I became a fan of Neil Gaiman when I fell completely in love with Neverwhere. It still remains one of my all time favourite books. So while I liked ThI became a fan of Neil Gaiman when I fell completely in love with Neverwhere. It still remains one of my all time favourite books. So while I liked The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I wasn't in love with the same way I was with Neverwhere.
But I'll tell you what The Ocean… does do. It throws you back into your childhood, and the type of fear and clarity and trust that only children seem to have. Seeing everything from our narrator's young eyes makes it all seem so much bigger and scarier. So many times I felt anxious throughout the book, a sort of powerlessness that goes with being a child and not having a say, seeing the people you trust with your life change before your very eyes into something strange and foreign that you don't understand. It was very frightening. So well done, but that's not surprising.
Then there's the world, ordinary and wonderful at the same time, brought to life with a touch of magic, though it's never referred to as that. But maybe magic is the wrong word. It's wonder. I think that's what suits it best. It's mysterious, the ocean, and Lettie. It felt otherworldly and yet it had this earthiness to it, like old folk tales. Just part of every day and but with that touch of wonder.
Definitely felt transported into this different world. Lovely read.
Frustratingly, I had to stop in my reading and was only able to pick this up again yesterday. And then I sat down with it and didn't get up again untiFrustratingly, I had to stop in my reading and was only able to pick this up again yesterday. And then I sat down with it and didn't get up again until I finished it.
It's been a long time since I've read a YA book and I don't think I could've picked a better book to break that long spell with.
So, if you've read my reviews before you've probably heard me go on and on about world building and atmosphere. Those are two of my favourite things in a good book, because I need to feel fully immersed in it. The world building was fantastic and very important to how every thing ties in at the end (which I loved!).
I loved the grittiness of Kai's world, of the things that the citizens of Ninurta have become desensitized to, the awfulness of having a loved one just disappear and know that you'll probably never see them again and there's nothing you can do about it. A lot of heart breaking and difficult backgrounds to the heroes we're cheering on in Gates.
Kai is one of the most determined MC's I've seen. Strong and flawed, aware of her weaknesses but willing to push through them all to get to her loved ones. The bond between her and her brother is a lovely thing and their relationship is one of my favourite things in this book. You can believe that she would do anything, risk anything, for a bond as deep as theirs.
Avan. Avan. Be still my heart ♥ I adored him and I couldn't have hoped for a better counterpart for her. The two of them whenever together, just, I just wanted them to get there so badly!
I want to talk about the other characters too, like Mason! And the Black Rider who was not at all what I expected! Just such a good cast of characters!
This book is a great start to the series and I cannot wait to meet Kai and co. again soon :)
First of all, the world building remains excellent, I'm still absolutely in love with this harsh worlI've been waiting for this for quite a long time!
First of all, the world building remains excellent, I'm still absolutely in love with this harsh world Altenburg has created and the more I found out about it, the more fascinated I am by it. It's not a pretty world, especially when it comes to women.
Now, the formula of the book was similar to the previous one, in that the two mains are both travelling together and both with a mistrust of each other, although here, Raven is a lot more trusting.
(view spoiler)[I think, perhaps, my issue with this was Raven's reliance on men. I understand that this is a world in which women are basically the possessions of men and I can understand that she'd feel safer with Creed. But, it felt like she could never stand on her own. She made decisions, yes, but it never seemed to enter her mind that she might strike out on her own, there was either Creed or Blade, and if one left her then she was clinging to the hope that the other one would stay with her.
I don't think anyone would want to be alone in this world, especially a woman. But Raven is a demon spawn, and yes, there will be prejudice and not to mention her power crazy, woman hating stepfather who is stalking her like mad - but she could make a stand on her own. She could've thought of banding together with Roam even on her own even - I guess what I'm trying to say is that, the dependency on men bothered me a lot, especially when compared to Airie. I mean, Raven managed to escape being burned in front of the whole town and evade their search party, she's an intelligent and very brave woman. I just hoped for a bit more...
As with Blade, well. I enjoyed Blade's character, but from what I saw of him in the previous book, I had expected him to be a bit more intense.
Another thing is that the book began to drag for me and I found myself starting to skim read. My favourite bits were actually ones where Creed was in them and it's left me looking forward to his book.
