Hmmm, mixed feelings about this one. The main issue is that it was far, far, far too long. Whereas the length of the previous two wasn't overly notice...moreHmmm, mixed feelings about this one. The main issue is that it was far, far, far too long. Whereas the length of the previous two wasn't overly noticeable, despite being similar in size, this third instalment suffered from not being particularly exciting. Actually, none of them could be regarded as exiting, rather it was the strength of the characters and their interwoven lives that made them interesting. Alas, after having built up an impressive cast of some quite brilliant characters, the author seemed a little lost as to what to do with them, something I feel would have been remedied had the editor been a little more aggressive. There was just an awful lot of repetition, things mentioned that had already been mentioned many times, in some cases in the last chapter. The writing had lost a bit of it's lustre too, not a sharp or witty. I'm a little concerned for Malveria, a Fire Queen who had lost some of the theatrics and spark that had made her so much fun.
It's not all bad news though. The last quarter did improve quite a bit, enough that I finished it within a couple of days, in comparison to the rest of the book which took me a couple of months to slog through.
From the ending, I get the feeling there may be more from Kalix and the rest of the MacRinnalchs. A part of me is happy, as I do generally enjoy reading about them, I just hope the author perhaps has more of an idea as to where the story is going and perhaps doesn't take quite as long to get there. Still a series worth reading, though this is my least favourite of the three, but still better than a lot of things I read in the last year.
As a final note, I still find it shocking how many errors crop up, though less in this one as in the other two. But for crying out loud, there's a spelling error on the back of the book, in the blurb, on the name MacRinnalch...which is used quite often considering the books are about the MacRinnalch clan so there really is no excuse...I mean seriously people, how did you miss that?!!!!(less)
So, hmmm. This one was a bit 50/50 for me. On the one hand I loved the authors writing. Her sentences were for the most part creative, fun and origina...moreSo, hmmm. This one was a bit 50/50 for me. On the one hand I loved the authors writing. Her sentences were for the most part creative, fun and original, though there were times I'd wonder WTF she was trying to say as it would make zero sense. There is such a thing as being too obscure. But generally her prose was highly readable and interesting.
Her heroine too was feisty and likeable in the beginning, but once Mr Romantic-Interest showed up, she turned into one of these women who can't seem to function properly without a man by her side.
The story too started well. There was the unusual mix of Fae and Were (as in wolf), an amulet with a mind of it's own, a crazy aunt plus a fair amount of violence...if a little too much for my personal taste. But about a third of the way through, it started falling into the pattern of the Paranormal Romance, and my God, includes one of the cheapest, nastiest and most cringe-worthy sex scenes I have ever been unfortunate enough to read. Just, erugh *shudders with disgust* I do have slightly prudish tendencies I'll admit, it feels like a breach in privacy reading about characters doing to nasty, but I'd like to think that a least a few people will agree that the scene was a bit base and supplied way too much information!
Then the ending all got rather predictable and I assume there is to be at least one follow up if not a thousand as some of these Paranormal Romance writers just don't seem to know when to stop!!
Bit of mixed bag then this one, but certainly one I can see a lot of people enjoying. (less)
Wow, not a good month for me. Another book that started so well, held so much promise, but ultimately chose to cast it all aside in favour of developi...moreWow, not a good month for me. Another book that started so well, held so much promise, but ultimately chose to cast it all aside in favour of developing a dull-as-dishwater romance between two bland and blah-worthy characters.
This seems to be a trend. Whet our appetite with talk of witches, dragons, fae folk, lost treasure and a tyrannical ruler, then dismiss it all to 'build' a relationship that never once feels real. The difference between this and the others books of a similar ilk, is that at least this one was better written...in places. In general the writing, characters and plot were very inconsistent.
Writing wise, due to the period in which the story was taking place, and the first person narrative, the author seemed to be trying to write in the style of the times, imagining perhaps how a young woman born poor in Arthurian Scotland (I assume, it's never actually mentioned and I know nothing of Arthurian legend, because it is dull, and overdone, and boring) would have spoken. Unfortunately she did this sporadically and usually seemed to think throwing in words like 'anon' and 'betwixt' would suffice. It didn't, it just felt. The dialogue also more often than not felt stiff and unnatural.
