Update 06/10/10: changed star rating and added a little addendum/explanation at the end of the original review.
Loved this book, though it isn't anythi...moreUpdate 06/10/10: changed star rating and added a little addendum/explanation at the end of the original review.
Loved this book, though it isn't anything particularly special; it isn't a life-changing read. But it's not a "check your brain at the door" book either. It's just a fun fantasy/adventure-type book.
Clary is your regular fifteen-year old girl growing up in New York - nothing particularly special about her or her upbringing, though her father passed away before she was born and she knows little about him. Her mother is a gifted artist who, for unknown reasons, has never allowed Clary to believe in magic, fairy tales or other such nonsense.
Clary spends most of her time with her closest friend, Simon. One night Clary witnesses a crime (murder) that, as far as she can tell, no one else can see - not even Simon. The three teenagers that committed the murder are surprised that Clary can see them. Thus begins our story.
In this book we find out that Clary is special and there is quite a lot that her mother never told her about herself. Though, we don't find out exactly what it all means because Clary's mother disappears the night after Clary witnesses the strange murder. Around the same time Clary's mother disappears Clary is approached by one of the teenagers that committed the murder - a cocky guy named Jace Wayland. Through Jace and his friends, Clary learns a little about who she is and why she can see things other people can't.
Anywho, the major romantic relationship in this series is...weird (not sure if that's the right word but 'taboo' seems a bit strong. Perhaps it can be classified as somewhere in-between, considering the circumstances? You have to read the whole series to get what I'm talking about), though I can't say I didn't see it coming.
I know, not a strong review, but I really do like this book and the rest of the series (City of Ashes & City of Glass). Seriously, the series is totally worth reading. Check it out.
I didn't know about any of the controversy surrounding the author, nor had I heard of the Draco Trilogy when I read this series. So I actually liked--okay, loved--the Mortal Instruments series when I first read it.
Before you strike me down, let me explain.
First off, at that time fantasy was a fairly new genre for me. The Twilight saga had just wrapped up, and though I found Breaking Dawn to be incredibly disappointing I still liked the paranormal/fantasy aspect the whole series. And so I started devouring every fantasy/paranormal novel I could get my hands on. It wasn't long before I came across this series.
At the time, City of Glass had just been published, and word on the internet was that it was a good series. I was too much of a noob to know better then to believe the vast majority of book bloggers. I didn't know they tend to sugarcoat their reviews. Or just plain lie. So. Yeah...
Anyway, I read City of Bones and I liked (loved) it. I finished reading the trilogy in less then a week.
Because this series was a breath of fresh air--my salvation, if you will--when I was drowning in a sea of horribly written YA vampire novels, I ignored the similarities to Harry Potter and Star Wars.
When it came to the Buffy universe, I was unable to make the connection, that Cassandra Clare had borrowed, liberally, from the Buffy universe. It was all new to me. (Just so you know, I've never watched an entire episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm a special effects snob, always have been, and the cheesy special effects on that series made me cringe.)
Even after I found out that she was an unoriginal hack and everyone seemed to hate her, I didn't think less of her. I was like, "so she borrowed liberally from several places and from her own (not actually published) work. Who cares? James Cameron did the same thing and nobody ever called him out on it. I mean, ever hear of Disney's Pocahontas Avatar?"
I even went so far as to read all the allegations against her, of which there are several, and I thought people needed to get over it, move on. So she made a (bunch of)(huge) mistake(s) years ago. I'm sure she's learned her lesson. People need to forgive and forget. It's not like she's Hitler. Besides there are far more important things to worry about in this world.
And that is where I stood on this matter for about a year.
Funny thing is, I tried rereading this series last month. You know what, I couldn't even finish City of Bones. I don't like it anymore. Now that my eyes have been opened, the series totally sucks and it's incredibly unoriginal. I know, it's strange that I didn't think this way about the Mortal Instruments series, and Cassandra Clare, until I tried reading it again. *shrugs* I don't know what to tell you--it is what it is, I guess...
Anyway, I (finally) understand where all you Cassandra Clare haters are coming from. She sucks, her books suck, and her work doesn't deserve to be published.
(*whispers* That said, I think I'm still going to read the two books she has coming out relatively soon. You're allowed to judge me. I don't mind. I'm already disgusted with myself, but clearly not enough to NOT read anymore books written by Cassandra Clare.
