I'm not really into romance, or meek leading female characters at that, but I don't know what Evernight had that pulled me in with incredible force siI'm not really into romance, or meek leading female characters at that, but I don't know what Evernight had that pulled me in with incredible force since the start. The relationship between Lucas and Bianca was the driving force in the story and the hardships they have to go through to be together squeezed at my heart every time. The plot wasn't really deep or overly complicated, but Gray has an uncanny ability to deliver unexpected, earth-shattering twists and turns that leave you wondering how could you not have seen them coming. While these twists worked perfectly for me on the first two books, and while I understood its purpose, the one on the third installment in the series, Hourglass, left me slightly disappointed. At least I hoped she would somehow fix it in Afterlife, the last book in the series. I was, somehow, even more disappointed.
Somehow, Bianca was even more meek and whiny than normal. What was supposed to be the main focus of the story and the biggest challenge in Lucas and Bianca's relationship, meaning the fact that they were both dead, was somehow mostly ignored. It didn't really become this impenetrable, emotionally-destructive obstacle it should've been. I was really looking forward to, at least, seeing how Lucas would be tortured by the fact that he was now what he hated the most, but he seemed to accept it rather easily and had only problems with his unquenchable thirst for blood. That bothered me slightly, but probably no more than Bianca's, well, doing nothing except being whiny and repetitive. For some reason, she was special to the wraiths. She could help them, except that it takes her, what?, 300 pages to get around that idea. Each time there was a monologue of her excuses and fears, I felt like I was reading the same pages over and over again. If the author had, at least, phrased them differently, I probably wouldn't have felt like I wasted my time reading 200 pages of the same whining, which, subsequently, lead me to feel slightly aversive to Bianca, and even to Lucas. Interestingly enough, though in the past they have been somewhat shallow and flat, it was the secondary characters that really shined in this book. Vic, Ranulf and Balthazar were great in the novel, supplying the few comic moments in the book and, probably, some of the most heartfelt moments too. Patrice, I was desperate for her arrival. I don't really understand the purpose for her absence in the previous books, because I felt Gray could've done amazing things with this incredible character. Her role in this book is a bit small, but there is something about this character that brings strength and depth to the story. I encourage everyone to find Gray's short stories about Patrice's life because they are simply amazing. Other characters, like the newly introduced Skye, were flat and placed there simply because they were convenient. Even Bianca's parents weren't explored and exploited to their whole potential, like the hate Bianca's mom had for wraiths. Dana and Raquel were like, meh. Out of some miraculous divine intervention, Raquel feels bad about betraying Bianca and Dana decided to abandon her life and everything she believes in for Lucas. It was not bad, it just needed to be more developed and explained.
This series needed an ending before they became a House of Night: pointless, senseless and, honestly, just painful. But I feel Gray could've done a better job at tying the loose ends. It all seemed to be done in a rush, desperate to just be over with it. Charity, one of the most amazing antagonists I've seen in young adult in a while, was dealt with easily and without a problem. It just seemed like the author really didn't want to deal with her. I found myself amazed with how much I actually liked Mrs. Bethany in this book, maybe because now she wasn't just the mean headmistress, and her plan with the wraiths was an original plot twist, but there was something missing. What probably bothered me the most was the way the author solved Lucas' problem. That twist only helped make the book too shiny and Disney-like. Honestly, I think I would've preferred if something bad had happened because at least it would've given the story some substance, some drama and heartbreak. In the end, everything is too perfect. I didn't want a completely sad ending, I just wished for, well, more, as I was ready to receive from an author as talented as Gray....more
I really wanted to like this book. Even now, after a year since I read it, I try to focus on the good things about it so I can convince myself to rea I really wanted to like this book. Even now, after a year since I read it, I try to focus on the good things about it so I can convince myself to read the next one, but I fail miserably. There is no part of me that’s interested in what is to come in this series or in the mysteries that were left unanswered in this first installment. Whatever promise this books had was completely destroyed for me by underdeveloped characters and a half-thought out plot.
Intrigued with the premise, I expected to find in Fallen a set of compelling, believable characters, a breathtaking, heartbreaking romance, a gothic, well-thought out setting, a riveting story and magnificent use of mythology. Well, I can honestly say I found none of the aforementioned in this story.
