I heard that Charlaine Harris was getting death threats from angry fans over how this book ended. As far as I'm concerned, that's completely insane.
TI heard that Charlaine Harris was getting death threats from angry fans over how this book ended. As far as I'm concerned, that's completely insane.
This series was never all that good, even at it's best, but it has always been entertaining in the same way Days of our Lives is. Although, I have to admit the only time I ever really watched that show is way back in 1995 when Marlena was possessed by the devil, but I digress.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I admire Charlaine Harris for being true to the characters within this series. This book, this series, ended in the only rational way possible, and if so many fans didn't see the writing on the wall (several books back), I feel sorry for them. If Dead Ever After had ended any other way, Charlaine Harris would have had to go against canon, would have had to undermine everything about just about every character within this series, especially Sookie. I think Sookie got the ending that not only made sense but also the ending she deserved. Also, (view spoiler)[way to go Sookie for walking into the sunset on her own and being more than okay with that. That's what I call a strong female character. A man isn't the answer to all life's problems. A man isn't the only way for a woman to have a HEA. And honestly? I find the ending Charlaine Harris gave us refreshing. I'm insanely tired of books ending like this: "and then after a passionate night of mind-blowing sex, we fell in love, got married, had a litter of kids and lived happily ever after!!! THE END." (hide spoiler)]
So yeah, I totally respect Charlaine Harris right now.
P.S. (view spoiler)[Even though I knew it was coming, and even though it was so anti-climatic, I full-on started crying during the Eric/Sookie divorce scene. Even though I always knew their relationship had an expiration date, I still loved them together. But it was time, their relationship ran it's course and it had to end. Still...so sad! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Update 03-11-11(2): So my last update was hastily written, and in anger. Now that I've had time to cool off and think clearly I'm feeling bad. So hereUpdate 03-11-11(2): So my last update was hastily written, and in anger. Now that I've had time to cool off and think clearly I'm feeling bad. So here's another, less in-your-face way of saying it:
Warning: this review contains cheekiness. Please do not be offended or take this review too seriously as it is meant in jest. If you are a serious Dresden fan this review is probably not for you. So you should just read another review, k. Have a nice day. :)
Update 03-11-11: I've pretty much had it with you people. Apparently this review is "really offensive". But guess what? I'm not going to change it. It was written in jest.
What I am going to do is say that if Jim Butcher can write women as helpless little sex kittens and call it "noir-style", therefore OK, I can write a so-called "offensive" and "sexist" review, in jest, and still sleep at night. Got it?
I've spent a good portion of my married life wondering what in the heck is going on in my husband's head. To be honest, I just don't understand men in general. I don't get what motivates them to do what they do. I've been told that I'm over-thinking it, men aren't complicated. Apparently sex has a lot to do with the decisions they make.
I've spent a lot of time rejecting this idea, thinking it cannot possibly be true, at least not totally. Even my husband, man-child extraordinaire that he can be at times cannot be so basic, so primal. My husband is incredibly intelligent, has a wealth of knowledge stored up in that noggin of his. He's motivated by more then just sex... right???
Then, every once in a while, I go and read a book written by a man and I'm reminded that indeed, I have been over-thinking it. My husband, and all other men for that matter, are probably thinking about sex, or things of a sexual nature far more often than I could imagine.
When it comes to books written by men, more often than not the male characters describe women they encounter in a sexual manner. The descriptions don't even have to be dirty, in fact they usually aren't. But I still find it irritating when the most basic observations seem sexual. Besides, I simply cannot relate. When I see a man who is attractive I think, Wow! or something like that. But I don't wax poetic about his bazillion abs and how much I'd like to feel them pressed up against me, or whatever.
I tend to focus on how I feel when I'm with people. For instance my initial attraction to my husband had to do with the fact that he made me laugh and I felt comfortable around him. Looks didn't factor into the equation.
(For the record: I didn't find him particularly attractive, at least no more then the next guy. Plus, he used to dress like a friggin' hobo. Had it not been for his awesome personality, his sense of humor, I wouldn't have been interested. For this same reason I have a massive crush on Conan O'Brien, no joke. Conan is sexy, but I digress).
My point is: because I don't exactly understand men, how they think, and how I'm left feeling disappointed by the tiny bit that does seem to make sense, I tend to avoid books written by men.