P.S. I'll be borrowing the books if that's any consolation.) (less)
UPDATE 01/14/11: Loses more stars because I finally found a YA paranormal romance about angels that is, quite frankly, a bazillion times better then a...moreUPDATE 01/14/11: Loses more stars because I finally found a YA paranormal romance about angels that is, quite frankly, a bazillion times better then any other YA angel book out on the market. It's called Unearthly. You should read Unearthly. (You're welcome.)
Apparently Fallen Angels are the new Vampires, which is alright by me. I'm tired of vampires, especially the really lame sparkly ones that do little more then stalk, act like jerks and/or brood. I've noticed that there are more and more books on the market about fallen angels, and I've read a few (Fallen by Lauren Kate, Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith and I'm going to go ahead and count The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare even though it's technically about nephilim). This book and The Mortal instruments series actually make the whole angel thing somewhat interesting.
I might have given this book more stars--based on the the mild entertainment factor--if the love interest hadn't been named Patch (Patch? Patch??? Seriously? COME ON!). I hate that no one, throughout the duration of the book asks,"Is Patch really your name? REALLY???". Annoying name aside, I'd say this book is OK. Yeah, it's total paranormal garbage--my guilty pleasure--but I found it somewhat entertaining nonetheless. (less)
First off, I'd have given this book zero stars were it possible, but since it isn't I gave it one star. This book is full of fail, end of story. There...moreFirst off, I'd have given this book zero stars were it possible, but since it isn't I gave it one star. This book is full of fail, end of story. There is no other way to describe this book, really.
That's a lie. There is another way to describe how bad this book is. Take everything that sucked about the Twilight series and multiply that by any number (except zero. Or one. Or any negative number. Aw, crap, you know what I mean). Because really, this book is a bad version of Twilight except with fallen angels instead of vampires. Oh, and, compared to this book, Twilight is a friggin' literary masterpiece. That's how bad this book is.
You think Bella is irritating? Meet Luce Price, the most irritating protagonist ever. She's stupid (yet still somehow incredibly smart, according to her grades), a creepy stalker, and has zero sense of self-worth or shame.
When Daniel, this story's "hero", flips Luce the bird and then proceeds to treat her like garbage--on several occasions--what does Luce do? She instantly becomes obsessed with Daniel and breaks into the school records room to find out more about him. Not once does she think she might be crossing a line by going through someones private records. Obviously, talking to him--like a normal person would--to find out more about him, is out of the question, amirite? Oh, and when a guy treats a girl like garbage that is actually code for TRULUV4EVA.
Look, I could go on and on about how idiotic this book is, but I won't since I have better things to do, like, write hate mail to the publisher of this book. Seriously, I'd be hard pressed to find a book that is worse then this flaming pile of garbage, and had I a time machine I'd use it to go back in time in order to stop myself from ever reading this book.
To sum up my review: Worst. Book. I've. Ever. Read. EVER. (yes, the second 'ever' was entirely necessary) An incredible waste of time and money, and ink, and trees...I could go on (and on and on...). This book makes babies cry.
Edit: As of February 26, 2010 over nine hundred goodreads users think this book is amazing*. Amazing?! Really??? I mean, don't get me wrong, I fully understand really liking a book that has little to no literary value (see my guilty pleasures shelf for proof). But amazing? Come on people! Five stars really should be reserved for the classics--great literary works, or something that really moves you emotionally; makes you think on a deeper level then usual; makes you want to be a better person.
It is beyond me that anyone truly loves this book. Seriously.
I'm sure a lot of you are wondering why, if I hated this book so much, I read the entire thing. Originally, after only reading the first few chapters of this book I hurled it across the room in a fit of anger (and no, I'm not a rageaholic. This book--the fact that it was published and I was duped into wasting money on it--just enraged me that much). But I had to finish it. I just had to. Because I was dumb enough to believe it got better--but it didn't. It just got worse and worse as the book continued. The absolute worst part is this book is 452 pages long, and the first 400 pages contain no plot whatsoever.
Though I already mentioned how much I dislike the protagonist I feel I should add: Luce is an insipid creature (read: TSTL). All she does is think of the most mundane crap--stuff that isn't in the least bit important or interesting--it almost makes you want to take a drill to your own head. At one point she even wonders what size shoe Daniel wears--mind you this is during the same period if time he's sending out strong 'I hate Luce' vibes like nobody's business.
And yeah, for a girl who may or may not have accidentally on purpose killed the last boy she liked, it's truly creepy how easily she gets over it and readily moves on to the next victims boys. Is she that messed up and desensitized? Seems to me Luce is a sociopath and should be in prison, not reform school.
