I'm not sure how many times I was reminded that Nikki was avoiding a character named Anderson. It's a short story, I'm not going to forget.. Anyway, i...moreI'm not sure how many times I was reminded that Nikki was avoiding a character named Anderson. It's a short story, I'm not going to forget.. Anyway, if anything it's a nice addition between books 2 and 3. I'd recommend it for someone new to the series, as it doesn't give away too mu- well, it does.. but for someone wanting to get an idea of the writing without spending as much on the novels, I suppose it'd work.(less)
**spoiler alert** The first two volumes are by far the strongest, and Flutter takes a serious nose-dive in comparison. I will not be reading the fourt...more**spoiler alert** The first two volumes are by far the strongest, and Flutter takes a serious nose-dive in comparison. I will not be reading the fourth, which is out now, as I do not feel the series can be redeemed. There are so many repeating phrases that I could not help but start counting their occurrence, while reading, and it really pushes one away form the story. Too often someone speaks "not unkindly" or curls a lock of hair behind an ear, or asks "are you coming with?" The last question I find annoying on its own, but I understand some people do talk that way - especially younger people. I can't imagine a 300-year-old vampire speaking that way. I can't accept every single character in every book (that I have read) by Amanda Hocking speaking that way. That just doesn't work for me.
Anyway, Alice is a vampire now and is even weaker now than in the previous novels. She has no aspirations to become anything more than she currently is and continues to get things handed to her on a platter. She has no drive to do anything with, or for, herself. The world ends without Jack at her side. Or in her face. Whichever. It's getting sickening now. One would think becoming a vampire would do something to her, aside from make her hot, apparently.
More in the third book than in the previous, I am beginning to ask myself questions on the direction of the story. Normally I have a sense of a goal, quest, or change that is upcoming. Here, I don't know what Alice's goals are, where she is going, or the point of the story at all. It's getting to the point where it's Just a Bunch of Stuff That Happens. Near the half-way point for the book, I started to skim - we have gone into Angst Alley and there is a traffic jam. The plot is going nowhere. Plot lines are introduced and them completely forgotten or ignored. I had begun to believe that the sole point of the series is for Alice to have sex with Jack.
(Spoiler in Hollowland to follow) And when that finally does occur, the scene seems oddly... familiar. It turns out that it is a near copy of the scene in Hollowland, between Remy and Lazlo near the end of the book.
He kissed my mouth, my neck, my shoulders, everything he could reach, and I moaned against him...Gasping for breath, he relaxed, but he propped himself up so he wouldn’t put the full weight of his body on me. He rested his forehead against my shoulder and tried to gain some composure. When he gently kissed my collar bone, my skin trembled underneath his lips. --Flutter (My Blood Approves #3
He kissed my mouth, my neck, my shoulders, everything he could reach, and I moaned against him... Gasping for breath, he rested his forehead against my shoulder and tried to gain some composure. When he gently kissed my shoulder, my skin quivered underneath his lips. --Hollowland
And if that's not laziness, a pure lack appreciation or respect in her readers, I don't know what else could be. I consider it to be an insult to a persons' intelligence and a lack of care in the work she is releasing for them. Is it so difficult to write scenes of characters having sex that you need to copy from one book to another? Nearly word for word?Now I am done with your books, Amanda Hocking. Your laziness and poor quality of work gets no more money from me. Shoddy work is still shoddy whether its trying to eat your brains, suck your blood, or be a troll. Don't waste your time on any of these books. I was willing to forgive a multitude of other short-comings, but this is just pathetic.(less)
**spoiler alert** The premise is nothing new, and really nothing special. I found this series more compelling than the others I've read (Switched, an...more**spoiler alert** The premise is nothing new, and really nothing special. I found this series more compelling than the others I've read (Switched, and Hollowland) and found it slightly easier to ignore the spelling, grammatical, and tense errors peppered throughout the book. (But only Slightly.)
One of the big issues I have with the main character is, well, her lack of character. Does Alice have no sense of self preservation? She is so flippant in her constant talk of others killing her, and even asks, dares, or begs others to do it. (In more than one instance.) Okay, okay, it's a romance about vampires, I get it. The main character has to have something odd in her head to want that kind of... relationship(?) - but it gets annoying in its repetition. Alice is just so plain and lacks any real character qualities, aside from passive, whiny, and pitiful. She can't seem to do anything for herself, from driving to cooking - someone else must do it for her. She must be genetically susceptible to the virus of Mary Sue, which seems to plague far more heroines than it should. Tragic, really.
There is also a lot of explaining regarding the brands characters wear. Every single time someone changes clothes, we get a list of brands they are wearing. A description makes sense, but this listing of brand names clothes is lazy and does no help at all. I get the sense the clothing is expensive, but the brands do nothing for me - I shouldn't need to look up brand names to figure out what characters are wearing. Dickies or Converse - just tell me it's a t-shirt, shoes, or pair of shorts, and let's move on.
Within the second book, Fate, especially, I get the impression the author doesn't entirely understand what it means to be gay, and holds onto a number of stereotypes or preconceived notions regarding those who are gay or lesbian. The following line, here..
"He sat on my bed with his back to me, and he appeared to be filing his nails, or something equally gay." -Fate (My Blood Approves, #2)
I found the observation from Alice to be somewhat odd, as many others like it littered throughout the series. Okay, yes, there is a character who is gay. We were told this in My Blood Approves, multiple times. (Awkwardly.) It felt like it was a forced addition, to add some kind of depth to the story... but it really doesn't. It's Alice realizing he's gay and "should've seen it sooner" because of a list of trivial things that have nothing to do with a person being gay. Nail-filing? Really? That falls under personal hygiene which has nothing to do with a persons' sexual orientation.(less)
Impulse Control is a short story and prequel to Hush Money. I found it an enjoyable and informative read regarding the world and helpful in showing us...moreImpulse Control is a short story and prequel to Hush Money. I found it an enjoyable and informative read regarding the world and helpful in showing us what State Schools are all about. (Rather than just being some Mysterious Thing to be Avoided.) As a plus, it's also available on Smashwords to read for free.
