This was another book that I REALLY wanted to like. It sounded interesting, I liked the synopsis, I liked the cover, and the characters caught my interest. But then it quickly turned sour and I found myself wondering why I wanted to read it in the first place. However, we will start with the good things!
I liked Keiran. He was by far the best character in the whole book. Some of the other characters, and even him at times, seemed a bit two-dimensional and boring. I just couldn't not like him though. He is honest and loyal and says what he thinks even if it could get him in trouble. I expected him to be the typical "golden boy" character since that's how he was introduced but it seemed like it was a mantle that was put on him simply because of the circumstances of his birth and he accepted it grudgingly.
The plot started out really intriguing and I wanted to see where it would go. The New Horizon suddenly appears on radar and no one knows why. Now, I admit that it bothered me that everyone on the Empyrean's first reaction was suspicion. These are supposed to be your counterparts, your allies, the people who you are going to forge a new world with! But you are suspicious instead of concerned that it appears they just stopped in the middle of their mission years earlier and you caught up to them. I didn't like that and I started to get suspicious that the author was setting us up for a book long rant about something. At the time I suspected it was either something to do with women and children or religion, but I wasn't sure which.
I also really liked the dynamics of the two ships, since both were different but in a way it was the same and equally as weird and creepy. On the Empyrean the men had a tendency to look at the girls in an appraising manner, like meat at a slaughter-house. On the New Horizon the weirdness was the same with people constantly wondered and inquiring about their menstrual cycles but there was a different vibe to the weirdness.
So far all of this is relatively positive right? That's what I thought too! Then I hit the halfway point and it all went downhill from there. I hated the POV changes. This author split the book into 5 parts, each part contains a handful of chapters. Each part is told from the POV of one ship and then it switches to the other ship for the next part, and so on. Now, there is a good way and a bad way to do POV changes. This was a bad way. I got so involved in the POV we were currently in that I didn't care about the second plot, then suddenly I was in the other plot and by the time it finished I didn't care about the first anymore. It made me feel disconnected from the plot and I didn't really care much about the characters as a result. Plus, I had a hard time tracking the timeline for the book. Since we spent so long in one POV weeks or months would have taken place, then we were thrust into the other ship and these were events that were going on at the same time as the bit I just read. By the end I felt like I'd read years and years of timeline when it was only a few months. It was confusing and I didn't like it. A chapter by chapter breakdown would have been better.
By the end I couldn't stand Waverly. I did appreciate the fact that she was not a Mary Sue idiotic twit who was too stupid to ensure her own survival. That kind of "heroine" has been cropping up in YA fiction way too much lately. Waverly tried to be a strong, tough, kick ass heroine and succeeded to a small degree. But then (view spoiler)[she goes and ruins it all by being completely willing to distrust her FUTURE HUSBAND in favor of the guy who tried to starve him to death! (hide spoiler)] I mean, really? That bothered me so much that I wanted to reach through my eReader and slap Waverly in the face for her stupidity.
The author tried really hard to push her own agenda in this one, and it made the ending and large portions of the plot feel forced. We are informed very early on that the New Horizon was a ship of religious people while the Empyrean was a ship of non-religious people. When I read that my first thought was, uh oh we're revving up for an author rant against religion! And I was correct! The author takes every opportunity to portray the religious individuals as bad, cultish, evil, and manipulative. While the non-religious people are logical people who can see through the bullshit of the evil religious cult. I rolled my eyes at this and was prepared to overlook it until (view spoiler)[the author decided to put Keiran into the role of the next evil, religious cult leader. And Waverly just skips right along with that idea and goes to the boy who tried to kill her future husband to plot with him about how to save him from himself. Oh, also the author made a point of making sure Keiran was hallucinating about hearing God's voice, because all religious people are nutcases right? (hide spoiler)] This just angered me so much that I was tempted to throw my eReader across the room in disgust. Stupid, stupid and more stupid. I will definitely not be reading the next book because I could hardly stomach the first.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
After finishing this book well over a month ago, I am still tempted to make my review only a few words. Wow, fucking amazing! That’s really every sing...moreAfter finishing this book well over a month ago, I am still tempted to make my review only a few words. Wow, fucking amazing! That’s really every single emotion I have about this book all wrapped up into a succinct package. Also, by talking about the plot too much I will probably give things away and I don’t want to do that. Being spoiled on this book would seriously ruin its impact. This was recommended to me in a Goodreads book club. My “Secret Book Santa”, who was not so secret, looked over my to read list and my read list and thought this was something I’d enjoy. I went into it with no expectations other than that the synopsis grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let it go. I thought about that synopsis for a few days and knew, I needed to give this recommendation a try. And all I can say is, holy fucking shit! Rarely am I rendered speechless or blindsided by a plot.