The story begins with a look to the past in which it is shown to the reader the misery the protagonists have to endure every time they find each other and fall in love. I was ready to let go of my grudge with the “destined lovers” thing if it was done right in this story, and at the beginning, I was very intrigued by the concept of being unable to actually be with your destined one. Until I met our protagonist: Luce.
I expected her to be strong, smart, capable and complex. I wanted someone who visibly struggled with the mysteries surrounded her and the horrors of her past, someone who stood her ground and didn’t allow anyone to manipulate her as they saw fit, and someone who demanded to know what concerned her. I wanted a protagonist that could find confidence within herself to carry on the burden she had been given. I got a half-wit, pushover, stalker, with no self respect or personality. She can’t even make her own decisions since there is a scene in which she is invited to a party and waits for Daniel (love interest and guy who treated her like crap at the moment) to nod his approval of her assisting that party.
Speaking of Daniel, what a hateful love interest he is. He is supposed to be this passionate, deep and tortured guy, but all I saw was a bipolar ass who felt he had the right to treat her like a yo-yo and pull her in and out as his moods shifted. Not like she complained. No, she decided she loved him and began to stalk him. In fact, they had already declared their undying love for each other before they had one meaningful conversation with more than five lines. Well, he didn’t make it exactly easy for them to talk since he ran away every time she tried to talk to him. And then when he does open up with her and tells her the big secret we’ve all know since the first page but Luce was too dense to figure out, she runs away like she and her feeble mind can’t handle the possibility of there being angels around her when she has been followed by shape-shifting, murderous shadows her whole life.
What is there of a plot in this story is incredibly predictable as it follows the normal progression of a high school drama/young adult paranormal: new girl comes to a new environment where she doesn’t fit in, some like her, others don’t and set out to make her life a living hell, she sees this incredibly gorgeous, secretive guy that pays attention to no one until she comes along and treats her kind of badly at first but then shows his sensitive side, other hot guys showers girl with attention but she is set on guy number one, they fall in love, and he turns out to be a supernatural being. The rest is just ridiculous. I am well aware that all secrets are not going to be revealed in the first installment on a series and that is not my problem. My problem is the lack of foundation for the plot. Things are going to be left unanswered and unclear, but the battle over Luce, the battle of the angels with each other, the fact that there are dark and light ones and they go to the same reform school, Cam’s interest on Luce and even the bad guys are just plain ludicrous and no amount of explaining will make any of those sound believable. The absence of a real bad guy in this book is also a serious fault for me. The only absurd attempt at a bad guy they had was quickly brushed aside and it involved the unnecessary death of a secondary character just to make that person really evil. Speaking of secondary characters, the book could’ve only featured Luce and Daniel and it would’ve turned out exactly the same way because the supporting cast is flat, mostly absent, undefined and, quite honestly, unnecessary.
The book it's too long when you consider just how little of all that is told is truly meaningful and contributes to the development of the story and the characters. Half way through, I had already lost all my interest and was praying for someone to just kill them all and release them and me from our misery.
Kate’s prose is pretty. Her words carry a sense of melancholia and a hint of nostalgia that is just perfect for this kind of story, but for some reason, it just didn’t flow naturally and effortlessly when I was reading this book. It all seemed kind of forced. The romance is not believable and their deep declarations of love made me roll my eyes. You can’t feel their connection just like you can’t feel the setting or the progression of the story and, rather, you are told throughout this book instead of shown what it is you have to believe and that is not how a story works for me.
I know a lot of people who really love this book and I got to admit the concept behind this whole story is pretty swoon-worthy, but it just didn’t materialize for me. I felt nothing but disdain for the protagonists and couldn’t take the plot seriously. The book had potential and maybe all my concerns with the first one were corrected in the next book, but it is very unlikely that I will ever know firsthand since I’ve yet to find a reason why I should go back to the world of Fallen. ...more
I'll start with the good things about this book: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ _________I'll start with the good things about this book: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________.
Ok, now that that's out the way. I'll get on with what bothered me about this book: Everything.
From the useless female lead to that jackass of a love interest, everything about this book is insulting. This is not a book about romance; this is a book about manipulation, stalking, abuse, isolation, sheer stupidity, selfishness masked as sacrifice and rampaging teenage hormones posing as eternal love.
