I have been a fan of Holly Black since I read the Tithe series to distract me from the poison oak crawling up my face when I was a teenager. I feel liI have been a fan of Holly Black since I read the Tithe series to distract me from the poison oak crawling up my face when I was a teenager. I feel like I owe it to her to read all of her collected works. While I try (and probably fall short sometimes) to read the classics and read books that are more "age appropriate" I just couldn't stop myself when I saw this book at my local library (HARDCOVER NO LESS!).
The pros: I actually thought that Tana was a fairly strong female lead character. Sure she falls for the forbidden boy and yeah maybe that's a bit of a cliche. But since when have cliches ever stopped a woman from being strong? (view spoiler)[ She drives herself and her companions to the Coldtown, despite the fact that Aidan tried to take a chunk out of her neck earlier on, she makes up her own mind and decides to rescue the chained up Gavriel, she goes back to fight Lucien despite the obvious differences in strength, Manages to escape being Aidan's sacrifice when she could have just given up and then, at the end, when it would have been easier to just turn into a vampire and be with her beau forever, she sticks to her promises and her beliefs and decides to detox anyway. (hide spoiler)] Throughout the whole book, Tana sticks to her own path and makes up her own mind even through the internal monologue of "it would be so much easier if..." And I respect that in a character. She may not have known what Coldtown was going to be like and ended up there without much preparation, but she always tried to save herself. The characters, I felt, were unique enough while still being relatable and the story was interesting (though I have seen stories similar to its basic plot). The lilting, poetry-esque way in which Gavriel speaks is quite possibly my favorite part of the book. This particular character might have to be placed up next to Magnus Bane as one of my favorite over-the-top YA literary characters. He has the capacity to be so complex. A madman, a dead man, a hunter, repentant, merciless, etc. He is a dash of hypocrisy and I really like that because I can be that way as well.
The cons: Some of the concept designs, I thought, came across a bit stunted. I don't particularly like the new-age rave gothic aesthetic that this tended to be wrapped in. The bright hair, the buckle platform boots, the internet blogging about eternal life and mortality, etc. was just too much for me personally. I also felt like the romance bits (though of course I secretly loved every word of them) seemed to be a little thick for my tastes (view spoiler)[ trying to make a boy moan with a second kiss in the first few hours of "knowing" him? Come come now! (hide spoiler)]. They didn't happen too terrible often though, so I was able to get past that without too much of a hitch.
Overall: I (obviously) loved this book just like I have loved Tithe, Valiant, Ironside and White Cat. Holly Black is a very solid author that has such a talent for writing about very real and raw characters within this particular genre. The book is solidly written, the characters are fleshed out according to their role in the book, the story is interesting and the plot is a page turner. Another breezy win for Holly Black!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Honestly, my review need only be short and say: It's Neil Gaiman. He has yet to disappoint me with his brilliance, character portrayal, writing styleHonestly, my review need only be short and say: It's Neil Gaiman. He has yet to disappoint me with his brilliance, character portrayal, writing style and story lines. If you like imaginative children's books (That really, more adults should read) then you have selected one of the best!...more
I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This did NOT impact my ability to be critical and honest.
First, I'd like to start off wI received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This did NOT impact my ability to be critical and honest.
First, I'd like to start off with the areas that I think could use some work and the work my way to the great things about the book. As far as Jeff as a character goes, I felt he could have been more solid. I think a lot of effort went into making him sound like his own person rather than fleshing him out a bit more. Also, in my opinion, the "oh man" and "you know?" kind of got distracting once I started noticing how many of them there were. It seemed to crop up at least twice a page, sometimes more and that got a little old. The other thing I had a bit of a problem with was that he was perpetually having his mind blown away by this new stuff. I totally understand that in that situation, I would have felt the same way, but it seemed like the same things were being said over and over after every little thing just in different ways. It felt like an attempt to fluff out the book and make it a big longer, honestly.
