I had a bit of trouble getting in to this one, though that might have been partially due to a lack of time to adequately pay attention to it. That saiI had a bit of trouble getting in to this one, though that might have been partially due to a lack of time to adequately pay attention to it. That said once it picked up, it really picked up. I love the introduction of the new character Ren. (I listened to it so don't quote the spelling on that name.) It was great to see the familiar character of Ghastly, the Doctor and Tanith return.
The third book takes some of the characters on some interesting new paths and is probably the darkest book so far in the series. While for the most part prior to the this the main characters make it out with bumps and bruises in this book not everyone does that which might be difficult for some younger readers.
I know I haven't really provided a lot of detail here, but I didn't get the chance to write this right after finishing and don't really have a lot of time now to devote to it so I apologize for that. Overall though I'd definitely recommend this book and can't wait to read the next in the series....more
When Goodreads starts getting bs twitter backlash in their ratings then I guess we all have to rate book we haven't actually read to give them a fairWhen Goodreads starts getting bs twitter backlash in their ratings then I guess we all have to rate book we haven't actually read to give them a fair shot. Book ratings are supposed to be based on how much you like the work presented before you, not how bigoted you are against the writer themselves....more
So I'm not going to deny that the action was definitely more intense in this book than the previous one, however it took me a lot longer to get into iSo I'm not going to deny that the action was definitely more intense in this book than the previous one, however it took me a lot longer to get into it. I can't really explain the why of it but for some reason, something about this story just didn't hook me until the latter scenes. Due to the fact that I just didn't feel as on the edge of my seat with this one as I did the last I just can't give it as high of a rating.
That said, it is not to say this wasn't a great story because it really was. I think part of the problem for me was Stephanie/Valkerie's regular life. I just have trouble connecting to it, possibly because she as a character doesn't connect to it. She's not really part of the world she began with anymore because she's allowing her reflection to carry on with her life for her while she lives in the world of magic. The scenes with her real life in them are just sort of like noise to me. There's no real feeling in them and I really have trouble caring about them. I don't feel the anguish I'm supposed to feel about the chance of Valkerie's parents being dragged into her world because her parents and all of her family members really don't feel real to me. I think that's where the second book in this series falters for me because I don't actually care about all the characters.
The action scenes in this blow the action scenes of the first novel away. There is literally danger lurking around every corner and Landry has an exceptional talent for writing a fight scene. I like the witty banter and I really enjoyed the new characters that were presented in this story. I guess I just wish I had more time to connect with them as characters so more emotional reactions are brought into the scene.
Even at the end of the book things are looking pretty dark for the characters so this isn't for a reader who needs puppies and rainbows in every book they read. That said it is a good book and a read I would recommend....more
There isn't much to this one, the majority of it is actually a conversation, but it was too hilarious not to give it a high rating. If you have a fewThere isn't much to this one, the majority of it is actually a conversation, but it was too hilarious not to give it a high rating. If you have a few minutes I think you'll enjoy it....more
So I really enjoyed this story, the only thing I feel the need to mention is that if your looking at this as a parent of a middle grade reader and youSo I really enjoyed this story, the only thing I feel the need to mention is that if your looking at this as a parent of a middle grade reader and your child isn't good with violence this might not be the right book for them. While none of the scenes are graphic the story includes torture, death and loss. Nobody, 12 year old Stephanie included, leaves this story unscathed. If your kid is one that might get nightmares from that, they might want to wait a couple years on this story. Even as an adult I was on the edge of my seat listening to the audio version. If your kid doesn't let violence phase them, this book was great. I'm a firm believer that the best person to judge that is the person raising that kid.
The story fuses mystery, action and magic right from the beginning, drawing the reader in by introducing the strange guests of a funeral then immerging them into a world right beneath the surface of our own filled with magic, creatures, mystery and rules all it's own. I found it interesting that unlike more than a few writers in other countries, the writer chose to set their story in their home country of Ireland rather than moving the story to the US. I've never really understood why so many writers do that. I'd rather learn about what it's like to grow up in Ireland, the UK, Australia or countless other countries that are home to talented writers than to have them set it in the US where I already know what it's like to grow up in. Anyway I found that to be a major plus. I also liked that Landy kept the reader on the edge of their seats never making it clear whether Stephanie and Skullduggery would prevail or not. In fact it seemed as though more things went wrong for them than right so their future was pretty bleak through a lot of the book. Interesting, but bleak. The book was fairly actioned packed from beginning to end and I'd definitely recommend it. ...more
So I saw an ad for this on Facebook and it seemed like the perfect escapist romance to get me out of my bad day funk, so I bought it even knowing I waSo I saw an ad for this on Facebook and it seemed like the perfect escapist romance to get me out of my bad day funk, so I bought it even knowing I was starting in the middle of a series. I think I might have had a little more background on these characters if I'd read the other two books first, but I don't really feel you need to read the previous two to understand this one.