That being said, I don't totally dislike this series. There is a lot of potential here.
Jim Butcher built a fascinating world with some interesting and, as far as I can tell, original rules about wizardry and other things supernatural. For instance, the MC, a wizard, cannot meet the eyes of another person without seeing into their soul, and they his. It's so strangely intimate I can't help but be intrigued by the idea. And he has this assistant named Bob, who is actually a spirit stuck in a human skull--he's kind of like a grimoire, codex and a computer mixed together, but even better. And I like the idea of a wizard solving supernatural crimes. I don't know, the concept totally seems to work for me.
Overall, I sort of like this series and plan on reading the third book, even though I felt Fool Moon, the second installment in the Dresden Files was incredibly boring. Why I found this book boring is anybody's guess since it dealt with werewolves, and I tend to like werewolf lore.
Even the romantic element in this book, though semi-interesting, sort of fell flat. Heck, the sex scene, which was actually quite tasteful, happened at a really odd time. And Dresden cried afterward, which, really, circumstances being what they were, made sense. But still.
Fine. I admit it. It turns out ultra-sensitive men make me uncomfortable. I mean, crying after sex? Really? Here's the deal, I was raised in a household full of boys. I have five older brothers. They didn't talk about their feelings and never cried in front of me, much--it has to be said: I'm not much of a crier. My dad was in the Marines for twenty years, he went to Vietnam. Both my parents are old-school and Hispanic to boot. Which brings me to my next point: even though I'm repelled by Harry Dresden's sensitive nature, I still find his old-school chivalrous manners appealing.
I know, I know--I'm (kind of) a fraud! I let everyone think I'm all about feminism, but I (secretly) like when men hold doors for me. Not because I can't do so myself--because I can and I do all the time--but because it's just nice when somebody does that sort of thing, ya know? And while I like my independence, and I'm a strong woman (both physically and emotionally) I've always liked men with protective instincts--notice I said protective, not controlling.
Basically, I like knowing someone's got my back. This is why I sort of like Harry, despite his sometimes-wussy ways.
You probably think I'm not being consistent, that my reasons for liking this series are not exactly rational. You know what? You're right. What can I say? I'm a woman. It's my prerogative to be inconsistent and irrational. And anyway, things could be much worse. I could be a man, thinking of little else but sex all the live-long day. ;) ...more
Update: In October I finished this book a third time. Turns out this is one of those books that gets better with every read. I'm going to go ahead andUpdate: In October I finished this book a third time. Turns out this is one of those books that gets better with every read. I'm going to go ahead and up the rating to four stars.
Blood and Chocolate was a book that I didn't totally like the first time around--I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about it, to be honest. It's well written but much darker than most YA fiction. Overall I felt positive about the story even though I didn't quite care for the protagonist, Vivian--she comes across as slutty and entirely too sure of herself.
Because Blood and Chocolate left me feeling so perplexed, I needed to read it again (which I did, months later). The second time I read it I finally understood why the main character was so sure of herself and overly sexed. She's not entirely human--a fact that I was aware of the first read through but I didn't really think about.
She was raised to be comfortable with her sexuality, but not necessarily in a dirty way, just not in a human way. And I realized she was so sure of herself because she grew up in the Alpha's household. Just being daughter of the Alpha was a position that demanded respect, and Vivian had been treated accordingly--in fact, until her father died the entire pack celebrated her birthday.
The thing is, during my second read, I realized I quite liked that Annette Curtis Klaus allowed her main character to suffer, struggle. To not get what she wanted when she wanted it. Vivian, so sexual and so sure of herself, didn't understand love any more than your average teenager. If anything she struggled with it, with getting her heart broken, more than your average teen. In fact, she reacts in a downright scary manner.
In the end, I came to the conclusion that I liked Blood and Chocolate because the main character gets over her heartbreak and even moves on. It isn't often a YA novel takes this route, which, if you ask me, is quite unfortunate, though I digress.
