3.5 The things I liked - the characters, the setting, the interesting worldbuilding, writing style. The things that were so so - the whole mystery plot...more3.5 The things I liked - the characters, the setting, the interesting worldbuilding, writing style. The things that were so so - the whole mystery plot - it just didn't grab me. So while I finished this book I'm not sure I'll read the next one.
I liked how the main heroine changed over the course of the book - both on the inside and the outside. I liked how the characters feel complex and flawed, all of them. The paranormal elements are pretty original and interesting. The romance, while it has shades of a love triangle (blah) going, is not very prominent.
I'd have liked to know more about the 'Saturn's daughter' bit. I must admint I kind of expected this to be more linked to Greek/Roman mythology.(less)
I rather like my historical novels to feel true to the period they're supposed to take place in. Bonus points if the characters act like they should i...moreI rather like my historical novels to feel true to the period they're supposed to take place in. Bonus points if the characters act like they should in those times and no anachronisms (either in speech or in world view). So on that count this book doesn't fare badly. The writing itself isn't bad either, it flows alright, first person pov.
Unfortunately for a book about mystery, crime and powerful women scheming and being involved in politics, well, it is not that great. For one: the heroine feels very weak. Understandable at first, as she just got out of convent and is in new territory here. But she doesn't get much better. She's the pawn, she changes her mind and comes to conclusions based on small clues - mostly, that makes her seem a little stupid. So the political machinations - a major let down, the strong heroine that is active and not merely reactive - let down. The romance - where did it come from? based on what? (view spoiler)[ he fell in love with her based on her sister's stories? seriously! (hide spoiler)] Ok, she's out of convent, I get that - that might have worked, but him? The villains - caricatures. Family relations - broad strokes, not really much depth. The plot - let down.
So over all, it does ok in describing the historical setting but everything else is a little too simplified.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
3.5 While the pace is uneven and somewhere in the middle it is quite slow and mostly romance the book never really lost me as a reader and i didn't co...more3.5 While the pace is uneven and somewhere in the middle it is quite slow and mostly romance the book never really lost me as a reader and i didn't consider not finishing it. I guess, the praise goes to the characters - they're colorful, the heroine isn't perfect but she's likable and her voice didn't bother me. Her family situation is quite interesting as is the world she lives in. The quibble I have with the worlbuilding is that the book gives us bits and pieces, some explained others only a little and I suppose I would have liked to get the feeling for this wolrd, a little more. The plot- the main mystery is good but for me, a tad too much romance at times, when it seems the plot is barely moving. There's a lot going on in this book - some ya books can be really simplistic but this one delivers, (if you can get over the silly premise of outlawing chocolate).
But. the characters don't quite feel like they are living in quite such an oppresive and irrational country. I was reminded of soviet rule, where some orders and laws could be quite irrational. I didn't quite get the feeling (comparing to what I know and remember of living in such a country - rationing for one would have been felt more, mentioned more at various places, here it's perhaps mentioned twice, and so, sprinkiling the details here and there doesn't really give me the feeling that it's all encompasing, that it's truly a different way of thinking about it for the characters) that this world was really that bad, perhaps it wasn't meant to be.(less)
At first I was hoping to find another good urban fantasy series to follow. Then my hopes diminished and I just kept on reading for completness's sake....moreAt first I was hoping to find another good urban fantasy series to follow. Then my hopes diminished and I just kept on reading for completness's sake. So my expectations for most of this book were not very high. It was, in a way, better than I expected then. The writing style kept me reading, the world building was intruiging enough too. The problem was the plot and the characters. I wavered between liking the heroine and being too annoyed at her. She is not the smartest, which is not necessairly bad, but at times was somewhat annoying. She jumps to conclusions and is not acting in a logical way at times - which ties with my beef concerning the plot. It's rushed. And not thought through, I guess. The mystery was not really foreshadowed much, the romance was rushed and the relationship that seemed to be promising (with Samson) was completely dropped (view spoiler)[ he even dies offpage! (hide spoiler)] - and that was a nicely teased element that goes completely nowhere. After the main mystery resolves the book goes on - the romance parts, and that felt a little tacked on, uneven, especially since I did not much care for the hero.["br"]>(less)
One of those books where I don't like any of the characters and yet am intrigued to read more. I like the setting, I like the writing style, the plot...moreOne of those books where I don't like any of the characters and yet am intrigued to read more. I like the setting, I like the writing style, the plot was ok, though for a moment there near the end I wondered what genre I was reading. Not a great book but good enough that I will try another by this author.(less)
1.5 Interesting premise, very boring execution. Not that much plot. Little characterization. Little sense in how the main character's mysterious memory...more1.5 Interesting premise, very boring execution. Not that much plot. Little characterization. Little sense in how the main character's mysterious memory problems work. Most of the book is romance and her memory loss thing is just a quirk - it barely affects her. THe fact she can see the future is more important to the plot but it never gets explained and is very convoluted, just how much and why and who. and how it changes. And the main mystery doesn't really start util the last part of the book, makes it all feel uneven. An unsatisfactory read. No interesting relationships (and none really explored - the romance is kind of squeevy (insta love based on looks of the boy - because seriously what else was there when she can't remember), and so is the friendship between the main character and her best friend, no interesting characters, not much plot.(less)
While I don't love the writing style (it was confusing and unclear at times) it worked well in showing how the main character herself was confused. Th...moreWhile I don't love the writing style (it was confusing and unclear at times) it worked well in showing how the main character herself was confused. The suspense and mystery were nice and the teenagers believable. I'm curious about the next book and how the family stuff will work out.(less)
I'm not sure how I feel about this book, or rather the main character. She's strong and proactive but some things just didn't gel for me. For a profes...moreI'm not sure how I feel about this book, or rather the main character. She's strong and proactive but some things just didn't gel for me. For a professional she acted very unprofessionaly at times. i get that this different world could leave her feeling unsettled and not quite herself, but the narrative rather shows that she's being her usual self. She is judgemental and looking for conflict, for someone so well versed in psychology, especially of psychopaths, she should know a little better how to deal with people. On the other hand it's kind of nice to see her not treated as the girl, the vulnerable one - despite her actually being the most vulnerable one here, she's kind of acting all macho at times (the mouthing off etc), and despite it being unprofessional, seeing the main character allowed to have one night stands and being attracted to various people, without making it into a serious romance subplot.
