I am in awe; In pure and undiluted awe and shock over FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. This is seriously some heady stuff; I'm addicted! FSoG is the very first novel where I would be more than willing to give a rating higher than 5/5. It really is beyond perfection, and I was utterly ensnared by its characters, plot, and James' writing throughout the reading process that I felt so sorry when it ended. In a freaking cliffhanger, no less!!! But we will come to that later.
Anastasia "Ana" Steele is in her last year doing her degree in WSU, Vancouver. Her best friend, Katherine "Kate" Kavanagh - or the Kathering Kavanagh Inquisition, as Ana calls her when she gets into her interviewer-reporter mode - managed to snag a time slot to interview Christian Grey, CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, one of the richest, most eligible bachelor in the country, but she fell prey to the flu bug, and so Ana has to take Kate's place as interviewer.
Ana is a jeans and T-shirt person, so when she dresses in a casual-formal skirt and shirt to the gleaming glass fortress that was Grey's office, she feels a little intimidated. What's worse is that the moment she steps into his office, she falls flat on her face. She feels arms around her, and when Grey helps her up and she takes her first real look at him, oh you know she's a definite goner. He was absolutely gorgeous, but with a cold and distant demeanor. She's intimidated, and as the interview went on, she embarrasses herself multiple times, and so she flees as soon as she's done with Kate's list of interview questions, trying her best to put him out of her mind. Well, she's probably not going to be seeing such a high profile person again, right?
Wrong. Grey turns up at the hardware store where she works, and he expresses his wish to see her again. Who is she to refuse? Anyway, Grey tells her explicitly what he wants in a relationship in her - a BDSM one no less. Ana is intrigued with him and his lifestyle, being a complete innocent when it comes to anything sexual. But as they got to know each other better, she finds out that Grey is actually a man with many dark secrets, is haunted by a terrible, abusive past, and is fifty shades of fucked-up. She falls for him, but can she pull him back into the light? Will she be enough for him as she is?
Once again I feel obliged to reiterate: I LOVED this book. This series, actually, since I couldn't concentrate enough to do up this review and gone ahead to devour Book 2 immediately after Book 1. (That cliffhanger is to be blamed!!) I wanted to do a quickie review, combining both FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and FIFTY SHADES DARKER (book 2, and also one of my absolute favourites) initially, but thought better of it cause I am probably going to be gushing about my love for both books. So, the gushing commences.
The plot. There was actually a plot! I shall endeavor to explain why I am in shock. Usually, Eroticas exist as standalones because they consist of insubstantial plots and storylines, harping on about panties-melting, sadistic males, timid as hell pushover heroines, mindless sex and orgasms repeated throughout the whole book, probably on every alternate page, and pseudo-loves. But when I saw that FIFTY SHADES OF GREY belonged to a series, trilogy in fact, I was intrigued. And now that I've read it, my whole view on Erotica-Romances has changed. I wasn't that into Eroticas before, nor Contemporary-Romances (this is the first contemp romance I've read so far, honest), but this story really just makes me want to delve further into this two sub-genres while I wait for their sequel-brother, FIFTY SHADES FREED, to be released. Christian was a little domineering, but he doesn't overstep boundaries. Ok, maybe in a few occasions, but they're done so as to protect Ana, and they're really, heartwrenchingly sweet. So I did like his overbearingness, surprisingly. And Ana stands up for herself. But I will be gushing about the characters in a later paragraph(s).
The writing. I LOVED E.L. James' writing style! She's funny, witty, and her diction is fantastic. I loved how the words are complex, but not overly so, but it actually became a little educational. Haha, I had to unearth my dictionary a few times to check up on a few difficult words, and I did like it. Other than the parts where it gets so exciting and I stop checking the dic. She could express very subtle details in the story, and even in one-sided conversations like when Christian is on the phone and only uses a few words to respond to the caller, I could actually understand who he was talking to, how he felt about the conversation, and most importantly, what he was talking about. I know it may sound like simple matters, but I'm telling you, it's not. James' is really a talented author. She even employed a very special way of communication between the protagonists - via emails! Haha, you must be thinking, "Whaaat?" right? But which other books have you read where the people communicates through emails? It has always been dialogues, isn't it so? Admit it! Haha, and those emails between Ana and Christian are HEE-larious! Wonderfully entertaining and unique and special and...sigh, they are so childish and endearing when they're being cute together.
From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Verbose? Date: May 31 2011 19:08 EST To: Christian Grey
Sir, you are quite the loquacious writer. I have to go to dinner at Bob’s golf club, and just so you know, I am rolling my eyes at the thought. But you and your twitchy palm are a long way from me so my behind is safe, for now. I loved your email. Will respond when I can. I miss you already. Enjoy your afternoon.
From: Christian Grey Subject: Your behind Date: May 31 2011 16:10 To: Anastasia Steele
Dear Miss Steele
I am distracted by the title of this email. Needless to say it is safe – for now.
Enjoy your dinner, and I miss you too, especially your behind and your smart mouth.
My afternoon will be dull, brightened only by thoughts of you and your eye rolling. I think it was you who so judiciously pointed out to me that I too suffer from that nasty habit.
Christian Grey CEO & Eye Roller, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
You should see the continuation, it's gets funnier. But I can't quote the back without the front cause then it wouldn't have made much sense, and I can't quote the entire thing because then it'll be too long, so oh well. But he's very different in real life compared to when he's emailing Ana. Haha, and it really is heartwarming when you see him relax and let the depraved little boy come out.