Vivian learns there is more to love then physical attraction and/or like-mindedness. And above all she learns to love and accept her(whole)self. ...more
Since I've never read the other series by Patricia Briggs--not knowing that this was a spin-off--I was a little lost at first. It was an interesting sSince I've never read the other series by Patricia Briggs--not knowing that this was a spin-off--I was a little lost at first. It was an interesting story, though it didn't do much for me so I don't imagine I'll pick up the next book in the series. ...more
Initially, when I saw Blessed on the shelf of my local book store, I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to read it even though I read Tantalize and EInitially, when I saw Blessed on the shelf of my local book store, I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to read it even though I read Tantalize and Eternal, books 1 & 2 in the Tantalize series. Honestly, I was never really in love with the story, the characters, you name it.
What I did like and what finally got me to pick up the third and final book in the series was the fact that Cynthia Leitich Smith embraced traditional vampire lore, for the most part. At a time when the YA PNR & UF market is saturated with tales of vampires who aren't even all that vampire-y, Smith's contribution is a breath of fresh air. Her vampires, her story was inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula. In fact, the MC in books 1 & 3 of the Tantalize series is a teenage girl named Quincy P. Morris living in modern day Texas. Sound familiar(-ish)?
Smith included an authors note at the end of Tantalize, stating that as a Texan, Stoker's choice of a Texan as one of his novels heroes has long intrigued her. And even though her mythology and sensibility deviate, the use of the name Quincy P. Morris is a tribute to Stoker's vampire hunters, just updated and gender-flipped. At the end of Blessed Smith includes another author's note stating her Tantalize series is a 'conversation of sorts' between Bram Stoker and herself about several of his themes such as invasion, plague, the role of religion and gender-power dynamics. Smith goes on to say that she's tried to honor his classic while reinterpreting and extending the mythology, and integrating a few epistolary elements to tell her story (correspondence, obituaries, menus).
Overall I'd say Cynthia Leitch Smith was successful in her endeavor. I appreciate the fact that she wasn't just trying to jump on the bandwagon by writing another pointless Twilight rip-off Love Story!--I don't think I could stomach another one of those, by the way. I appreciate that her series is a commentary of sorts on modern society and the lines between good and evil--Finally, a YA UF with a point.
For anyone who is curious: YES, there is a love story within the Tantalize series--more then one, actually--but none of them come about instantly, unlike most books within the YA PNF & UF genres. Also, not all of this series love stories end happily, at least not in the traditional sense (read: will piss off a fair amount of people). Though, yeah, I feel all the love stories end happily in their own way, but that's because I'm weird like that; don't feel it's necessary for every love story to end with weddings, babies, and the couple living happily ever after in a suburbian McMansion. But that's just me.
Is this series perfect? Not so much. In fact there is plenty in this series that just didn't work for me. That said, I like it enough to recommend it to anyone looking for a vampire story that isn't a run-of-the-mill boring carbon copy of the Twilight series. Also I recommend this to anyone who wants to know what happens when vampires and angels cross paths, at least according to CLS (the vampire/angel storyline appears in, and is most prevalent in, Eternal, the second book in the Tantalize series.
I do not recommend this series to anyone who likes Twilight rip-offs and traditional HEAs. I do not recommend this book to people who do not like violence of any sort. THERE IS A LOT OF VIOLENCE IN THIS SERIES, PEOPLE! It's up there on the level of Bram Stoker's Dracula--though not as graphic--especially in books 2 & 3--Eternal and Blessed.
You're not Joss Whedon. You'll never be Joss Whedon and/or J.K. Rowling, so do yourself (and everyone else) a favor: stop trying.
Yours Truly, Someone Who Deserves Their Money Back (A.K.A. Everyone Who Bought a Copy of City of Fallen Angels)
P.S. What were you thinking?
P.P.S. No seriously, what were you thinking when you decided to revive this series? Were you thinking at all? Fair question given the circumstances. Why couldn't you just leave well enough alone? Are you controlled by greed? Just curious.
P.P.P.S. I hope you enjoy swimming in your money bin filled with all that ill-gotten wealth.
The first thing I did upon finishing City of Fallen Angels: *Headdesk*
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I brought this misery upon myself. To that I say: I agree with you, wholeheartedly. You're probably also wondering why I expected a different outcome then the one I got. I've spent the morning wondering that exact same thing. So far I've come up with a handful of explanations, none of which are backed with much reason.