Speaking of said reform school: It's laughable how the security is practically non-existent. Did the author do any research on reform schools? I mean, come on! These teens--not counting Penn--are at this reform school because they are more then a little dangerous to themselves and/or others. They are there to be reformed, not kindasorta babysat.
I really could go on about the massive plot holes contained in this novel--of which there are several--but I won't. I'm just going to say one last thing: I'm shocked that something this bad could be published and then--I kid you not--be optioned for a film. Really Disney? You really want to take this horribly written excuse of a novel and make it into a movie? Are you that hard up for script ideas? Really??? Fine, go ahead. Perpetuate the death of all good literature. Celebrate mediocrity. Rape the young minds of our society. I mean, everyone else is doing it, why not join in. As long as you make a buck who cares, amirite???
*Quick review of goodreads rating system: five stars='amazing', four stars='really liked it', three stars='liked it', two stars='it was okay', one star='didn't like it'
UPDATE (06/27/11): Over 300 people like this review. Yay. I WIN THE INTERNET! Or at least I win a medal in the Crazy Rant About A Horrible Book category. I'd like to thank everyone who made this possible: Goodreads friends, followers of my reviews and everyone else who read and voted for my review--I couldn't have done this without any of you. Also, special thanks go out to Al Gore, the creators of Goodreads, Delacorte Press, whoever green-lighted this book, all the trees that selflessly laid down their lives so this book could be put into print and, of course, Lauren Kate. Peace Out.
**More like 2.9 stars, so I went ahead and rounded it up.**
If you've been following my reviews you know that I love underdogs. I'm not entirely sure w...more**More like 2.9 stars, so I went ahead and rounded it up.**
If you've been following my reviews you know that I love underdogs. I'm not entirely sure why I love underdogs. I just do. Perhaps it's my belief that underdogs typically have the potential to be top dog if they just try a little harder, put a little more effort into whatever they're trying to accomplish.
So I stand on the sidelines cheering like a maniac for the underdog, despite the odds, despite their performance in the past. Thinking maybe if they have more support, more people that believe in them, they'll finally do it. (BTW, were I into baseball, I'd totally be a Red Sox fan).
What does my love of underdogs have to do with Clockwork Angel? Its author, Cassandra Clare, is an underdog. At least I consider Ms Clare to be underdog material.
I honestly believe Ms Clare has so much untapped potential, and (possibly) the writing talent to wield said potential correctly. If we just give her more time, more opportunities, she'll finally prove herself. I just know she will.
Unfortunately she failed to prove much with Clockwork Angel.
Look, this story isn't horrible. If anything her writing has improved, and I liked this story more than I liked the first three books in her Mortal Instruments series. Cassandra Clare gives us all the paranormal elements from her MI series and then some. To mix things up we get some steampunk elements as well. Clockwork Angel has action, adventure, mystery. A little graphic violence, which I didn't mind (because apparently I'm dead inside). Sexual tension, or at least what passes for sexual tension in early-twentieth century England, aaaaaand the makings for a (possibly) good love-triangle. Plus Magnus Bane is in this book, which is cool.
But there are a few cringe-worthy moments. A few ginormous cringe-worthy moments. Times in which I was thinking "Oh. Oh! Oh noooo! What was that!? Why? WHY!? You were doing so well!"
There was one time in which I was super-duper embarrassed for Ms Clare and/or her editor because a main character says the most ridiculously cheesy thing at an incredibly somber moment. And no, it's not meant to be ironic. It's supposed to be some beautiful moment between comrades. It's so bad I'd say it's up there with Edward Cullen's "Goodbye Jacob, my brother...my son" line. (BTW, *cringe* *dry-heave* *cringe*)
Although, as I mentioned earlier, this book isn't horrible. To be honest, I feel the majority of it is 'good(ish)' and 'better than what I expected'. There were even times in which I was (inwardly) cheering for Ms Clare. I was all "YEAH! I knew you could do it! You go girl!" (yeah, I know. No one says "You go girl!" anymore. Except me, when I'm thinking). (Shut-up).
Here's the deal though: because Cassandra Clare failed to 'bring it' this time around, I'm not necessarily going to recommend this book. I'm not saying you shouldn't read Clockwork Angel, I'm saying do so at your own risk. Don't expect this book to be super awesome. You've been warned.
P.S. I will be reading the next book in this series. And probably the one after that. Yeah, I know--this series has "(possible) massive trainwreck" written all over it. But who doesn't love a literary trainwreck? I know I do. (I'm dead inside, remember?) Horrible books are incredibly fun to review. (less)
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.