Here are the things I feel safe saying, so as not to spoil anything:
Anax is taking an Exam to enter into the Academy, which is the ruling body that maintains order in the world. She was asked to choose a topic and prepare a thesis of sorts. She will go before the Examiners for a grueling exam and explain her thesis subject.
Yeah, that’s about it. Anything else is just too much. I will say that initially I was only mildly intrigued with Anax’s thesis and presentation. It was interesting but I struggled to figure out what the point was. All of that changed in the end. About 30 pages from the end I started to get a bad feeling that something was happening here that I hadn’t seen yet and hadn’t expected. I was so beyond right and it was fantastic. I have no doubt this book will be one of my favorites for 2013.
It is with great sadness that I give this book one...more***Warning: Spoiler alert! This review contains unmarked spoilers. Consider yourself duly warned!***
It is with great sadness that I give this book one single star, and even that might be more than it deserves. The Twelve is the sequel to 2010's The Passage and is the second book in the trilogy. I read The Passage and I absolutely loved it. I admit that there was a large section of the middle that was horribly boring and tedious, but overall I thought the book was one of the best I had read. I looked forward to The Twelve with much fervor and excitement. I pre-ordered it almost a year in advance and tapped my foot impatiently that the release date wouldn't get here any quicker. When the book arrived at my house I tore open the packaging and spent a lot of time just starting at it in wonder. It was finally here! Then I plunged into it and was stopped dead in my tracks. This book that I had looked forward to for over a year was just not good! It took everything I didn't like about The Passage and amplified it a hundred times. I was so distraught that I thought perhaps it was my fault and I should put the book down for awhile and come back to it. So I took a month long break, and it still wasn't any good when I came back.
My first irritation with this book was something I noticed in The Passage but it was much much worse in this one. Cronin has a tendency to use really weird word choices sometimes. And he falls into purple prose constantly. No, scratch that, he doesn't fall into purple prose, all he writes is purple prose. I got really sick of hearing about the undulating crimson waves of light shimmering across the cerulean sky as the sun peeked it's head just over the dusky horizon as if afraid to make any further appearance. It got really old and I just wanted SOMETHING to happen already. Stop describing everything in such an unnecessary way and give me some plot, please! And the word choices were just strange at times. It would completely pull me out of the story as I stopped short and thought, "What?" For example he described Amy as "meager". Okay, I know what meager means, but he is using it to describe her as humble and that is not a very common usage of that word. Or describing a rape as "peculiar ministrations." At first I wasn't even sure what the hell he was talking about. It took me almost five pages to realize that was a rape scene.
My next problem was how often we jump around to different characters. Literally every two or three pages we jumped to a completely different plot and a different narrating character and then a few pages later it was something else. This made it really hard to track what was going on or whether we were even in the same time period. Were we at directly after the virus or a hundred years later, I often didn't know. Then you add in that certain characters were present in both time periods, with no real explanation of how that happened, so that made it extra confusing about where we were. Then you have a huge cast of characters that is impossible to keep track of on top of the confusing narration. At one point I had to put the book down to scratch my head because I know for a fact that X character died in The Passage (I read it 3 times, he died, we buried him!), yet all of a sudden he's back and a viral. I think the author confused himself with the multitude of characters.
