito grabbed her by the arm and dragged her out of the way.
Like all its brethren, the Lotusman was encased head to foot in a brass atmos-suit, studded with fixtures and gears and spinning clockwork, shielding it from the pollution the rest of the populace breathed daily. Its helmet was insectoid, all smooth lines and sharp curves. A cluster of metallic tentacles spilled from its mouth, plugged via bayonet fixtures into the various contraptions riveted to its outer shell: breather bellows, fuel tanks and the mechabacus that every Guildsman wore on its chest. The device resembled an abacus that had been dipped in glue and rolled around in a bucket of capacitors, transistors and vacuum tubes, and the Lotusman clicked a few beads across its surface, staring at Yukiko with red, faceted eyes as the vehicle cruised past. Although the rank-and-file members of the Guild were referred to as “Lotusmen,” their gender was actually impossible to determine.
She blew it a kiss anyway.
When the motor-rickshaw was a good distance away, Akihito released his grip on Yukiko’s arm and sighed.
“Why do you always get in their way?”
“Why do you always move?”
Ugh. I just love her personality. But I'll get to that later. And here's one more that displays more of his literary flare:
But then she tasted the rain on her lips, felt the wind in her hair, heard the roar of the storm around them. And so she closed her eyes, threw her head back and inhaled. She could see the lightning flashing against the bloodwarm blackness behind her eyelids, feel the wind buffeting the ship beneath them. The rain was a balm, washing away the fear. She breathed, cool air filling her lungs, warm blood pumping below her skin. Kin screamed beside her, a whooping holler as the deck rolled like a storm-tossed ocean beneath them. “We are alive, Yukiko-chan! We are free!”
She laughed, calling out shapeless words into the storm. It was as if she were a little girl again, running with her brother through the rippling bamboo, strong and bright, wet earth beneath her feet. She could feel the lives she swam among, the hundred tiny sparks rising like cinders from a bonfire, catching her up and filling her with warmth. No fear. No pain. No loss. Before any and all of it had come in from the dark, when the simple act of being was enough. She stretched out her senses into the tempest, mind uncoiling between the raindrops, engulfed by the beauty and ferocity around her.
...easily the most magnificent sight Masaru had seen in his life. It was power personified. The storm made flesh, carved from the clouds by Raijin’s hands, his children let loose to rollick in ozone-flecked chaos. The old tales said their wings made the sound of the thunder. The lightning was the sparks from their claws as they did battle across the heavens. The rain was Susano-ō’s tears, the Storm God overcome with the beauty and ferocity of his grandchildren. Thunder tiger. Arashitora. “Beautiful,” Kasumi breathed. The hindquarters of a white tiger, rippling muscle bound tight beneath snow-white fur, slashed with thick bands of ebony. The broad wings, forelegs and head of a white eagle, proud and fierce; lightning reflected in amber irises and pupils of darkest black. It roared again, shaking the ship, cutting through the air like a katana in a swordsaint’s hands.
Okay that was more like two. I admit it I am a liar but I could not help myself.
I just hope that you all can see the difference between the two books and how they describe things and themselves. One edges on ridiculousness and leaves me trying to fit two and two together with no help from the author, and the other just carries you along in a flurry of literary delight that you cannot tear your eyes off of and just revel in the way you can actually see what the author is talking about.
The Story, Overall Plot
Now, in this review, I'm not really going to say much in detail about the book, which is really a nod to Kristoff that I care so much about you having a completely pure experience with this novel that I'm not going to spoil it, but it is incredible. I loved all of the history, stories, and the steam-punk angle, which is a very tricky idea to truly make work and not seem completely foreign and strange, but Kristoff does just that. Makes it feel real. Now, would I want to live there? No, because, as plainly in the first book of this series, they are in poverty, fighting a pointless war that no one really seems to know why the are fighting, and are destroying their own country although I wouldn't mind living in the Kigen mountains . Basically; they are in deep shit. But that doesn't mean I still can't enjoy the world and its setting. There is actual growth, great character development, this novel tackles actual, hit-you-in-the-gut issues, and leaves you emotionally exhausted when you finally finish. But the last thing I want to talk to you guys about is...
Before I say anything and begin to truly fangirl, here is a gif representation of my feelings about these two:
I cannot even begin to describe the amount of love I have for this pair and how they have such a realistic relationship and grow from hate, to tolerate, to like, to have such an incredible bond with one another; they literally grow and develop each other and get them to look at the world in a completely different way then they had before. And one of them isn't even fucking human. But it's one of the best connections between two beings that I've ever read, and when a scene comes along when they completely bond to each other and do some kick-ass fighting, completely in tandem with one another, will have you sitting there with your jaw on the floor (aka two gifs above for a physical representation of said jaw-dropping)
And they are just as awesome separate as they are apart. Yukiko, as displayed in some of the book excerpts I added in here, is a strong, independent, stubborn girl with a very finite sense of right and wrong, but is still willing to change her conceptions and grow as a character. She knows how to fight like a badass and has a backstory that is introduced to you in just the right amount of doses that you feel like you know more about her than she does about herself, and, as I said before, you become invested in her and her struggles; personally and nationally.