In Rock Your Heart Out, Kaswell has presented really solid grounding for a potentially five star contemporary, unfortunately the story just didn't quite get there. The book felt rushed, often from one sex scene or sexual fantasy to the next. Kaswell has a serious talent for writing a spicy sex scene. She pushes boundaries without quite venturing into erotica, and compiles a scene right on that line of almost too hot to still call it romance. She even manages to do this in the first person without it being awkward for the reader. She creates really good chemistry between the characters so that it snaps on the page.
The characters are layered and complex with meaty back stories I'd love to delve into more and that's kind of where the problems for me with the book began. It's incredibly frustrating to me to be presented with a multifaceted character and not have the author really delve into peeling back their layers. While the book was an enjoyable read I finished it not feeling like I really knew any of the characters, including Willow, the story's narrator. Kaswell told us or showed us that those layers are there and then just moved on. The little snippets into Willow's back story also left some major unresolved conflict for me. Willow arrives on the tour to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend who has recently become her neighbor. She doesn't want her brother to know because her brother has in the past almost destroyed his career trying to defend her honor from this boy who raped and abused his sister. That said he's still the person she runs to, except he and his bandmate have switched rooms and she instead walks in on another member of the band getting out of the shower. And this is where it gets a little spoilery, not majorly I don't think, but I don't know how to explain my issue without giving some detail into the story. With that setup I think it's next to impossible not to see how this could be used as a major point of conflict in the story adding action and dramatic tension right? Instead of using the obvious opening she's created, she has Willow briefly discuss it with Tom and then moves on. No clue how she's going to go about getting her stuff, guess it's been donated to the landlord. Bradley ,the big bad that made her enter the scene, never actually showed up in the book beyond conversation. If the man was obsessed with her enough to wait out an restraining order (was I the only one who didn't know these things could expire?) figure out where she lives and then rent the place next door, how does changing her byline on photos to Willow Wayne instead of her actual last name keep her safe from him? I mean her name, not all that common. Her photos are of the band that her brother is a member of and since all of this supposedly happened in high school the bad guy knows who her brother is. And do we even need to point out how wrong it is that he was supposed to be a college football player dating a 15 year old and her parents KNEW about it?! Anyway that never gets resolved, just ignored. We're also presented with a conflict with her parents who apparently fought all the time leaving an opening for her to get into an abusive relationship and that got upset after she changed her major to photography. She doesn't talk to them. I don't really think they're worth bringing up if we're not going to resolve that conflict either. Kaswell set up an interesting backstory for Willow but basically shelved actually fixing anything in lieu of more sex scenes. Also the time line for all these things that have happend in Willow and her brother Drew's lives could have used a bit more organization, it's like there's not even time to have this much backstory in a life so young. Too much, too young makes the back story a bit hard to believe. Finally, lots of people's parents fight all the time. Especially kids that were old enough to remember their parents getting divorced, but too young to be out of the house when it happened. Most of them go on to have productive lives and come to terms with the fact their parents fights had nothing to do with them. If their fighting is going to be set up as somehow life damaging to the children it needs a little bit more explanation than they fought. Parents fighting doesn't mean that your childhood is horrid and scarred for life. The scars on that account didn't quite make sense because time was never taken to really explain them.
Tom's back story is equally glossed over and filled with holes. You've got a large cast of secondary characters, one of whom is supposedly the male lead's best friend, yet time is never taken to establish the relationships beyond stating they exist. The set up for a plethora of things that could have really enriched the story is there, but none of these paths are actually explored and that's what makes the difference for me between a 5 star rating and a three.
Finishing the book I'm firmly willing to believe that the characters are part of or attached to a band that is contractually obligated to work together. I'm also completely convinced the male and female leads have a heavy case of lust for each other. The problem is I'm not really convinced the band members are friends or the leading characters are actually in love. Since I think that was kind of the point of the story, it falls a bit short. It's a quick easy read, and a decent story with a lot of potential, but I found myself frustrated because I couldn't help but think if Kaswell took a little more time with all the roads she set up here that this could have been a great story. I'm more than happy to read twice as many pages if the writer makes them worth it, and I don't think I'm alone in feeling that way....more