Don't get me wrong, this was still an enjoyable book. Like I said, the world building continues to drag me in. I loved learning more about the boundaries and seeing the harsh coldness of the immortals, just brilliant. Also love the unfolding story of the demon spawn and their fate in the world. Can't wait to read more of that. But this book didn't get me the same way that The Demon's Daughter did. (hide spoiler)]
So, still looking forward to the next installment, want to see Creed and hopefully Roam too!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A lot of readers have been mentioning that they were disappointed by the lack of new stories, that the stories published in this anthology have alreadA lot of readers have been mentioning that they were disappointed by the lack of new stories, that the stories published in this anthology have already been published elsewhere. I'm a reader who hasn't been fortunate to have found these stories earlier on and elsewhere, I found them in this anthology and I have to say that I was very pleased with the diversity of the stories found.
Not all of the shorts were to my taste, surprisingly some of these from writers I know and like. Others that I did enjoy were from authors I wasn't aware of or ones that I had previously read before and not found to my taste.
It just goes to show that you should probably give authors more of a chance to impress by reading one or more pieces of their work.
The short stories vary from outright paranormal cities to contemporary. As promised by the title of the anthology, even the contemporary stories aren't clear cut, always that sense of the weird about them. I found that one of the short stories that worked as a great definition for the title of the anthology was The Adakian Eagle by Bradley Denton. It was one I was unsure of at the start but ended up changing my mind about, completely, by the end of it. Definitely a sense of the weird, but gripping just the same.
Ilsa J. Blick's The Key was the short story which had my favourite main character of the lot, and where I felt that the character was most complimented by the narrative style. Very enjoyable too and I loved the mythology. It ticked all the right boxes for me. Another that stood out was Cryptic Coloration by Elizabeth Bear that was right up my alley.
Those weren't, by any means, the only good stories in this anthology, merely the ones that ended up being my favourites. I'll be looking in on new authors found here and trying out their novel length works too because there's some really good and intriguing writing here.
Whether you've read them or not, these make a neat little collection, nice to settle down with now and then, or for an afternoon, with some nice snacks and huddled under your duvet on a snowy day (it actually was snowing when I was reading them and it did feel quite nice lol).
Ahh that cover certainly catches the eye, am I right?
I have to admit that I have grown weary of romance. Maybe I sort of indulged myself too much? TooAhh that cover certainly catches the eye, am I right?
I have to admit that I have grown weary of romance. Maybe I sort of indulged myself too much? Too much of a good thing they say. I took a long break from the romance for a long time. It didn't help that the first book I picked up after my long break, did not impress.
Luckily, this is not that book.
Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of too many different POV's in one book. It can get messy and often I think half of the POV's can be done without. Yes this story is told from a few different POV's but I think the author kept me from being put off simply by her ability to story tell.
It was very easy to fall into the world Altenburg created, the way it was drawn out for the reader, it had such a lovely touch that I was just happy to go along for the ride. The setting, also not what I expected, something resembling more the backdrop of a western, complete with the heat and deserts. It felt new and exciting to me, as did the awfulness of Freetown. The author managed to invoke such an oppressive feeling, it made me feel claustrophobic, like there was nowhere left to go.
The history of the world too, was enchanting and bittersweet, matching the premise that lead to our two main characters.
See how I mentioned the POV thing? The story telling wasn't the only thing that kept it from bothering me. The two main characters more than did their fair share at keeping me entranced and not only them, but also the antagonists. No one in this book was black and white, wholly good or bad—although one of them was downright rotten, and not who you'd think it would be either.
Airie is our leading lady. What I liked about her was the core of strength in her and her quiet dignity. She has a temper that gets out of control sometimes, something that goes a bit too far because of her heritage. She is not to be taken lightly or underestimated, and her love for her mother broke my heart because I could only imagine what she was going through, watching as the only person she cared about became frail, weaker as time went by, knowing that soon she wouldn't have her anymore. I love that for those she cared for, she was capable of ruthlessness, and that she didn't shy away from the darker part of her nature despite the way it left her conflicted. There was no whining from Airie. She knew what she had to do, and she would tilt her chin back, head held high and do it. It's something I admired greatly admire in my favourite heroines.