And then there's the other funny parts:
" How could he mean so much to me in such a short time? He’s got right under my skin… literally. "
Hahaha, yeah, literally.
The characters. Oh my hell, they were so hot together. I really cannot stress it enough. I am intoxicated by both of them, Ana and Christian/Fifty/Grey. I loved how Ana was a meek yet brave yet obstinate yet compassionate yet intelligent yet witty girl. She is the perfect heroine. I've kind of grown tired of reading the typical snarky and badass heroines nowadays, or the overtly timid pushovers that seem to dominate most of the Erotica genre. I said Ana was witty, not snarky. There's a fine line between those two, but I prefer witty instead of snarky. Snarky just sounds immature and childish. And then there's our dear, aloof, tortured, brilliant male protagonist, Christian who is actually a sweet closet romantic. I adored him. He was showing Ana all these impossibly beautiful sceneries, whispering impossibly tender, sweet nothings to Ana yet it doesn't come off as cheesy. And when they're together, they practically just made my book combust into ashes. Spontaneous combustion, that's how they affected me. Loved, loved, loved them.
Oh, and incidentally, Ana has already described her Fifty Shades quite perfectly in the book:
"I know he’s moody, difficult, funny, cold, warm… jeez, the man is a walking mass of contradictions."
Yep, that pretty much sums him up. He is such an enigma that I love. But not the love love kind of thing, cause I'm not Ana, and I think Ana really is like his other halve, the only other person who can compliment him. They're perfect together, in every sense of that word.
Only one eetsy beetsy thing that I noticed. Christian has well-manicured hands! Or was it nails..? But "well-manicured" sounded so gay to me. Oh well, but after some time I was thinking would you rather go for well-manicured or chipped and caked with black dirt, and I chose well-manicured. And why does he have condoms everywhere he goes?!?! They're at a boathouse, he sinks his hand into his pocket, and OUT comes a condom; They're in a lift, and OUT comes a condom; They're god-knows where, he sinks his hand into a pocket and OUT comes a condom! I mean, really? You might say he's just being an always-ready kind of person..but really?
I loved FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with all my heart; So much so that even before I finished the book, I already wanted to rate this book a rating higher than 5/5, and that's saying something. It has all I ever wanted in a romance book, even though I thought that I was a hopeless Paranormal-Romance-Urban-Fantasy geekfan, FSoG helped changed my perception. Even though one of the things I hate the most is a cliffhanger to sour my mood, I thought that this cliffhanger was the best cliffhanger I've ever encountered (and the fact that the second book was already out lightened my mood considerably!:D). No doubt my favourite book - and maybe series - of 2011. I'd really, strongly encourage ALL romanceaholics out there to give this a try if you haven't done so already.
Random Musings (which you will not understand if you haven't read the book):
(view spoiler)[If you're reading the ebook like me, can you search the words,"Heart failure" into the search box? I LOVED that scene! Haha, it made me laugh so hard, especially at the heart failure in italics part. That was one epic moment. My heart literally stopped together with Ana's. Ohh, Fifty is really such an unpredictable male.
Oh, and the other part where I couldn't stop laughing was:
“Good. Until tomorrow perhaps.” He turns to leave, then pauses. “Oh – and Anastasia, I’m glad Miss Kavanagh couldn’t do the interview.” He smiles, then strides with renewed purpose out of the store, slinging the plastic bag over his shoulder, leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones. I spend several minutes staring at the closed door through which he’s just left before I return to planet Earth.
Somehow, I found the phrase "quivering mass" very funny and suggestive.XD (hide spoiler)]
And I love the pun "Fifty Shades of Grey". Haha, think about it. It's really mindfuckingly cool. (Sorry for the language, but this book incites very strong emotions in me.)
Oh, and thanks Midsummer for the recommendation! I really loved it.:)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book epitomizes "epic-ness at its pinnacle"; It is an electrifying, stunning debut.
I don't know what to say about this book, cause frankly, it was perfect, in every sense of that word. The suspenseful, action-packed, complicated but wholesome plot to the professional characterization, they were all wonderfully delivered. The thrill of the chase, hide-and-seek and having to second-guessing everyone's motives, the pain and heartache the characters felt and went thru permeated out of the pages and boy, was it nice to soak up all that lovely Paranormal YA goodness.
Deznee "Dez" Cross is your typical adrenaline-junkie teenager who loves to bungee jump off buildings and to surf trains. Ok, maybe not that typical. But she does have the normal dosage of rebellious-ness blazing within her. She drinks the coffee her dad said was a strict "no"; Dated guys whom her dad said was a strict "no"; Earned a tramp's reputation (not really by action. She spreaded the rumor herself) which - I hope - all dads would say is a strict "no". Pretty much everything her dad said "no" to, she did them. And when fate comes to play, things get real messy and everyone's innermost secrets would be laid in the dirt for all to witness...
And must I elaborate? It came in the form of Kale no-last-name. Kale who didn't know how to put on and remove his sneakers, Kale with the intense gaze, and Kale who seemed like he didn't want to touch anyone. Ok, the last was a dead giveaway, but oh well, now, the leap is yours to make.;)
No one's not without a secret, and when all secrets are out, all hell breaks loose. At least for Deznee.
Well, all I can say is: This is how you write YA. This is how you write Paranormal.
The first thing that I feel obligated to highlight, is the complexity and entirety of the plot. It was so detailed, so well-thought of and planned..it was just amazing, really. All that, and it never got confusing. Mind you, "confusing" and "complicated" are 2 very separate entities. It actually made it all the more believable.