And Buruu? He is one of the most majestic and ferocious creatures I've ever read about, and grows as an individual more than Yukiko does. He starts out as not exactly primitive or stupid in the least, but he was very set in his way of knowing things, but, because of Yukiko and the mental bond they share, he develops, understands the human language, thinks outside of just himself and automatically making judgements (aka killing) others. He grows more elaborate, adds on layers to his already complex personality. It's a testament to his character that the moment he's introduced is when the story picks up, and not just because of his presence, but because of who he is, or was, depending on how you look it at.
Just high five, Kristoff. High five
Just read this book. The only reason I knocked off half a star was because, yes, the story in the beginning is just a little slow, but it's all important to the story, and it lets you go back, remember a part, and go "Ohhhhhhh that's why that happened." And I don't know about you, but I really enjoy stories that allow for such development. Taking it longer to develop is a concession I'm willing to make. And a concession you should make, too, so you can join me in squealing at richness of this story like a little girl.
Or, a Moiarty, but that's basically the same thing. ...more
Since this book has already been reviewed from hell to high water, I thought that I could treat you all to what this whole book (and small part of NewSince this book has already been reviewed from hell to high water, I thought that I could treat you all to what this whole book (and small part of New Moon, as well) was in a simple little gif nutshell. Enjoy, all:
Not that this really needs to be said anyways because you can already see this above, but The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most solid five-star r Not that this really needs to be said anyways because you can already see this above, but The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most solid five-star ratings I've ever given in my whole Goodreads career. And this review will be spoilery so if you don't want to know don't go past this point.
And, again, my stupid computer shut down on me while I was writing this so now I have to re-write this all again. Sigh.
I got this book totally on coincidence. I was just browsing through Barnes and Noble, not really planning on buying anything, when I came upon three full shelves of The Fault in Our Stars. Even then, I wasn't really planning on buying it shame on me I know what was I even thinking but then I saw that one lone book on the shelf had a bright yellow sticker on it saying, "signed by John Green!" I opened the book to the front page and saw his signature in green ink. Enjoying the irony, I picked it up and decided to buy it; clutching it to my chest and carrying it up to the counter.
And let me say that was one of the best literary decisions of my life. This is how I feel about this book in gif form, just let me tell you:
Seriously; I'm going to put it in a glass case on top of a red velvet pillow and honor it for all my days
I don't really know what else to say besides that this book was amazing. Absolutely incredible. And, personally, I think it was because how close I am to death. My dad died when I was 15 of a sudden heart attack ( Here is my review for a book called A Monster Calls that you should also read where I go more in-depth about it, for those of you who didn't know), and so many things that Hazel and Augustus went through were reflected in me. The absolute hate she had for people who smoked; wasting perfectly good lungs when she basically had none is my distaste for people who don't take care of their hearts when one visit to a doctor's office and a couple of small pills would save their life. When Augustus broke down and admitting that everything wasn't alright; that this wasn't fair, is something that I'm still going through in my own life. When they held Augustus' "funeral" in the bottom of the church and had a heart-wrenching, gross-sobbing, twist-your-face-into-the-most-disgusting-angels-and-feel-like-your-own-insides-are-tearing-you-apart-while-you-scream mourning was the same thing I went through with my own friends a couple days after he died. And, like Hazel, that was more of my own person funeral for my father than his real one ever was. All of the facebook posts of people who didn't know Hazel's Augusts just like they didn't know my father. When they both went to Germany and found out even the person you hold in the highest esteem, is practically untouchable by bad, turns out to disappoint you. The act of doing absolutely nothing important with a person that means everything. The Fault in Our Stars hit me at every emotional angle possible. Props to you, Green.
And just the characters by themselves are just so unique and special in their own right, and it was a really tight tie between Hazel and Augustus as my favorite (I mean come on that letter he wrote about her at the end ripped my heart out and spread it to the four corners of the earth, never to be seen again.), but Hazel still won out just because of who she is. You knew who she was and what she stood for the minute you read her first paragraph in the book, and still kept her core beliefs throughout the novel, even though her perception did change, but whose wouldn't after meeting the man that is Augustus? I loved absolutely every single facet of her. She was the steady rock that guided me through Green's book. And this is all I have to say to her:
And Augustus. Oh my baby Augustus. He is everything I never knew I wanted in a male character and more. He also gives a big thank-you from me for everything he did for me and for Hazel, and he was the storm that ruffled her life because, although she was a rock, she was too much of a rock, and he lifted her up so she could reach her full potential and not just keep sinking into the ground from her own weight. They were both just right for each other. And that letter that he wrote at the end had me going:
But then I wanted it all at the same time. It was all too much for me.