***SECRET SHAME ALERT!!!*** What can I say? I'm that person. You know, that pathetic moron who spends way too much time and energy believing in other people, even the ones who've done nothing but let me down in the past. In my defense I love seeing people live up to their potential.
Yes, I actually believe Cassandra Clare has potential. (Now over half my friends and followers have lost all respect for me.) Or at least I did feel that way until I picked up this book. Now I don't know exactly how I feel about her. Before anyone unfriends me, please lemme 'splain.
There are brief moments, between all the stolen storylines, ill-conceived plotting, melodrama and so-forth, in which I'm able to see that Cassandra Clare does have something unique and interesting to bring to the table. Even a few moments of--dare I say--complete brilliance that, had Ms Clare expanded on, could have gone somewhere great. Unfortunately I don't think Ms Clare knows that about herself so she spends most of her time lifting ideas from other people's work, pasting it together and trying to pass it off as her own.
Either that or she really wishes she was Joss Whedon. And really, who could blame her? I wanna be Joss Whedon too--that way I could know all the ins and outs of the Firefly universe, but I digress. She failed at channeling Joss Whedon's brilliance though it is evident that she tried.
Long story short: this book was like a slap in the face given to me by none other then a very smug Cassandra Clare. Serves me right for being dumb enough to believe in her, amirite?
In-depth review to come.
Initial reaction to the new cover to this book: Can I just say how irritated I am that Clary and Jace are pretty much front and center in this book? Clary is even on the freaking cover. I thought this story was going to focus on Simon, so what's with the return of The Jace & Clary Quasi-Incest Show? I just don't care about them anymore and I desperately wish they'd just go away. Forever.
I know I'm going to read this only to wish I hadn't. Why? Because I can't stay away from these stupid books. Kill me.
Five Stars. Yeah, I know. In a few of my reviews I've made a point of reiterating what all goodreads users should already know: five stars means 'amazFive Stars. Yeah, I know. In a few of my reviews I've made a point of reiterating what all goodreads users should already know: five stars means 'amazing', so use that rating wisely. I've prided myself in being stingy with that all-important fifth star, awarding it to classics or really fantastic contemporary literature, the sort that makes one think, and is deserving of such praise.
Now here I am, giving an urban fantasy novel that--if I'm being honest--has a terrible cover (and don't even get me started on the covers of the other books in this series), five stars just one week after I gave five stars to a book about zombies. You're probably thinking I'm being overly-generous, and in this specific case you're probably right. I mean, for starters, this series isn't for everyone. And, no, this book didn't 'blow me away' but I still think it's amazing.
Why? Because as of late I've been incredibly disappointed with almost all the newest installments to all the series' that I've been reading(quick question: what is the plural of series?). In fact I'm already thisclose to completely giving up on all series in favor of standalones. I'm tired of getting interested in a series that--after all is said and done--peaked during the first or second novel because the author just didn't have it in her to take what should of been a standalone and make it into a really good series.
Back to my point: there are very few authors that haven't failed me in this way. Ilona Andrews is one of those authors.
When I read the Kate Daniels series I don't feel like I'm banging my head up against the wall. The plot and all the characters have evolved/progressed in a rational/clearly well thought out way during the first four books of this series. So far there haven't been any filler books--which I find incredibly infuriating, btw--in this series.
More review to come... (Don't look at me that way. I've got kids to take care of and I can't concentrate when they're interrupting me ever other minute.) ---------------------------------------------------------
(posted May 17, 2010) Looky what I got:
My newest bestest goodreads pal Laura told me she got a copy of Magic Bleeds the other day at her local Borders bookstore, and that I should see if my local store has it. Skeptical--yet hopeful--I ran to my local Borders, and whaddayaknow I found this beautiful book on the shelves--one whole week before it's supposed to be. *does happy dance* *dies* *reanimates*
I've been aware of this series for a little over a year now, but I had no intention of ever picking up any book in this series. I mean, look at the coI've been aware of this series for a little over a year now, but I had no intention of ever picking up any book in this series. I mean, look at the cover: a curvy chick with a tramp stamp--super classy. And don't even get me started on the the title. The premise? A werewolf named Kitty who has a late night radio talk show. About supernatural critters. Really??? It has Trashy Urban Fantasy written all over it, and while I loves me a good urban fantasy, I do have my limits.