I want to say that I liked the mythology, but everything else about the book completely killed it for me. There is not even an honest friendship in this book, for Vee and Nora were the most pathetic excuses for "besties" I've ever read about. "That guy is a murderer!" "No, he can't be, he's hot." "No, he is!" "Opps, I invited him over and set you up with him against your wishes. See, I'm a great BFF." "I'm telling you, that guy is bad. (Thinking: She's kind of fat.)" "Ah! That guy is bad! You were totally right!"
And then, after all the stalking, all the abuse and humiliation, Nora plays martyr for who has to be the biggest, most-undeserving jerk I've ever read about: Patch. (And it is not like there isn't competition, Daniel from Fallen is still there.)
I seriously can't believe Patch is considered a "hero" or that anyone buys his "tortured" act. I don't plan to read the other books so I don't know if he miraculously changes into a better character, but judging by all I ever plan to read of this series, he is no hero, he is not romantic and he is not a guy real girls out there should be wanting real men to be. Nora is also an insult to true heroines out there. She has no self-respect or a sense of self-worth, for anyone who takes all this crap from someone and still follows him around like a puppy can't possibly have any shred of self-stem or self-respect.
Like I said, I have no intention of ever reading the sequels because I won't support such a sick conception of what a relationship is....more
Like with its predecessor, The Forest of Hand and Teeth, my experience reading this book included a lot of frustrated sighs, several hours of boredom,Like with its predecessor, The Forest of Hand and Teeth, my experience reading this book included a lot of frustrated sighs, several hours of boredom, many moments of begrudged appreciation and an ending of extremely mixed feelings. You see, I truly appreciate all the things Ryan did with this story. I actually really like her style and I believe the tone she gives her stories are truly fantastic, but, for some reason, I never fall for her novels. I appreciate them, but I don't like them. I am always extremely frustrated with her main character, while at the same time I respect the believable flaws to them. I like her imperfect romantic relationships but their very slow progression and passionless moments bother me more than I care to admit. So, in conclusion, Ryan is a good writer, she's just not my type of writer. Maybe I'll pick up the next one, but, like the gap between my experiences with her first two books, it'll probably be a while before I bother with it....more
This book had all the tools to be great: good writing, an awesome concept and great packaging, I mean, look at that cover! But despite an awesome firsThis book had all the tools to be great: good writing, an awesome concept and great packaging, I mean, look at that cover! But despite an awesome first couple of pages, my interest in this book declined faster than the IQ of anyone who loved Twilight, or something even worse like the House of Night series. The start reeled me in with unexpected force but then, somewhere between the totally pointless and forced love triangle, the flat characters with stereotyped personalities, the constant repetition of descriptions (I think I got perfectly clear the first twenty times that Emily's hair is "ropey", that Sam was "huge" and that Finley's hair color is "like honey", among other things, thank you very much) and the technology overload just to get the point across that this is a steampunk novel, the book completely lost me. And I won't even go into how much telling-instead-of-showing the author did or how much it completely annoyed me that our "heroine" only felt attracted to men who could overpower her - that alone knocked off two stars from its rating. I still don't think this is a terrible book, its just kind of bleh. There's room for improvement and I'll probably pick up the next one when I find it cheap.
Someday I'll make a more thorough review. Just don't hold your breath. ...more
This book was original, but failed to deliver in many ways. The characters were flat, there was no chemistry between the leads and the plot was overlyThis book was original, but failed to deliver in many ways. The characters were flat, there was no chemistry between the leads and the plot was overly-simplistic.
It might be a bit too late to even care for a review of this book, but I just saw it on my 'to-review' shelf and I decided to give it a go.
So, this book is boring. And very reminiscent of Twilight, in that it follows the simple structure that most YA books took as The Rule from around 2005 to 2011: simple, beautiful but unaware Girl goes through some kind of personal tragedy and moves to new town where she meets gorgeous, perfect (too perfect, disgustingly perfect)Boy that has never paid any attention to anyone (and not for lack of trying by other people) but suddenly is completely enthralled by this normal and generic Girl that could not find a personality or individuality if it hit her in the face like a brick. Still, after five minutes they know it is true love but then the Girl discovers there is something strange about Boy and she discover he is some kind of paranormal being and he has an enemy that, just for the hell of it, will make Girl his/her/its target.