And the fact that they had sex? Just ugh. Thank you for that, John Green.
And speaking of that man, his writing alone was like literary porn in a way that I couldn't stop reading it. Here's the first paragraphs:
Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.) But my mom should be adjusted and also I should attend a weekly Support Group. This Support Group featured a rotating cast of characters in various states of tumor-driven unwellness. Why did the cast rotate? A side effect of dying.
The Support Group, of course, was depressing as hell. It met every Wednesday in the basement of a stone-walled Episcopal church shaped like a cross. We all sat in a circle right in the middle of the cross, where the two boards would have met, where the heart of Jesus would have been. I noticed this because Patrick, the Support Group Leader and only person over eighteen in the room, talked about the heart of Jesus every freaking meeting, all about how we, as young cancer survivors, were sitting right in Christ’s very sacred heart and whatever.
So here’s how it went in God’s heart: The six or seven or ten of us walked/ wheeled in, grazed at a decrepit selection of cookies and lemonade, sat down in the Circle of Trust, and listened to Patrick recount for the thousandth time his depressingly miserable life story— how he had cancer in his balls and they thought he was going to die but he didn’t die and now here he is, a full-grown adult in a church basement in the 137th nicest city in America, divorced, addicted to video games, mostly friendless, eking out a meager living by exploiting his cancertastic past, slowly working his way slowly working his way toward a master’s degree that will not improve his career prospects, waiting, as we all do, for the sword of Damocles to give him the relief that he escaped lo those many years ago when cancer took both of his nuts but spared what only the most generous soul would call his life.
AND YOU TOO MIGHT BE SO LUCKY!
Just-just let me hug you, John Green.
And the plot is enjoyable, simple, but complex enough that you're still not exactly sure where it's going, but that actually excites you. You want it just the way it is. I would not change a single word of the whole book. And, okay, did anyone else think that it was just going to end abruptly like the book inside the book did? Because I sure as hell thought so, and although I still love the ending and would never change it, I was almost disappointed that didn't happen somehow. I can't be the only one that was thinking that, can I?
Anyway, this was an incredible book, as per usual for our John Green, and I will treasure if for years to come I wasn't joking about putting it in a glass case, people. And I suppose I will see you all at the next book that makes me cry, an event I look forward to and dread....more
I cannot get enough of Pablo Neruda. Will most likely post a review on him tomorrow from my essay that I have to write on him anyways for class. ThiI cannot get enough of Pablo Neruda. Will most likely post a review on him tomorrow from my essay that I have to write on him anyways for class. This guy was seriously a literary genius. ...more
Warning, warning: this review has a lot of expletives because this book makes me so damn happy. I also get a bit of an attitude when a book makes me Warning, warning: this review has a lot of expletives because this book makes me so damn happy. I also get a bit of an attitude when a book makes me overjoyed, so be forewarned. I'm a little sassy.
This book just makes me feel so incredibly happy inside that I just can't help expressing myself. When I finished this book I basically did this:
Yes, I fainted from sheer happiness and then got up and danced. Ya got a problem with that?
I think that you all know that one book that you always wish for, especially after you read a total shit-fest like Twilight, Halo, Hush Hush, Unleashed, basically many mainstream novels that just have everything. And I mean the works, dammit. A badass girl who can take care of herself, a hot ( I know we all say that looks aren't everything, but, come on, there's always a small part of us that wants a guy who looks like sex on a stick) guy who not only has the looks, but the personality and smarts to back it up, action, a plot that makes you beg for more every single page, and a relationship that you can actually look at and go, "God dammit that's real love!"
This. Is. That. Fucking. Book.
This is a great book to read whether you just came off of a streak of bad books, this is a great book to read if you were reading a lot of good books, this is just a great book to read whenever the fuck you want to. And how much does this book of amazingness cost on amazon kindle?
ONLY .99 FUCKING CENTS!
That's right; so I don't want to hear any excuses about how expensive it would be; and even if you don't have a kindle as long as you have a computer/laptop you can download the app (which is free, by the way) and read it there. Am I telling you that you want to read this?
I'm telling you that you need to read this, and here's why:
Our main female character, Penryn.