The second most important thing - Kale. The ultimate girl-killer. That tortured, strong, fiercely-protective, strangely innocent soul that was our male protagonist. I've been emailing Stacey (Accardo's publicist at Entangled Publishing), and even she admitted she loved him. @Stacey, ADMIT IT!! Ratting you out. Haha.
Anyway, yes, I loved Kale. He had been kidnapped, tortured, and coerced to kill for the "law" firm, Denazen, but he came out stronger and quicker than ever. Even tho he doesn't know much about the outside world (yeah, Dez gotta teach him what is a kiss by demonstrating the different types of it to him. Loved that scene), he still knew how to survive, kick-butt, and develop some healthy level of looove for Dez, all in good time too. By the way, the cover Kale is perfect. That mysterious, dangerous aura about him suits him perfectly, and well, that's exactly how I pictured him to be - maybe even more accurate than what I imagined him to be in the beginning!
Initially, I wasn't very taken by the whole adrenaline-junkie, all punk-girl attitude that was Dez , but she became mature and she knew how to take matters into her own hands. I liked that about her. Her inner strength and resilience, add to that a funky and funny personality, it all just made her such a likable character.
This series is a very refreshing take on the whole YA Paranormal front, a very impressive debut. A nice little blend between the cool-ness of Xmen and his buddies, a little mix with the big, evil organization of the MINDER series by Kate Kaynak (click to see my review), and add in the fray Dan Brown's awesome mystery skills and you have TOUCH. This book, in its own right, is in a league all on its own.
THIS BOOK ENDED WITH A CLIFFHANGER!!! NOOOO. Imagine being sucked up into this wonderful wonderful world and being ripped out of it all of a sudden..*pants pants*. Lol, ok a little exaggerated there, but...:( It wasn't really a cliffhanger, not like Aprilynne Pike's Illusion (and definitely not as poorly written), but the sort of thing that will leave you with a little nugget of information that'll leave you thinking and speculating about it..SOMETHING THAT YOU WILL BE DYING TO KNOW ABOUT...*pants pants*. Lol. But yes, I am dying to continue reading and seeing for myself where it'll lead Kale and Dez.
P.S. I want the next book nooowww, yesterday. Whatever. Pronto!!...more
First of all, i have to say...Wow!...wow, an absolutely stunning debut novel. Seriously, the plot was well-developed, captivating, and...magical; TheFirst of all, i have to say...Wow!...wow, an absolutely stunning debut novel. Seriously, the plot was well-developed, captivating, and...magical; The adventures were suspenseful and action-packed, the pace set was fast at some, but it slows down at the more romantic scenes-not slow slow, but comfortable slow, VERY satisfatory slow, if you get what i mean:). The ending was perfectly sweet and really, really romantic, and i liked it a lot.
It started off with Pia running away from Dragos after stealing from his secret hoard. And as we all know, dragons like to keep mountains of jewels and whatnot and are extremely possessive of their possessions. She tried to run, and as the cliche saying goes, but she can't hide, so Dragos caught her(with funny intermediate scenes like when Dragos, a crazy ancient dragon, tried eating Twizzlers and drinking cherry coke Slurpee cause Pia bought it and almost immediately spat everything out and his second-in-command, the hot Rune, took the Twizzlers and smuggled them out of the room). They fell in love, but because of the big difference in personalities and all the other power players getting involved, they got on a rocky start and could only satisfy their burning needs for physical intimacies in spurts and bursts wherever they could fit into their impromptu schedules-like when they're running away from a horde of angry Goblin captors and had gained some ground, they washed off at a creek and had their first "joinings":). I have to admit that that first love making was realy mindblowingly hot, ahha ok now i sound pervy. When things toned down and it seemed like a happy ever after, Pia got kidnapped by Dragos' archenemy. But during her kidnap, she definitely showed what a tough girl she was. Yeah and the ending was, as i've said already, really, really sweet.
OK, where to start...Pia is a really cool heroine, all independence and all action. I liked the front part where she outsmarted and kicked her delusional, crazy ex-boyfriend's butt. She's pretty(light god-blonde hair and all), she's smart, fast, and really brave and independent. She fights her own battles, and she doesn't back down when her dominant lover gets all bossy and intimidating, instead, she understands that it wasn't really his fault since it was all honed instincts ingrained into him for millenia, so yeah, it's hard for him too. She is really friendly and charismatic to those who were suspiscious of her at first. Oh and she is so sarcastically funny, definitely my type. She's cool, and she definitely hits my top charts of favourite heroines.
Dragos is the usual dominant, I-always-get-what-i-want, powerful, strickingly handsome hero of the book. He really reminds me of Raphael in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series and almost all the men in Jory Strong's erotica/romantica novels, all starkly possessive and protective. He does live up to his ancient ancient name, but sometimes his actions and words are too modern for me to continue with the ancient concept. One example is his, and his almost-as-ancient sentinels', continual usage of very modern crude/coarse language. Their use of vulgar words are like, abundant and already instilled into their daily conversations, which is not supposed to be(for me anyway)as...aren't ancient people supposed to be all prim and proper and all "let down your long hair, O Fair Maiden"? But there are parts where he seemed really old, and he's so innocently sweet and charming when he straightfowardly admitted that he didn't understand the concept of love that the humans are obsessed about. He doesn't know it, but he loves Pia just fine:).
