I think this one is somewhat improved, plot-wise, from the previous two books, although I think it's due in part to a simpler storyline. The book is b...moreI think this one is somewhat improved, plot-wise, from the previous two books, although I think it's due in part to a simpler storyline. The book is basically one big Kumite at the local inn.
Once again, I like the crumbling world and emerging magic. Secondary characters from the previous books are brought forth again and given some air time, which I liked. Andrews could work on how she ties up events in her story - the powerful bad guys tend to puff away never to be seen again. Aside from this - I still enjoy how she writes her fight scenes (which is why I don't mind the ongoing kumite throughout the book). The third book reveals a bit more about Kate's childhood, and it was fascinating enough that I wish there were a prequel.(less)
The author seemed to be going for a heroic, high fantasy feel...I think she was trying too hard. I realize you have to be in a certain frame of mind t...moreThe author seemed to be going for a heroic, high fantasy feel...I think she was trying too hard. I realize you have to be in a certain frame of mind to appreciate some books, but this one was not for me. If you can enjoy lofty, but repetitive, descriptions of the hot desert, the 'unhuman-ness' of griffins, and the nature of silence, then this book is for you. If you prefer dialog to be aloof from the emotions of the moment, but at times somewhat angsty, then you might want to give this a go. At the time that I read this, I was annoyed that the plot was so weak and sorely neglected in favor of being prose-y (yeah prose-y).(less)
I vaguely remember seeing the cartoon version of this story when I was very small, and then I only remember an image of the unicorn. I never thought t...moreI vaguely remember seeing the cartoon version of this story when I was very small, and then I only remember an image of the unicorn. I never thought to read the book until several years later as I was standing in line at a comic-con, waiting to get George RR Martin's autograph. It was the end of the day, and I watched a girl in a green cloak (probably role playing a character from Robert Jordan's book), bypass everyone to get the autograph of another author who'd at that point been sitting off by himself watching the George Martin line. Peter Beagle, who signed the girl's much-read copy of The Last Unicorn. I don't know why I'd never read it before then, but a few months later I bought my own copy. I can't begin to describe how captivated I was by the story, but it was completely magical and utterly lovely. When I read novels that attempt to be high fantasy and poetry, I think they're striving for the shadow of what this book is.(less)
Don't believe the propaganda the book tries to sell you on about the heroine being some sort of genius strategist and super powerful mentalist. All sh...moreDon't believe the propaganda the book tries to sell you on about the heroine being some sort of genius strategist and super powerful mentalist. All she does throughout the entire book is run away. And while I give her some leeway for being in a state of panic (almost all the time it turns out) - how does the master strategist not think to bring some basic things with her when she makes her escape? How about just some food and water? How about even just an extra pair of underwear...anything. I kept waiting for her to finally turn around, take a stand, and kick some ass with those awesome abilities we've been hearing about, but (spoiler here) she never does. Fortunately for her there are two ridiculously powerful alpha males around to feed, clothe, and save her when they aren't busy fighting over her.
Two things that I did like, because they made me laugh - one, she keeps speedrunning away from her pursuer, leaving her friend Max behind without another thought. Second, the characters' names: Victor Black and Victoria Red. Victor and Vickie? Vick and Vick? Harharsnort.(less)
I'm glad 13 wasn't the 'I saw it coming' secret savior and turned out to be just as shady as Capitol.
I wish there'...more**spoiler alert** Random thoughts...
I'm glad 13 wasn't the 'I saw it coming' secret savior and turned out to be just as shady as Capitol.
I wish there'd been more on 13's history with the Capitol. There was a very brief reference, made by Snow, to 13 being the instigator of the rebellion that started the Dark Days and hence the Hunger Games.
I don't know what's up with the monosyllabic names, but Coin and Snow are disappointingly two dimensional. Who knows what motivates them to throw away lives - maybe it is just for entertainment and power, which is easy to hate. It's the villains who are so human that we can understand them who are the most frightening. Coin and Snow are just the cackling mustache-twirlers by comparison.
What's up with Peeta? Damn that mustache-twirling Snow.
I liked (what I perceive to be) the reality of war as described in the book. There are no 'right' sides, the rebellion is just as cruel as the the Capitol, and the biggest casualties are the civilians caught in the crossfire.
I disliked the callous treatment of characters that have been built up throughout the series. (What - Finnick's just dead? Like that? Well great. Oh what - now Prim too??)
Liked the continued theme of reality tv in this book. District 13 and the Capitol were not that different after all, and I thought of it as something of a commentary on how much of what we consume in media is just someone else's spin.