I'm also still not sure exactly what the plot was. When I finished The Passage, I was fairly certain that we were going to be hunting down the eleven remaining virals out of the original Twelve. But, 95% of the book was spent NOT doing that, so I have no idea just what the hell we did for nearly 600 pages. Instead we jumped around from character to character and had a character making the virals into some kind of deity and enslaving people. Because the plot was so vast and confused, we missed out on some great opportunities. At one point, a young boy wants to run into a stadium after the virus is released and they don't want him to see the horror. What horror? I still don't know. They may have wanted to protect the boy but, I wanted to see it! I wanted to know what was going on there! The boy escaped the adults and managed to see it, but I still didn't. This trend continued throughout the book. At another point Peter is fighting a viral while locked in a cage. We get a whole two paragraphs before we get a narrative AFTER it's over and find out it lasted a total of 27 seconds. I felt so incredibly ripped off. All of the potentially good horror or action scenes were skipped over like they didn't matter so we could spend 10 more pages on purple prose that made my eyes want to explode.
Finally, I got sick and tired of the religious references. I had the inkling that we were going down that road from The Passage and I didn't mind it. But the author just tried too hard to make the connections. I started trying to predict what the next religious reference would be. Oh, is he the new God? Yep, he proclaimed himself to be. Is she going to die and then get resurrected? Yep, she did...oh look twice. It was pathetic that trying to predict the absurd religious references was more entertaining to me than the book itself. It almost felt like the author was standing and looking over my shoulder saying, "See, do you get it? Twelve Apostles and Jesus? I'm clever huh, don't you get it?" Yes I get it and it's fucking stupid!
In the end I cared about this book so little that I honestly didn't even want to finish it. The only reason I did finish was to see if there would be ANYTHING that would spark my interest in the third book. I couldn't even care that my favorite character got raped, because I had no idea that's what happened until long after it happened. Then I couldn't even care that she got revenge on her rapist because it was just glossed over like it wasn't important...like everything else that was good in this book. At this point, I will not be reading the last book. I loathed every page of this book and I hate the direction this plot is taking. I don't care how it ends anymore, this book killed any enthusiasm I had for this story. I keep trying to figure out where all these good reviews are coming from because I am not even sure we read the same book.
To end, I want to add a personal note to Mr. Cronin: Yes, we realize that you are a highly literary, intelligent individual who has a degree and can write literary works of genius. But, guess what, you are writing a horror trilogy. I know you feel guilty about "selling out" for a big paycheck and being in that dreaded mass market category, but that's no excuse to bastardize your own work. You have destroyed this story by trying to make it highbrow and literary. Assuage your guilt about selling out some other way. I swear you are on some personal mission to make me hate your book, congratulations I did.
Before starting this book, I was not exactly sure what to expect. I had heard so many things about it and all of them seemed to be good, which seemed...moreBefore starting this book, I was not exactly sure what to expect. I had heard so many things about it and all of them seemed to be good, which seemed very unlikely to me that I had heard nothing but praise about this book. When it became a monthly read for an online book group, I knew it was time for me to give it a try. This story was entrancing and yet dark at the same time. This isn’t some fluffy, happy, cutesy story but it is very deep and emotional.
This story is told through the five year old eyes of Jack. I think he was the right narrator for a few different reasons but it also presented a challenge. How do you accurately describe some of the horrific things that happen in this book if your narrator is a mere 5 years old and may not understand it? It’s a dilemma and there were times that I felt the author struggled with her narrator, but it also made the story better. In my opinion, having a child be the narrator for the story made the subject matter easier to get through. As an adult reading his descriptions you knew what was going on, but it was less gritty and thrown in your face and so it made it easier to deal with. A story about a woman who was kidnapped and held captive as a sexual slave for nearly a decade and who gave birth in this room to her kidnapper’s child is really tough and emotional to read about. Having it filtered through the eyes of a child lessens the horror a little bit, which allows you to see the story as a whole.
I had two issues with this book, one of them is small and one is rather big. The small irritation is that sometimes Jack talked like a adult, or made observations that no five year old child would ever really care about. For example, when Jack makes an observation about how people in the world are always busy and never have time for anything and so stressed. A kindergarten age child doesn’t look around and think about other people’s stress. It was moments like that when I felt that the author struggled having a child narrator who couldn’t realistically portray what she wanted to portray in certain instances.
The bigger irritation was how the adults insisted on treating Jack after they were rescued from Room. Even his Ma kept treating him as if he should have been acting and responding differently. When he said he wanted to go back to Room his Ma would get angry with him. I understand that for her it was a prison cell and a torture room, but for Jack it was the ONLY life and existence he ever knew. It was never a negative place, it was home. It’s only natural for him to want to go back. And the other adults did it too. When Jack took something from a store and tried to leave with it, they were angry with him. He’s a child for God’s sake! And a child who has no experience at all in functioning in the outside world! It made me angry and it made me dislike most of the adults in the book.
