Ugh, this book. It ripped my heart out, put it back together, then did it again. This is what I get when I ask for some maturity in my YA reads--maturUgh, this book. It ripped my heart out, put it back together, then did it again. This is what I get when I ask for some maturity in my YA reads--mature, heart-wrenching, realistic finales. (Cue tears.)
For a little while in the beginning the book felt like it was all over the place. A lot happens, and many discoveries take place, along with the obligatory changes in mission due to those discoveries. However, the many threads spun in the beginning and in previous books come together nicely in the end, creating a powerful ending that is just as satisfactory as we've all hoped for, five books later. That is, except for in one aspect, but as I said above: I asked for maturity and this is the price.
I really like Piper in this book. She has truly grown into the best possible consulate/daemon/friend/girlfriend/daughter/human being. Her relationships with those around her are extremely important, and she nurtures all of them in surprising and insightful ways. No longer is she the damsel in distress; she's the one doing most of the rescuing, and her confidence to do so shows in her improved fighting skills and decision-making ability.
Ash has also grown right along with her, finally letting her fight her own battles, and empowering instead of hindering her. He also finally steps up and begins to take on the role of a leader. Instead of determined defiance, he is now the determined and confident leader the draconians have always needed.
Overall, this is a very satisfying conclusion. While there are some heart-wrenching moments, there are also touching moments to balance them out. The maturity and depth we've seen glimpses of in previous books is now present in force in each of the characters. Surprising allegiances are made, and even more surprising separations take place.
If you've been reading this series and aren't sure if you want to pick this one up: go for it. You'll enjoy it. Just be prepared for the shocking, but mature decisions made at the end. ...more
While I struggled with the first book, I feel this sequel is a fantastic story all-around. There is more description--both of action and emotion--andWhile I struggled with the first book, I feel this sequel is a fantastic story all-around. There is more description--both of action and emotion--and I really enjoyed seeing how things play out. The characters are endearing, and the struggle of good vs. evil is a tough one. Also, I appreciate that the battle scenes are interesting and descriptive without getting too gory. The story isn't without flaws, but overall I found it to be sweet and memorable. It continues the fun and light fairy tale-like feel of the first book while still managing to draw on deep, emotional topics. The ending ties things up well, but leaves a small opening for more to happen in the future of this world. I'm hoping that does come to be!...more
I somehow missed that this is only part one of the FIRST book, even though it clearly states it in a few places on the website I got it from. I wouldnI somehow missed that this is only part one of the FIRST book, even though it clearly states it in a few places on the website I got it from. I wouldn't have started it if I had known that, as it was pretty disappointing to have the story cut off right in the middle when things were getting good. However, the author promises to send a free copy of the finished version to those who sign up for his newsletter. I've got to hand it to him--it's a pretty risky move! But I like that he is requesting feedback on this much of the story.
In that spirit, let's continue....
Dislikes: -Not enough description of actions. This is probably my biggest problem with the book. I kept wanting to say, "show, don't tell!" For most of the book, the MC just tells us what she's doing or feeling, instead of letting her actions show us. For example: "I crossed my arms and stood in a way that suggested they would have to crate me up and ship me there against my will." While this is a nice sentence, it is one example of many instances where the reader is force-fed conclusions about what is taking place, instead of letting us come to our own conclusions. This alone almost caused me to stop reading, but after re-reading a few positive reviews, I forged ahead. -The insta-love. I don't think I have ever found an instance where it has worked convincingly, and the same holds true in this story. Attraction and infatuation are feelings that can happen instantly, but what I saw in the book suggested it was more than these that developed. Attraction to the point of stalking a stranger, even for their "safety," is not healthy. -The Bella effect: when a new girl moves to a town and picks up loyal friends, enemies, and multiple suitors in the course of a few days. -The digs on Christianity, and religion in general.
Likes: -The mystery aspect. This is what kept me reading, as I had to know who was to blame for what, and whose hand would get stuck in the cookie jar. I feel this is a great blending of two genres. -The fresh take on mermaids. I was really excited to discover the new take on mermaids--both physically and historically. I like the meshing of history that went into this tale. I also like the different elements the author brings to mermaids (or marrow, as they call them) that gives them interesting anatomy and abilities. -A somewhat level-headed main character. While I did question her decision-making abilities a few times, I found the main character to be compelling. I feel she still has a ways to grow, but I like her spunk and courage, even in the face of tragic loss. She seems very realistic.
Overall, the book was interesting, and the murder mystery combined with the mermaid aspect is what will drive me to seek out the complete book when finished. ...more
This story has its charms, including some compelling characters and events. The dynamic between both main characters and their friends and family is sThis story has its charms, including some compelling characters and events. The dynamic between both main characters and their friends and family is sweet. I didn't realize I was reading the second book in this series, but it's the kind of series where a new couple-ship (yes, I made that a word) is explored and the previous couple have some cameos, so it wasn't a huge deal. There were more sexual references and swearing in this book than I usually like, but I was just excited to once again find a book that captured my attention so I rolled with it (and skipped a few parts as necessary).