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 E...moreInitially, 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.
When I saw that one of my favorite goodreaders, Tatiana, gave this book four stars I thought she'd gone insane. I mean, it's a YA book featuring angel...moreWhen I saw that one of my favorite goodreaders, Tatiana, gave this book four stars I thought she'd gone insane. I mean, it's a YA book featuring angels for crying out loud! Surely it can't be good let alone worthy of four whole stars from Tatiana, so clearly she lost her mind. But I purchased the audiobook anyway because it was January 13th and I was anxiously awaiting the release of Shadowfever which was still five days away at the time. Plus it didn't hurt that this audiobook was reasonably priced.
Initially I was a little irritated with Unearthly. It starts out with a dream/vision that the main character has--is it just me or do too many of these books start out the exact same way? But I kept with it because I paid for it, dangit! Fortunately it didn't take too long for my initial irritation to wear off--I'd say no longer then the first few chapters.
For the next several chapters I didn't have much of an opinion. Not that the book was bad, because it wasn't. The writing was fine, good even, but I refused to make an official judgment call. Too many times I've fallen in love with a book only, in the end, to hate it more than poison. I wasn't going to get burned. Nope. Not me. Not again.
Now all is said and done I'm going to go ahead and say Tatiana isn't crazy. This book is good. In fact I'm going to go ahead and give this book four stars because I really like it. Though, in my heart, it will always be a five-star read because it's one of few YA paranormal romances that doesn't make me want to go on a stabbing spree. Also? Unearthly is the only published YA novel featuring angels that doesn't make me want to hunt down the author so I can punch him/her in the face repeatedly.
I know the last few sentences make me seem violent beyond all reason, but believe me I have plenty of reason. Just read every other YA paranormal romance featuring angels and you'll agree. And anyway, when I say 'stabbing spree' I really mean 'write a scathing review and/or weep for all the trees destroyed in order to publish such atrocities'. And when I say: 'hunt down the author so I can punch him/her in the face'? ...well, I actually mean that*.
Seeing as most publishers have been saturating the market with badly written, ill-plotted out, basically retarded series about some supernatural something falling in love--twuuuuu wuvvvvv--with a vapid human I'd begun to believe there was no such thing as a good, or even great, YA paranormal romance. Especially when angels are involved. But Cynthia Hand changed my mind with her debut novel, Unearthly.
It's funny, but Unearthly doesn't contain some magical new concept or some amazing innovative plot twist that will make your head explode. It's just good. That's it. Turns out Cynthia Hand's "secret" is actually no secret at all. She employs the method of showing her audience, not telling. That's right, Cynthia Hand doesn't assume her audience is mentally-challenged. Also? Her main character, Clara Gardener, doesn't have the mental capacity of a boy-crazed, unmedicated ADHD 'tween hopped up on pixie stix. She's normal. And by normal I mean Clara's just a regular, well-adjusted, non-angry, non-emo, non-cutting teen. Although, yeah, she has angel blood pumping through her veins, but she's incredibly easy to relate to nonetheless.
What I love: Clara doesn't do what every other protagonist in this genre does: inform you she's super intelligent "'cuz she likes calculus-n-stuff", only to prove otherwise as she dithers about like a blind slack-jawed yokel the duration of the novel. She's better than that. Also? She has a healthy yet realistic relationship with her mother. They actually talk to each other and are, for the most part, honest with one another. It's quite refreshing actually.
Clara isn't the the world's only, most speshul angel-blood evuh. She's actually one of many, though at first she doesn't know of any others beside her mother and her younger brother. She also isn't super good at everything she does. Clara doesn't have every boy falling for her, at least no more then your average teenage girl. And like all teenagers she manages to make a fool of herself every once in a while. Like I said: refreshing.
What I really love (skip this if you plan on reading this book as it is sort of spoiler-y, albeit hardly): (view spoiler)[the romance. It's a real (more importantly healthy) teenage romance wherein the characters actually talk to one another, get to know one another before falling in love, or even liking each other for that matter.
The guy in this book? Is normal. He acts like a normal teenage guy. He's not unintentionally feminine or too-good-to-be-true. But he's not over-the-top alpha male either. He's just that one guy you went to school with. You know, the guy everyone liked not because he was the hottest or richest, in fact he probably wasn't, but because he was funny, charismatic and just overall likable despite his flaws (though, yeah, it didn't hurt that he was good looking). Yeah. That guy.
