Wow, this series was fantastic. Not for the faint-hearted, though. It is violent, bloody, contains detailed descriptions of medical procedures and lotWow, this series was fantastic. Not for the faint-hearted, though. It is violent, bloody, contains detailed descriptions of medical procedures and lots of people die. But the ending really got me emotional. There was some weird stuff, like familial influences literally being in your blood, or something, but overall, amazing. I will write a proper review for the whole series soon....more
Try as I might, I did not figure out the twist in this one. It's now my bedtime and I'm feeling suitably spooked; guess I'll have to deal with weird dTry as I might, I did not figure out the twist in this one. It's now my bedtime and I'm feeling suitably spooked; guess I'll have to deal with weird dreams tonight......more
This book was entertaining enough, but there were just enough anachronisms and flaws in the otherwise good writing to prevent me giving it a higher raThis book was entertaining enough, but there were just enough anachronisms and flaws in the otherwise good writing to prevent me giving it a higher rating. I also hate the "Sherlock meets Doctor Who" comparison; the similarities ended with a prickly detective (who could maybe be described as having some of the 11th Doctor's whimsy about him) and a long-suffering police inspector. While I appreciate Ritter trying not to go the obvious route, there was far more chemistry between Abigail and Jackaby than her supposed love interest. I did enjoy the use of supernatural creatures not often used in urban fantasy, but the story could have done with more of that.
Edit: I've seen some comparisons to Lockwood & Co. and would definitely agree with them. But I would say read Lockwood instead. ...more
So I really adored the Cress/Thorne relationship and how it developed, and Cinder and Kai were quite adorakable, too, in the last 10% or so, once theySo I really adored the Cress/Thorne relationship and how it developed, and Cinder and Kai were quite adorakable, too, in the last 10% or so, once they were reunited. But the rest of the book felt reaaaalllly long, and I wasn't really that interested in the other characters (particularly Wolf), hence only four stars. ...more
I actually had a couple of people tell me when I finished Cinder that I could probably just skip ScarlOriginally posted at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
I actually had a couple of people tell me when I finished Cinder that I could probably just skip Scarlet and go straight on to Cress, the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, as Scarlet doesn’t really add a huge amount to the overall story. This was pretty true, but I have to admit thatI am finding this series pretty damn entertaining and I am still glad I read the second installment.
In book two, we meet Scarlet Benoit, a small-town French girl whose grandmother has gone missing. Between meeting a street-fighter called Wolf, who seems to know where her grandmother is, and fugitive Linh Cinder landing a space ship in her garden, Scarlet’s life takes a turn for the dramatic. She ends up in Paris as a prisoner of a Lunar thaumaturge and the wolf-Lunar hybrids created by Queen Levana to make her first attack on Earth.
Meanwhile, Cinder has escaped prison with the aide of a very annoying man called Carswell Thorne, and is beginning to learn more about her true identity. Back in New Beijing, Prince Kai still has Cinder on his mind as he continues to try to prevent a war with Lunar.
As I said, there isn’t a whole lot in this book that really contributes to the plot, apart from some more in-depth character development and their pasts. The only real action comes towards the end, though there is enough tension building up to that to keep the reader interested. I liked Scarlet as a character, though I found Wolf quite contradictory. It seemed the author was going for “tough but sensitive” but even when the reasons for his sensitivities were explained later, I still couldn’t really reconcile them with “hardened fighter”.
Having said all that, Marissa Meyer does have a very readable writing style, so in spite of everything, I was still able to knock the book over in a few days....more
Really wanted to love this, and some of it was almost worth three stars (there were bits towards the end where I was swaying that way), but overall thReally wanted to love this, and some of it was almost worth three stars (there were bits towards the end where I was swaying that way), but overall this is all I can muster for it. Basically, the character of Jeb annoyed me and it would have been a much better book without him. Morpheus wasn't a whole lot better but at least he had the whole "sexy but morally ambiguous" thing going on. I got a Jareth/Sarah vibe from him and Alyssa, which was much more satisfying than "You're my best friend but I've secretly been in love with you forever" coupled with "you may be the one with the recently rediscovered memories of Wonderland, but I'm going to take charge and order you around anyway". ...more
I had really high hopes for this book. The cover blurb made it sound really exciting, and whileReview originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind
I had really high hopes for this book. The cover blurb made it sound really exciting, and while the reviews were certainly mixed, I was sure that it would be something I would really like. After all, Holly Black clearly knows her fey, and I love my fey, and this certainly sounded like it would be an interesting and fresh take on the fey, but… it all fell a bit flat. There were some moments when I was enjoying the book, and others were I was just really bored.
The Darkest Part of the Forest is set in the small town of Fairfold. There fey leave the Fairfold residents alone, though tourists are fair game. If the fey attack a local, he must have been acting like a tourist. In the darkest part of the forest is a glass coffin, in which lies a beautiful boy with horns and pointed ears. He has been there for generations, and never woken up. Until one day… he does.