The peripheral characters like Quentin, Rune, Tricks, etc were fun enough. Tricks especially. Oh how i loved the part where Tricks and Pia got drunk and Tricks started to write ont he restaurant's tablecloth all the gossips and connections of the people in Culeubre Tower(who are also the employee), and Rune and Graydon successfully wrested it from her after she got a good bite out of Rune(she was drunk).
Harrison has a really screwed sense of humor, in a good way, haha, which is with the use of sarcasm, which is totally my brand of jokes. So i really loved and adored the book when it got all snide comments and witty remarks. But there is some gore in it which i kinda appreciated..."...not after he was gelded, not after he was eviscerated, not after he was blinded. I didn't think that the boy had that kind of loyalty in him. I thought he would give you up in the first ten minutes." Wow, royal treatment much?
The passion play was awesome. Haha, real horny and all and illustrated detailed-ly with care and precision:). Tho i am kinda...um skeptical? that they(meaning Pia and Dragos) could've fell in love and willingly put their faith and trust in each other when they have only met for what, 3 or 4 days tops? That's a little extreme, man...
I am feeling rather speculative now cause Harrison didn't close the loops and gaps that appeared in the book. For example, what did Pia's mom do to/for the Elves that made her into such a revered persona in their society? I mean, this will be the only book which would focus on Pia(sad....TT) so i don't think Harrison would patch it all up after this book. And also of all the mythical creatures ever created, she chose to make Pia turn into a *******? I mean seriously? That's just weird...haha
Anyway, a really good book and i would definitely recommend it. Her writing style is scarily similar to Nalni Singh's. So if you loved the Guid Hunter series or the Psy-Changeling series(like i do), i think you'll love this one too....more
To tell the truth, i havent finished this book yet..but it's getting really boring and pointless i can't even force myself to continue anymore. First To tell the truth, i havent finished this book yet..but it's getting really boring and pointless i can't even force myself to continue anymore. Firstly, the book is really uneventful, and im alrdy near the half mark. Secondly, i'm getting annoyed that the characters are constantly subjected by the author to have sex. I mean, why is it thrown around so casually throughout the book? EVERY SINGLE damn page has them doing something erotic..And two of them arent even in love, for freak's sake. Ugh, Trey is in love with Brin(gayness) and Brin is a (is he a monk?)monk devoted to the Goddess of Love and Sex, so he's pleasuring Anje like ever minute he can get her naked- once even after a hunt and they were riding back on horse, he stripped her and tied her hands behind her back..I mean,come on man.. Not that i don't enjoy this type of things(haha), but enough is enough.
Until around the midway of the book, i've only gotten a glimpse of the main plot of the book, which was to save Brin's people. Yep, that's about it for the book so far, the rest are all about their wondrously countless number of sex sessions they have, and still counting. Seriously this book was really pointless and meaningless, i kinda regretted picking it up. It's kind of like a worse version of Jory Strong's novels. Her books are, to put it crudely, are short, simple, and horny. Gift of the Goddess was just horny. Period. And after some time, the horny part wears off and you're left wondering,' why the hell am i reading this pointless pos?' Ugh ok im getting vulgar. Which means its time for me to stop degrading this book. Well it's my view..apparently it has received many 4 and 5 stars reviews, but oh well, not my type....more
Cool plot, cool synopsis, sool idea, and of course, cool heroine!
Nikki has been a PI for quite some time, but her friend comes to her one day and screCool plot, cool synopsis, sool idea, and of course, cool heroine!
Nikki has been a PI for quite some time, but her friend comes to her one day and screw everything up for her, and now she's hated by whole hordes of powerful people(both pyhsically and politacally), and by both the good and bad people, which practically leaves her on no-man's land. She's also an outcast at the only safe sanctuary she was offered. All throughout the book, she has to prove her worth and loyalty to Anderson and co. cause otherwise they would not protect her or her family from the bad people who wants her desperately(away from Anderson,the head of the good people, anyway) cause she's the rare Descendent of Artemis, Greek goddess of the Moon, the Hunt and Patron Goddess of all virgin maidens. Anderson, the only one who could butt heads with the main protagonist Konstantin, asks her to find someone for him, and it somehow became a test to prove her loyalty, and someone was bent on thinking her the betrayer. So when Nikki's sister, Steph, was threatened and Nikki had to rush to save her, that annoying someone held her back, thinking to ambush her and give her a good beating HE thought was his right to mete out and HE thought she deserved. So yeah...poor sister... The ending was kinda a happy one, and it hinted at a little romance for Nikki and also a hell of a conflict brewing up(ok maybe not hinting for the conflict, but downright shouting it at us).
Nikki was the usual heroine-nice, intelligent, carried the rare and sought-after genes, but strangely, her looks were only average. Y'know, usually the main girl's all pretty and kind and gay and stuff? She sucked up all the misfortunes that befell her like a man and she's really independent. I was disappointed about her powers tho. You would expect the rare Descendent of the cool Goddess to be all "oooh here is my magic bow and self-refilling spiritual arrows" and no one ever being able to sneak up on her because of her uncanny tracking powers...But nooo, everyone, including and especially that irritating someone, Jamaal, kept getting past her rather laxed guard and ambushing her. And throughout the whole book, she only managed to track 1 person(if i remember correctly).
