Wow! What an impressive novel. Very original storytelling, using Russian folklore and fairy tales. This is the story about a girl, Alina, a boy, Mal,...moreWow! What an impressive novel. Very original storytelling, using Russian folklore and fairy tales. This is the story about a girl, Alina, a boy, Mal, and the Darkling, oh, btw, I love the Darkling, though he is something of a villain. In some ways, I am disappointed with that outcome. But still, this is a great read and one of the best YA novels I have ever read. This is my second reading. The first time I was so troubled by the plot twist that I was mad. Literally.
I've given this book my best scores because it deserves it and so does the author, but it doesn't mean I like the plot. Laughing. It's a gorgeous book, but I wasn't happy when I finished it. Maybe when I read it for the third time, I'll be content with how the plot went.
Highly recommended. Beautifully written. A wonder. I know I could never write a book this good.(less)
The first half of this book is just awesome. The second half, not so much. But I can't wait to read Clockwork Prince. This is my favorite series by Ca...moreThe first half of this book is just awesome. The second half, not so much. But I can't wait to read Clockwork Prince. This is my favorite series by Cassandra Clare and her writing has matured. I love these characters. This is the third time I have read this book. Still a strong read. Recommended. I had to reread it for Clockwork Prince. Laughing.(less)
First I am going to tell you the only "weak" element about this book. How the authors used POV. It was messy and I thought unnecessary. BUT I loved th...moreFirst I am going to tell you the only "weak" element about this book. How the authors used POV. It was messy and I thought unnecessary. BUT I loved the book anyway. It was a wonderful book and I spent all day reading it. I am going to read it again! Right now. EDITED NOTE: I liked it so much I ordered book 2 and book 3 just a minute ago. I need to read the whole story.
Talk about a Romeo and Juliet situation--Princess Adele and the Greyfriar are an impossible couple. And who knows what is going to happen to them? I don't. There are so many things I could write about these characters but I don't want to spoil the book so I have to be careful. Let's just say, I love the Greyfriar. Swoon. Swoon. Swoon.
And Princess Adele is such a good character. She's a kick-ass heroine without being the cliche you read in so much urban fantasy. Maybe what makes these characters more interesting is how they grow and change and learn. It's not about their past. It's not about some tortured memory. This is about living your life and having dreams, having curiosity. Making choices. Duty. Honor. Hope. Faith.
Great worldbuilding. I love these vampires, so like some I already know.
As I said, it was not perfectly written. But nothing that I could not get past. So I am adding it to my favorites. Mostly set in a weird steampunk/historical France, London, and Scotland.(less)
O-M-G! I am going to do a review of this book later on blog, but right now, after finishing it, I want to say how wonderful this book is in so many wa...moreO-M-G! I am going to do a review of this book later on blog, but right now, after finishing it, I want to say how wonderful this book is in so many ways. Not just the story. Not just the characters, but what the author did with this story! It's a debut novel and it's interesting, fresh, inventive in more ways than I can discuss now. I loved it. I love it. I'll be re-reading it again in the coming year. I've also bought the second book which is on my TRP. Again, wow, 467 pages of action and world-building, of the best dialogue I've read in YA fiction, and I am a tough critic. I wish it had been written in third person. It had multiple point-of-views and I think fiction with let's see, Nora, Bram, Pam, Victor, Wolfe, that's 5 POVs, needs to be in third person, but I still loved it. I am simply amazed. It's a page turner. At times, it's so sad, at times gripping, and other times, I laughed out loud. I've read some really good YA fiction this year and all of the books were so different, even in tone and prose and story. But this may be my favorite. We'll see, I have a few books to go before the year is over. But as far as characterization goes, this is the novel for me. Nora and Bram are deeply realized people. Great job, Ms. Habel!!!!! * * * * * One of my favorite reads from 2012 has been the post-apocalyptic 2011 Dearly Departed. I've already bought the sequel, Dearly Beloved. I'm calling it the Anti-Twilight novel, although I am sure Twilight fans would love it. But for me, as a writer and reader of books for teen girls, it's everything I would want a young girl to read. The heroine is strong, yet girly, has friends, loves her family, is smart, and she falls in love, over time, with an undead guy who is a zombie! (for all the right reasons) Yeah, a real zombie who can eat flesh if he wanted to. WOW! Top that off with a wild world of the future that is Neo-Victorian and a Zombie Plague, soldiers who talk like soldiers, battles, and five point-of-views with some of the best dialogue I've ever read in YA literature, and well, Dearly Departed is truly original and inventive storytelling for young girls. I loved it. And I am not a young girl! Reading this book also reminded me that if you write what you love, it shows, because believe me, this story has characters that leap off the page at the reader. You can't ignore any of them. Nora and Bram are one of my favorite couples in teen literature. 467 pages of sheer delight (less)
**spoiler alert** Edited review. July 17th. I just reread this book and liked it so much better. I think I had some kind of false expectations. It's a...more**spoiler alert** Edited review. July 17th. I just reread this book and liked it so much better. I think I had some kind of false expectations. It's as good as any of his books but not my favorite. So I have given it four stars!