Angelfall is set in a post apocalyptic world where, six weeks ago, angels have come and delivered the, "day of reckoning." As an added aside, I like that she only put it six weeks after the angels have gone and destroyed everything, because Ee does a great job in giving us extra insight into how some things in are world are still the same, but also how our world has become drastically changed from how it used to be. It's a very interesting dichotomy that really highlights Penryn as a whole; because she's kind of like that herself. She still has some of the same dreams and values as before, but other things have changed so drastically that she can't help but be forever changed by all this; acquire some of that ugly, more savage, side of human nature. Let me tell you more about this badass chick: Penryn, our main character, who is a seventeen year-old girl just trying to survive with a crippled seven year-old sister (which her mother may or may not have caused), and a paranoid sociopath of a mother. Now you would think that she would be incredibly sad and mope in the novel about how much her life sucks, but she doesn't. She just wants to survive to see the next sunrise. She's blunt about her mom and her problems; really she's pretty blunt about everything that's happening in her life. She tells it like it is and even has a kind of dry humor about how upside-down her whole life is. And I must say that it's kind of really badass of her when she says stuff like this: “Penryn? Who are you talking to?” My mother sounds almost frantic now. “Just my own personal demon, Mom. Don’t worry. He’s just a little weakling.” Weak or not, we both know [Raffe] could have killed me if that’s what he wanted. I won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing I was scared, though. “Oh.” She sounds calm suddenly, as if that explained everything. “Okay. Don’t underestimate them. And don’t make them promises you can’t keep.” I can tell by her fading voice as she says this that she’s reassured and walking away. The baffled look the angel shoots at the door makes me chuckle. He glances my way, giving me a you’re-weirder-than-your-mom look.
Here's some more of that dry humor of hers that I love so much:
That calls for a witty comeback. “Whatever,” I say. Okay, so I won’t be getting the Witty Woman of the Year Award. “Do you want me to show you how to use this or not?” I sound surly. It’s the best I can do right now.
I’m tempted to make a quip about requiring dinner and a movie before getting so kinky, but I don’t. The last thing I need is to start making sex jokes while I’m being held prisoner in a camp full of armed men in a world where there are no laws.
Penryn also embraces the insanity of how her world has become, because she knows that if she doesn't accept this new world where down is up and up is down she will go insane. There's a scene where she finds a man whom her mom had stuck seven knives into his chest and had " purposely missed his heart, and he will slowly bleed to death." dressed him up in a provocative, womanly, pose, and put make-up on his face (yes, people, she is that fucking insane). This is what Penryn says after:
If we had been back in the old world, in the World Before, I would have called an ambulance despite the fact that he had attacked my mother. The doctors would have fixed him up, and he would have had all the time he needed to recover in jail. But unfortunately for all of us, this is the World After. I step around him and leave him to his slow death.
Although that's horribly gruesome (which is think is kind of awesome; this is quite the dark and creepy book and for good reason), I'm going to borrow the saying, "that's just how it is" and Penryn knows and acknowledges that. I also liked that she didn't totally despise her mother, although she had every single reason to hate her. She still cares for her and hopes she's safe when they're separated. Towards the end, she even begins to empathize with her mom when she's put in a similar situation; in fact, this story has a lot of growth where, at the beginning, Penryn looks at things through different eyes than she does at the end. Ee does a fantastic amazing great job with her character growth. She definitely isn't the same person she once was, but I say that in the best way possible. Her journey changed her and that's a sad rarity these days in YA.
Oh, and did I also mention that Penryn is fucking badass? Because she is. First off, she has an angel sword. And if that isn't enough her mom, after Penryn and her father showed up at home one day with her standing dazed in the middle of the room with Paige, who was two at that time and laying in a crumpled heap on the floor signed her up for basically every form of martial arts (what we believe is a lucid moment from her so Penryn can know how to protect herself if she attacks her). Basically, Penryn knows how to kick ass, and kick ass hard. Again, thanks to Ee's great descriptive writing, we get many scenes where Penryn takes on many assailants and kicks ass with actual ways to kick ass. Let me explain: we always read stories with "action" scenes in them where they say things like, "he jumped up and kicked," or, "he hit" or even phrases that make no sense that the human body cannot possibly do. The authors themselves can't visualize the fighting because they probably haven't fought a day in their life, at least not expertly, so they use the most basic verbs to give the reader just enough. We know that they're fighting, but we can see it or feel it. But, boy, does Ee make us feel it. I've taken several self-defense classes so I know what works and what doesn't, and I think Ee took some as well because she describes and shows the same things my instructor taught us. Even if you haven't taken any classes and know how to defend/fight, Ee provides the information (using gravity, weight, etc.) needed so that you can understand it. And when you can understand it, you can visualize it, and if you can visualize it then the author has done the right thing. Here's one scene from her, and tell me that you can't at least visualize it and get your blood pumping:
The trick with fighting multiple assailants is to avoid fighting them all at the same time. Unlike in the movies, attackers don’t wait in line to kick your ass, they want to pounce all at once like a pack of wolves. I dance in a semicircle around them until the guy closest to me is in the way of the other two. It only takes a second for them to run around their buddy, but that’s enough time for me to snap a solid kick to his groin. He doubles over, and though I’m dying to accept the invitation to knee him in the face, his buddies take precedence. I dance around to the other side of the doubled-over guy, making the others fall back into a line to get around him. I sweep the injured guy’s feet, and he comes crashing down on wife-beater number two. The remaining guy pounces on me and we roll on the ground in a grapple for the top position. I end up on the bottom. He outweighs me by a hundred pounds, but this is a position I’ve practiced fighting from over and over. Men tend to fight differently with a woman than they do with men. The overwhelming majority of fights between men and women start with the men attacking from behind, and almost instantly end on the ground with the woman on the bottom. So a good female fighter needs to know how to fight on her back. As we struggle, I wriggle my leg out from under him for leverage. Brace. Then tip him over to one side with a twist of my hip. He flips onto his back. Before he can get his bearings again, I slam my heel down on his groin. I’m up in a flash and kicking his head before he recovers. I kick him so hard his head whiplashes back and forth.