Now on to the characters. They were all rather bland and I can honestly say I didn't really gel with any of them. The lead in particular tested my patience. Her story is one of suffering and tragedy. If it had been a true story then it would have been awful. But it wasn't. The problem I had was that the character never let you forget her troubled upbringing and it got to the point where it seemed like she was just fishing for sympathy, from other characters, and the reader, especially when the love interest was introduced. It was as if the author was trying to build this strong but damaged girl who had been through the worst, but was able to carry on, despite the difficulties she had faced. A real trooper. To me it just came across as false. The type of girl who craved attention, no matter how she got it, no matter what form it took, mainly pity. I just couldn't feel sorry for her. Maybe I'm just a cold hearted bitch, but there it is. I found her constant reminders irritating and repetitive, and her attempt at humility and humbleness left me cold, as if it were an act. Like she was reluctant to share her dark pasts, but really wanted nothing more then to tell all so the handsome man would be nice to her, would want to reach out to her and protect her. Those people in real life irritate me enough, I don't want to spend my leisure time reading about them too!!!! The inconsistencies come from her need to be free, free of her oppressive father, to find her own way in world one minute, then being more than happy to allow others to dictate her life for her. I could almost imagine perhaps why this was, why she wanted to please by following others' wishes, but I don't think this book is complex enough for theories to actually be true, that perhaps she was so desperate for love and acceptance that she would do anything to get it.
Then we have the plot. It started off fine, even engaging, but a few chapters in we hit a wall. Nothing moves forward. We get a stagnant narrative where nothing really happens and the plot rests on the development of the main relationship which is no-where near strong enough to carry the story. In fact it was pretty darn boring. Then halfway through, the story takes a dramatic turn. Not quality wise. The shift is sudden and rather rushed, as if the author wasn't really interested the how's, why's, etc, but rather just wanted to get to the 'fun' bits where she got the play dress up and princess with her characters. Again, another trend in YA at the moment. Plots being forgotten in favour of attending parties in pretty dresses. Snore. If I wanted that I would read any of the other insipid contemporary romance novels that at least have the decency to not lie about what they are. This wasn't fantasy, it was paranormal romance and the two are VERY different. And don't get me started on the ended, which was wrapped up in about three chapters!!!!
So yeah, once again I was promised something more, but ended up with something much less. There may have been good ideas in here somewhere, flashes of decent writing and the beginnings of some interesting characters, but they were buried under what I assume the author believes every YA reader wants. Romance, which would have been bearable, had the romance in this book been less predictable and of a higher standard.(less)
Is it my fate that I must read books that get my hopes soaring only to get them dashed on the rocks of bitter disappointment?! Every part of me wanted...moreIs it my fate that I must read books that get my hopes soaring only to get them dashed on the rocks of bitter disappointment?! Every part of me wanted to like this, and there were some points that I did, though mainly in the beginning. However the further I delved, the greater my confusion, frustration and befuddlement (I am aware befuddlement and confusion mean the same thing. I use both to emphasise the depths of my perplexity) over a story that wasn't really sure what it wanted to be. Was it a sweet and heart warming fairytale of love and redemption, a dark and twisted thing that the brothers Grimm themselves would be proud of, full of wicked spells and dangerous obstacles? Maybe a coming of age story shrouded in fantasy? A mystery, family saga...? In truth it was a mixture of all, yet none of the elements to me, seemed to get on very well with each other. It's plot conveyed a sense of not being sure in which direction it wanted to go, or whether to go in all directions at once.
We add to this already confusing mix the storyline itself. I believed this to be a re-telling of the Frog Prince, yet what it proved to be was far more cluttered. Though the Frog Prince is at it's core, many other classic fairy tales make an appearance, burdening an already weighty plot. The end result was not quite chaos, but it was within spitting distance of becoming a broiling concoction of far too much told with far too little. By this I mean that rather than deepening the story, exploring more the relationships of her many characters, the author seemed far more concerned with squeezing in as many fairytale references as she possibly could, most of them shoved in with what felt like little thought to how they worked as a whole. What this resulted in was a hodgepodge tale which got more and more bizarre and random as the book drew to a close. It all just seemed a bit, untidy.
I wanted to explore the blooming relationship of Sunday and her froggy companion. I would have liked to uncover a little more the mystery of the Godmother Sorrow and the nameless King, the tale of the sister's who were gone and the enigmatic Jack who never actually appears. The author introduced us to so much but didn't seem overly fussed about digging deeper. It's not a particularly hefty volume. A few more chapters could have worked wonders on a plot that overall felt a little heavy and cluttered and could have done with a bit of stretching out.
The best way I can sum up 'Enachanted', is by likening it to a dream, of the kind that will one minute have you sitting on a bus playing a game of cards with Papa Smurf, the bloke who works down the local newsagents and a trilby wearing panda, then suddenly transport you to the depths of the ocean and leaves you completely unconcerned by the sudden change in scenery, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, or simply unaware of it the change altogether. There was simply too much going on, each element a part of different a puzzle that won't fit together no matter how much you try.
