Review to come, but here's a summary of my thoughts for the moment:
I didn't like this at first. There was a huge info dump in the beginning and the stReview to come, but here's a summary of my thoughts for the moment:
I didn't like this at first. There was a huge info dump in the beginning and the story was moving at the speed of light. Well, close enough. It was really disorientating in the beginning. There was no time to get acclimated with the story, you were just thrown to the wolves. For the first half of the books you're trying to adjust to what's happening and to keep pace so you don't get left behind. It was really confusing.
I wasn't a fan of how fast things progressed between the two protagonists (Dragos and Pia) either. I think it went far too fast. And then the actual writing style was not my favorite. The author switched between third person and first person on occasion, and she would switch between Pia's thoughts and Dragos' thoughts without any warning. It was a really fast-paced book.
I did like the ending, and things got better in the second half of the book. Things started to slow down and make more sense. But there is so much going on in this one book it's like there's been a series combined into one book. Sometimes it's good to put the book down and take a breather so you can process everything.
I'm still trying to decide if I want to read the next book or not. I'm curious about what happens next but I'm also weary of putting my head through the mind-fuddle-shaky-thingy-midgigy. I guess we'll see....more
Ciardis Vane was orphaned at a young age. In her small town in the north, no one wanted to deal with an orphan. The only job allowed to her was that oCiardis Vane was orphaned at a young age. In her small town in the north, no one wanted to deal with an orphan. The only job allowed to her was that of a laundress. But a strange lady known as a Companion shows up in town to buy her famous red dye. She offers a proposal of a life elsewhere.
Ciardis takes that chance and is whisked away to the Companions Guild where she trains to become a companion herself. Soon it is discovered that Ciardis was no ordinary girl, no, she was the last remaining Weathervane, someone who could enhance the powers of others. Now everyone is interested in Ciardis, and she’ll have to choose where her loyalties lie.
Ciardis is the main character in the story. She starts off as an outcast in her village and then finds herself becoming the person of interest at the Companions Guild. Her personality is a bit, arrogant? Hmm, not sure that is the word I’m looking for. I guess she doesn’t have a shining personality. She’s not some fierce tough girl or a shy good girl. She’s a bit rough. Sometimes it works in her favor and sometimes against it.
Sebastian. I hope he does not become a lover in future books. He’s just so… childlike, I think. He’s young, and has limited life experience. I just don’t want him to be paired with Ciardis. His personality needs a little work too. I really would have preferred if he were older.
There are a few other main characters, but they are pretty static and don’t change. I do wonder if Damais is gay, or if that’s just my impression of him. The other characters don’t really stick. I imagine we’ll see more of them and get to know them better in future books.
I really liked this book; I haven’t read one like it in a while. I suppose it’s similar to Graceling, though Graceling seems to have more depth in it to me.
Even though the characters weren’t very substantial in my mind, I loved what happened to Ciardis. Following her along and how the world changed for her was pretty interesting. She became a dynamic character and had a full personality. I liked her dry wit and humor. It was entertaining.
Things I didn’t like… well, I think the characters could have been more memorable, and the plot could have had more twists to it. I did not like how young Sebastian was. Other than that though there wasn’t much I didn’t like. It was a captivating story.
I think as far as the writing goes it was a fairly well written book. The beginning was a little jarring, being thrust into a laundress’s world in a fantasy realm, but I doubt that could have been helped. When entering a fantasy realm it is best to just jump right in, none of this wading in that some authors do.
Overall, a wonderful story that I plan to continue to read and enjoy, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. ...more
Elle is an Information Scientist at the Library of Congress. At least, that's one of her jobs. The other one is a secret, one that very few people knoElle is an Information Scientist at the Library of Congress. At least, that's one of her jobs. The other one is a secret, one that very few people know about. She's really a CIA operative. And she just became field rated. Her first op is successful, and nothing will take her down from her high of doing well on her first op. Except her boyfriend of one year, Lyle, decides to dump her for not being around enough.