Steph, Nikki's sister, is too pretty and too kind to be true. And seriously, after getting brutalized and almost raped, i would expect more of a reaction from her; what with her pampered, sheltered life and all. This type of people is kinda too impossible so...yeah i didn't really like her. And i seriously don't think she's the girl for Blake.:(
Anyway, learning about Anderson's parentage had been a real kick. Haha it was kinda cool. I thought we could've read more about Logan tho...He seemed to have much potential to be an enteraining lead hero.:/
OK, i confess that i've been procrastinating doing this review up so the feelings are not fresh anymore, and i can only remember 2 of them clearly now, which are:
OK firstly, this book has some serious fighting mojo(is this how you use this word?) going on. It's literally one fight after another, like 接二连三 kinda thing, which is definitely a good thing. Also incorporated with those awesome greek myths, that is the total cherry on top of the freaking cake. haha. After readong the synopsis about how the protagonist is Artemis' Descendent, i started looking frantically for the ebook...and i think i half-spoiled my mouse in my haste:( Anyway, the action was totally jam-packed with cool moves and choreography. But it was kinda weird, but also kinda cute that Nikki apologizes after the first few times she shoots at someone who's with the good guys(not purposely, but rather in self-defence). It was like 'BANG!', the guy falls down with some crazy chest wound(he's an immortal Descendent so he'll heal) and she goes up to him with a chagrined expression(in my head anyway)and says,"I'm sorry." Hah! Oh oh, and i think the part where she accidentally stabs Jamaal's eye with the heel of her stilettos was just plain lame(hey, it rhymes). Haha, but cute at the same time. I don' harbor any sympathy since he was the one who cause Steph(Nikki's sis)to be brutalized by Alexis(bad guy's right hand man)by holding Nikki up. Totally uncool...
And secondly, most YA books, if not all, would have a little romance in it and this one only just subtly hinted at it in the end-for Nikki anyway. And let me tell you, i am so not happy with the way things are developing. For all the things that he had done and caused,like bashing and choking Nikki and causing her siser to be ruffed up so badly and all, Nikki actually started developing, i don't know, a soft spot for Jamaal! Ew. Gross. He was my least fave character because of his unstable mental condition and hater-attitude, and she just goes traisping off with him? That's just wrong dude. And...ok this is probably gonna sound racist, but i kinda prefer the same races of people being paired up, and this is like Darke Academy by Gabriella Poole all over again, which is just plain weird. And why pair someone of her calibre with someone at the bottom of the food chain?>:/
Not as interesting as Percy Jackson, but definitely worth a shot. Try it. I mean, i don't regret picking it up, but it just wasn't the best book that i've read and with PJ as a comparison, that's tough cause PJ is just plain unbeatable. Haha. For greek myths anyway.
**spoiler alert** This book is a complete knockout. Wow! Seriously, constant action and passion thru'out the entire book from the first page where Mir**spoiler alert** This book is a complete knockout. Wow! Seriously, constant action and passion thru'out the entire book from the first page where Mira was kidnapped(continued right where the previous book left off. "My left knee had been shattered and my right leg was broken. My internal organs were swimming in my own blood, bruised, punctured, and damaged. My jaw felt fractured and my eyes were nearly swollen shut." This is literally the first page, no kidding.), till the last few pages where Mira was decapitating and eradicating one really annoying pain-in-the-ass vamp/nightwalker("My fist punctured his breast plate and went straight to his heart...I screamed in pain and triumph as i wrapped my fingers around his shrivelled heart and slowly pulled it free of his chest."). Whoo! A knockout!
I love the constant thrill and the battles that Mira gets caught up in or starts thru'out the book(and, really, every page has at least half of it splashed with bloody battle scenes - other than that one very short but sweet, passionate and physical part involving Danaus and Mira:X Big spoiler!). Drake managed to keep me clutching onto the book because of her awesome way of illustrating those phenomenal, gruesome fights and skirmishes that is part and parcel of Drake's world of nightwalkers(and other less desirable creatures). Even tho the first 4 books had no romance in it whatsoever, there were little hints and touches of it that would nudge any romance lovers/fans to continue reading - Well, it certainly nudged me, all right(nudged me hardXP)
I love the fact that Mira continues to stay strong and independent(especially in this fight in the end where she enters the "battleground" all alone and managed it like a pimple - cool girl's power!). The problems that she faced, and the whole well of emotions that she feels and bottles up in herself is really overwhelming that it suffocates me as well, but she managed to pent and suck it all up. She is really powerful and is one kick-ass hot womanBD (i sound like a perv:/)
Danaus was rather...ambiguous about his feelins towards Mira initially- even tho it was all rather cleared up in the prequel where it was written in his POV, but well, i kinda pity Mira. His sort-of betrayal was really heart wrenching i wanted to plunge my hand in there and start slapping Danaus upside down to knock some sense into him. Mira's practically throwing herself at him already and yet he still holds onto his stupid doubts that(this is gonna sound REALLY cliche) they weren't meant to be together. L.A.M.E. hahaha
Anyway, Valerio and Stefan were both really prominent characters in this book in the series. Both were Ancients with skills and a bloodlust(and a bit of OCD- what with the need to fold and tuck away their expensive coats before a fight/massacre safely) that was strangely, winningly charming(if there's such a word:/). I've come to know them quite well:). Who knew the cool, calm Stefan had a close female-assistance? And i stress "close" and "female".:)
To sum it up, this is not your average love-triangle-ly vampire novel/series. There wasn't as much love and intimate physical activitie popping up everywhere as most vamp novels would have, and is definitely on for those action-seekers and thrill-seeking fans of the fantasy genre. I absolutely loved this one, the slow building passion between the characters, and this would be the only vamp novel i have read so far that i would recommend to my friends. I seriously cannot wait for the last and final instalment of this series, which is set to be released on June 28, 2011!! Cheers, Drake! For another gruesomely tastey novel:)...more
Edit (5/30/13): Just reread KISS OF SNOW and I am wondering how in the world did I not fall in love with Hawke and Sienna in my first read. I mean, THEdit (5/30/13): Just reread KISS OF SNOW and I am wondering how in the world did I not fall in love with Hawke and Sienna in my first read. I mean, THEY'RE AWESOME and Hawke is, let me tell you, one perfect male specimen, right there. With the tortured past, alpha persona, protective nature and silver-gold(even though I imagine him as white)-pelt-hair-ice-blue-eyes (yeah, just had to add that) he has going on for him, and Sienna. She's such an amazing, courageous and beautiful young woman, smart too! I think, like Sascha, she'll make for a really good mate for an alpha, one that gained my respect quite early on in KoS.