However, after all that, I did still give it three stars. The reason, is that when you strip everything back, there are fragments of light hidden beneath to fog. At it's heart, there are characters you can like, an ambitiousness on the part of the author in her attempt to weave so many threads together, though she may have lost sight of the essence of the true plot, that I have to admire and the simple fact that I didn't dislike it. There was still something that drew me in. That could partly be the sheer unpredictability of the plot though. Looking back, it was quite mad.
It's one of those books that, where I found fault, others might find charm, inventiveness and a story that certainly leaves you guessing.(less)
Well that was a pleasant surprise!! Maybe in the future I should always approach a book with lowered expectations!!! Though not quite 4 stars, I give...moreWell that was a pleasant surprise!! Maybe in the future I should always approach a book with lowered expectations!!! Though not quite 4 stars, I give this a very solid and well deserved 3.5.
This is the kind of story that doesn't pretend to be something that it isn't. It's got a relatively simple plot, characters that are pretty bog-standard and is written in a style that is minimalist and uncluttered. These may all sound like bad things, but they really aren't, at least not where this book is concerned.
Yes, the plot isn't overly imaginative, but sometimes it's refreshing to read something that you don't have to decipher and pick apart to get at the meat of the story.
I said the characters were unoriginal, but that doesn't mean they are the kind of bland, two dimensional caricatures devoid of human emotion and the ability to speak without moaning and/or mumbling, you would expect to find in a book like this one. They may follow similar patterns, the seemingly shy and quite girl who's actually a lot tougher than she appears, the best friend who has rather strange personal tastes, this one being obsessed with all things British and dressing as if she had emerged from a period drams. And of course there were the incredibly cute boys vying for the fair ladies' affections, one wholesome and good, the other a bad boy a little rough round the edges. Sounds familiar doesn't it? but there wasn't one point while I read this that I got bored, or found the characters tiresome and dull.
The author managed to take well worn themes and personalities and completely make them her own. And best of all? NO FREAKING LOVE TRIANGLE!!!! Oh happy days. I kept expecting one to crawl out of the wood work, but nothing. Not even a hint. The long suffering male best friend remained just that, a friend. This in itself makes this worth reading!!
I also mentioned the simplistic narrative style, but that's not quite right. While the author doesn't weigh us down with heavy metaphors, she still has the ability to write with flair, even more so because she doesn't assault the senses with reams and reams of needless waffle. Her writing is lyrical enough, but also to the point and is the sort of writing I can really sink into.
So what if this is basically Tithe with a smile? Humour is good, and in most cases for me, can mean the difference between an ok book, and a great book. Stolen Away is fun and highly entertaining with maybe a little fluff poking out here and there. Disengage brain to enjoy to the fullest!! (less)
Ummm...so I finished this a while ago and couldn't find the time/be bothered to write a review until now. Unfortunately in that time I have almost com...moreUmmm...so I finished this a while ago and couldn't find the time/be bothered to write a review until now. Unfortunately in that time I have almost completely forgotten everything about it. All I remember is a vague sense of disappointment, perhaps because once again a steampunk novel promising so much failed to live up to my hopes. Don't ask me exactly why, because I have no idea. Any opinions I had have been lost to the great void that is my brain, but that doesn't really bode well. Now my memory is pretty appalling, but I usually retain some lasting impressions, enough to write a reasonable sized review. Not this time. I know there were lots of things that bugged me, but even those niggles haven't stuck around long enough for me to write any of them down. So I guess all I can say about this book is...meh.(less)
*headdesk* Why oh why do I do this to myself? I knew about halfway through that this was going to be one of those books that I was going to regret rea...more*headdesk* Why oh why do I do this to myself? I knew about halfway through that this was going to be one of those books that I was going to regret reading, but did I stop reading? Nope! That's because I still have this ridiculous need to reach the end of a book in the vain hopes that the story will get better, the characters will be less annoying, that it will stop being so gosh darned feeble and tedious. BUT THEY NEVER DO!!!
To be fair this book started out ok. It was never going to be amazing, or knock my socks off, but it held a certain amount of promise. I was intrigued by the Steampunk/faerie mix, two genres I enjoy and hoped would work well together. And they did for a while. Then all the other stuff started getting in the way.