The worldbuilding is intriguing and is one of the most comelling things about this book. The world so completely alien to what she's known. It mostly works, and the info is given in smaller bits and pieces so it's not too overwhelming. It helps that the plot starts fast right from the opening scene.
A great character in Charlie and nice bit of original worlbuilding in golems, very rarely seen in urban fantasy.(less)
Entertaining, fast paced book. Vee is an interesting protagonist. Not too introspective, or sepending pages and pages being emo, she is prety proactiv...moreEntertaining, fast paced book. Vee is an interesting protagonist. Not too introspective, or sepending pages and pages being emo, she is prety proactive. Her talent allows us to see through the eyes of others. Her relationships with her family, friends, ex friends - all tangled and messed up, but work very well in that the secrets and past relations allow for keeping almost everyone as a suspect in this mystery.
One thing that didn't work for me was the main romance. i didn't seee much chemistry there. There are some worlbuilding issues too, regarding how her talent works exactly - is it strong emotional tie to an object? seemed so, but that doesn't really work for someone just once drinking from a glass... I suppose it could be that he was feeling particularly emotional at that time, but I feel like the exact rules just weren't spelled out enough. (view spoiler)[ Like why no sliding into Rollins before? He must have touched stuff that Vee later touched as well. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Would have been a 4 star for me but the ending soured me on this book. The heroine is likable and her pov is interesting but she seems a little too mu...moreWould have been a 4 star for me but the ending soured me on this book. The heroine is likable and her pov is interesting but she seems a little too much (perhaps it would have worked better for me had she not had such wealthy parents - I suppose it helped with the plot but it made the heroine less relatable. She didn't really have anything not going for her. Very little conflict other than the main plot.) I'm not overly religious and the heroine was. It took me by surprise. Especially the 'wait for the wedding' thing. The romance was ok, but pretty low key. Didn't mind the age difference. The worldbuilding is really good. Not too heavy on the info dumps, interesting bits and pieces. Pretty well though out. The plot is a little uneven. It starts out great, fast but drags at times. (view spoiler)[ My enjoyment of the book went way down after Atlas' death though. I suppose it doesn't quite fit the superhero genre for me, doesn't quite match the rest of the book. Sure, it's supposed to be more realistic take on superheroes but it's not that grim and gritty. It's tame. Not too much gore, no sex, no cursing. And then the hero dies... (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's not perfect, this book, but it was just what I needed to keep me distracted from RL problems. It was very engaging. I had a hard time putting it...moreIt's not perfect, this book, but it was just what I needed to keep me distracted from RL problems. It was very engaging. I had a hard time putting it down. So as long as you don't think too hard about the implausibility of it all, the cliches and the science, it's a good enough book.
There was nothing in the writing style that I didn't like. The narration is good and I liked reading Christine's thought process. I liked how the mystery was constructed, with the sinister little clues and Christine getting convinced one way and then reasoning against it. So I never felt I knew exactly how it would end. Still, in the end it goes a little into shallow cliche teritory (view spoiler)[ - Mike's whole motivation is basically him being insane. I expected a little more (it felt a little like the 'Mike' and 'Ben' weren't entirely connected - while the author tried to give some clues to his mental instability earlier in the book, I'm not sure it was enough, or maybe the 'Mike' part went too fast too far into insanity territory), especially given how much the author goes into an amnesiac's mind workings, feelings and, well, basically treating one mental ilness with great care. And of course then there's the ending - Christine getting better. While it ends the book on a high note, it basically had me roling my eyes. (hide spoiler)]
As someone who studied psychology I guess I concentrated mostly on how Christine comes across - it works, how she's confused and paranoid. The characterization's pretty good for somone in her situation - I have to give the author props for that. But. The whole situation itself is pretty mind boggling to me. I just reread some chapters of Oliver Sacks' books and, well, anterograde amnesia- no long term memory, so I kept thinking 'how the hell does she manage to keep her memories for a day and not just seconds or minutes?' So if it's realy mental not physical, she basicaly gets amnesia every night, every day reenters a state of fugue... hm.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)