The other couple that found their happy ever after (for now, at least) was Lara and Walker. Quite contrasting to the intense, steamy and fast-paced love story that was Hawke and Sienna's, theirs was a more subtle, sweet and tender romance that was as toe-curlingly heartwarming.
The plot and writing were just the right amount of complex and amazing; All that military strategizing and deducing and guessing-games...it really differentiates Singh's novels to other Urban Fantasies-PNRs out there that makes reading her books such a unique and refreshing experience, with equal amounts of the dark-gritty components as with the humor, camaraderie, sense of family and of course, there's her signature writing style of romance. Though there were times when the story scaled just a little too much to the romance than the thriller and the pace got just a teensy bit dull, but hey, who am I to complain? Anyhoo, I'm actually more of a Guild Hunter (if you don't know it yet, this is Singh's amazing other UF/PNR series) fan and not much of a Psy-Changeling fan that I've only read a few installments in this series, but I think KISS OF SNOW has officially amped up the hype for me with regards to the release of HEARTS OF OBSIDIAN this June 4th, just 6 more days away!! I wasn't planning to read it at first, but omg, KoS is just that good.
To sum up this re-review, KoS is as heartwarmingly tender as it is heartbreaking, as complex as it is fast-paced. I loved every heart-pounding moment of it and I'd recommend this series to any Were/UF-PNR/romance fan that doesn't mind a little supernatural and action thrown into the mix.
P.S. Please ignore my very horribly written review below written 2 years ago. (That was close to when I first started writing reviews and when I haven't started capitalizing my "I"s yet.) I'm only not erasing it for memory's sake, so don't read it! It's as spoilery as spoilers get. And I previously rated it between a 4 and 4.5, but that's just unacceptable so I'm gonna up it to a solid 5. :)
First Review: Strangely, this book did not quite live up to my expectations..I would give it a 4.5, but i wouldnt round it up because it fell short on my expectations.
Sienna and Hawke's story was interesting in its own way, but it didnt have that intense pull that great books have that would make me very much obligated to finish the book in one sitting..in fact, i took 3 for this one. Which is definitely unusual for a Nalini Singh's masterpiece.
**OK it's gonna turn really spoil-ery from here on out**
There were 2 love stories in this book, Hawke and Sienna's and Lara and Walker's. Hawke and Sienna's one was definitely wilder and rougher(big surprise-a good one at that), Lara and Walker's a little more hesitant and gentle(but not any less toe-curlingly sweet).
At first it was Hawke who pushed Sienna away, believing in his lonely destiny ever since his tragic mate-to-be died when he was 10. But Sienna managed to goad and bait Hawke into starting the relationship, with much help from Kit and other leopard and wolve friends, and of course her courage and bravery to stand up to someone so dominant. She made him see sense and went all the way to fight for their happiness(ok..cliche much..) But towards the end, it was Sienna who pulled away because of the exponential build up of X-power inside of her that could very well eradicate an entire continent off the map if she reaches this level called synergy. So to protect Hawke and everyone she loves, she ran away. But of course, with a fast-as-hell alpha wolf as her lover, she didnt get very far before Hawke, in wolf form, caught up with her. That was a really..exciting? scene. A really nerve-wrecking moment.
For Lara and Walker, it was Walker who was the obstinate one, apologising after they kissed rather passionately one day. Well, Lara made up her mind to move on and started dating other pack members when Walker got all jealous and started showing off his dominant side. That scene was cute. And so, in the end, because of the dual relationship, Singh didnt get to explore and elaborate the thing between them as much as i think most people would've wanted. But it was all still nice enough, the easing into the relationship a gentle read compared to the rough tanglings with most of her other pairings. haha to say the least.
Oh, and with the love and cupid angels running amok in the air, a war with a few members of the Psy Council was brewing. A big one. I love the fight, especially the one with the sonic explosion that caused the wolves' ears to bleed. wow..
My favourite part: the ending(tho i do like the war and coupling parts tooXP). The part where Hawke lay curled up in Sienna's lap in wolf form and them talking about their pasts, finally opening up to each other..my heart nearly broke..it was uber sweet and endearing.
The funniest part: After Sienna released lots and LOTS of accumulated energy into the web connecting SnowDancer's people and the lieutenants were having their meeting with their alpha pair. I quote:
[“I had sex,” Drew said with a grin. “Lots and lots and lots of sex.”
Indigo threw a balled-up piece of paper at him, but she was grinning. Catching the paper, he said, “Hey, no use in good energy going to waste.” ]
Yep, the book was witty, intense, erotic(never forget that one), and mindblowing(literally.there were alot of bombs in the war that ensued at the end). A definite good read. Maybe i will change the rating to 5...maybe..4.75? oh well:)...more
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Cover is awesome, story is awesome, EVERYTHING about it is plain awesomeness. Seriously there's no words to describe it. When i sawWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Cover is awesome, story is awesome, EVERYTHING about it is plain awesomeness. Seriously there's no words to describe it. When i saw the book cover when it was released, i seriously stoned for a full 5 min staring at it. It's PERFECT. haha how is that even possible?