I basically gave right there the book away. I suppose I should at least give Plum props for mixing things up. She at least took her chick out of small town somewhere, and put her in Paris, and to be honest, the author did a pretty good job in the descriptions of the setting and capturing the beauty of Paris. She also went one step further and brought a new type of "creature" (can I call him a creature? Is he a creature? Super-human, perhaps? Whatever.) into YA, that, though sounds to me like an unholy offspring from a Guardian Angel and a zombie, was still interesting, original and was what made me go through the whole book. And the Girl at least tried to leave, true, she still failed miserably, but she tried to put a stop to what she thought could be a potential risk. So, kudos for that.
The pacing is slow, zero character development, the romance of the insta-love variety with some painful lack of chemistry and mushy, embarrassing romantic scenes and confessions on the side, and a suggestion of a possible love triangle, because you know, when it comes to the shapeless, personality-less but somehow desirable blob that is new Girl, there's no loyalty to anyone.
I got book two around here, but my motivation for it are on the negative figures. This book is not terrible. The last few chapters were actually pretty entertaining and the writing was actually kind of nice. I've certainly read far worse and gave it 2 stars as well, but there's just something about Die For Me, or rather, a lack of something, that failed to make it stand on its own. It is more of the same, nothing truly outstanding that reads like every other PN YA romance out there, and that was simply not for me. ...more
I'm giving it 2 stars, though I am probably being too generous. The book is not awful and I've certainly read worse by far, but here's the thing: nothI'm giving it 2 stars, though I am probably being too generous. The book is not awful and I've certainly read worse by far, but here's the thing: nothing happens. This book is boring, unexciting and practically uneventful. The characters are incredibly flat and in serious lack of a personality, and the "bad guys" are ridiculously cartoonish and just plain silly. (Seriously? Witchy, religious, exorcising grandmas? A bad, rock star- wannabe boy that can't get over his ex-girlfriend so he obsesses over the new girl? Really?) Of course, the leads fall in love within moments of meeting each other. I'm tired, no, exhausted of the insta-love plot and this book is all about that, which is made all the worse because there is no chemistry between the leads. The author is not a bad writer, but, besides the first lines in the book where I-forgot-her-name-already is detailing her death, there is no beauty in her prose, and, quite frankly, it reads like fan-fiction. The conversations were silly and bland and can our protagonist be any more dense? I lost count of how many times she asked for information she had just been given and how long it took her to realize the obvious. The whole concept of the ghosts and the netherworld was interesting, but, when you really think about it, it went largely underdeveloped and unexplored because the author chose to focus on the romance. Oh, and just out of curiosity, why exactly were the dead characters acting like animals, snarling, growling, crouching and pouncing like they were teenage werewolves instead of ghosts?
I am not even going to consider reading the next one any time soon. ...more
This one, at least, followed the original story line and pushed the plot from the standstill it was stuck on after Misguided Angel, a very poor fillerThis one, at least, followed the original story line and pushed the plot from the standstill it was stuck on after Misguided Angel, a very poor filler after the amazing Van Allen Legacy. Still, it as all over the place, shifting from past to present erratically and it focused on insignificant side plots and, I'm afraid, suffered from bipolar disorder. One second it was pushing with the drama (oh, I'll never see him again, I'll never forgive him or I don't love him anymore) and the other they were happily declaring their undying affections after a hot bed session, which, by the way, happened way too often for a YA book. I don't mind sex in YA, but tone it down a little bit, those kids were having or thinking of sex every 20 pages.Schuyler was never much of a strong protagonist, but come on! Give her a little more of a backbone instead of having her whining for Jack's protection every time something happened. Mini as well! What happened to her arrogance and pride? She was just a lusty, love-sick girl and not exactly the mighty angel of death and if this was supposed to make her seem human, well it made her seem pathetic. I did enjoy the plot twists, but whatI didn't like was just how much boring nonsense I had to plow through to get there. I'm kind of happy the next one is the last one, this series should end before it takes a turn for the worse. ...more
The good news is that this one is better than City of Fallen Angels.
The bad news is that City of Lost Souls still feels like a forced continuation ofThe good news is that this one is better than City of Fallen Angels.
The bad news is that City of Lost Souls still feels like a forced continuation of what should've, for the sake of the quality of the previous installments and out of respect for the fans, stayed a trilogy.