The ending of this book, however, washed away any irritation I had with the book. They get to put their experience to rest and that part brought me to tears. The moment that Jack stands in the door and says, this isn’t Room anymore, my heart broke and I knew that I loved this book. It’s very rare that a book brings tears to my eyes, but this one did. It wasn’t perfect, I mentioned my problems with the book, but it did touch my heart.
Ah ha! For once I got you Lisa Jackson! For once I managed to spot your cleverly disguised red herring and didn't fall for it. Okay, so I didn't manag...moreAh ha! For once I got you Lisa Jackson! For once I managed to spot your cleverly disguised red herring and didn't fall for it. Okay, so I didn't manage to figure out who the real killer was but I didn't fall for the ploy! And in the process I thoroughly loved this book. Just in the previous book of this series I had asked and begged to find out more backstory to Montoya. And just the very next book, I got exactly what I had asked for. I was so pleased to hear more about this man that it became the best part of the book for me. PLEASE NOTE: BEYOND THIS POINT THERE MAY BE SPOILERS!!
The storyline of the killer, who vaguely resembles the killer we had met a few books previous that disappointed me a bit. The characters were good. Tying it to a character that had been dead for two decades was also very good. Linking all the victims to that one incident was fantastic! And yet I couldn't help but feel the two killers were much too similar. And no explanation was ever given for that. All the way down to the wet suit as a disguise, it was just too much the same for me. The preoccupation with sin and religion was almost exactly the same.
Overall I enjoyed the book very much, but I prefer my serial killers to be at least a little bit unique within the same series. (less)
When I began this book I never suspected that I would be rating one of my favorite authors as a 2 out of 5, but alas it has happened. Let me begin by...moreWhen I began this book I never suspected that I would be rating one of my favorite authors as a 2 out of 5, but alas it has happened. Let me begin by saying that this book was not bad, I actually enjoyed the story and the tension quite a bit, but it was very disappointing on a lot of levels. This book is number four in the saga of Bentz and Montoya. So far we have seen these characters through a lot and this was supposed to be a culmination of several major plots from both book two, Cold Blooded, and book three, Shiver. However, I was left with more questions than resolutions.
This novel was a continuation of a storyline began in Shiver, it was supposed to resolve the issues and darkness surrounding Our Lady of Virtues asylum. We ended that book with the revelation that former patient Faith Chastain has a child that was conceived and born while she was being treated at the hospital. I looked forward to finding out the answers to that mystery, and we did..though ultimately it raised more questions than it answered. We find out who this mystery child was and, no surprise, its related to the latest serial killer stalking New Orleans. But, a lot of the story left me disappointed.
1. When we discover who the father of Faith Castain's mystery child (view spoiler)[or in this case children (hide spoiler)] is, I was dismayed. (view spoiler)[Father James! Really!? We already spent one entire book trying to redeem him for breaking his covenant to God to impregnate his brother's wife. And we did that successfully, and he was a much loved character before his ultimate demise. But now we've made him a rapist? Faith Chastain was mentally ill, that makes the father of her twins a rapist. Way to go Lisa Jackson, way to destroy a character! (hide spoiler)] It completely ruined this book as well as a previous one for me.
2. We find out the mystery surrounding the night Eve was shot. Did she really sleep with another man besides her boyfriend at the time, Cole Dennis? According to the DNA, she did. But unfortunately she can't remember it, nor can she remember exactly what happened that night but she's pretty certain that Cole tried to kill her. Here's the problem, if she was so sure of that then why is she so willing to completely overlook it from the first moment she realizes Cole is out of jail? And this DNA issue only ended up raising another question....(view spoiler)[If Ronnie was the source of the 2nd DNA, and it was planted in the rape kit, then why wasn't his DNA matched in the system? Ronnie was in prison, and had been a frequent visitor to prison the novel suggests. So why was his DNA not matched? Why was it some big mystery? Are the New Orleans police that incompetant? (hide spoiler)]
3. I found the narration very confusing. It was fairly easy to tell when we were switching point of views to Eve, or Cole, or Bentz, or even Montoya. But when we switched to the serial killer it was all told in one voice, yet...(view spoiler)[there were two killers, Ronnie and Adam. (hide spoiler)] It made it absolutely impossible to know at the end of the novel which person was telling which parts of the story and it was horribly confusing. I don't like being confused with point of view switches, it should be apparent to me who is talking and when.