Now, to the good stuff. I loved carla as a character. She was modern and down to earth, but very old fashioned in the way she spoke and carried herself. And she just didn't care about what anyone thought as long as they were being good people haha she cracks me up! Very lovable and a relatable character. The imagination this author has is outstanding! His use of imagery is unique and inspiring. I loved the bit about the eyes and the window and the Ball of Realities. The author also does a phenomenal job of painting out what he wants you to see and boy oh boy does it make an impact! Wonderful! Lobo... gotta love Lobo! What story is complete without a salty-dog type of leader? None, I tell you! Another great character. The author is also very good at detailing and scene setting. The war scene was intricate and realistic as well as the description of St. Augustine.
Overall, a great novel with some amazing potential. I think if the author just worked on his character creation a bit more and maybe synced up with the character mindset a bit more, this would have been flying off the shelves! Doug, do NOT lose that ability to paint such unique pictures with words. That was the golden ticket in my opinion.
I would definitely recommend this diamond in the rough to anyone, especially history, supernatural and philosophical buffs....more
I have yet to read the first book, as I picked this little gem up at my library without realizing it was part of a series. Now that I have read it, II have yet to read the first book, as I picked this little gem up at my library without realizing it was part of a series. Now that I have read it, I am hungry for the other two! Rick Yancey has writing down to a science, making it an art form and sticks to tradition with the spice of enticement and plot twists of a new era. It was such a smooth read that it's akin to realxing in a warm bath on a cold rainy day. Not only that, it is extremely unique and well-crafted. Amongst the ever-growing populace of hit or miss teenage vampire and werewolf novels, Yancey has offered a tall glass of refreshment. The story is about a boy in his in-between years, Will Henry, and his monstrumologist mentor, Doctor Pellinore Warthrop, who has taken him under his wing after his parents die. Dr. Warthrop being the crotchety old, yet highly intelligent, recluse that he is declines a feverish plea to save his once-was best friend and ex fiance's new husband from a suicide mission to find the wendigo. Succumbing to his heart of hearts, though, he decides to run a fools errand to find John Chandler. What he and Will Henry encounter on that journey tries friendships, breaks hearts and strengthens resolve and morals in a beastial bloodbath that leaves both mentor and pupil near death and clutching to each other when the world begins to fall to pieces.
An absolute must-read for the deeply imaginative! I loved every second and savored every small detail that makes the book what it is. Hats off to you, Rick Yancey, you did a hell of a job!...more
This book was one of the most spectacular and inventive books I have read since the recent eruption of teen paranormal books. A hearty and warm thankThis book was one of the most spectacular and inventive books I have read since the recent eruption of teen paranormal books. A hearty and warm thank you and bless your soul to author Marissa Meyer!
The story in itself is incredibly unique amidst the swarms of vampire and werewolf novels, but what really hooked me was her integration into the world itself. It seemed to me that every word was chosen specifically with the story in mind which i think sadly a lot of modern authors are neglecting. I literally whooped when I read the simple line "Cinder called forth every nanobyte of strength she possessed..." We've all heard the variants of that phrase but the fact that she used the word 'nanobyte' instead of ounce or something proved to me that she did not just come up with a quick hot seller, but really submergered herself into a world she created which is what makes writing an art form to me. Not every author can catch those small but atmospheric details.
Anywho! On to the actual story. Cinder is a shy but strong female lead who just so happens to be a cyborg (how's that for flipping the fairytale on its head). Cyborgs are outcasted in society, but Cinder has left her mark as a renown albeit poor mechanic, and as test subjects to find a cure to letumosis: a deadly rapidly spreading plague the clutches of which no one can outrun. That is, until our heroine comes along. After her beloved stepsister contracts the virus, her grieving and hateful stepmother volunteers her as a test subject in the hopes of getting rid of Cinder, thinking that she was the one to set up Peony's encouter with letumosis. Upon closer inspection though, Cinder could be the cure to everyone's biggest problem.
Loyalty, integrity, love, hatred, self-doubt, secrets, betrayal, the power of will and determination, murder and political agendas are all beautifully wrapped in this wonderful, tasteful book. Divinely captivating and magically written, this book should belong on everyone's shelf as a bit of classic entertainment with moral fiber and a bit of a kick....more