Like the previous installment, this one also unnecessarily dragged and ended up in a conflict that, although interesting, failed to be convincing. Quite frankly, not only is most of the story wasted away in unimportant side plots, but the main storyline is full of confusing and vague plot devices and logical flaws. Sebastian's obsession with Clary really served no purpose to the story other than to make him look more despicable. Clary's "dark mission", as the blurb described it, was nothing but steamy make-out scenes and sightseeing up until the climax of the novel. Actually, the whole book is basically just the chronicles of the romantic progress in the relationships of the protagonists. Do I like you - Do you like me? OMG, I'm so insecure in our relationship. Should we get back together? Should we have sex? There that's the entire content of 500+ page novel summarized in just a few questions.
Somehow, Clare managed to ruin characters I actually liked. Seems like I keep underestimating her capacity to destroy characters, seeing as how I thought she could not possibly make Jace any more obnoxious after the original trilogy and then she magically produced three more books that completely blew away my concept of the word. In this one, she managed to ruin Isabelle with ridiculous insecurities, that I know are supposed to stand as character development, but that, in my opinion, ended up weakening her. I also always held a begrudged respect for Clary, but her selfishness in this one was simply unbearable. Even Magnus lost his some of his appeal when she had him make multiple jokes that simply felt uncomfortably flat. I absolutely hated what she did with Maia and Jordan. I despised it on City of Fallen Angels because I couldn't forget how, in the original trilogy, Maia's ex boyfriend had been presented as an abusive jerk, and then there he is being shoved down our throats with how gorgeous and misunderstood he was and only so that Simon and Isabelle could be together with no other girl standing in their way. That was just wrong. Actually, most of these relationships are kind of sick. First of all, Simon cheated on both Isabelle and Maia. Jace is a controlling and condescending jerk, and, lastly, Alec's insecurities bordered long ago on ridiculous.
The main conflict of this addition to what still is one of my favorite series is simply silly sometimes. The plot is not as tight as in the first trilogy, the characters and their problems not as engaging and, overall, this series has lost most of the appeal it originally held for me. I aware that it could be a lot worse, but I feel cheated with these last two books. I guess I can only hope that the last (hopefully) installment somehow makes these last two worth it. ...more
Well, I'm glad that's over. Let's see. What was the worst part? The completely uneventful plot? The lifeless cMore of a 1.5 score. I'm being generous.
Well, I'm glad that's over. Let's see. What was the worst part? The completely uneventful plot? The lifeless characters that, ironically, were not the zombies? The lackluster romance? The completely ridiculous bad guy that in several occasions told our brilliant protagonists that he planned to kill everyone yet they still scratched their heads wondering who was hurting their friends or simply ignored the threats in favor of parties? One thing is clear, I am not reading the next one. Can't believe I spent my birthday reading this. ...more
I bought this book because the blurb sounded kinda interesting and this was one- May contain spoilers -
I'm done. And now I've lost the will to live.
I bought this book because the blurb sounded kinda interesting and this was one of my favorite covers of the year. Once I received it, though, I pushed it back because of the infamous incident with the book's author and because I've yet to see a good review for this book from reviewers I trust. But I decided to brave this one, because, well, I don't know, maybe I was feeling slightly masochistic and decided to inflict this pain on myself, but I did it. I should be happy, though. I can't believe I actually survived another Twilight. If you think Twilight was bad, this is one is actually worse.
Let's try to say something good. Hmmmm. I liked that it was not set in the U.S. That she used Celtic myths and legends and the crow.
Ok, so now that that's out of the way, this is going to be a little bit of a rant. I promised myself I wouldn't do it, because it is not like I expected anything from this one, but still, this was just that bad.
Megan moves to Ireland, and I could tell you all the other things that happen, but everybody knows the only important thing here is that she meets a guy. A mysterious, impossibly (and unlikely) beautiful, rich guy that has never shown any interest in any girl except now and that turn outs to be some sort of mythical creature and wants to protect, stalk, isolate, abuse and possibly smoother to death this girl he just met but that he knows he loves because he saw it there in her eyes.
Megan has to be one of the most pathetic excuses for a protagonist I've ever read about. She's shallow, uninteresting, bland and actually kind of dumb. And she saw the guy...and fell for him in a record-breaking three seconds flat. She actually calls Adam's sister a bitch before she knew they were related just because they were walking together. She signed up for classes she was terrified of just to see him (stalk him?) after school. She said Adam about 30 times per page on the second chapter. Why? I honestly don't know. She was giving him the puppy eyes even before talking to him or knowing anything about him and, you know what? Even after they get to "know each other" (you know how it goes in YA) a little better, I still failed to see Adam's appeal. The guy has the personality of a brick, which I supposed perfectly clicks with Megan's, after all, I never got tired of those heart-pounding tales of eating cereal and getting dressed.