You don't want to mess with Penryn, or else she'll fuck you up. And Ee knows what she's talking about.
And the last thing I want to talk about with her is her overall personality. From what I've told you you probably thinks she's some had-ass with no emotions (besides some dry humor), but she really is a kind person. Okay, maybe "kind" isn't the right word, but she's compassionate, loyal, stubborn, and she still believes that positive things can happen. Of course she's a bit more hard and tough than she used to be, but she still has those base beliefs and also her pride in humans as a society. Even with all the shit she's seen she still believes that we, as a race, can rise above and be the people she believes that they can be. She still feels grief, sadness, and rage about how things once were and that the angels had no right, but she knows she can't change the past, and moves on.
I love this chick. She has a mind of her own and knows how to use it.
The consummate dream-boy, Raffe.
“I’m coming.” I call out but only a croaked whisper comes out of my mouth. I try to swim toward her but my muscles are so cold that all I can do is flail. Flail and shiver in the path of my mother’s boat. “Hush. Shhh.” A soothing voice whispers in my ear. I feel the sofa cushions being pulled out from against my back. Then warmth envelopes me. Firm muscles embrace me from the space where the cushions used to be. I’m groggily aware of masculine arms wrapping themselves around me, their skin soft as a feather, their muscles steel velvet. Chasing away the ice in my veins and the nightmare “Shhh.” A husky whisper in my ear. I relax into the cocoon of warmth and let the sound of the rain on the roof lull me back to sleep. *melts a little bit*
First things first, these angels are not some fluffily, singing, little cherub-like wusses. They are badass killers. Some of them are even *gasp* evil! And I love it. Oh, and, sadly, I can't tell you too much about him because what he is and what he does is a major plot point in the story, and I really don't want to ruin this for you all that's how good Raffe and this book is.
Like I said before, Raffe is fucking sexy. Like so damn hot that I if I touched him I think my skin would sizzle damn you, Ee, for describing him so well and his royal hotness has invaded my dreams the last two nights since I've finished this book. But that is not all that he's about; in fact, if I had to put a list of his qualities that would be on the bottom. He, unlike *cough cough* Daniel from Fallen or Bethany *cough cough* shows his age as an angel and all that he's done has an affect on him. We never really know his physical age ( which I would range anywhere from 18 to even 21 or 22 based on the book), but all that he's done has an affect on his life and it shows. Even knowing that he's actually mature and not a purple, immature, Daniel had me going like this:
But that's not even close to his full character. He's sarcastic, witty, clever, and also blunt like Penryn:
“Here, I’ll show you how to use it. Let me see your foot.” “That’s a pretty intimate demand in the angel world. It usually takes dinner, some wine, and sparkling conversation for me to give up my feet.”
We walk for about an hour before Raffe whispers, “Does moping actually help humans feel better?” We’ve been whispering since we saw the victims on the road. “I’m not moping,” I whisper back. “Of course you’re not. A girl like you, spending time with a warrior demigod like me. What’s to mope about? Leaving a wheelchair behind couldn’t possibly show up on the radar compared to that.” I nearly stumble over a fallen branch. “You have got to be kidding me.” “I never kid about my warrior demigod status.” “Oh. My. God.” I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. “You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.” He chuckles. “Evolution.” He leans over as if telling me a secret. “I’ll have you know that I’ve been this perfect since the beginning of time.” He is so close that his breath caresses my ear. “Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you.” I give him a weary look. “Again.” I pick up my pace, trying to discourage the smart comeback that I’m sure will come. But it doesn’t. Could he be letting me have the last say? When I look back, Raffe has a smug grin on his face. That’s when I realize I’ve been manipulated into feeling better. I stubbornly try to resist but it’s already too late. I do feel a little better.
He snorts. “Aside from being beaned with a rock, I’ll live.” “Sorry.” I feel pretty god-awful about that, but there’s no point in groveling over it. “The next time you have a quarrel with me, I’d appreciate it if you could just talk to me first before resorting to pelting me with rocks.”