"This mesmerizing story begins where most novels end: in a tension-filled climatic event, in which the fate of the protagonist and a nation hang in the balance. Goodman catapults the reader headfirst into a pivotal moment in the Empire of the Celestial Dragons, a world so richly imagined that it feels real." --Booklist, starred review.
I totally agree. Omg i really don't know where to begin my review..it's so...wow that i really think no words in the english language would do it justice.
ok..firstly, the plot is REALLY complex, it's so amazing how Alison can keep everything coherent and running smoothly. At first where everything was a huge mess and tangle, in the end it was like everything really started clicking into place automatically even tho i was wondering how she was gonna tie all those knots up initially. It was complicated, but not in a bad way. It was because of it that it felt very real, and very intrigueing. All that court politics was like China's 三国演义, where there was the war between the Three Kingdoms and the main players Cao Cao, Zhu Ge Liang and Liu Bei. All this are the true history of China, and Goodman's Empire of the Celestial Dragons felt like that. Real. And totally imagineable.
It wasn't like the first book at all. The first book had to get all the descriptions out of the way because her world was really different from ours, and now with everything basic established, she could really get all the fun stuff going. Some examples would be the romance part and the court politics.
I enjoyed the romance part a lot..tho i felt there could've been more at the end. Not that i'm complaining about the end. Don't get me wrong the ending was phenomenal, albeit a little abrupt, but still awesome all the same. Just that there could've been more.
I really enjoyed the parts where Kygo and her were together..It was sweet and frustratin all the same.. But i really was annoyed when Eona kept lying to Kygo, even tho i thought i would do the same had i been her..Such mixed feelings thru'out the book! I felt like i really aged alot after i finished the book...whoo!
One thing i thought was..um not very well-planned was the fact that Goodman seemed to have conveniently made Ido change his personality in the end to enable Kygo and Eona to be together. I don't know..I mean Ido wouldn't have done what he did in the end if he really cared about Eona, and he already proved that in the beginning of the book, and no one would've done what he did if they weren't in love in truth.
Sigh..I'm hungry and i didn't plan this review so it must seem very disorganized and whatever, but yeah..that's all i can remember about the book..Time to eat~
Anyway, this book just hit my top charts with the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy by Kristin Cashore and 夜凝夕 by 飞烟. I really really love it a lot, and i am thinking of suggesting to Alison to write a short e-novella or something about Eona and Kygo after this book, where they are restoring the kingdom and hopefully a little insight on their budding relationshp:D BACK ME UP PEOPLE!...more
Look at that cover.. Such beautiful things are just not possible, y'know what I mean? It isThis review was originally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Look at that cover.. Such beautiful things are just not possible, y'know what I mean? It is absolutely gorgeous. A little kink tho - why is her eyebrow not silver?>:/
Comparatively, I had set mighty high expectations for this book after FIRELIGHT, and I must say that I am a little disappointed with VANISH (but it is still a crazy awesome book AND series!).
VANISH picks up right where FIRELIGHT left off, where Jacinda, her mother and sister, Tamra, were being escorted back to the pride by Cassian, prince of said pride. But during their tense drive back, they met with Will's hunter family. Dun dun dunnn!
Anyway, in that very bleak face-off, something happened to Tamra and she manifested. (Oooh, big spoiler.XP) So, because of Tamra's newfound abilities, she managed to salvage the situation. But also because of Tamra's heroic feat, Will's memory of Jacinda and the promise he made to her to find her no matter where she went, may very well have wiped out clean from his mind. Vanished from his memories. The trio returns to the pride, amongst suspiscious glares and unfriendly neighbors. Tamra is now lodging with another draki; their mom was given multiple shifts that pushes her to work till ungodly hours; Jacinda, instead of having one of the top jobs (working at the library, which is what she did prior to their escape), was allocated a place with the gutting crew. In short, life was bleak and bad.
Will Will (not a typo) remember Jacinda? Will he find her? But what will happen if he actually found her? Can she run away from her mom and sister when they're all each other have? And what about Cassian? He really loves Jacinda, doesn't he?
All this are answered within the pages behind this very beautiful and silvery book jacket. I STILL CAN'T GET OVER THE COVER. IT IS JUST TOO BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLL!
So. I still loved Jordan's writing here as I did in FIRELIGHT. Her scenic descriptions and the characters' emotional development were done perfectly. You can feel Jacinda's torn emotions and dilemma, and when it comes to Cassian, wow. Just, wow. When she says "his intense gaze", you can feel some hot male attention searing thru your skin. Lol.
However, what I was disappointed in, and what ultimately made me give it a 4 and not a resounding 5, is because of Will's change in behavior. And it isn't a good transformation, I can assure you. He became too assertive, and his sweet, romantic demeanor towards Jacinda was almost non-existent in here. My heart totally broke (*piang*) when Will came back into the spotlight. I was expecting a quietly fierce, but still caring and loving Will to fight his way back into Jacinda's life. Now? He's not actively fighting for her and just... Well, too assertive and aggressive. And he actually said something to hurt Jacinda so that she would agree to run away with him. Which is total jerk attitude.