Then there's Hunter, the Demon Slayer who doesn't let anyone in, but is all rough edges from having grown up and seen tragedies that influenced his way of life. He's capable of cold-heartedness and when he sees reality, he just accepts it for what it is. Reality. He faces the ugliness of the world he lives in head on and in part, this is of course, what makes him such a great match for Airie. They complement each other well.
They're matched equally; their skill sets seem to cancel each other out, leaving a nice balance so that there's no upper hand of power over one another, which is a nice change for me. In this case, Hunter is very well aware that Airie can take him out, can be a serious threat to him if he isn't careful. But he is still a character worn by the world, more knowing about the people that live outside the world of the mountains. It was great to see how the two of them interacted and grew to care for one another.
Also. Chemistry! I loved the chemistry, especially in the first stages of their relationship. It was fantastic because beneath the wanting, there was a true distaste for one another and what they each represented. I was rooting for them both all the way. Hunter's friends were wonderful, and of course little Scratch! I loved Scratch!
I have to say though, that my favourite character was the Demon Lord. So tragic. Yes, he was a demon and not exactly a good being (implied by the fact that he's a demon…) but out of all the characters, I felt he was the character with the most layers, the most inner and outer conflict. This didn't in any way distract from the main characters and their struggles and goals, but I found myself looking forward to his POV, to learn more about him. He's one of those characters that sticks, one of the characters that makes you think 'what if', and what if's for me are always haunting.
The Demon's Daughter is fast a paced read with solid and memorable characters. The tale of how things came to be, alone, makes this book worth reading and the characters just brought it all to life. My one negative comment would be, once again, on the many POV's. I felt that Desire's POV was unnecessary, that her introduction and our insight into her during the Prologue was enough. But, again, that wasn't a deal breaker for me.
I look forward to the next book in the series and plan to keep an eye out for it, I hope we bump into these characters again in the future :)
Like many are saying, the premise was good, I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and Kris' character, esI'm not quite sure what to make of this.
Like many are saying, the premise was good, I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and Kris' character, especially how the relationship with him and his dad was shown right at the start. I'm a sucker for family bonds!
I think perhaps, the issue with this was that the plot needed more time to develop in a way that could really fulfill the promising premise. As it is, the story ended up feeling rushed and I couldn't connect with any of the characters really. I feel that relationships could have been fleshed out more, with less misunderstandings, because they didn't need them! Kris had very legitimate reasons for being wary of pairing up with this man he hardly knows, and working through those at a slower pace may have been enough for me, with a nice slow burn.
Either way, I urge you to make up your own mind and I have to admit, I'm still curious enough to take a look at the next book in the series.
Yasmeen though - let me just say first that, what really won me over with this book, was Yasmeen. Such a strong femaleI loved Yasmeen and Archimedes.
Yasmeen though - let me just say first that, what really won me over with this book, was Yasmeen. Such a strong female character. And the author didn't wimp out either. She remained strong throughout and there was no doubt in my mind that if anything happened to Archimedes, this woman wouldn't weaken, she'd probably just come back stronger and take care of whoever was responsible. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't superwoman, she had weaknesses and flaws, but the core of her character, just strength.
Yasmeen is what I want to see more of, in other female MC's. She stood strong and didn't compromise on her principles. I also commend the author for touching on a lot of things that get overlooked in books, when they happen to female protagonists. Yasmeen never once needed to be rescued. In fact, she didn't need a man, even.
What I liked even more, was that Archimedes understood this, knew that actually, he wasn't needed and at times not even necessarily wanted, but he wanted to compliment her, which he did, very well. Didn't try to dominate and treated her as she should be treated. A dangerous woman who would take his head off if he took a wrong step. There was a healthy dose of respect for her that came through so well. ugh. I LOVED THAT!
Just. Yes to everything about how these two characters were written, but especially Yasmeen.
Only complaint is, I think the cover of the book should portray Yasmeen, I don't understand why (I'm assuming it's Archimedes), is the one at the front. She was the MC, she was the unrelenting force in this book, I think that should have translated to the cover as well. He could've stood behind her, if he had to be in the cover at all......more
Color Me by Blaine D. Arden What I thought: Really enjoyed this story. Th3.5 stars (definitely enjoyed this one!)
