Okay, it's official - I'm giving up on this one. This is mostly the problem with sequels, see - as much as I want to like them, they're just not as en...moreOkay, it's official - I'm giving up on this one. This is mostly the problem with sequels, see - as much as I want to like them, they're just not as engaging as the first book. So while I still think Deborah Harkness is a brilliant author and I'm looking forward to reading anything she writes in the future, I just have to put this one aside for a while, at least until my interest rekindles. (less)
Although I was immediately drawn to reading this book as it contained two of my favorite things – witches and England – I have to say that upon first...moreAlthough I was immediately drawn to reading this book as it contained two of my favorite things – witches and England – I have to say that upon first sight, it intimidated me somewhat, because that's what books this size tend to do to me when I first lay eyes on them. Nonetheless, I was sucked in as soon as I started reading and wished by bus rides to work to be longer.
The author has successfully created a world in which humans live obliviously alongside witches, vampires and daemons, all of whom are known not to be intermixed, that is until witch Diana Bishop encounters vampire Matthew Clairmont. I found all the characters to be well-written and well-developed. The interaction between them on every aspect, be it the romance or the tension between the different races as well as their forced collaboration on a similar goal, was written in a reliable and, in parts, witty way. In my opinion, this book is a bit of a cross between The Historian and Outlander. It's one of these books that are so rich with historical detail it makes you feel almost stupid for knowing so little. Then again, for people like me who are suckers for the genre, it's a wonderful source of knowledge.
The only thing that puzzled me a little was in terms of narration. For the most part, the story is told in first person, from Diana's point of view. Here and there, there are shifts into third person narration when Matthew takes over, when Diana's point of view cannot be provided for whichever reason. While this makes sense plot-wise, the OCDed part in me wishes for a slightly more balanced narration scheme.
All in all, this is a fabulous read for the fans of the genre. The second part of the trilogy is going to published soon and I hope to lay my hands on it as soon as possible while the first book is still fresh on my mind. I really hope I won't be disappointed, but at this point I can only bask at the enjoyment of this first book and hope its sequel will be as good, and hopefully even better. (less)
I'm so glad I read the two volumes in sequence, I don't think I could handle the long wait like so many readers have! I might as well direct you all t...moreI'm so glad I read the two volumes in sequence, I don't think I could handle the long wait like so many readers have! I might as well direct you all to my review on the previous volume, otherwise I might repeat myself. So, so beautiful. And the final prom scene is magic. That's really all I can say without ruining it for everyone. Absolutely breathtaking.(less)
I'll start by saying that I'm not a big fan of graphic novels, and particularly not of that style used here, but Young Kim has simply won me over. Thi...moreI'll start by saying that I'm not a big fan of graphic novels, and particularly not of that style used here, but Young Kim has simply won me over. This book is wonderfully constructed, from the breathtaking illustrations to their incorcopation with "real" landscapes - the Swan residence, the hospital, the meadow - I thought it was really well done. My only complaint would probably be the lack of color, but I understand the purpose behind it, and it is more effective to have only glimpses of color every now and then in crucial moments. What a lovely way to revisit one of my favorite books :)(less)
It's cute, it's fun, it's funny at times, but with all due respect to vampires, the human Wimpy Kid is funnier. And I wasn't too keen on the illustrat...moreIt's cute, it's fun, it's funny at times, but with all due respect to vampires, the human Wimpy Kid is funnier. And I wasn't too keen on the illustrations, but that's just me...(less)
Urban fantasies are my favorite type of fantasy. I like the way in which the two worlds - the real one and the fantastic one - collide, which is why I...moreUrban fantasies are my favorite type of fantasy. I like the way in which the two worlds - the real one and the fantastic one - collide, which is why I picked out this novel in the first place (aside for the more vain reason of its having a pretty cover). So what happens when the mundane world in New York City collides with the world of vampires and fairies?
I get it that it's a fantasy novel, but I often felt as though its authors were going overboard in their attempts to label it as such. On many levels it was too fantastic, if that even makes sense. At first it was nice to encounter all sorts of mythical creatures, but at some point I just felt overwhelmed by it all, so much so that the human characters were pushed to the margins, which I thought threw the entire storyline out of balance.
I was also disappointed with what is meant to be the key relationship in the book, that of Garet with Will Hughes. Even the plot summary on the cover points out that their bond transcends centuries. I thought their relationship lacked the intensity implied by the summary, and some sort of buildup towards it. Maybe it goes back to the over-engagement in the fantastic, again. It overshadows even what's supposed to be the most important component of the book.
That being said, I enjoyed reading this novel. It took a completely different direction than what I had initially thought it would. It's imaginative and descriptive, and I liked the way it concluded, leaving its readers with yearning for more. I'll definitely want to read its next installment when it's out next month, and I can only hope that the faults I've found in this one won't be so prominent there. (less)
When I first heard about this book (thanks, Mel!), I knew I had to read it. The combination of the Twilight Saga and history was just too tempting for...moreWhen I first heard about this book (thanks, Mel!), I knew I had to read it. The combination of the Twilight Saga and history was just too tempting for a geek like me to resist, and on many levels, it didn’t disappoint. Despite slight inaccuracies which don’t seem to be anyone's fault (the official companion for the Saga hasn’t been published at the time), this collection of essays is quite insightful. Some essays were more interesting, others I just felt like skipping altogether, but the beauty of such a compilation is its variety – it covers a large verge of topics so that everyone can find a point of interest there. Risking in sounding like a geek again I'd also say that reading this collection made me miss the days of reading this type of academic essays nonstop. This is another thing I like about it – that it seems to aim for the slightly older Twilight fans. Most of the other merch is aimed for the younger fans out there, so it's nice to see a product, and even better, a book, that manages to rise above that. (less)
This is the ideal book for devoted Twilight fans who, like me, were not ready to see the story end just yet. Although tedious and somewhat repetitive...moreThis is the ideal book for devoted Twilight fans who, like me, were not ready to see the story end just yet. Although tedious and somewhat repetitive at parts, the Companion is thorough and informative. For the past 4 years or so, the Twilight Saga has become an inseparable part of my life, and reading this Companion has been a truly enriching experience. The fact it was written by Stephenie Meyer, who knows this world and its participants inside out, rather than by an outsider, was a welcoming bonus.
Reading through this Companion makes one more aware of what truly goes on in an author's head while trying to weave together a story of such scale, and how much is actually being left out of the finished product. It's nice to have an opportunity to have to see everything, or as much of the whole picture as Stephenie Meyer allows us to see, because everything comes together in a completely different way. The thing that really blew me away was a timeline which chronologically surveys every single incident - even the most trivial ones - that has to do with the Saga in one way or another.
With the exclusion of a Playlist section which didn't interest me as much (not being familiar with 99% of the songs, that section felt less relevant to me, personally), I've thoroughly enjoyed this book. I revisited my favorite characters and scenes, had a few suspicions confirmed or denied, and learned quite a lot of new things. The Twilight world is one I always enjoy going back to, and I was grateful for the opportunity of doing so with the assistance of this Companion.(less)
So what if it's not top literature and if I'm too old for that kind of stuff? So what if the characters are not perfectly written, the plot is overdra...moreSo what if it's not top literature and if I'm too old for that kind of stuff? So what if the characters are not perfectly written, the plot is overdramatic at points and the premise is somewhat overdone? I'm not ashamed to say I love this book. It's my comfort read. It's one of those books I know I could be sucked right in as soon as I start it - there's just something about Meyer's style, Bella's voice, or maybe both, that does that. It has a well-deserved spot in the list of my top favorite books.(less)