And you can in the beginning see how much he does not want to fall in love with Penryn. For his whole life he's hunted the nephilim monsters that come from a woman and an angel consummating their love, but I guess that's the thing about love; when it happens you can't get away from it. Saying that, though, one of the best things is that although the love is there it's not the driving force of this book at all. It does what a book should do. It's not the driving force, but helps continue the plot. If anything, she does too little of it so the scenes you do get where she shows it you gobble up greedily I even have them all bookmarked. And the love is............fantastic. Their relationship grows from hate to amusement to caring to feeling to loving through the whole book. It's not too rushed and it's not too slow it's just.......perfect. You can really tell that he loves her; even the one time he tries pushing her away is heartbreaking, and you feel the same amount of confusion and hurt that Penryn does, but you have the added benefit of knowing why he's doing it unlike finger-flipping Daniel . He really does care for her and wants the best for her. Most importantly, though, he doesn't try to control her; he knows she will do what she thinks is best and will try to stop her but lets her, in the end, make her own choices. There's one scene at the very end that will break your heart, but he does the same thing there and I loved it. This is a real, adult, loving, and so incredibly emotional relationship. They work together as a team with respect for one another. Ee is basically the first author that I've seen who has effectively created this kind of relationship, and I give her all kind of praise and admiration for it.
Oh, and I find it horribly hilarious and awesome that Raffe is agnostic. Just so ya know.
All in all, this book has a fantastic plot. It chugs along at a fantastic pace and always leaves you needing wanting more. The action, like I showed above, is badass and the overall theme and character development of Penryn is superb. It's a very dark book and there are some really gory and scary scenes that are, again, written superbly by Ee. She has a great sense of mixing something whimsical with something totally disgusting to make it that much more horrifying:
It’s not long before we see the little girls. They hang from a tree. Not by their necks, but by ropes tied under their arms and around their chests. One girl looks to be about Paige’s age and the other a couple of years older. That would make them seven and nine. The older girl’s hand still grips the younger girl’s dress like she had tried to hold the little girl up out of harm’s way. They wear what look like matching striped dresses. It’s hard to tell now that the print is stained in blood. Most of the material has been ripped and shredded. Whatever gnawed on their legs and torso got full before it reached their chests. Or it was too low to the ground to reach them. The worst by far are their tortured expressions. They were alive when they were eaten.
This is a book that you will still be thinking about days after, and when you think about it, isn't that what counts? Sure, horrible books have the same affect, and those middle-of-the-road books you forget almost instantly, but those books; the simply fantastic ones that leave you shocked, dragged from one emotion to another, and wanting the next book so badly by the end that it hurts?
This is that book. Ee brings back angels to the badass level that was so horribly decimated by authors like Kate, Adornetto, and Fitzpatrick. And that, in my opinion, is awesome.
Sorry, I still had some extra freak-out left. But, seriously, pick up this book! It's only 99 cents and probably should be worth twenty dollars. Honestly, I want to support this author and have as many people buying this book as I can, because after that ending I need another one. What have you got to lose? Nothing, that's what. Angelfall is honestly one of mine, maybe even my favorite book of 2011, and I do not give out that compliment lightly....more
More like 2.5 stars, but I'm giving the woman a bit of lax as my good deed for the day. And this will also be quite a short review because, well, therMore like 2.5 stars, but I'm giving the woman a bit of lax as my good deed for the day. And this will also be quite a short review because, well, there really isn't much to talk about from this book.
[image error] I know; I'm such a kind soul.
This is my second delve into the self-published genre doing my stay here at Goodreads, and here are the good things about this book that I don't see in most other books regarding Greek mythology *cough cough* Starcrossed *cough cough*
For the most part Harrell did have all of the right information regarded Helen and Paris and the story of Psyche and Cupid. Like I've said in other reviews regarding the subject of Greeks and Romans; I'm not some master's degree professor who's spent their whole life researching this, but I do tend to think myself more well versed than the average Goodreads member and as far as I could tell most of what she had was correct. Although, what she did include was correct there were things that she omitted, but that's for what she did wrong, so I'll save that little tidbit for later.
The plot and pacing was alright, as well. This is a quick little story with no real surprises regardless of whether or not you know you Greek mythology which is a bit of a good thing and a bad thing. Good in the way that you're never going to get a bad surprise but never a good one, either. There's just nor really much to say about it; it's really predicable. In my case that's okay because after the last couple of books I've read I've needed some predictability but if you've read a lot of really more boring books then this one will probably not be your cup of tea.
Oh, and the last good thing is that if you've a penny pincher like me and you just want to sate your reading thirst until something better comes out, this book is only 99 cents if you buy it on your kindle; it's a decent little in-between read.