I don't know if it is to sway us towards Team Cassian or what, but Jordan portrayed Cassian as such a... Self-sacrificing and protective and sweet and romantic and alpha and possessive male. I love him. I am totally Team Cassian now. I actually was wary when I read all those reviews saying how they have been swayed over to Team Cassian, thinking I would never cross the enemy line over from Team Will, but Will crossed the line for me. He was a total jerk here, and Jacinda had to fight for their relationship.
Sometimes, I enjoy the love triangles and the fight for who loves who in the end, but over here the focus and harping about it was bordering on excessive. And annoying. Jacinda CANNOT make up her mind. And whenever she's with Will or Cassian, she would feel like she's betraying the other. Which she is. But she desnt't have to think about it the WHOLE time, EVERY time she's with one of them.
When she's with Cassian, "no, I shouldn't betray Will. Cause he's the one for me. I know it all the way down to my bone marrows. Even after all that he has sacrificed and fought for, even tho he protected me and pushed away my sister and everyone, and even tho I reciprocate some of the love you've showered upon the undeserving me, Will is the one for me".
When she's with Will, "I kissed Cassian. I am a sinner. You're too good for me, even tho you're acting like a jerk, and you want me to choose you over my family who desperately needs me. But I can't push you away, cause it feels so goddamn comfortable in your arms". It's annoying.
And she wallows a lot in her misery.
Buuuut, I liked the plot and the suspense. I loved the pride. I loved the mystery and the magical feel everytime Jacinda steps out into the forests. I loved the drakis, I loved their forms and colors and when they fly, you soar with them. The way Jordan describes it, you can almost feel the wind on your face and your hair whipping about behind you. Enchanting and captivating.
The stakes are much higher here. More to lose, more to consider, more dilemmas, more conflicted emotions. Jordan came back with ten-folds more drama and epic-ness. It was an amazing ride thru the world of the draki.
I'm giving this a 4.5 rating. Because it mighty well deserves it....more
1) This review will not be written in an objective point ofOriginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
Just a few warnings before I get into the review:
1) This review will not be written in an objective point of view. It will more closely relate to being a rant or a bitching session.
2) There will be MAJOR spoilers. That is all.
I have trouble articulating how I'm feeling now, 48 hours after I've put the book down. That has got to be one of the worst finales I've ever seen. I am so sorry, but I am absolutely speechless, and not in a good way. Utterly disappointed.
I do not want to write a summary about it, because it will just make me relive every single, horrifying moment as I read the book. So I'll start talking from the back, cause to me, the ending was the ultimate disappointment.
Graves is Broken. Yep, big spoiler, he is. And after the entire ordeal, he wants some down time to himself to "man" himself up. And Dru just sticks to him all the way. Like what the hell? Christophe sacrificed himself for you, got tortured and drained by his crazy psycho of a father, KING of all the evil vamps Sergej, saved her ass countless times throughout the entire five-books series, was so sweet, so romantic, so bloody tender towards her, and she heartlessly just continues to leave him hanging even though she continuously goes to Graves. She said "I love you" to Graves, and when Christophe asks, "Dru... Is there a chance?" And she's goes, "I don't know." Which gave him hope. Again. I can't believe her! Graves was having mood swings towards Dru throughout the first half of the book, sometimes cold and pushing her away, sometimes all intense heat and proclaiming his love for the damsel. He literally gives whiplashes. Literally, I tell you.
Even though I'm rooting for Christophe to end up with Dru - always has been, always will, and because he obviously is the better man - I just want her to make up her mind and go to Graves, cause she obviously wants to be with him. No idea why, but I don't want to see Christophe getting his ass kicked just to save Dru everytime she disobeys his commands and does something stupid for Graves. Which is quite often. Grr.
Ok, that was so liberating. Good, now on to something else not about Dru's idiocy.
Plot. It was very mediocre. I expected so much more because I loved this series so much. I've been a loyal fan of Lili St. Crow's and even dug out her adult series to pass my time as I waited for the entire of the STRANGE ANGELS series to be released. Scout's honor. But St. Crow's annoying habit of having to internalise everything, to have Dru comment on every. Single. Minor. Thing! was very much present in this book. Not only that, she's sarcastic and sardonic. A little is fine, but in every comment! Her pessimism and sardonism leaks into every of her inner commentating that it grates on my nerves sometimes. So now with the excessive inner comments, the plot seems a little disjointed at times, and other times, a little insignificant. But the action and the fight scenes were abundant, and I loved it this time too. Just... With the excessive thoughts on Dru's part overwhelming it, things got noticeably duller.
I'm not sure why, but St. Crow took time to describe the settings and sceneries in RECKONING. It's a hot and cold thing, sometimes boosting the writing, but most of the time, since this is an action-packed, YA novel, it slows down the pace a lot. So when some trouble knocks on Dru's door, which is more often than not, she starts with her inner commenting tirade AND description. Ohhhhkay. Why? It got so annoying that I had to do this book in a few sittings.
I feel so mean flaming this book so bad, more so because this was one of my favourite YA series. But oh well, I had so much pent up anger after I read it, so it became a bitching session. Sorry if I offended anyone. Sigh. I just didn't like it. And I really want to say this: If you're an author and you don't have a heart to write an ending properly, then please don't. I'm just so shattered right now.. For Chris. For Dru. For Graves. And for every STRANGE ANGELS fan out there who's going to read this book and experience this...this feeling. Cause let me tell you, this feeling ain't nice.
P.S. What's up with that weird apparition-like thing with bad teeth and eyes behind Dru on the front cover? Other than that, I love the yellow and the Dru-model. Totally badass....more