The most difficult thing about this book was the pacing. There were a lot of flashbacks for a start to establish important moments in the main characters’ lives, but it slowed down the plot a lot. And while the language used was often crafted quite beautifully, everything was written in such a way that everything seemed to move quite slowly and undramatically, even when something important was happening.
The central characters in the book are sixteen-year-old Hazel and her brother Ben. When they were younger they used to pretend to be knights and hunt nasty fairies. They were also both in love with the horned boy in the coffin. They both harboured fantasies about being the one to wake him. I liked both Ben and Hazel as characters in their own right, and they had interesting character arcs, but neither seemed to go through any enormous amount of development throughout the story. The horned boy isn’t hugely interesting either; given how much of a deal is made of him in the blurb, I expected him to be more of a central player.
I have heard that Holly Black can be a mixed bag, that she writes in very different styles and therefore not everyone likes the same parts of her work. I know she’s got quite the catalogue, so at some point, perhaps I’ll check out some of her other work. But this was certainly a disappointing introduction to her work....more
Very interesting premise, though it ends on a rather ambiguous note (which is mostly okay, but there were a few things I thought were not ambiguous buVery interesting premise, though it ends on a rather ambiguous note (which is mostly okay, but there were a few things I thought were not ambiguous but just unclear). Also could have really benefited from a copy edit, but I was enjoying the story enough to overlook that. ...more
Generally I like my sci-fi Earth-based. Interstellar travel is just not something I usually get into.Originally posted at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
Generally I like my sci-fi Earth-based. Interstellar travel is just not something I usually get into. However, after seeing a couple of friends review this book favourably on GoodReads, I thought I would give it a go. It sounded fun, if nothing else.
Due to essentially being in the wrong place at the wrong time, high school junior, Eris, finds herself kidnapped by six-armed blue aliens. This is the start of an adventure across the galaxy, during which Eris makes friends, enemies, is tortured and experimented on and pursued, mostly in the company of a very attractive alien called Varrin. Oh, and Miguri, another alien who is small and furry and adorable. More on those guys in a moment.
Proulx’s world-building was thorough, from alien civilisations and languages/translation devices, to methods speedy interstellar travel. There were a couple of moments when I wondered why things on other planets seemed very similar to things on Earth, but that didn’t bother me too much.
The three main characters were all very well constructed and very consistent. Eris is a teenager, and she does have her teenage moments, but she’s also resilient and a good lead. Miguri, her Claktill companion, is kind of the “wise old man” character, but at the same time, he doesn’t seem wise beyond Eris or Varrin’s years. There were times when I wanted to punch Varrin in the face, and I kind of hoped that the romance would be drawn out a little longer, though the punchline regarding this at the end did make me laugh. While he does go through his own character arc, there are certain parts of him that I’m not sure will ever change, regardless of how many books there end up being in this series.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. It wasn’t hard sci-fi, but if it was, I would have stopped reading. Fun characters in a fun world to explore. Looking forward to book 2!...more
Yes, this is the book you never knew Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was based on. I didn’t either, until I aOriginally posted at A Keyboard and an Open Mind
Yes, this is the book you never knew Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was based on. I didn’t either, until I asked my boyfriend what my first book of the year was going to be and he pulled this off the shelf (since he moved into the house I was already living in, we have separate bookshelves). I haven’t actually seen the entire movie (I’ve seen bits and pieces), but according to aforementioned boyfriend, apart from some main characters and the co-existence of humans and cartoon (‘toon) characters, there are very few similarities.
The book begins when PI Eddie Valiant is hired by ‘toon Roger Rabbit to investigate why his current bosses won’t let him out of his contract, as well as whether or not there is any truth to the rumour that another comics syndicate had tried to buy him out. The case soon escalates and Eddie has two murders to solve, while Roger begs him to let him help with the detective work, Jessica Rabbit bats her eyelashes at him and other nefarious types, both human and ‘toon, warn him to back off.
This was a fun read, though sometimes it felt like too much was going on and I lost track of the details (I’ve said before I’m not good at remembering important titbits). While Eddie Valiant isn’t the most likeable of protagonists, he does at least do his job well. Roger Rabbit is mostly endearing, though sometimes he goes a bit over the top. The book’s female characters weren’t especially brilliant. They had no particular personalities to speak of, and were only ever described in terms of how well they pulled off whichever outfit they were wearing. Being familiar with Disney’s version of Jessica Rabbit, though, this wasn’t exactly surprising.
The resolution of one murder didn’t feel quite in keeping with the rest of the book (without giving too much away, it sort of introduced a new genre that hadn’t really been present up until then) but the second one was resolved in such a way that actually took me by surprise, but in a good way. It made perfect sense, but wasn’t what I was expecting.
There are two more books that follow this one, but from the sounds of it, they were cashing in on the success of the movie, and don’t do much justice to the first novel. While they sound a little interesting, I think I might quit while I’m ahead...more
This book moved along at a fairly steady pace, but it remained interesting the whole while. The characters were all well-constructed and while I don'tThis book moved along at a fairly steady pace, but it remained interesting the whole while. The characters were all well-constructed and while I don't know much about Ancient Egypt apart from the names if a few gods, the while thing felt authentic....more