And then by chance, I came across Ceridwen's Drunk Book Review of Kitty and the Midnight Hour. Though her review is full of hilarious drunken digressions, it's actually quite poignant. Anyway, because of Ceridwen's review, and the complete lack of anything else to read (seriously, what is up with the lack of book releases in January?), I finally picked up Kitty and the Midnight Hour. And, you know what? I'm glad I did.
Cover art and title aside, this book is actually one of the best urban fantasy novels I've read in quite a while. It is leaps and bounds better then the Anita Blake series(I couldn't force myself to read through the first book in the series) or even the Rachel Morgan/Hallows series (I also couldn't get through the first book in this series), both are actually quite popular and highly recommended. For the life of me I don't know why. They are truly dreadful.
The characterization in this series is quite good. It is clear Carrie Vaughn had a full understanding of who her characters were before she started writing, which I fully appreciate. Kitty is flawed, but she doesn't have the typical flaws bestowed upon most protagonists in this genre. Yes, she has quite a lot of baggage and is struggling with her identity, but there are special circumstances that make her situation that much more unique, and therefore interesting.
All the back stories were fully developed and interesting as well.
Yes, there are a few plot holes, one in particular got under my skin, but it wasn't enough for me to give up on the book; I hand-waved it since it is her first published work (I think). And anyway, by that time I was already invested in the story. Besides, I've read much, much worse.
Contrary to what the cover suggests, this book isn't plastered with ridiculous, disgusting, gratuitous sex scenes. That is not to say there aren't sex scenes in this book, because there are--one or two, if I remember correctly--it's just that they serve a purpose. And the sex scenes in this book aren't descriptive. If anything I'd say they're well-written fade to black type sex scenes. And no ridiculous/icky/dirty names are used for what few body parts are mentioned.
I'm struggling with how many stars I've given this book--because of the plot holes and a few other little things--but it deserves more then three stars; I really like this book. A lot.
Oh, and, in case anyone was wondering, this is a quick read. I finished it in less then a day. ...more
I had to take a long break from this book when I was about three-quarters through. In fact I was thisclose to abandoning the series entirely without fI had to take a long break from this book when I was about three-quarters through. In fact I was thisclose to abandoning the series entirely without finding out how this book ends.
For well over a month my copy of Jealousy sat atop my filing cabinet gathering dust. Every time I saw it I was met with a handful of unpleasant emotions: regret, anger, sadness, bitterness, anxiety, guilt and a smidgen of curiosity. It was that small bit of curiosity that kept me from getting rid of this book.
This past weekend my husband organized our office area and that's how this book ended up in a very prominent place: my bookshelf. Since Saturday it's been staring at me, mocking me, daring me to read it. I've been glaring back at it, wishing I had the ability to shoot lasers out of my eyes so I could be rid of the infuriating thing once and for all.
This morning I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to finish it. And I'm glad I did.
The Strange Angels series is one of the few YA urban fantasy series that doesn't make me want to retch, although I'm willing to admit this installment was starting to make my stomach churn (about three-quarters of the way through; the reason for the break).
Anyway, enough about me--I'll be posting an actual review of Jealousy within the next few days.
Quick (-ish) story: This book first came to my attention soon after it was released. I was at Borders trying to decide between three books, Strange AnQuick (-ish) story: This book first came to my attention soon after it was released. I was at Borders trying to decide between three books, Strange Angels among those selections. I read the first few pages of each book in an attempt to narrow things down. Based on the prologue and the first few pages of the first chapter, Strange Angels was removed from consideration.
Why had I been so quick to eliminate this book from the running? Although the prologue pulled me in from the first sentence it was evident that the protagonist was a "tough girl", not one to be reckoned with. And while I luvz me a tough main character, particularly when said character is a girl, it only really works when written correctly. IMHO, when it comes to this genre the tough girl concept fails more often then not. I'm not sure why, exactly. Lazy and/or unimaginative writing is my best guess. But I digress.
Fast forward to the beginning of December 2009: I had a few audible.com credits. Unfortunately there weren't any audio books I was particularly excited about. But I had a ginormous pile (read: mountain) of laundry to fold and I needed something semi-interesting to listen to while I did so. I stumbled across Strange Angels again, and for whatever reason decided to give it a go (If I remember correctly my decision had everything to do with audio book length more then any other factor, which is kind of sad, but whatever).
