Review: When I picked this up I really thought it would be seriously awesome. I love a good ghost story and really like...moreRating:2.5 stars (rounded down)
Review: When I picked this up I really thought it would be seriously awesome. I love a good ghost story and really liked Seanan McGuire's first book in her October Daye series. Unfortunately what I found with this book was that it was a serial series made into a full novel. The problem with this is that when read as a full novel it becomes irritating to see the continual repitition that would not normally be found in a novel but as a serial would be necessary. You would actually think that the repeating of most everything (from discussing the ghostroads to Rose's death)would make it hard to get confused. I was confused a lot in this book. It bounced back and forth in time, it discussed (read this to mean described) over and over the different levels of existence (the daylight, the twilight and the midnight), it explained rules of being dead by adding new ones kind of randomly and it introduced handfuls of different types of ghosts, witches, and others not to mention McGuire humanized inanimate objects like vehicles and the actual roads themselves making them into even more characters to keep track of.
When I wasn't slogging through confusing descriptions of pretty much everything I actually found several of the stories to be engaging even though I never really connected with Rose. The concept of the Urban Legend of the Phantom Prom Date turned novel is an interesting one but I can't say that I liked the results. As a matter of fact, I dreaded picking it up to finish it and contemplated making it a DNF. I persevered and finished (barely) and found the ending was not quite satisfying as one major plot thread was left hanging purportedly for another book to pick up in the future. I will not read that book but am not turned off by Seanan's writing as I'll return to her Toby Daye books for sure.(less)
A different (read this as being good)take on the tired Vampire/demon/other paranormal sub-genre but one that could have been executed a bit better. At...moreA different (read this as being good)take on the tired Vampire/demon/other paranormal sub-genre but one that could have been executed a bit better. At the half way mark I was still a bit confused what a Paladin was and what they could do. It seems that each of them have unique gifts but why one would have the gift of vampire frying God's grace (aka: High voltage Holy Light) and another would have the ability to become shadowy mist is still beyond my comprehension.
In addition to my confusion the idea of a 24 year old virgin heroine grates on my nerves. Yes it is possible yet the reasoning behind it was never explained. No she wasn't F'ugly. No she didn't HeeHaw when she laughed. She wasn't Queen of the Looney Bin either. Yet in this day and age this attractive, single, intelligent woman was mysteriously still a virgin (which the hero could smell by the way....TANGENT UP AHEAD~~~~does anyone else find it a bit yucky that the hero could smell her hymen?~~TANGENT OVER). Karissa not only was a virgin but she went from hating and being scared of our hero, Roland (who spoke terms of endearments in French for no apparent reason other than all vampires should speak French...thank you for that BS Ann Rice), to the Newest Member of Slutsville in a millisecond (or less). Her remarkable attitude adjustment from hatred and fear to acceptance of Roland being her mate was jarring and left me wondering how in the world it happened.
Now for the good stuff....The last 1/3 of the book was pretty awesome. Epic battles between good and evil. Tough decisions were made by several people. The lines were blurred a bit between good and evil. Not to mention some characters separated themselves from the backdrop to become intriguing and totally piqued my interest to where I will totally go on to read books 2 and 3 even though the first 2/3s of the book could have been better. (less)
The fifth book in the Gin Blanco series finally puts to bed the underlying story arc of the Spider vs. Mab Monroe. Although I didn't mind this particu...moreThe fifth book in the Gin Blanco series finally puts to bed the underlying story arc of the Spider vs. Mab Monroe. Although I didn't mind this particular continuing plot I am glad that it is finally at a close and am looking forward to what is in the future for a retired (semi-retired?) assassin.
The romance is minimal in this book but well played out as Gin and Owen's relationship continues to build. To tell the truth the relationships between Gin and her entire makeshift family moved forward in this book which I enjoyed.
My only complaints are the unnecessary repetitions. Estep does a remarkable job of recapping what has happened in previous books for those just jumping on the Gin bandwagon (why would you do this? Go back and start at the beginning!) However, for those of us who are extremely familiar with the series reading that Mab Monroe super heated Gin's metal rune melting it into the palms of her hands, oh, 5 times....is a bit much.
Overall this book was an exciting addition to the series and at this point I hope they remain this good because I look forward to many many more Elemental Assassin books. Plus I can't get enough of Owen.(less)