As if that was not enough, dear little Megan is also an obnoxious, sexist hypocrite. There is a scene where Megan and her friend Caitlin were discussing the length of their friend's skirt and the fact that a teacher was checking her out and Megan said that it was obviously not the teacher's fault, that it was their mutual friend's fault because she wanted to be checked out and if the teacher looked it was because she asked for it. Really? There this little thing called self-control and ethic, and even if the girl was wearing a short skirt and is in fact responsible if a guy looks at her, the teacher should've had the decency not to blatantly and disgustingly check out a student.
Moving on, the mythology, perhaps the only thing that could've saved this train-wreck, was unnecessarily complicated and kind of stupid if you think about it. Half-way through the book I couldn't even bring myself to care whatever they were, and it got worst after the author's info dumps every couple of pages that really never cleared things up. Oh, but learning that Megan is there just to pop out kids is just lovely. Just what we need: another 'heroine' without a backbone making her life revolve solely around a guy (actual quote from the book) and just being there to do nothing more than give birth to freaky babies. And that the latter is the reason their love is "forbidden" is just rich.
It disgusts me when people dismiss this insta-love thing, swooning and sighing constantly over a guy and the whole 'I will die without him' thing just because this is fiction. This is YA, people. I am well out of my teens now so I don't take this seriously, but the minds of the people this is addressed to are very impressionable, or have you not seen the mobs of girls crying over Edward and Jacob like they're real and writing blogs about how they are their perfect guys and going through their lives looking for guys that resemble these 'heroes'? Girls look up to this novels and their heroines and heroes because they believe this is the right way to live. Don't be so flippant and dismissive when this is serious. These books are teaching the female readers absolutely nothing. They're just telling them to find a guy (preferably rich and beautiful and just a little bit overprotective and abusive, because you know, that's hot) and then they can be happy. These books inspire girls to be nothing but submissive wives and girlfriends with no identity or independence beyond that and that is not romantic, that is pathetic and against everything we've been fighting for for decades.
Ok, so back to the book. In the end, this book is boring, it drags on and ends up infuriating the reader because of the lack of originality behind everything. And there is no way someone can say the mythology and the whole thing with the elements is new because, hey! Avatar: The Last Airbender, you know that awesome, highly original animated series that aired back in 2005, about six years before this book was (surprisingly) published. So there is really very little originality behind the concept and, whatever interest I may have had in it was lost because of everything else that (barely) holds this story together.
There's no way I'm reading any other books in this series. I regret my curiosity, but right now I'm just glad to be done with it and able to move on to books that are really worth my time. ...more
I was so conflicted about my feelings for this book that I waited two days before even marking it as finished. Though there werActual Score: 2.5 stars
I was so conflicted about my feelings for this book that I waited two days before even marking it as finished. Though there were many exciting parts, particularly during the final chapters of the novel, that made an admirable attempt at shaking the overall impression I had of the novel throughout it's entirety, at the end, the fact still remained that Under the Never Sky, though exciting and intriguing at points, was, ultimately, a novel with poor world-building and vague and sketchy explanations for its existence, very little character development and unmemorable protagonists, not much of a plot and mediocre writing. I know I'm in the minority here, but, even if I had based my rating and impressions on the last few enjoyable parts of the novel, I still wouldn't be able to see why this novel is so loved.
I did not like Aria as a protagonist. She was whiny, ungrateful and judgmental and needed to be saved about every three chapters. There was nothing different about her, nothing unique or engaging or admirable, which is perfectly demonstrated by the fact that the male protagonist discovered his attraction for her once he realized that she was particularly beautiful. Though she does show a bit of bravery towards the end, she never comes across as anything but the sweet and meek girl that stands in contrast to Perry's violent and "savage"nature. Perry was a bit more rounded as a character than Aria, but I never really felt his appeal. I must admit I liked the progression of their relationship with each other, but their relationships with secondary characters always seemed superficial, well, as superficial as the secondary characters themselves.