2. What Harrell did wrong.
As stated earlier, there was nothing with Harrel's mythology that she did wrong, necessarily, but there are things that were omitted by either personal choice or because of maybe the public/age group she was shooting for that should have been in there. First thing was that after Cupid left Psyche when she figured out who the person in her bed was, she realized that she was pregnant so that quite obviously means that she had sex with him. This never happened in Destined and I feel like it should have; if you're going to make a book off of something you either have to make it as close to the actual story as possible or make it almost completely different, so people can't say you weren't totally accurate because you weren't trying to be, like the novel Daughter of Smoke and Bone (you should really check that book out if you haven't already, by the way). And one of the big things that was left out was the fact that Cupid stopped shooting his arrows and began to make the world grow old after a month, and if it had been in Destined I also feel like that could have been a great thing for the slightly struggling plot. Another gory detail was the Psyche had two other sisters not just one, and in a slightly cunning but as I said gory trick was that after her older sisters had deceived her she told both of them that Cupid had chosen them as his wife, and should jump off of the mountain to join him. They do so, and Zephyrus doesn't carry them off and they both die at the bottom. In Destined Psyche was a bit of a wimp and spent a lot of time making it all her fault that her sister hated her and never really got mad or did anything badass; she was just overall a weak character. Psyche also didn't just trip and open the box containing Persephone's beauty; she opened the box because she wanted to have the beauty an ended up in eternal sleep. There was just a lot of things that Harrell omitted that I felt like really could have helped this book, but she just left them out and that was a shame.
[image error] Even the blue man agrees with me. Such a shame.
Oh, and as a little aside, does anyone know if the story of Cupid and Psyche being in the castle and Psyche living in a castle, but never being able to see Cupid's face at night has any sort of relation to the story of the polar bear from the classic fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon ( don't quote me on that, though I'm not sure) who took the girl to his castle and came into her bed each night but told her not to look at his face, and she became pregnant, one day because of her own doubt looked at his face, he left, and then she had to go across the countryside to find him again? Because it sure sounds like it.
And the last not-so-great aspect of this book was the action written, because there basically wasn't any. I could tell that Harrell tried; especially with the three-headed hellhound, but it was very anti-climactic, was much too quickly over, and basically boring. My blood never got pumping and I was never clenching my fingers to the pages (although in this sense it would have been metaphorically because I was reading this on my kindle), not knowing if someone would live or die if I flipped to the next one, and I miss having that.
And the romance sucked. It was confusing, totally fake feeling, and just plain not enjoyable. Again, there's not really much to talk about because it was basically so unimportant that I didn't pay attention. Sad, right?
Basically, read this book if you want an in-betweener during a drought of either money or books. It's not really good for much else. Maybe you'll like it better than me, but I doubt it.
This was Cait, and I'm rollin out of this review. Peace.
As a kind of pre-review to my actual review, this is the first book I read after reading a book that was, undoubtedly, one of my favorite books of 2As a kind of pre-review to my actual review, this is the first book I read after reading a book that was, undoubtedly, one of my favorite books of 2011, Angelfall. And I hoped that if I stuck to the same kind of genre and general character makeup that Angelfall had I could find a great book that was, at the least, pretty enjoyable. So, was it?
Oh and, by the way, my real rating for this book is 3.5 stars and I'm seriously considering dropping it to three.
It's the truth.
I guess the first thing that I want to talk about is the cover, which is a bit of a gripe for me, if I'm telling the truth. Now I don't know if it's one of the covers that someone actually made specifically for The Shadow Reader, or if it was just a pre-existing picture that they found that just fit what the general plot of the story was about, but McKenzie never has any kind of sword throughout the whole book, especially not such a badass-looking sword as the one on the cover. Honestly, it sent quite a bit of a false message to me as a reader because I thought that McKenzie was going to be some kind of warrior who went around beating shit up and cutting through people like they were grass; a real badass warrior chick. Sadly, McKenzie didn't really live up to the cover. Not saying that the cover isn't really awesome, because it is, but the false advertising that it gave may have done this book more harm than good, in my opinion.
Since we're on that topic already, let me discuss what I liked and didn't like about our main character, McKenzie Lewis. First off, just because she didn't go around cutting people up like I originally thought doesn't mean that she wasn't an independent character; for the most part, she had a great thinking process that I could actually follow and understand, had real guts, was cocky, and very stubborn. Sometimes, though, her stubborn nature and cocky attitude got on my nerves. There were times when the answer was quite clearly dangling right in front of her face, but she just refused to believe fact, or her thinking that she could get away with anything and/or was smarter than everyone else around her made McKenzie make really stupid decisions that I couldn't support as a reader. And, as I said although for the most part I could follow what McKenzie was thinking and why she had those thoughts, but, again, some kind of went against what Williams had built up her character to be; kind of like little hiccups that she just didn't catch. The whole scene where she tried to free a friend of hers from prison and everything that led up to the fact really baffled me; it was quite obvious what was going to happen but Mckenzie just couldn't figure it out. If I'm completely honest with myself I skimmed over that section because it was just damned confusing. Also, whenever she was without either Kyol or mainly Aren in this book, she fell into that Mary Sue reaction of, "oh noes I'm helpless and stupid and can't do anything because they're not here! I'm useless without a man to help me"
Just imagine how I took that reaction. Not very damn well.