Elle has to decide if having a successful career is really worth having a crappy social life. Except she's come so far. From being a total geek to a geek that can kick ass. She doesn't want to let go of her new life. She's not allowed to tell family and friends what she does, and its wrecking her personal life. But Elle wants her job more than anything. But if she can never tell anyone what she does, what kind of personal relationships can she ever have?
Reese is shipping out soon. He's a Navy SEAL and he isn't looking for anything permanent. All he wants is a fling to tide him over. Being stuck on a sub for six months is going to suck. But when he meets Elle, he's blown away. What starts as a fling becomes someone more. Reese knows that there's something about Elle that's different. And how does a Liberian, excuse me, Information Scientist, know krav maga? Reese is falling for her hard, even though they were only supposed to be a fling. But what if he wants more?
Elle is my dream girl version of me. She loves books, she gets to work for the Library of Congress, and she gets a healthy dose of action on the side, working for the CIA. I gotta admit, if I could be any character in any book, she would be it. She does struggle a bit with the relationship side of things, at least in the beginning, but she has the coolest job(s) a girl could ever want. And she can kick ass.
"I wouldn't want to hurt your manly pride. Or get myself arrested for assault."
I love that she's a kick-ass heroine and that she does struggle. She doesn't have everything fall into her lap. And she struggles within herself, too. It's believable, and I connected the most her. She struggles with her want to keep going and the realities of the job she has. Her dreams versus reality, basically. And she pushes herself. It's great. And she grows. She's not a static character. At the end of the book she understands more about her choice to work for the CIA as a field rated agent compared to the beginning of the book when she thought she understood what she was getting into, but didn't really understand on a fundamental level.
Reese you don't meet right away. He comes in a bit later. He's a sweet guy, can kick ass just like Elle, and he gets the job thing. They work relationship wise together.
"I'm up for some sparring. I'll even lick your wounds afterwards."
He is rather sexy too.
I do think that Reese is a bit more of a bland character compared to Elle, and I wished we had more from his point of view so I could understand him better. Most everything we read was from Elle's point of view, so we understood her the best. Reese we only got glimpses of. It bothered me that for the first half-ish of the book he was pretty scarce. I would have liked to know more about him.
Preston. Wow, that name has really begun to mean womanizer in books. I don't know how many books I have read where Preston is the player. Preston is a bit annoying for me. He seems like a know it all, and he keeps asking if Elle really knows the score. She didn't at the beginning, but that's not the point. It bothered me that he kept bugging her about it, even if he had a point.
Mason. God, you are gonna hate this guy. He has no emotions, may as well be a robot. And he's a good guy. But he's patronizing, critical, and puts Elle down with every minor mistake she makes. He does have a point about her complaining sometimes and threatening to quit, but still. He could be a little more cordial.
The romance in this story is more of a subplot to the story than the main plot of the story, which is great, because I like the action first and the romance second. If it's all angst-y romance and just a side order of action, I get bored. The action is the story, for the most part. Romances tend to be the same throughout most books, so the action is what captures my interest. This story had a heap of interesting things going on. I think there were about three op's in this book, which counted most of the actual fighting. But there was plenty of other action too. Elle sparred with Reese several times and they did things that were exciting. We didn't have another 'They went to the movies...' kind of romance. Theirs was exciting and fun.
You are thrown into this world from the beginning. It takes the first few chapters to get acclimated to the story and get a feeling for the world your reading about. There weren't any questions though. You understood what was happening and you got right into it. I'd say it was plausible and detailed, and for the most part you were shown the world, rather than told.
I will say that I thought the romance between Elle and Reese was slow. I was at 42% on my Kindle when I realized that we had only met Reese twice so far. I guess it's good that the romance was secondary in the scheme of the plot. If this was simply a romance book it would have been disappointing. But since there was action to make up for the slow romance, I wasn't too bothered. I think the middle and end were the best bits though. Like I said, the beginning was a little slow.