And when Clara gets together with him, well, they aren't obnoxious. No gazing into one another's eyes talking about how unworthy they feel. No waxing-poetic about perfect Adonis-like bodies and angel-like faces. Their relationship contains actual substance. (hide spoiler)]
What I don't necessarily care for: This book contains a love triangle. Sort of. I mean it's hardly even present. And the protagonist isn't playing both guys for all they're worth. And there isn't any cheating going on, not even in Clara's heart. BUT it's still a love triangle of sorts and I'm afraid it might end badly for all involved because of various reasons I won't go into here.
That said, even if over the course of this series the triangle does play out the way I don't want it to, I think I'll be okay. Clara has free will and I am confident she will take the time to think things through rationally. She can choose between one or the other regardless of the consequences (good and/or bad). In fact she pretty much makes her decision in this book.
So yeah, I recommend Unearthly.
*Disclaimer: I would never actually hunt down and assault any author. No matter how much they deserve it (Smeyer, James Frey, LAUREN KATE, Becca Fitzpatrick... I could go on). There are times in which I am sorely tempted to but I wouldn't. I'm passionate about literature but NOT insane. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is such a bizarre piece of work, I'm not sure what to make of it. It started out fun, got interesting, then got bizarre, then got really bizarre,...moreThis is such a bizarre piece of work, I'm not sure what to make of it. It started out fun, got interesting, then got bizarre, then got really bizarre, and then became a full on crap-fest, theeeen it ended okay. Unfortunately the conclusion was really open-ended. No word on whether or not it will become a series.
Am I still interested in this storyline? Enough to pick up a sequel? The answer to both those questions is no.
Okay, I'm completely in the minority with this one. Pretty much everyone and their family loves this book. I, unfortunately, do not. And at this time...moreOkay, I'm completely in the minority with this one. Pretty much everyone and their family loves this book. I, unfortunately, do not. And at this time I'm not capable of writing a fair and thorough review about Hallowed because just thinking about it still makes me ill, as if I'm recovering from food poisoning after eating at my absolute favorite restaurant. The whole thing just makes me so sad and disgusted. That said, I do feel, for the most part, Cynthia Hand ended this book the way it needed to end. Anything else, given the circumstances, would have been completely wrong.
And I need to give Hand credit for writing something that made me, the reader, feel like I was going through the worst break up ever. Like my soul was ripped to shreds in the slowest, most torturous way possible--look, I felt like I had a car resting on my chest when (view spoiler)[Clara drives away from her last date with Tucker, wanting to turn back but not doing it because that would have been wrong. By the way, how great is Tucker? He loved her so much he let her go. In his situation that was so much more difficult than fighting for her. (hide spoiler)]. I had difficulty breathing and I wanted to cry but couldn't. I mean, (view spoiler)[ 'Tucker & Clara' is only YA PNR pairing I've ever believed in. Cynthia Hand wrote their relationship so well in Unearthly I would have been fine if they eventually got married. They just seemed so right for one another, so solid, so genuinely in love. So...yeah...I'm ridiculously angry over how things ended between them, but I'm also glad because, all things considered, it had to happen.
Having said all that, I hope Christian dies like a stupidly long, drawn out, merciless, torturous death. I really mean that, and it's okay because he's a fictional character. A fictional character whose entire existence ruined the only good thing YA PNR had going for it. (hide spoiler)]
Someday I will write an in-depth review of Hallowed in which I will go into Cynthia Hand's brand of angel lore and what not. But today is not that day. Today I'm still feeling a whole lot of Hatred with an extra serving of Bitter on the side. 2.7 stars*.
* Star-rating subject to change at reviewer's whim.
The 'day after' reaction to this book: I'm going to have to think about this one for a while. Hallowed is well written, that's undeniable, but it makes me really uncomfortable in the sense that had it really been playing out in front of my eyes I'd have to stop watching. I had to put this down several times. At one point I started skimming (something I never do) just to get the whole nightmare over with.
Hallowed is such a depressing follow up to Unearthly. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm here to eat my words. My initial reaction to Angelfall was wrong. This book? Is awesome. Review to be posted soon.
Another book about angels?...moreI'm here to eat my words. My initial reaction to Angelfall was wrong. This book? Is awesome. Review to be posted soon.
Another book about angels? Really. Didn't we all agree Angels + YA fiction is a recipe for disaster, and then pass an international law stating no more YA angel books can be published under penalty of death? No? Well we should have. Out of all the YA angel books only Cynthia Hand's Unearthly is decent. The rest? Complete atrocities. Easily among the worst stuff I've read, that's for sure.