The plot was nothing special. Headstrong girl unwilling to conform to social standards gets in trouble. She gets sent to an institution full of stereotypes, from the mean girls out to get anyone they see as a threat to the evil teachers deluded into thinking their way is what's best for everyone when in fact they're just plain psychotic. There was even a pervy doctor for crying out loud. This cast of completely unoriginal characters then do their up most to quash all of the things that make the girl 'special'.
Then we have the faery element. A sacrifice of a girl possessing a 'special' quality so that they can lavish her with wonders and trinkets, make her feel like a princess then kill her to restore the balance of the world. Guess who the lucky girl is. The rest of the book is spent twatting about not actually telling a story. Rather it turns into the Kevighn-Noli-Steven show, the plot taking the back seat to the inevitable love-triangle. Oh goody.
That being said, the plot might not have been too bad, if it hadn't kept being so over the top and forced. The author just seemed to be trying too hard to shock, rather than taking the time to build an atmosphere or explore a situation.
And the characters!!! Utterly generic. The main character had promise, but by the end she had turned into one of the simpering ninnies she was trying so desperately to avoid. The last third of the book she spends hurt, upset or crying. Most of the time all three. What happened to the strong girl who liked to fix machines and didn't want to end up a mindless drone? Enter the love interests. As soon as the males vying for her affections had been identified, it all went tits up. There was endless prattling on about out which one was better, which one should she choose, which one was the least dickish. Even when she made her choice, 100% and completely decided which one she wanted, she still faffed about, even though she declared that she had made up her mind. A. Nnoy. ING. I don't give a rats ass who, just PICK ONE GODDAMMIT!!!! The worst part is it's a split narrative, meaning we have to hear from the boys point of view, which included hearing about how amazing she is, how much they want her, how much they want to protect her, blah, blah, blah.
By the end of the book the girl has absolutely no spine left whatsoever and is more than happy to let one of her boys shower her with affection one moment, then push her away to next (most of the time literally). Then she lets him do it, all over again. Now, she says she will ignore him, that after trying to tell him how she felt and getting it thrown back in her face, she won't let him toy with her emotions anymore. Literally two sentences later she's letting him pull her into his lap for a hug. But it's ok, she doesn't help him pull her into his lap, she makes him do all the work. Thatta girl. You stand firm!!! Oh yeah and then she starts crying. What a shock.
Her characters are also all stupid. For the sake of the story, there are things they don't think of or miss, so it can be revealed as a big plot twist later on, but they are so glaringly obvious they just come across as feckless idiots. How many times did they repeat, 'be careful when making deals with the fae'? but they missed out one of the most important terms of their bargain, even though they apparently went over all the points in theirs heads over and over. They still missed it. How stupid can you get? There was also a lot of fobbing off in the narrative. A lot of cliches thrown in, a botch job at covering up the holes in the plot, so the author didn't have to try to explain inconsistencies. Some examples were lines like, 'I was trying to protect you' and, dammit I can't remember any more. That's how quickly my brain wants to be rid of this book.
There is also the fact that the ending just kind of fizzles out. A solution is reached in rather lack lustre fashion, again with more stupidity on the part of the characters, the lead in particular, but it just carries on...and gets really stupid. Plus, for some reason, the author refused to stop writing about a character when his part in the plot was over long before the ending. The only reason he remained was most likely to retain the 'excitement and drama' of the love triangle. As it had already failed to begin with, there was absolutely no need to follow the continued escapades of the man who lost. Especially when he just ended up in a brothel.
Then it turned into a seedy porn fest. Nothing up to 'Fifty Shades' standards, but it was just unnecessary and cringe-worthy. Not all females want or need soft porn in their books to enjoy them. I did NOT need an chapterly update of the goings on in the main characters nether regions.
The overuse of the word 'dollymop' made me want to hit things.
Oh heck, there's more, but that goes against my non spoiler giving principles. Heaven forbid I ruin it for you just in case you still decide to pick this up.
Suffice it to say I shall not be reading the further adventures of Noli the insipid.
A brick of a book, 'War of the Flowers' is a major commitment, but I can assure you it is well worth it. Williams writes Feary for adults without losi...moreA brick of a book, 'War of the Flowers' is a major commitment, but I can assure you it is well worth it. Williams writes Feary for adults without losing any of the sparkle and magic touch that makes it so appealing. Where-as many would over-darken a story, Williams keeps it to only neccessity. Now, don't get me wrong, a little bit of darkness is never a bad thing (after all, all stories need a bad guy and his cronies) but this has just the right amount, plus lashings of humour a fair amount of action too.