The story is engaging at points, but is nothing particularly original. I don't know why, but this novel reminded me a lot of Blood Red Road, but the latter is definitely better plotted and written. Most of the time, however, I was bored with this one and had a hard time bringing myself back to reading it. Overall, this novel is not bad. I do believe it is highly overhyped, which maybe led me to have extremely high expectations that the novel simply did not meet. This one follows the common YA dystopia pattern, so fans that love the genre perhaps will fall in love with this one. Me, I'm getting tired of it, but I will probably read the sequel. ...more
The book had an interesting premise, even if somewhat sketchy. I liked some of its concepts, but the protagonist completely ruined any chance this booThe book had an interesting premise, even if somewhat sketchy. I liked some of its concepts, but the protagonist completely ruined any chance this book had with me.
I hated this book. In case the 1 star rating wasn't clear enough, I absolutely despised it. I gave it 2 stars at first, because I really hate giving books a 1 star rating. I do give out 1 star ratings when a book deserves it, but I like thinking that (almost) every book has something to offer. But, after sleeping on it, I came back the next day and got a great amount of pleasure out of giving this one the single, lonely star I feel it deserves. I know I'm in the minority here, seeing as how this book has an overall rating of over 4 stars, but I really fail to see the appeal of this one, and it is not because of a lack of trying. While reading it, I gave up on this book three times. Three freaking times I put it aside, completely decided to never bother with it again, but I came back again and again. I just want to make it clear that I did not come back because I was intrigued or because I wanted to know the big "mystery": Everything about this book is ridiculously predictable right from the start. The reason I came back was because I kept hoping I could see what everyone was raving about. I think the 1 star rating makes it pretty clear that I never stumbled upon what makes this book deserve the praise.
Gwen is one of the most detestable characters I've ever had the misfortune of reading about. She's right up there with Luce, Nora and Zoey in the list of characters I wish I could erase from literary existence by flushing them down a toilet. She's whiny, judgmental, self-absorbed, self-righteous, oh, and she wants me to remind you that she has no friends. God, I swear she said that last thing about 50 times per chapter. Please, remind me how much of a loner and a rebel you are about five freaking times per page, I don't get tired of it at all. Oh, and you wear hoodies and read comic books? Wow, that is so interesting and original and totally explains why absolutely no one gets you. (Yeah, right. Guess what? That was me in high school and that never had as a result a shortage of friends or cruel rejection from everyone.) And, of course, Gwen is a loner because she's not as rich or as "pretty" or as "special" as the rest of the mean girls in class, when the truth is she actually is, but, of course, she just doesn't know it. But that's okay. Gwen comforts herself by declaring all the other girls "raging sluts" and knowing that no matter what she does, says, wears or who she likes, she will never be like those "raging sluts". The whole characterization of one of the pseudo-antagonists in the story is that she is gorgeous and is only popular because she's been with every boy in school and likes labels and brands and is mean to poor little Gwen. Sounds familiar? Yes, like every other generic YA mean girl out there. And the plot is not that different, either.
There's really nothing original about this book. I considered giving this one extra points for bringing different types of warriors and mythical creatures into one school until I realized that, not only is the whole concept far-fetched in itself, the book never offers a real explanation for it. Oh well, I suppose it does. The school is supposed to train all these warriors for a war that even the protagonists is convinced is just a whole lot of superstitious bogus. Which if you think about it, for a girl that has powers and lives constantly surrounded by mythical warriors like the Valkyries to not believe that there could be a war with other mythical beings, well, it's pretty stupid all-around.
This book was really infuriating and frustrating. There's barely a plot in there, but I couldn't be bothered to follow it anyway when I had to see it flow through a character like Gwen, who is ready to judge and insult and scorn everyone around her but falls for a guy that's popular because he hurts people and signs the mattresses of all the girls he sleeps with on campus, because, of course, that makes him so hot. There's no character development in this book, no real mystery driving the plot, a ridiculous resolution that continues to belittle girls and furthers the stereotype about the mean girls and condemns woman sexuality, an interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying concept and a terrible lead I wish I could bleach out of my mind. It's been, what?, 3 or 4 months since I read this one and I still can't get over how much it disappointed and angered me. The thing is that I was actually expecting a lot out of this one, but a book like this one is nothing but a slap in the face to YA readers out there. It's nothing but a generic, formulaic story that has been done many times because someone out there believes we are not smart enough to recognize it for what it is, throw in there a bunch of high school stereotypes and some half-assed mythology to make it paranormal, and there you go. To conclude this rant, I vow to never read any more books in this series and to try my very best to even forget I wasted my time reading this.