And this is self-published? Bahahaha! This book is going to fail so good, I can tell.
Then again, Tatiana and Kat and other trusted Goodreaders seem to think it's okay. And it is only 99 cents at Amazon...
I think I will give it a try.
(Purchased! Before I get started I've got to ask one last question: who would name their kid Penryn? That's just mean.)(less)
Not long ago I went back and looked over the first book in this series in an attempt to understand what made me want to pick up World After. After an...moreNot long ago I went back and looked over the first book in this series in an attempt to understand what made me want to pick up World After. After an almost entire re-read of Angelfall I am flabbergasted. I mean, sure, Angelfall is okay-ish. And when I originally picked it up it was a self-published kindle book that only cost 99 cents. Now it's in paper and audiobook form and there's all this buzz and more books are being published and Susan Ee is laughing all the way to the bank.
Don't get me wrong, I think Susan Ee is a genius. She wrote and self-published an ebook that didn't suck nearly as bad as the vast majority of self-published ebooks and struck gold. Good for her. I wish I could do that. Really. But still, that doesn't mean she's a talented writer or that her work necessarily deserves to be published. This book, World After, is irrefutable proof.
To be completely honest, I couldn't read more than one-quarter of this book and I ended up returning it. I never return books, but I made an exception.
Penryn was always sort of pining for the angel Raffe so I expected the pining and/or fascination to continue in this book. What I did not expect is for Penryn to be reduced to a boring girl who does little else but wax poetic about Raffe's beautiful face and body during the first quarter of the book. After the first chapter I struggled with not letting my eyes roll out of my head. I felt as though I was reading Twilight. Again.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
Look, Stephenie Meyer wrote Twilight and got away with it. That happened. I've made peace with that time in human history because we were younger then. We didn't know any better.
But now? Now we know better. We're smarter. We don't want our protagonists to be simpering morons who do little more than think about the perfection of a certain young man's body and/or face. We want our post-apocalyptic MCs to kick ass and lead a revolution, and if they happen to find love along the way that's okay. But first and foremost? Ass-kicking. That's what we want and that's what I thought I was signing up for when I purchased World After.
What I got was loveloveloveloveloveloveOBSESSIONlovelovelove laced with a (possible?) love triangle and a side order of monster (zombie?) children and maybe evil angels.
Susan! What happened? The truly enjoyable elements you gave us in Angelfall were missing in World After. It feels as though you gave up. It feels as though you sold out.
I am disappoint.
P.S. I wasn't going to say it, but, Dee-Dum? Totally a rip-off of Fred and George Weasley. A crappy, pathetic rip off. (less)
Two things: 1) this book is a combination of The Demon's Lexicon, Strange Angels and Girl in the Arena--though, I'm willing to admit some of this stor...moreTwo things: 1) this book is a combination of The Demon's Lexicon, Strange Angels and Girl in the Arena--though, I'm willing to admit some of this story is uniquely Marr's--and 2) this book ends in what should, in my opinion, be the end of the first or second part of a book--not enough happens to justify ending this story where it ends; I feel as though the third section of this book is missing. Somewhat frustrating.
That said, I do like this book enough to read the next book in the series. Whenever that comes out. 3-stars.
Love this book but not as much as I love Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That said it is very well crafted and some of the more 2-dimensional characters f...moreLove this book but not as much as I love Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That said it is very well crafted and some of the more 2-dimensional characters from the previous book were developed within the pages of Days of Blood and Starlight. Not sure if I care any more for the romance than I did before I read this book, but I can assure others that they will--romance really isn't my thing, especially when it comes to this series; there's so much more going on here than a romance that I just don't really care what happens with it. The secondary love story between two of the supporting characters is actually quite adorable and way more enjoyable because there is no angst involved.
I love Laini Taylor, how she writes. If I could, I'd disappear within the pages of her books every single day. I highly recommend Days of Blood and Starlight, the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. 4.5 stars. (less)
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.
T...moreI 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"]>(less)
Karen Chance really put me through an ordeal with this book. I was all sad for an entire day, not wanting to pick up the book for several hours, all t...moreKaren Chance really put me through an ordeal with this book. I was all sad for an entire day, not wanting to pick up the book for several hours, all the while hating Karen Chance's guts. And somehow she totally redeemed herself.
Anxiously waiting the release of the next book (please don't let it take another two-and-a-half-years). Five stars. (less)