4. What the holy heavens was up with that epilogue? Where on earth did any of that come from? We've had 4 books worth of experience with Kristi Bentz now, and we know her and her story very well. Then we throw in something completely out there and insinuate that its been happening all along. Not buying it, its a cop out. (view spoiler)[I mean really, Kristi suddenly realizes that her nightmares are really psychic visions? And she just knows her father is going to die, cue foreboding music. It was tacky and cheesy. You can't just act like this is something that the character has always known when you haven't mentioned it in three other books. (hide spoiler)]
Not a slam dunk from Lisa Jackson I'm afraid. I don't like the resolution of a storyline to create more questions and problems. When it ends, I want it to end cleanly. Luckily I am still an overall fan of Lisa Jackson and will continue the series, but this installment was a serious letdown.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Not often can a book with an alien make me cry...for the alien! Written by the infamous author of the Twilight Saga, I was surprised at the difference...moreNot often can a book with an alien make me cry...for the alien! Written by the infamous author of the Twilight Saga, I was surprised at the difference in this book. The characters had so much depth and life to them that it was impossible not to fall in love with them. The struggles between an alien and her host body was as amusing as it was fascinating.
We are provided with an outside look at what the human race might appear to be if aliens landed one day, violent and destined to destroy the entire world. So these aliens, who call themselves souls, decide to save us from ourselves by using us as host bodies. Their world is peaceful, with everyone working together for a knid of utopia. This is the world that a very reknowned soul, called Wanderer, comes into. She is placed into the host body of a human rebel named Melanie. The souls believe that she could know the location of at least one other human and maybe more. Wanderer is instructed to scour the host's mind and discover the location of these vicious humans. But Melanie doesn't just go away like she is supposed to, she sticks around and puts up a fight for her own brain and body.
Over time, Wanderer is introduced to her memories and feelings and sees a new side of humans. One that she finds she cannot turn over to the souls, so she sets out to find these humans that Melanie loves so much. The Host is a wonderful story about love, family, and humanity. In the end I found myself in tears for this soul named Wanderer who had learned so much about humans and so much about her fellow souls. I loved this story from beginning to end, even though it lagged a bit at the start. Many times since I began this novel I found myself awake in the middle of the night because I needed to know what happened next before I went to bed.(less)
Quentin Barnes may be a jock, some might even say a meathead, but never let anyone say he doesn't have feelings too! Entering his third year as quarte...moreQuentin Barnes may be a jock, some might even say a meathead, but never let anyone say he doesn't have feelings too! Entering his third year as quarterback for the Ionath Krakens he is determined to see his team to winning a championship. Along the way he searches diligently for his family, must contend with the fall out of some of his decisions over the last 2 years, must build a championship team, and negotiate for a new contract. It's going to be a long year, and once the betrayals begin then so does the instability of Quentin's emotions. And just like another popular figure, you wouldn't like him when he's angry. But does it ever make good reading!
This book was like a rollercoaster. It builds you up on this huge hill and then drops you over the side and doesn't let you catch your breath. Then finally when the end comes it jerks you to halt and leaves you going, Oh my god what a ride! I have diligently read the entire GFL series so far and loved every second but this third installment was on another level than the previous two. I will be sitting impatiently on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one because I simply have to know what happens. (less)
Have you ever wondered what would happen if cows went rogue and started killing people? You haven't? That is why you are not the author of Ancestor. W...moreHave you ever wondered what would happen if cows went rogue and started killing people? You haven't? That is why you are not the author of Ancestor. While a lot of the scientific parts made my brain hurt and I was lucky I could understand it at all, the plot moves along at such a clip that it doesn't really matter if you comprehend the details of it all. The characters are interesting and have such distinct personalities that it gives the plot a fascinating and colorful backdrop. I can't recommend it enough, I've read it twice and plan on starting it again soon.(less)