Long story short(-ish): I'm glad that I chose this book. Not only was it a worthwhile use of an Audible credit, effectively keeping me entertained while folding a few weeks worth of clean laundry (in one night, might I add). But this book is a really good YA paranormal read, not to be overlooked.
Strange Angels is the first book I've read by Lili St. Crow and it definitely won't be the last. I'm disappointed I didn't give this book a chance back when I first picked it up. I appreciate that St. Crow seemed to have a solid understand of the characters she was writing about--their history/background--before she started to write. What I mean is there are believable reasons behind the way these characters react to each other and to situations that unfold.
Within the last year I've read quite a few books from this exact same genre in which the characters are unrealistic in storylines that are incredibly preposterous, or worse yet, unoriginal, I was under the impression ANYONE can be published these days, so long as they write a story about a supernatural-something falling in love with a really insipid teenage girl. That being said, I can't seem to stop reading YA paranormal books which is kinda sad, I realize. But I feel the need to mention, books like Strange Angels make my addiction to this genre bearable. What I'm trying to say is this book is infinitely better then a large chunk (read: around 85%) of other books from this same genre.
Where was I? Yes, I remember now: I really liked this book. Which is why I gave it four stars. Were I to compare this book to books from YA paranormal alone, it would definitely get five stars.
Warning to my LDS friends: There is quite a bit of swearing in this book, but little to no sex. Actually there is no sex in this book, though there are one or two quite mild--but not exactly sexual--situations. Would I let my teenager read it? I don't know... probably. Because swearing aside, I think it's more worthwhile then any of the Twilight books. Do I think your teens should read it? Not my call. But honestly, I've always felt parents should have firsthand knowledge of what their teens are reading/watching, etc.
Who is publishing these horribly written YA novels? Who? (every publisher, ever) And more importantly, why? (for tons of cash)
First off, I didn't finWho is publishing these horribly written YA novels? Who? (every publisher, ever) And more importantly, why? (for tons of cash)
First off, I didn't finish this book. I couldn't finish this book. I couldn't get 1/4 of the way through, even though I have the audiobook. Actually not only is this book boring as hell but the audiobook was poorly cast (more on that later). This is another book I picked up because of the pretty cover. *kicking self, a lot*
I have to admit the premise sounded interesting--not long before this book crossed my path I'd finished reading Blood and Chocolate, which is, overall, somewhat enjoyable even if it is a little weird--so I just had to read it. But guess what? Not an interesting story. Not even kind of.
The coupling in this book? Bizarre. Boring--I mean, really boring.
Sam doesn't think like a guy. Not even a little. Sam thinks like a woman. A really boring older woman. No guy throws on a puffy coat and thinks "I look like a blimp in this thing." No heterosexual guy. No way. Not ever. I can't help but wonder if Sam ever gets around to asking Grace if his pants make his butt look fat. But I digress.
Grace is Boring. Not only that but she's also insipid, and irritating. Did I mention mind-numbingly boring? So just to review: Grace: She's Bella Swan's evil, but oh-so-very-boring twin.
And the character named Isabella (I think that's her name), that, like, pisses herself? WTF??? WHY? Seriously, WHY? It's because of the pissing scene that I stopped paying attention to the audio book. Sure, every once in a while I caught snippets of the story. But none of it was interesting. So eventually I turned it off and cursed Audible for having a no return policy--sure, it totally makes sense. But still.
Tangent: Look, I wasted one of my audible credits on this piece of trash. I can't resell it, or even trade it for something better. I'm pissed.
Speaking of the audio book: like I said earlier it was horribly cast. The female narrator sounds like a fourteen-year-old girl. And the male narrator sounds like my old elementary school gym coach. The one that sorta looked like a child molester--you know what I'm talking about, everyone had a coach like that. Everyone.
Needless to say, the audio book gave me heebies from the get go. I couldn't help but picture some ninth grade girl--because, like I said, she sounds quite young--flirting with her disgusting teacher (who has a mustache and wears tiny gym shorts). I'm still traumatized.
So yeah, I advise you don't read this book. And definitely don't buy the audio book. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you.