I feel like the whole blogosphere is going to be against my review of this! Don't get me wrong, I can see why you all enjoyed it so much but for me, iI feel like the whole blogosphere is going to be against my review of this! Don't get me wrong, I can see why you all enjoyed it so much but for me, it just wasn't perfect.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone no doubt has amazing and creative world-building. It's set in the lovely city of Prague and that's one thing that sets it apart from all the other young adult books out there. But then we get into the world of Elsewhere and it will blow you away. The amount of detail and depth gone into the creation of this world is astounding! The strange half beast, half human chimaera creatures were expertly crafted and the magic involved had my mouth open in awe at Laini's clever imagination. World-wise, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is on a whole other level!
Karou, our main character, wasn't one of the highlights however. She was certainly an interesting character, with her blue hair and job at Brimstone's shop but the moment she meets Akiva, the fiery winged sexy angel, I found it hard to keep reading. I just couldn't get behind the whole star-crossed lover thing. Sometimes it works for me, but in this case it didn't. It felt overdone and exaggerated and just so… cheesy, for lack of a better word. Akiva especially, was very hard to like. I hated his attitude towards anyone who wasn't Karou. Because of that, I largely preferred the secondary characters in this one and you know when that happens, it's not good. Brimstone and Issa and Zuzana, they were all so much more likable than our two main protagonists!
The world-building, as I mentioned before is absolutely fantastic but unfortunately we don't get much of it until the last quarter of the book. Until then, I have to admit I found myself a little bored with the whole prospect of Akiva and Karou getting all lovey-dovey. I'm just not the kind of reader who likes mushy romances and by the time we do find out why they're like that, it all feels so predictable and really nothing all that special. I feel like Laini focused too much on the romance between Karou and Akiva instead of the plot that was tossed aside precariously for the two lovebirds.
Overall, Daughter of Smoke and Bone had a strong start but beyond that, I just didn't feel the urge to sit down and read it straight through in one sitting. It wasn't terrible but definitely not something to write home about. I don't know guys, this just wasn't for me but I understand that a lot of you really enjoyed this. Seriously, when this was released my dashboard was full of five star reviews for it. So I guess in the end it all just comes down to the reader....more
Fallen in Love reads rather like the movies LOVE, ACTUALLY and VALENTINE'S DAY in that it's told in separate stories but is tied together through loosFallen in Love reads rather like the movies LOVE, ACTUALLY and VALENTINE'S DAY in that it's told in separate stories but is tied together through loose threads with other characters. It's set during the events of Passion when somehow the whole gang ends up in Medieval England a day before the St. Valentine's Faire!
I'm really not the biggest fan of the Fallen series but this was decidedly better than the main series story. ! I loved getting to know the secondary characters because to be honest, I actually like them more than the main characters.
Anyway, I'll do a short review for each story and individual ratings:
Love where you least expect it: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles Rating: 3 stars I didn't really care much about Shelby and Miles in the previous books because it felt like they were just there to keep Luce company. BUT, it's in this short story that they really start to shine!
I'm glad that Miles was able to get over Luce quickly, who needs another one of those mopey characters when they already have Daniel and Cam? Anyway, the two characters really grew on me! It was fun to watch them naively tackle love in their inexperienced state's. The small awkward moments and little acts of friendship left me smiling at the simpleness of it all. Sometimes I just love a little innocent normal romance and Shelby and Miles gave me that!
However, what I would have liked was to see more depth put into their characters. Like in Torment and Passion, these two didn't quite have the uniqueness that's in all the other angels. There were obvious chances for Miles to be a phenomenally interesting character, what with his obsession with his damn hat, but Lauren left us with nothing on that matter, and that disappointed me. I have a feeling that given the chance, these two could appeal to readers who originally didn't like them.
Overall, I surprisingly enjoyed Shelby and Miles story! Simplistic but entertaining, others who had negative thoughts towards them might want to give this a try. You might just warm up to them like I did!
Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland Rating: 3.5 stars Roland's story is definitely a lot more complex than Miles and Shelby's and I loved seeing his heartbreaking past unfold before us!
I actually don't have much to say about this one because there wasn't a whole lot going on. It's more of a memory story, with flashbacks of his painful past. I did really like it though! I might have enjoyed it more if it had been a little less predictable. I've always liked Roland but I just think Lauren could have done something more, I don't know, unique or different with this because I could tell what would happen from a mile away. It was lovely to see the elements of sacrifice for love in it though and I came out of this having a whole lot more respect for Roland.
Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane Rating: 4.5 stars To say I was surprised after reading this would be an understatement! Lauren really caught me off guard with this one - really, to think she could write about girl x girl love and actually do it WELL? Mind. Blown. I love Arriane and I am SO happy that Lauren was able to do her story justice!
Unlike the other short stories, this one managed to hit me on a deeply emotional level. We always know Arriane to be happy and fun and also kind of a delinquent character but in this story we get to see a completely different side to her! She's sweet, caring, but conflicted. It's most definitely a tragedy and in a way, reminds me vaguely of Romeo and Juliet because of it's forbidden love between an angel and a demon.
Within the span of four chapters, Lauren has completely sold me on Arriane's character! While the other stories lacked depth, this one excels at it and I feel like I know Arriane a whole lot better now. Behind her outspoken personality is a girl who lies shattered by her past. No doubt, this is my favorite story from Fallen in Love!
Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda Rating: 2 stars Daniel and Luce were a lot more tolerable in this than they were in the previous books but they still fail to interest me to a high degree. For one thing, this was pretty much like what happens in the previous books with the whole Luce goes gaga over Daniel kind of thing. And seriously? Isn't everyday for Daniel and Luce some kind of Valentine's Day?
Nevertheless, like I said, it WAS tolerable and I did enjoy it, but after coming out of Arriane's fantastic story, it just kind of fell flat on a lot of levels. However, with a short story of only so many pages, there's not a lot that can go wrong and thankfully, that was the case for this. Luce and Daniel's relationship is definitely one for those romancaholic lovers, much like Matched by Ally Condie was and I think huge fans of Fallen will devour this! Sadly, since I love my romance alongside a bigger plot, I just couldn't muster up much enthusiasm for it.
There's also a sneakpeak at the first few chapters of Rapture but I couldn't bring myself to read it in case it was actually any good and I'd have to wait until the actual book came out. But I've heard from other reviews that Rapture kicks off with a great start!
Overall, Fallen in Love was a surprisingly good addition to the Fallen series. People who didn't quite like the previous books but are still wanting to finish it with Rapture? Definitely take a look at this.
Thanks to Random House NZ for providing a copy for review!...more