I didn't like the frequent objectification of the Meg's body, which seemed like the only basis for Ben's attraction to her, even towards the end. If they hadn't known each other as children, I'm not sure I could have suspended my disbelief in their relationship, as a relationship outside of sexual gratification wasn't established very strongly with both parties. The ending itself is also a brow-raising event, but we won't go into that....more
Horribly awkward dialogue, minimal descriptions, and just about every turn of phrase and cliche you can imagine. The climax builds up to an ending thaHorribly awkward dialogue, minimal descriptions, and just about every turn of phrase and cliche you can imagine. The climax builds up to an ending that doesn't deliver. There are also many areas--particularly action scenes--where time jumps from one sentence to the next, making for a confusing read.
One thing I did enjoy was the closed-door love-making, in lieu of moment-by-moment updates. You never know if you're getting more than you bargained for, nowadays.
ETA: I also enjoyed the main love interest, despite his absolutely tacky lines. He isn't your typical mysterious and broody male character who can't show any emotion except rage. He actually has a handle on his emotions, can be sweet without being embarrassed about it, and prefers a level-headed approach to life. Kudos....more
"And what was it that Lord Death wanted and wept in his heart for?"
Be still my heart! The romance in this is sweet and beautiful and surprising and
"And what was it that Lord Death wanted and wept in his heart for?"
Be still my heart! The romance in this is sweet and beautiful and surprising and utterly unassuming. A lot of this had to do with the writing. Leavitt sure knows how to write to the soul! I found myself saving so many beautiful passages as I read.
This is one of those stories that feels like something a grandparent would tell on a long winter night. It has a good blend of reality and folklore. I almost put it down in the beginning because I tend to like more descriptive writing, but I'm so glad I didn't. The more I read, the more layers I discovered to Keturah and other characters.
There were a few parts that were bothersome--namely the end, when Keturah makes a huge choice without letting us know how she came to that conclusion. There were one or two hints along the way but we don't get to see her put them together, she just does. However, I was more willing to forgive that because of the folklore aspect. This is a common occurrence in many tales, and I was happy with the decision anyway. :) Though it's a prime example of why I don't often like these types of stories.
I do recommended this one as a sweet love story. But fair warning: as with any folklore, it's not without tragedy....more
A fun, adventurous story. Another reviewer likened it to the fantasy version of Ocean's Eleven (I believe she called it an LOTR/O11 cross), and I'd saA fun, adventurous story. Another reviewer likened it to the fantasy version of Ocean's Eleven (I believe she called it an LOTR/O11 cross), and I'd say that's absolutely correct. The action is fun but light, yet I was still agitated enough to need to know how things would turn out. There are a few times that called for a suspension of belief, but the action and turnout is well worth it. The characters are funny, interesting, and surprising. There are some flaws, but they were swept away by the enjoyment of the adventure the characters are engaged in. It is especially exciting to read as everything falls into place (or doesn't). :)
Note: non-descriptive talk of sex throughout the book (one of the magical creatures has a thing for virgins), and quite a bit of swearing at times....more
This is the second K.M. Shea book that I've read, and both have been severely lacking on descriptions of environment, actions, anLight but enjoyable.
This is the second K.M. Shea book that I've read, and both have been severely lacking on descriptions of environment, actions, and character feelings. This made for what seemed like huge jumps in character and relationships, where the characters move ahead in their developments but the reader isn't aware that they have moved on. This means that the various relationships that form suddenly are supposed to be taken at face value, which becomes irritating. The story teeters between a fairy tale--which, by form, doesn't go far into descriptions and feelings--and a full-fledged story, which gives descriptions and makes the reader feel what the characters are feeling.
However, it is that exact teetering that kept me reading. There was just enough of the fairy tale feeling to it that allowed me to suspend any agitation and continue enjoying the events that were taking place. Overall, I was entertained and am curious to know what happens next for Rakel....more
I thought Thierry took a step backwards in this book. I loved her for her strong will, her attitude, and especially forWarning: some spoilers follow.
I thought Thierry took a step backwards in this book. I loved her for her strong will, her attitude, and especially for her maturity. While I understand her reasons for feeling and acting broken in this book, it still didn't sit well with me.
Along with that, I didn't see how the attraction between her and the new love interest even began. It came right after he has played her, and before then she showed no feelings for him beyond a physical attraction. The old Thierry would have dismissed him as soon as he lied to her. I adored her relationship with Shaw, and loved the way they came together in the last book. Now a year has been skipped over, and all that is in shreds. If I'm being honest, I'd say that I'm not surprised at what happened...but I was still sad for it. I do like the new love interest and think he could be great for Thierry. I just wish it didn't begin in an Insta-love story of way.
As for the action, things get interesting in this story. I didn't feel as much tension from the danger as I did in the last book, but as Thierry says, this is just the beginning. I'll wait it out and see how the next book goes....more