The plot, besides the few points where we had to see and think through McKenzie's muddled up thoughts and ideals was very fast-paced and, for the most part, enjoyable. It was mainly Kyol and Aren who did the ass-kicking when it was done not that I minded much; seeing those two hot pieces of ass kick some ass certainly didn't hurt me any but it did bother me that McKenzie didn't get into much of the action, and when she did most of the time she ended up pulling more of a Mary-Sue type reaction than doing anything good or helpful. She was kind of like a hand-ninja; cute but pretty damn useless:
Okay, I'm kind of starting to like McKenzie less and less and the hand more and more
Now this is the main beef with this book that basically contributed to it losing those 1.5-2 stars; the whole damned love triangle, especially with it came to McKenzie and Aren. It didn't make any damn sense to me. At all. Yes, Aren was one hot piece of ass, and I won't say that he didn't have at least that going for him, but nothing else that he or McKenzie did while with him made any sense to me. Let me give you all a bit of a situation and tell me what your answer would be at the end:
You have been fighting a war for many, many years against your evil counterparts, and for the last ten years they've been using a girl who can tell the exact location of all of your troops whenever they go anywhere and the are all killed when they're found; many of them you knew very closely and personally, and you just keep on losing all of your fighters. She is the single reason that you are losing this fight. You finally decide enough's enough and make the plan to kidnap her so you can get her out of you hair, and quite possibly kill her if she doesn't cooperate with you. You finally find her, get her in your hands, and......what do you do?
A). Kill the bitch B). Force her to find the locations of her former comrades and use her powers C). Fall in loooooveeee the moment you see her.
If you answered A or B to that question, then you're a normal human being, but if you answered question C then you're Aren! That's right I'm not joking; he basically falls in love with her the second he sees her and doesn't do what he should have done in the first place. Even worse there's a point when McKenzie grows feelings for him and he goes and slits her fucking throat even though he said he's in love with her and has the balls to basically say that he didn't mean to.
Yeah that's right that what Aren did, the man who, at the end of the book, "claims" to be in love with her. After he slits it, to make matters even worse, he refuses to heal her for a while because she "disappointed" him (or so McKenzie claims and ultimately believes) and then he says that she should be lucky that he knew what he was doing enough to not slit her throat in the wrong place. If I were her I'd say fuck you and head for the hills, but what does McKenzie do? She forgives him and says that it was her own fault for getting her throat slit; that she's the one to blame.
[image error] That girl has problems.
Now I understand that some things are going to be different because of her much her world has changed since she was about 16, but that I will not accept. Anything that Aren may have said that was witty or interesting died for me because all that I could see from him was a controlling bastard. All he ever does is tell McKenzie what to do and when to do it and she just blindly accepts it and only tries to escape at the stupidest times possible. Honestly I'm still a huge Kyol fan. Yes he didn't get involved with McKenzie for ten years (although I personally find why pretty reasonable, considering how bat-shit crazy the king is) which I know is a long time, but, compared to Aren, he's an angel. Here's a basic comparison:
Aren: 1. Slits McKenzie's throat just because she chose not to reveal where Kyol and his men went even though; by this time, he's supposedly "in love" with her 2. Controls her 3. Lies to her 4. Doesn't keep his promises 5. Forces her into situations she doesn't want to be in 6. Blames her for things beyond her control 7. Is a hormonal little bitch half the time 8. Doesn't let her make her own decisions
Then, we have Kyol: 1. Rejects an offer for marriage from another Faerie because he's in love with McKenzie even though it's against the law, and basically made him an outcast for rejecting the other Faerie. 2. Has protected McKenzie for ten years from the court 3. Lets her make her own decisions and will follow whatever she chooses to make sure she's okay 4. Directly disobeys the king and doesn't kill humans when told to (although McKenzie flips shit and blames him for everything without knowing the facts which ends her ass up in jail) 5. Is loyal and caring 6. A badass swordsman with a knight's morals 7. Would leave the Faerie realm for her after he realizes what he's done to her 8. Even when she rejects him he will continue to protect her and help her any way he can and hopefully win her back by being a fucking man. 9. Has never hurt McKenzie the way Aren has a day in his life
Now tell me honestly who would you pick? Trust me there's a bit difference between a man and a bastard, and I know who's the man in this love triangle.
And you know what bothered me even more? That McKenzie rejects Kyol after he says he'll leave with her and does the whole, "let's just be friends" shit to him and chooses Aren even though she only admits to have some kind of feelings she can't explain even though she knows that she's still in love with Kyol by the end of the book. Yes, I understand the idea of she's putting her foot down and making Kyol see the error of his ways and all that shit stuff, but I know Mckenzie is making most likely the stupidest decision of her life.
IT JUST PISSES ME OFF!
Shut up, Goodreads......
I guess to finish this book was good, but not really what I wanted it to be because of a certain love interest. Read The Shadow Reader, but be warned that you may not like some of the relationships which is sadly a main part of this book. Too much romance and too little action in my opinion. ...more