I would recommend this book to all of the readers who like action and romance hand-in-hand, rather than one or the other, because action and romance are best served together. My honest assessment of this book was I really liked it. There may have been some minor things that could have been improved, but I will without a doubt read this book again. And since I have not read the other books in this series, I will read those too. And this book can be read as a standalone, for those that are interested. ...more
Graham has two rules; never apologize and never fall in love. So far its been working out for him. He plays bass in a band, works on muscle cars, andGraham has two rules; never apologize and never fall in love. So far its been working out for him. He plays bass in a band, works on muscle cars, and owns part of a club. More money than he knows what to do with. But lately he's been hanging around a bar, just waiting for his day to end on the gorgeous bartender's smile.
Carly is cheerful, all the time. Even when Graham is a total ass. How she puts up with his B.S. and still keeps up that gorgeous smile is a mystery to him. Soon Graham realizes that Carly isn't just another girl, she has scars, scars that he can't fix. And he's falling for her hard. But with his screwed up childhood and mommy issues, he's broken. And Carly has her own issues to deal with. Will Graham break his rules for Carly? Or will he continue not living, in a hope that he can just deal with life?
I was enticed by the cover of this book before the story, if I'm honest. The cover is amazing, I love it. And then of course I love womanizing broken bad boys. They make for the best love stories.
Graham. He's a complicated character. Not everything he does in this book I liked. He acted like a real ass sometimes. And not in a hot, 'oh he's being a playboy' kind of way. I understand he was afraid of what he was feeling a lot of the time, but he didn't respect boundaries and he did some screwed up things. I don't know if I would have been as forgiving as Carly. THERE WAS NO CHEATING! Thank god for that small miracle. I hate books with cheaters. Cheating is inexcusable. End of story.
Carly. She was like a ray of sunshine compared to Graham. Yes, she has a past that will make you want to punch a bunch of scumbags, but she isn't jaded. She still sees the world in the light, not the dark. I love that about her. Graham is jaded enough without Carly being jaded. They balance each other out.
I think the characters were believable and I connected to them on a basic level. I can't say that I felt the characters, exactly. I don't really have anything in common with the characters. I thought Graham was cool because of the muscle cars and playing bass, and Carly was a writer, but personality wise I didn't mesh with them. I did love Carly though. I mean, how many girls know cars, ride motorcycles, can actually hold their alcohol, fight MMA, and are still super nice and sunny? She's great.
Carly didn't grow that much in the story. I mean, she grew a bit there from the middle to end, but most of the character growth came from Graham. If you read the first few pages and then the last few, you'd find an almost completely different person. I mean, Graham wasn't a bad person, per se, at the beginning, but he was a player and his morals on sleeping with lots of women and getting drunk were pretty low. At the end he understood why some people wanted monogamy.
The romance in the story was a little slow going. There was an attraction from the first few pages, but it didn't turn into more until later. It felt like a real romance because of that. They had to build it up. It wasn't insta-love or anything, which was nice.
I'm not really sure whether the romance was the main focus or a subplot. I mean, it was definitely there, but there was a whole lot of other things going on too. I think it would probably be somewhere between the two. It wasn't really the main focus, because that wasn't the first thing that happened. They became friends before lovers. But it wasn't really secondary to anything in the story.
The story was detailed, you weren't left with any questions. That's always nice. I hate it when there are holes in the plot or the story. It felt real, I imagine there are similar couples out there everywhere who have issues akin to the ones in the book. The writing was done well, it was like watching a movie in your head rather than reading the script.
Unlike with some books, I think the middle was the best part of the story. There was so much anticipation and waiting to see what Graham did, how he would handle all of the hurdles thrown at him. And whenever he screwed up you could just roll your eyes and mutter 'men' under your breath. Thats what I did, anywho.
This story was in 1st person, told from Graham's point of view. I thought it was interesting, because we got complete access to his thoughts. And a lot of the time his thoughts didn't match his words. It was an interesting perspective.
I would recommend this book to all of the girls who love the broken bad boys. In real life, they suck. In books, though? They rock your socks off. And other clothing items :)