I'm not even sure where to begin so I'll just say this: I love it.
The premise of this book is, to me, wholly original, which is what piqued my curiosI'm not even sure where to begin so I'll just say this: I love it.
The premise of this book is, to me, wholly original, which is what piqued my curiosity. The execution is what drew me in.
The characters are familiar and yet so much more than we imagined; the world is fantastical yet utterly believable; their struggles with identity, acceptance belonging and sacrifice hit painfully close to home for me. In short, Lyons has done a superb job of weaving fantasy and reality into a really fun series.
Let's talk about the writing.
Aside from a few indulgent descriptions of the hunky leads (which, no one minds in the beginning), the story is driven by action and Alice's inner monologue, which is fraught with conflict. The reader isn't inundated with descriptions of everyone and everything. She is strategic about what she shows and what she doesn't. I appreciate that! Example: I really appreciate that I don't have to be reminded about what my characters look like every time they do something. Alice isn't described as a blonde bombshell every single time she does something, and her leading man's eyes/chest/arms/face/knees aren't described every time they look at each other.
There are some parts that are predictable (i.e. Alice and her leading man), but nothing feels heavy-handed or overwrought. The character and plot development unfold at a steady pace. Nothing feels rushed or forced.
The story itself is just INTERESTING! Our main character is a grown-up Alice after she's voluntarily left Wonderland and is in an insane asylum? What? Our most beloved literary characters are flesh-and-blood people who are so much more than their characters? For real? Someone is threatening to wipe out entire worlds of said literary characters by deleting their catalysts (a.k.a. what makes them real worlds)? It's intriguing. And convincing.
READ IT. It's fun. (Just downloaded the second book in the series!)...more
I think the heroine--and the series--gets most interesting here. Maas introduces new characters, takes our heroine far from home and the people she loI think the heroine--and the series--gets most interesting here. Maas introduces new characters, takes our heroine far from home and the people she loves, and tests her mettle. The writing felt strongest in this book, as though Maas has grown more comfortable and familiar with the world, characters and story she's created. It's a slow burn but a quick read in that Maas' character development is strongest in this story. Less telling, more showing. I liked that a LOT. Plus, with all off the main characters wrenched apart, you really get to see what they're made of. Maas spends a lot of time describing the cathartic training process our heroine endures under Rowan. Of all of the male leads in this series, I think he's the best suited to her. I don't want to give anything away, but I'm most interested in watching their relationship.
Oh, and I like that Maas delves deeper into our heroine's past. Again, I'm all for character development! I stayed up till 3:30 a.m. to finish this book because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Can't wait till September for the next book!...more
I thought the storyline was interesting (I mean, I sacrificed sleep to plow through books 2 and 3), but I didn't particularly like the heroine right aI thought the storyline was interesting (I mean, I sacrificed sleep to plow through books 2 and 3), but I didn't particularly like the heroine right away. You see in later books that her arrogance is part of the wall she puts up to protect herself, but it's distracting (read: annoying) in the first book. :[ I try not to be critical of writing styles (writing a novel, let alone a series, is difficult!), but there were times I was distracted by descriptions, dialogue and other stylistic techniques. But, if you're looking for a fun escape as I was, you should read this series. I stayed up till 3:30 this morning to finish the third book (Heir of Glass) because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED....more
I was filled with a sense of dread THE ENTIRE TIME I READ THIS BOOK. I mean, the ending to the first book was a punch in the face! When I started thisI was filled with a sense of dread THE ENTIRE TIME I READ THIS BOOK. I mean, the ending to the first book was a punch in the face! When I started this book, I wanted everything to be OKAY. But of course, it's not, because that wouldn't be true to the characters. Don't lose heart--you must prevail! The sorrow and angst is worth it. (All in the name of character development!)
This book feels less of a sequel and more of a deeper dive into the world Laini Taylor has created. Maybe I'm still drunk from the way everything comes together (and then doesn't) in this book, but I thought it was a thrilling ride from start to finish!...more
It took me a while to get past the first couple of pages. I think I was distracted, and all of the background info was kind of boring to me. (Sorry! IIt took me a while to get past the first couple of pages. I think I was distracted, and all of the background info was kind of boring to me. (Sorry! I was very distracted.) But, once Matthew was introduced, I was hooked. It's a very realistic take on vampire/witch/daemon folklore. I can't wait to read the other books in the trilogy! ...more