Despite repetition throughout all three books (Kat and friends going into yet another version of the Games), and a bunch of hand-waving of details (the final parts of the book seemed particularly disjointed and vague), I appreciated the the contrast (or similarities) between district 13 and the Capitol. I think it highlights the fact that people are the same everywhere. One side isn't necessarily better than the other - it just kills the most people.(less)
I found myself enjoying much of the dialog in this one, and in many ways it reminded me of the movie "Mystery Men". In a world (not to sound movieman-...moreI found myself enjoying much of the dialog in this one, and in many ways it reminded me of the movie "Mystery Men". In a world (not to sound movieman-ish) of superpowers (telekinesis, telepathy, etc), there live a little group of neurotic people. These guys use their neuroses against their targets. So you have a person who's superpower is ennui, another who has defeatism, one guy who gets really mad, and of course, our heroine who's a big hypochondriac. Put these people in a room together to discuss 'society, man' and it makes for pretty entertaining conversation.
On the other hand, and I'm thinking I'm in the minority on this one, I thought the romance was a little overdone - given the light tune of the book. I mean I've read my share of explicit sex scenes, but it was a little odd here. Maybe it was because, it seemed like one second I'd be laughing at some quirky, neurotic dialog, and the next I'm reading a major sex scene - and I want to laugh at that part too! Then I realize the sex scene isn't supposed to be one of the funny parts, so I feel a little weird about it.
But, no matter...other than the weirdness I really enjoyed the book and I'm ready for the next one.(less)
I've always been a fan of superheroes and villains, even if I've never been hard core into comic books and graphic novels themselves. Jennifer Estep's...moreI've always been a fan of superheroes and villains, even if I've never been hard core into comic books and graphic novels themselves. Jennifer Estep's Karma Girl puts a smart, humorous twist the genre - lightly poking fun at it while paying homage at the same time. The characters and their relationships to each other are on the underdeveloped side, but, as a change from the typical urban fantasy/detective romance novel, this one is quite good. A light enjoyable read.(less)
I liked the first book and felt sure that this one could only be better, but unfortunately, I didn't think this one was as good. Maybe the quirky humo...moreI liked the first book and felt sure that this one could only be better, but unfortunately, I didn't think this one was as good. Maybe the quirky humor from the first book was missing in the second. I did think (several times) that Justine's naivete stretched the bounds of believability. Also, I found myself thinking things like, "Stu's in this story - why again?". Nothing was truly horrible about this book, I just didn't like it as well as the first. There were, however, two things that I really enjoyed: The first was the mayoral decree that, henceforth, no serial killers were to be given catchy names. Which is why The Dorks are running rampant throughout Midcity. This was the type of humor I enjoyed in the first book. The second thing: without spoilers, I liked the idea behind the ending sequence, if not the abruptness of the ending itself.(less)
A good debut fantasy novel. The main character strongly reminded me of Vin, from Branden Sanderson's Mistborn series - very stark point of view, very...moreA good debut fantasy novel. The main character strongly reminded me of Vin, from Branden Sanderson's Mistborn series - very stark point of view, very straightforward, does what she thinks needs to be done. I thought the character and plot development were fairly well done, and the story advanced at a good pace. My only complaint is that the initial jump in timelines was confusing. The story actually starts in the past, then jumps forward to the present time, and then continues where it left off in the past. But it wasn't clear to me that this was what was happening until the next series of jumps. Other than this, I thought it was a good story, and I'm already reading the second one, The Cracked Throne.(less)
A fairly solid series from a new writer, and one that I enjoyed, for the most part. It sounds like we'll see more books from him set in the same world...moreA fairly solid series from a new writer, and one that I enjoyed, for the most part. It sounds like we'll see more books from him set in the same world. If so, I hope that we'll see more emotional range in his characters than anger, hatred, and rage. Anger and hatred seem to be the favored descriptions in the series, but people are driven by more than that. Also, I felt a somewhat dissatisfied with the endings in the last two books, although particularly in this one...after building up the ferocity and strength of the Chorl and their Servants, the ending was a little anticlimactic. Despite these few things I do still look forward to any books Palmatier comes out with in the future. I think he already has good ideas and will only get better.(less)
Once again I liked the imagery...Hell's city made out of blood and screaming souls...there's a giant walking the earth, with a floating ghost ship str...moreOnce again I liked the imagery...Hell's city made out of blood and screaming souls...there's a giant walking the earth, with a floating ghost ship strapped to his chest by mile long cables, and more. The plot was still up and down for me, but I understood the world and its rules better. One thing the book could have used more of: Carnival.(less)
**spoiler alert** I really wanted to like this book. In fact I thought Miranda's abilities, and the debilitating effects they had on her, were very in...more**spoiler alert** I really wanted to like this book. In fact I thought Miranda's abilities, and the debilitating effects they had on her, were very interesting. I liked that the leading man was a decent person without being overly obnoxious (as paranormal alpha men so often are). And the author has some memorable one liners, my favorite being, "Something about crushing a man's skull with my brain always aggravates me." Classic.
