It took me a little while to get into this one because at the beginning Marissa's life seems so hopeless. She's alone and she's got this sort of angryIt took me a little while to get into this one because at the beginning Marissa's life seems so hopeless. She's alone and she's got this sort of angry-ish depression going on. She doesn't really have friends, she has a job that demands her entire life. She gets to help tons of the rich and powerful find true love but she doesn't get to have love herself. She's a modern day slave, sold to a Fairy Godfather in exchange for saving her sister's life. The idea of trading one child for another just was sort of abhorrent to me as well and while the scenes were action packed from the first page it was still depressing to read about a life of endless danger and conflict with no chance at happiness on the horizon. However it didn't take too long to grow attached to this hopeless young woman with so much courage and spirit and I was soon hooked on this book.
What I enjoyed most was the way you could see the characters changing and growing and feel as if you really knew them. This isn't a short overnight time period plot, the story takes course over months and you get to join Marissa in her turbulent journeys over the course of the months. It really helped with developing an attachment to each of the characters and to see both their flaws and their strengths. Despite technically owning Marissa, Grimm is almost a father figure to her, more so than the people who raised her seem to have been. He's a harsh task master, but he cares even though he's not all hearts and flowers about it. All of his agents aren't really treated like employees, they're treated like his children even though he has to send those children out on often dangerous and sometimes heartbreaking missions.
The romantic subplot I'm sort of divided on, on one hand I find it hard to believe the characters fall in love with each other over the course of three dates with few phone calls between. I find it hard, despite the public humiliation, to believe she could filet his heart be dumping him on the third date or that it would have been much more than irritating. It's not like they're hanging out in between the dates or really communicating much at all. So the initial falling in love part was kind of difficult for me, especially the date scenes where they're eating in restaurants unlikely to pass health inspections, using their fingers for spaghetti. It's not exactly the behavior of what I'd consider the ideal guy. That said the two characters coming together again as he gets to know her because of the curse, through her work and learning the person she really is inside, that part made sense to me and I really liked that part of the romantic plotline. If the initial parts hadn't happened so fast I might have been more into those, but the aftermath really hooked me on that plot.
The story also had a few unanswered questions, like how she ended up with Liam in the first place. I mean I have my own suspicions, but where's the part where the author explains exactly how a person trained to see princely magic could mistake a commoner for a prince? She passes the magical lie detector, so I understood that as the magic was actually there when she looked at him, but how and why. There's a few other unanswered questions, but that one was the one that bothers me the most.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and enjoyed the narrator for the audio. I would definitely recommend this to other readers or listeners. ...more
I liked this one a lot better than the last, with finally meeting the Lady in Red, better known as Tilda in the flesh it added an interesting twist toI liked this one a lot better than the last, with finally meeting the Lady in Red, better known as Tilda in the flesh it added an interesting twist to the story.
I was left with a few questions such as how did Tilda know where Sera put the Infinity Ring or how does the course of history affect future natural disasters (which has been a constant question for me) which is why I didn't give this quite a perfect rating, but I did really enjoy the book.
Learning more detailed information about the events of World War II was extremely interesting as was the way Nielsen placed Dak not among the Americans or even the British, but among the Nazi, painting a different picture of the Germans in that time period that most people don't see when the thinks of WWII Germany.
Overall the book was exciting and page turner from beginning to end, a great addition to the series....more
While this was a good installment of the series, I wouldn't call it a great one. Even listening I finished the others within a couple of days, slowerWhile this was a good installment of the series, I wouldn't call it a great one. Even listening I finished the others within a couple of days, slower than I could read them on my own, but still interested enough in the audiobook to keep returning to hear more. With this one I wasn't gripped enough to keep coming back to listen each night and it took me quite a while to listen to it all.
I mean it had a lot of interesting history, much that I wasn't all that familiar with myself so that was a bonus, but parts were farfetched such as a scene where the group is chased by a tiger. And I didn't really care for the character dynamics. The previous books worked toward forging a real connection between Riq and the other two members of their trio and it worked because Sera and Dak weren't on the same page as often as they'd been before all this started. In this book it's Riq on his own again while Sera and Dak repair their friendship so I think that was part of what bothered me. With everything Riq has sacrificed for this mission I want him to be a solid member of the group and I just didn't see that here.
Like I said before it's a good installment, it just wasn't one of my favorites....more
**spoiler alert** The story of Jackson Opus draws you in from the first page with an out of control bus driver determined to get our hero to his champ**spoiler alert** The story of Jackson Opus draws you in from the first page with an out of control bus driver determined to get our hero to his championship game on time at any expense. From there the story and scenes within get curiouser and curiouser. Jackson is quickly drawn into a world of Mind Benders capable of making anyone do whatever the Bender wishes with no memory of ever having been bent and Jackson, the descendent of two famous bending families, is the most powerful of them all.
When Jackson learns the institute teaching him to use his abilities, and determined to save the world might not be as altruistic as they seem his world is turned upside down and his situation becomes more dire with each page creating the ultimate page turner.
That said if you're looking for a truly happy ending, this isn't the book for you or for your child. Now I haven't read the sequel yet so Jackson might face a less bleak future after the next book, but it's the sort of book where even when the hero wins he still loses and doesn't leave you with happy fuzzy thoughts when it ends. It's well written with an intriguing plot and endearing characters, but bunnies and roses it's not. I definitely intend to read the next book in hopes that Jackson's situation will get a little rosier but despite how great the book is I feel it's only fair to warn the potential reader that despite an amazing story, it's not the sort of book one can close with a smile on their face. So take that as what you will and know that if you read this you'll be getting a great story that will keep you turning pages but may not exactly feel satisfied with the books conclusion. Here's to hoping the next book in the series will be a tad bit happier....more
When I read the Chrestomanci Chronicles years ago I was enamored with Jones' work but unfortunately didn't look around for more. I really should of beWhen I read the Chrestomanci Chronicles years ago I was enamored with Jones' work but unfortunately didn't look around for more. I really should of because Howl's Moving Castle was a complete gem.
I adored Sophie's character, watching her as she grew from a shy, scared girl, to a cursed, grumbly old woman and come into her own. I loved how the worst sort of circumstances just brought out the best of her, the part of her she probably never would have found had she not met an evil witch and been cursed. I loved this sort of reverse beauty and the beast, how both Howl and Sophie were equal parts both.
While Howl is attractive physically throughout the book, he has an almost beastly character in his cowardice and lack of attention to others. And while Sophie is an old woman, she's always a beauty within. Together even when their relationship wasn't romantic they were sort of the best of each other. Jones' work is the type that so hard to explain without having read it. What I can say is I adored the book and highly recommend it....more