Despite that great, gruesome detail about the murder, this one started slow. Every recurring character got a quick recap, and there were a massive num...moreDespite that great, gruesome detail about the murder, this one started slow. Every recurring character got a quick recap, and there were a massive number of new players to introduce.
I liked that so many different threads were juggled without making things feel overcomplicated. But considering that Sebastian questioned over a dozen people, many of them more than once, I did get tired of going back and forth over the same ground while he probed at their evasions. The end was still satisfying, although the resolution involved a convenient bit of timing.
I love these characters, which always makes me wish that the books slanted more towards their ongoing drama. Hero is still my favorite historical character, and while she and Sebastian had a big development in their personal life, I wish they'd gotten more time together.
There was a gratifying lack of Kat as more than a nagging memory. Jarvis showed up to make ominous warnings about the investigation, but if there was a reason for that beyond needling his son-in-law then I must have missed it. Then again, I feel like I miss a lot of things when Jarvis is involved.
Sebastian's time in the military was also a focus. His story was tragic and I can see why it haunted him. (view spoiler)[The idea that he was tricked into pushing the enemy towards an atrocity took me by surprise. I guess I'd always assumed that he'd been in more control over whatever happened, that he'd been forced to make some terrible choice that broke his faith in what he was doing. (hide spoiler)]
My biggest real issue with the mystery is that I prefer it when historical novels tread lightly around well-known figures from the past. Using displaced French royals as actual characters put me off a bit, but that's a personal pet peeve that probably won't bother most other readers.
This may not have been my favorite book in the series, but there's a lot here for fans to like.
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This one was full of vivid descriptions and characters with interesting flaws, and it left me bawling.
That's not at all what I expected, thanks to an...moreThis one was full of vivid descriptions and characters with interesting flaws, and it left me bawling.
That's not at all what I expected, thanks to an iffy back-cover description that makes it sound as if we follow the android through his journey towards freedom and acceptance. But like the title says, it's actually about the daughter.
The sci-fi elements are light except for the whole android thing, but the setting details are presented in that casual, offhand way that makes them feel natural. The plot is romantic drama done right, though sometimes the time skips are awkward. The writing style may not be for everyone, but I think it fits the characters.
I do wish there had been more of a focus on android consciousness and issues, there were teases in that direction that go sadly unfulfilled. Also, one secret of Finn's programming was sprung on him in a way that felt squicky.
But this was still a really good book that packs an emotional punch.
I keep up with the Kate Daniels books, but the other stories all seem series-dependent. Two of them use a relatively large number of characters for ne...moreI keep up with the Kate Daniels books, but the other stories all seem series-dependent. Two of them use a relatively large number of characters for new readers to keep up with (or care about) and the last one relates heavily to a previous adventure.
A fast, fun story with a heroine who relies on wits and magic more than brute strength. It was nice to see Jim as more than a background character again. This story is the main reason I checked out the anthology, and it doesn't disappoint.
A sprite confronts her past with the help of an elf, an incubus, a witch, a wolf spirit, and one of the witch's three husbands, who is also a dragon. His name is Smoky. Smoky the Magic Dragon. They're trying to lift a curse that would keep the sprite from having children with her leprechaun boyfriend. It reads like someone threw five drastically different paranormal romances in a blender and ran them through an awkward prose generator.
I liked the style and the gradual set-up, but then there were a dozen people running around, some of whom felt kind of unnecessary. And I kept giggling because the biggest badass evil sorcerer on the planet was one soundalike vowel away from being the NFL's all-time leading rusher and Dancing With the Stars champ. The world-building in this one seemed more cohesive than the previous story. I might try a full length novel from this author.
Some of the elements were fun, and it's always easy for me to get into that "scooped up by a higher power to answer for your actions" plot. I guess we got a simplified explanation of it here, but the heroine's vampire-savior gig doesn't really hold much appeal for me.(less)
I had a tough time connecting with Chloe, partly because the book starts with her memory loss. Without a baseline handle on her, it was hard not to ro...moreI had a tough time connecting with Chloe, partly because the book starts with her memory loss. Without a baseline handle on her, it was hard not to roll my eyes whenever she insisted that she never would have made new friends or gone bowling.
Things got more interesting during her early scenes with her long-term crush, but some combination of her reactions and his transparency sapped the mystery out of their relationship. The tension surrounding the book's bad boy was better, though his "we shouldn't do this" act eventually got tedious.
My biggest overall problem was the iffy sense of focus. The book galloped straight past cool plot twists. It rushed through character developments that would have chilled me if they'd been handled with more subtlety. But then we got pages and pages of repetitive waffling and an unfortunate number of vague conversations in cars. Almost every time Chloe changed locations, we had to hear about the route she walked or the awkward talk she'd have with whoever drove her.
I liked a lot of the descriptions and the broad strokes of the plot, so this one feels like a missed opportunity.(less)
The first page and a half is about what people are named, nicknamed, or should have been named with no real context, hook, or reason to care. That iffy intro made me flip through a bit, and I noticed that the book never sticks with one perspective for more than a few pages.
This one was a little difficult to get caught up in at first, possibly because the good-girl protagonist and real world inspiration made for a quiet s...moreThis one was a little difficult to get caught up in at first, possibly because the good-girl protagonist and real world inspiration made for a quiet start. Once I adjusted to the book's style, more a slow spiral of doom than an action-heavy thriller, I really enjoyed it.
Marion was a relatable, sympathetic woman drawn to a kind of life that she isn't supposed to want. She's soon surrounded by new friends, hard liquor, and wild parties, all funded by the most respectable men in town. But of course when things go bad, it's inevitably the women and the outsiders who pay the price. I thought it was really refreshing to see this world through the eyes of a person strong enough to shake it.(less)
A variety of subjects and styles are represented, including a map from the Goodreads blog. I loved the "Material World" chapter, with its focus on sci...moreA variety of subjects and styles are represented, including a map from the Goodreads blog. I loved the "Material World" chapter, with its focus on science and historical subjects.
While I appreciated the thought and skill that went into some of the slickest, most complicated graphics, I often preferred the simpler ones that I could take in at a glance. For example, the very existence of a full-page flowchart titled "Should I Check Email" makes an instantly recognizable point.
I'm so used to seeing infograhpics in the context of news reports that it was a bit of a surprise how dated a few of these selections, all created in 2012, already feel. Gaffes from the Republican presidential primary? Tim Tebow as the NFL player with the most SportsCenter mentions? It was like a whole different world.
Some of the layouts make it difficult to see details that are printed across both pages. And while I understand the impulse to include interactive graphics, even showing multiple images from them don't really make them enjoyable in print form. The book includes a URL where readers can check out the interactives for themselves, but the address printed in my copy 404s as of the time of this review (10/7, one day before the book's release). Google came through with a list of links if anyone else would like to poke around in the stuff from the interactive chapter.
I recieved a copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.(less)
I gave this 100 pages, but it was still dull even once the mystery plot finally got rolling.
The characters were thrown together in a really artificia...moreI gave this 100 pages, but it was still dull even once the mystery plot finally got rolling.
The characters were thrown together in a really artificial way, and they didn't click with me or each other. It never felt interesting or atmospheric enough to justify the plodding pace, so I couldn't finish it.(less)