The stories that I enjoyed the most :)
Color Me by Blaine D. Arden What I thought: Really enjoyed this story. The POV change worked for me in this and I liked the tiny touch of the paranormal. Nothing much, this is still a contemporary that deals with deafness and difficulties that might occur as a result of miscomunication. Enjoyed this.
Delivery with a Smile by Megan Derr What I thought: LOL! Yes, this was quite cute for something involving hitmen. Enjoyed this one and can I just say I adored Allen's mother? ♥
Super Sock Man by Amy Lane What I thought: Ahh, Amy Lane, as usual adored her work. This is a short, fun and naughty read. Enjoyed it very much - wouldn't be opposed to having another peek at the guys from this story again sometime in their future :D
Between Friends by Em Woods What I thought: A nice quick story about friends becoming lovers after a life or death situation. I enjoyed the action in the beginning :)
Another great book! And can I just say, it's so nice to just have short stories that I can just pick up and finish on my way to work. Loving this and starting on volume 3!...more
END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by J.P. Barnaby What I thought: I di3.5 stars (because I liked it it quite a bit!)
The stories that I enjoyed the most :)
END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by J.P. Barnaby What I thought: I did enjoy this, although the changes in POV kind of bothered me. But enjoyed the way author handled the prompt. The sex was bittersweet goodness.
MASOCHISM 101 by Kim Dare What I thought: Hot. I liked the angle on the story, the stage of their relationship when we entered it.
BRIDGES by M.J. O'Shea What I thought: From enemies to friends, sweet young romance. It was a lovely read, enjoyed it very much.
My overall opinion was that it was worth the read and didn't let me down and I'll re-read some of these fondly (including other stories not named in this review).
I finally managed to carve out the time I needed to just sit down, finish this book and not have to worry about missing my bus stop!
Oh! But I4.5 stars
I finally managed to carve out the time I needed to just sit down, finish this book and not have to worry about missing my bus stop!
Oh! But I liked this *_*
The world. The world was just so brilliantly done, the portrayal of the dual nature of the Fae so perfect, oh my goodness, I was completely taken in by it all!
I think I may have mentioned it before, but sometimes I have trouble connecting to female protagonists, with Meghan this wasn't the case. Things just got tougher and tougher for her and she pushed through and she was not super woman, she wasn't saved from ridicule or loved by all and that's what I liked about her and I'm so looking forward to seeing how she adapts to the changes that will be taking place as a result of what she does and does not achieve in this book.
On supporting characters and love interests. My favourite character was absolutely the cait sith, Grimalkin. Yes. There are no words to express how much I love this character and that he can answer the majority of questions about his abilities, merely by answering that he is a cat. Yes Grimalkin, yes you are. You are an EPIC cat lol.
Ash and Puck. I love them both. I really did, I have to say, I have a soft spot for Puck, but more because of his banter and his trickster nature than anything else, also yes, his loyalty to Meghan. I don't however; feel disappointed that he doesn't look to stand much of a chance in gaining Meghan's feelings outside of friendship. I don't actually feel much of a love triangle going on here and I'm okay with this, it's merely unrequited love.
Ash. Oh Ash *maidenly sigh*. I like you. A lot. And I'm betting he'll be having a major tough time ahead too. In regards to his and Puck's relationship, I did feel that the reason for their fallout was a little predictable. It didn't ruin anything for me or take anything away from the characters so it didn't become an issue for me.
I have to say though, that what won my love for this story was just how well Kagawa showed us the world of the Nevernever, it's layers and how it worked and how even this place, was subject to laws that could render it helpless. The creatures and just its fantastical existence was so charming, even at its worst, and I couldn't look away from it and stayed eager to learn more.
The plot was a simple one, dealing with the quest trope and for me, it worked quite well. I didn't feel unsatisfied with it and I was behind Meghan all the way, egging her on to reach her goals and come out on top!
The romance was there and it was given more attention than I've gotten used to, mainly because I just haven't been reading books where the romance is central. It wasn't central here, but it was more present and addressed. Can't say I'm complaining, I liked it and I have to say when that kiss finally happened I was doing mental fist pumps.
So. Overall, really, really enjoyable read! I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel and find out what happens next, also a very warm applause for Julie Kagawa because she did her job and did it well and I'm in love with her world.
Hope you guys are having a great weekend (remember! It's storytelling week!) and enjoying your own books ♥