I don't want to go too much into the plot and spoil all the fun.. but I will say it's a nice introduction to the series for newcomers, or as an add-on for those who have read the others.(less)
When I readHush Money mid-August, and posted my review, I did not expect the sequel to be out within the very same month. In fact, I did not even fin...moreWhen I readHush Money mid-August, and posted my review, I did not expect the sequel to be out within the very same month. In fact, I did not even find out about it until a few days into September, and at that point I had to find and purchase the e-book right away. Smashwords had what I was looking for, and at a reasonable price of $2.99. Hush Money was $1.00 when I picked it up, and the slight increase in cost for this book is worth it, in every sense.
Heroes 'Til Curfew takes a slightly more adult turn from Hush Money, as the relationship between Dylan and Joss becomes more serious. It does not come across as unexpected or crude, and it seems more part of the plot rather than scenes scattered throughout a meager plot line. Romance is definitely a part of the story, but it makes sense and doesn't come across forced. (And, given my issues with certain other books, I do feel the need to mention this.) There is also a very delicate topic that comes up in the story and, while the subject disturbs me, it was dealt with seriously and carefully. I also did not get the impression that is was brought up carelessly.
Another difference in this volume, from the first, is that Marco is added in as a Point-of-View. Thankfully, he's only the focus a few times, as Susan Bischoff did an excellent job of making Marco absolutely deplorable. I could not relate to him in any way and found it difficult to follow his POV for any extended amount of time.
Again, as with Hush Money, the story and characters are both interesting and realistic. All it took was two books from Susan Bischoff to get me hooked on her work - I will definitely be picking up other books in this series and by this author. (Which I did, actually.. )(less)
I picked up this book due to the cover. (Hey - I admit it!) And it was available as an e-book for $1.00. Win-win, I thought. It seemed interesting eno...moreI picked up this book due to the cover. (Hey - I admit it!) And it was available as an e-book for $1.00. Win-win, I thought. It seemed interesting enough, previewing the first few pages, and for only $1.00 I couldn't really go wrong - I have spent as much on far worse.
My initial reaction was that it seemed... interesting. The writing style was easy to follow, and did not come across as awkward like some other YA books I have read. It took some getting used to the alternating between two protagonists, and there were a few times when, despite the names being listed, I got confused about which character was the focus for certain sections. The issue seems to come from the two characters not being different enough in their way of thinking.
Once the story itself is set up, the title of the book becomes obvious. The idea of Talents (the term for various powers) works thus far, as well. I am interested in seeing how far it's taken in the following book(s). The characters, main and supporting, seem strong and realistic. Their actions, while not always agreeable, make sense for their situations.
I found Hush Money to be a quick and enjoyable read, and things really do pick up in the end. The real disappointment for me was how short the book was, and how swiftly it all got wrapped up. Still, this was money very well spent. I will be awaiting the sequel.(less)
There were a few things that bothered me about Switched from the outset, but it was hard to really pin-point just what it was at first. As I continued...moreThere were a few things that bothered me about Switched from the outset, but it was hard to really pin-point just what it was at first. As I continued with the book I realized it was perhaps the main character, Wendy, that seemed a little.. unrealistic, to me. I found myself asking questions about her character, and I could not help but feel she was, well.. not very smart.
She lets a young man into her room, even though she doesn't want him there, and repeatedly does things she considers are a bad idea. At first she is concerned about her family, but once she leaves she seems to forget them all entirely. Wendy's decisions seem to be used to push the story along, and didn't always make sense. I just didn't understand why she was doing these things, and her role in the story seemed very passive. True, she is supposed to be young, but she lacks basic common sense... and any real drive to do anything for herself.
With the novel itself, I found myself counting how many times Wendy used the word 'foxy' to describe a male in her vicinity. Foxy really doesn't tell me much, and it is a little much to have it used repeatedly. There are other words, better words, that can be used to express the same thing.
Regardless, I finished the book. I just don't like it enough to continue with the series.(less)
Dark Descendant is a quick read. Jenna Black has a way of writing that is very fast-paced, and I managed to finish the book in just a few hours.
While...moreDark Descendant is a quick read. Jenna Black has a way of writing that is very fast-paced, and I managed to finish the book in just a few hours.
While the quick pace keeps the story moving forward, it doesn't leave much time for character development, or much elaboration in other areas. Aside from mention, not much else is given about the Gods, or their descendants. Even with the main villains, Konstantin and Alexis, the reader is left wondering much about these characters. Even by the end of the novel, I am still left with a large number of questions about the world.
Another issue I found was with the main character, Nikki Glass. The story is told in 1st person, and she is our narrator. This works out fairly well, as it allows the reader get a feel for who Nikki is and how she thinks. However, it seemed that we were often told who she was, rather than really shown. "I'm a bleeding heart" was one very common line, as well as a few others I cannot recall off-hand. Sure, she may be strong, good at her job (Private Investigator), but we are told this repeatedly and often, by Nikki.
While there are some issues with the novel I find a bit awkward or off-putting, it was certainly not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. After only a few pages I was hooked, and had to read the book to its end before anything else. I will likely pick up the second book in the series, as well, which should be out early 2012.(less)