Let me begin by writing that I love Tim Powers and The Stress of Her Regard is one of my favorite books. I have bought all his novels. And I will certainly buy the next. But I did not love this book. It had so many problems, I wanted to pull my hair out at times.
And how I wanted to love it. I loved the very idea of it, for so many reasons. Tim Powers writes secret histories of real people, usually literary people and throws in some supernatural element and tells a different version of why things happened to these people. He has a problem of overwriting, meaning he wants to include so much and so many characters. Usually he gains control, but not in this book. In this case, there is John Crawford, the descendant of the former character in The Stress of Her Regard. Then there are five other point-of-view characters: Christina Rossetti, Gabriel Rossetti, William Rossetti, Algernon Swinbourne, and John Edward Trelawny. These are only the characters with a point-of-view. There are dozens of other characters who drop in, some for one scene and others for repeated scenes. The contest for whose story this is, lies between Christina Rossetti and John Crawford, though neither really gains the story's heart and soul. That's the problem.
I read and reread, wondering why I felt that this book was a hodgepodge of too much. I loved it at times, then I hated it, and then I was torn and frustrated. It had such promise.
I think it's because it was too big and too much. There are four different time periods. We should like Christina Rossetti or at least feel something for her, some kind of connection, but Powers does not let us connect.
John Polidori is the villain and yet, he's not scary, he's not threatening anyone to where I feel it or believe it. And there were so many places there Powers could have grabbed the reader, but he didn't. The tension was destroyed by street chases and lots of description. No one really feels anything in this book. They talk, they act, they fight, they plan, but they don't feel. There is absolutely no suspense, and when anticipation was created, it was later killed off too early by some other action.
I just think Powers couldn't hold on to what he wanted to do in this story. After all, a book cannot be all things. And this book is a hodgepodge with a mythology that doesn't quite work for me this time around.
That said, someone who does not know the characters as well as I do from study might appreciate this book more. They may love all that description and action and like the idea of these writers, painters, poets, and so forth running around London trying to keep Polidori from taking their souls. Believe me, I wanted to. But I didn't.(less)
Who would have thought that an author of YA fiction could have written a story so totally true to the themes of the original novel on which the YA nov...moreWho would have thought that an author of YA fiction could have written a story so totally true to the themes of the original novel on which the YA novel is based?!! ****
Megan Shepard's novel is based on The Island of Dr. Moreau, a philosophical novel about human identity, playing God, and the forces of nature. The Madman's Daughter deals with all those themes and more in a surprising piece of work that has left me spellbound as a reader of YA fiction. This is a debut novel. I am bowing down to the author. Her story is monstrously GOOD, written beautifully, and darkly intelligent. The subtext alone is worth a college paper.
So impressed. On my Keeper Shelf for my Granddaughter! A wonderful novel.(less)
Second in the series. I finally finished this book. It's very good and it's with this book that the author makes what I call a transition in her voice...moreSecond in the series. I finally finished this book. It's very good and it's with this book that the author makes what I call a transition in her voice and attitude toward writing. She chose a path that is hard to follow, but rewarding. Writing romance that crossed into another genre. I love this book. I love this series. Magical.(less)
I finally finished this, after years of letting it sit on the shelves. It was awesome. Yes, it's high fantasy, not my kind of thing, but the character...moreI finally finished this, after years of letting it sit on the shelves. It was awesome. Yes, it's high fantasy, not my kind of thing, but the characters are GREAT. I have a feeling this will be a classic years to come.(less)