But, it doesn't make up for the little things, plot wise, that got on my nerves throughout the book. It comes down to three main things that annoyed me:
The prophecy: If you get a fairly descriptive foretelling that something bad is going to happen to your main squeeze, and then it starts coming true, I would think that you'd get super paranoid about it and do everything within your power to prevent it. So when your nemesis says, "I want to see the look on your face when they drag your precious little princess dead from the lake," I would think you'd immediately order an extra battalion of Elites over to guard her, or even better, have her shipped over to your friend's place for safekeeping - the one who's the most powerful Prime in the West. What I don't think you do, is head out to a club at the end of the night, find a woman who looks like Miranda, and then have a little neck sex. I was a little offended to read it.
Miranda's transformation: I think we all know that Miranda won't really die - we've been given enough hints to be fairly certain that she'll end up a vampire at some point in the book. Sure enough, she gets left for dead in a lake, but wakes up and realizes that she's transforming. She's savvy enough to realize that she can't do this by herself, that she needs help and a safe place to change over. So - does she call David, the most powerful vampire this side of the Mason-Dixon, who has an impregnable stronghold named Haven...who is, by the way, her trusted lover and distraught with grief over her supposed death, and who could, at the very least, probably benefit from knowing that 1. there's about to be an attack soon and 2. there are traitors in his guard of Elites? No, she calls her best friend Kat. That's great thing to do when you want to watch movies together, or need a shoulder to cry on, or a second opinion on whether the new top emphasizes your belly chub. It's not great when you need to blockade yourself in her guest room for a week without telling her why, only to emerge with a new set of fangs and a desire to snack on a friend's neck.
Miranda's power: She has an interesting ability to combine her innate powers of empathy and telepathy with her music. Everything we've read about her powers seems to be leading up to a big showdown where she shows us why she has this power. She already demonstrated enough power to kill at the beginning of the book. David trains her to control her abilities and use them to shield, while Sophie teaches her how to use them in combat. After all of this build up, she only uses her empathy training once, against one nameless henchman, during the big fight at the end. I was kind of disappointed because I really wanted to see her use her abilities in a big way - more than I wanted to read about her fighting skills, which I found a little harder to believe she mastered in...three months or so?
The thing is, I don't think it's a terrible book, but the big killer for me were all the little times when actions and reactions didn't follow through believably (or when there was a big build up for nothing).(less)
This is a historical romance with a time traveling element thrown in. I was at first doubtful of reading the book given a few of the strong negative r...moreThis is a historical romance with a time traveling element thrown in. I was at first doubtful of reading the book given a few of the strong negative reviews. The excerpt that I read on Amazon seemed to support them (read out of context, the except was kind of corny). I congratulated myself on researching the reviews before being duped into buying a dud. However - and this is a tribute to the genius of Amazon and their occasional free downloads - I ended up getting it and reading it. To make it short, I enjoyed the book and was surprised to find it the first in an already established ongoing series - which I'll probably go on to read at some point.
Everyone's expectations for a book are different, we all know this, but this book reminded me (again) that what I like on a given day won't always match up with the reviews I read.(less)
Was it the most perfect series I've read? No. But it was a very fine yarn. I was drawn in by Mac and her world, her struggles to understand herself in...moreWas it the most perfect series I've read? No. But it was a very fine yarn. I was drawn in by Mac and her world, her struggles to understand herself in her world, and of course, by the tension and romance between her and Barrons/V'lane. Even more, though, I was impressed by how the story unfolded throughout the series. It was fairly well thought out - you knew that the author was going somewhere with the story, and most importantly, it did not go on and on. Many series novels that I've read start out well, but then literally devolve into mindless babbling and never shut up.
I thought Mac's story had continuity and focus throughout the five books, and, though the whodunnit aspect of this last book toed the eyeroll line, I thought it was a strong end to a good series in fantasy romance.(less)