Deeply engaging, this will keep you hooked to the very last page. Plus, once you've finshed it, it makes a brilliant door-stop!(less)
'Not another story of Queen Elizabeth!' I hear you cry. And I would agree with you, it has been done, to, death. But fear not, for this one has a rath...more'Not another story of Queen Elizabeth!' I hear you cry. And I would agree with you, it has been done, to, death. But fear not, for this one has a rather delightful, if at times sinister, twist to the well worn yarn. It's got fairies in it. A whole Onyx Court of them, hidden beneath the streets of London. So if you ever wanted to know the truth behind the Queen's ascension, read on and discover that there is a whole other world out there and they are pulling the strings.
Full of magic and intrigue, this really is worth a go, if not for the beautiful cover alone (yes, I am that shallow).(less)
I stumbled upon this wee gem completely by accident, and it's one of the best accidents I have ever had.
Heather and Morag get kicked out of Scotland,...moreI stumbled upon this wee gem completely by accident, and it's one of the best accidents I have ever had.
Heather and Morag get kicked out of Scotland, for reasons that are just too fabulous for me to spoil the fun and tell to you now. To placate themselves, they get very, very drunk and wind up in New York, where they promtly throw up in some dudes apartment, Dinny, a social outcast and general misery guts.
And so begins a wonderfully hilarious forray into the REAL world of faery, where the top priorities are, drinking, debauchery, merry frolicking (usually resulting in chaos) and getting drunk. This book really has it all, fairy oppression in Cornwall, a punk rock revolution in Scotland, and all out clan warfare in New York, not to mention lots of drinking. Who knew being a four inch fairy could be so much fun. Where do I sign up?!!!(less)
This was a book that I wasn't in a huge rush to get to. I read the last two a while ago, and this one's been sitting on my TBR pile for a loooong time...moreThis was a book that I wasn't in a huge rush to get to. I read the last two a while ago, and this one's been sitting on my TBR pile for a loooong time. I read it mainly because it was bugging me and it was preferable to the alternative. In the end, I liked it. It was ok. It didn't blow me away and the writing could be a little clinical and simple at times. Don't get me wrong, I can't stand overly poetic and flowery prose that spends three pages describing a door handle, but I need something more than a list of stuff that is happening. The author also had a habit of repeating herself, but I do that too, so I am willing to overlook it. Don't want to be a hypocrite now, do I? XD
Still, there was always a lot going on, it was relatively engaging and wraps up the series nicely. I started to get a little bored of the whole 'will they, won't they', Ross 'n' Rachel-esque relationship between Kelley and Sonny, which, by the way, remains one the the worst character names I have ever come across in literature. I mean come on, I can't take someone seriously if they're called Sonny!!!! It's a name right up there with Patch from the Hush, Hush series, which I think we will all agree takes the trophy for THE WORST name in the world books. Anyhoo, characters. It just didn't have me feeling all squiggly with glee as other book relationships have in the past. Plus there was a slightly pointless attempt at a love triangle which didn't really need to exist but still, as everyone else is doing it... There would be moments as well when the characters would feel a little flat to me, but then other times when they were actually quite funny and charming, so...
It's one of those books that I can easily see people loving. I have to say that I didn't LOVE it personally, but I did like it. It certainly didn't bore me, the finale in particular was pretty fun!! So you should probably give the first one (Wondrous Strange) a go, if you haven't already.(less)
Melissa Marr has done it again, and written a masterful tale of faeries and woe (the two seem to go hand in hand). Gone are the days of nice little fa...moreMelissa Marr has done it again, and written a masterful tale of faeries and woe (the two seem to go hand in hand). Gone are the days of nice little fairies frolicking in fields, laughing with little children. We want our faeries dark and over flowing with angst, and Marr certainly delivers in this, her second outing in faery.After a traumatic experience leaves Leslie feeling lost in her own skin, she decides that the only way the reclaim herself is to get inked. Unfortunately the tattoo she chooses just so happens to be the mark of a dark faery, who just so happens to want to use Leslie for his dastardly purposes. So her plan to regain her sense of self and banish her personal demons, back-fires somewhat!!! And so begins her struggle to be free from those who would claim her, and with her friends otherwise occupied (they have a Summer Court to run) she is pretty much on her own. Except perhaps for a mysterious faery, who tends to fade into the background, though it seems, that's not really where he wants to be.
This is just ridiculously gorgeous storytelling, although I am slightly biased as, to be honest, any book with faeries in it is always to get the thumbs up from me!! But this one is right up there with Holly Black (queen of faery fiction). Yes people, it's that good!!!!!!!(less)