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)
Cyn Balog wrote, posted and eventually deleted the following morsel from her blog:
"Hi, there! I posted on twitter something that went a little like t
...moreCyn Balog wrote, posted and eventually deleted the following morsel from her blog:
"Hi, there! I posted on twitter something that went a little like this: "PSA to aspiring authors: Do not rate books on review sites unless 1)the author is dead or 2)you like things to come back to bite you in the ass".
I got a lot of comments for that one. People asked, "Positive reviews?" and to that I say, well, positive reviews are okay, but DO NOT RATE THE BOOK. If you have to give the book stars, it had better be 5 STARS. Or else.
"Why?" you say. "Four stars means I liked it a lot. Three means I liked it. Those are positive things."
No, they are not. And I will tell you why.
Most authors hate goodreads. And with good reason. There are many trolls out there who can anonymously rip apart books with mean-spirited reviews, and they seem to thrive upon finding the most creative and amusing ways to slam a novel. They love to get comments from other trolls, agreeing with them. It appears that there are gangs of these people who enjoy crafting negative reviews, complete with funny pictures and whatnot, which must take so much time it begs the question, "do these people have lives?" A good portion of the site, which is comprised of serious reviewers, is being overshadowed by these people, which is sad. Because of this, most authors say that they never visit goodreads. Ever. I, in fact, never go there. Usually. But every once in awhile, I will be dragged to it, like a moth to a flame. And something on the site will usually burn my retinas.
Authors tell you that they don't care about reviews. They don't care what the haters think. They are liars. Because really, what sells a book is word of mouth. And if enough people are hating their book, that translates to... lack of word of mouth, which translates to lack of sales, which translates to lack of ability to pay one's bills. And all authors care about that.
Anyway, back to why a four star review is not a good thing for an aspiring author to give. Because it creates a comparison. Authors are insecure. Like I said, if you don't like one, it could mean that they don't have steak for dinner. And so, if you say, "I liked this book" and rate it 4 stars... many authors, especially the ones who have a lot of time on their hands, will check to see what your average review is. If it is 4.72, and you rate her book 4 stars, she will be upset, because it means that you liked her book LESS than most of the books you read. She will check all the books you read and see which ones you rated 5 stars and wonder why you didn't like hers as much. Negative feelings will ensue. No, she may not remember you, especially if she gets thousands of reviews. But she also won't remember you as one of her "die-hard fans" either. So when you publish your book and ask her for a blurb, she may say, "Sure..." but then again, she may say, "I'm too busy."
You're probably thinking, "You are not serious. No writer is that ridiculous or obsessive."
But I have spoken to hundreds of published authors... and this is what I have discovered. It's a secret we writers keep, but ratings systems play mind-games with us. They make us go insane, to the point of obsession. I, after a couple years of torment, have learned to opt-out of the insanity... but sometimes, every once in awhile, it does call me back. I'm getting better. With every book, my shell hardens, and I care less. But because it pays my bills, I still care.
You may think I'm crazy. I mean, even as I type it, it sounds crazy to me. But it's the truth. If you're hoping to be published one day and love Goodreads and sharing your opinion with the world, if you want to say, "whatever, that's nuts," feel free to go on rating books as you wish.
But don't say I didn't warn you."
This is why I'll never waste any more of my time reading Cyn Balog's books--by the way, this book is basically unreadable which is why I couldn't finish it. If she thinks the people who write negative reviews have too much time on their hands she should take a long (honest) look in the mirror. Girlfriend has way too much time on her hands if she's looking at individual star-ratings and then checking out each reviewers average rating, and then (sadly) making a comparison. Really? She's really doing this? So depressing.
Also, I'm depressed by all the other egomaniac authors who supposedly check their goodreads star status and then get all sad when they discover their work isn't universally loved.
This really happens? Ugh. Sounds like another group of people has entirely too much time on their hands even though they're 'starving artists' singing for their supper. And we're supposed to believe all these authors have some sort of blacklist? Bahahahaha--that's really funny.
Cyn, you don't like bad reviews? I've got a little advice: instead of getting on goodreads you should spend your time writing; take your writing to the next level. Don't get on the internet and cry about your goodreads star-rating. And, for the record, it's not negative reviews that ruin sales, it's lack of reviews, lack of word-of-mouth; lack of advertising that ruins sales--it has to be said: it seems your publisher doesn't even try to market your stuff. Just saying.
I know a lot of people who will go out of their way to read a book after reading a negative review just to see if it's really as bad as the reviewer said it would be. I know people who will read a book, regardless of negative reviews because the book cover makes it sound so good, or the cover was so blasted beautiful, or just because the book is EVERYWHERE (example: Fallen by Lauren Kate). (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.
Anyone who's been reading this series knows that Charlaine Harris isn't a particularly skilled writer--creative yes, skilled...not so much. We all rea...moreAnyone who's been reading this series knows that Charlaine Harris isn't a particularly skilled writer--creative yes, skilled...not so much. We all read this series because it's entertaining, and it allows us to check our brains at the door. It's candy--sexy, sexy brain candy.
So it goes without saying, I quite like this installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series, even though--like all books in this series--it was a little on the hokey side. Sure, this book starts out a little dark, which is understandable since Sookie is dealing with a nasty case of depression/PTSD due to the unfortunate run-in she had with a couple of sadistic faeries in the last book.
You know what? It's 4:30 in the morning right now. I'll finish this review later.
P.S. Still not sure if this book deserves 3 or 4 stars, so I'll just give it 4 for now (star rating subject to change at any time).
I'm (finally!) coming out of the closet and letting everyone know that I've read this, and the three other published books in this series. And you kno...moreI'm (finally!) coming out of the closet and letting everyone know that I've read this, and the three other published books in this series. And you know what? I really liked all of them. Judge me (or not--whatever). (less)
Enjoyed this installment of the Cassandra Palmer series but, as with all the other books in this series, some of the scenes ran entirely too long--way...moreEnjoyed this installment of the Cassandra Palmer series but, as with all the other books in this series, some of the scenes ran entirely too long--way too much detail. Usually that sort of thing doesn't bother me but Hunt the Moon kept me in anticipation way longer then I could handle. Plus, I'm not a huge fan of Mircea, especially how he handles himself in this book. So I gave myself permission to do something I never do (and I really mean never). That's right, I totally skipped entire paragraphs at a time. Sometimes multiple paragraphs & entire pages.
You know what I missed by doing so? Absolutely nothing. Because the only parts I skipped were the parts with Mircea. (view spoiler)[for what it's worth I noticed that he did open up a little more about his family. But because I've read the spin-off series--Dorina Basarab--I already know his history. So, no big revelations as far as I'm concerned. Also, HE NEVER TELLS CASSIE THAT HE HAS A DAUGHTER! When is that little nugget of information going to be revealed? Never? (hide spoiler)] I did, however, learn that Mircea talks too much & most of Mircea's and Cassie's conversations--when they actually take the time to speak to each other--are about control. Also, whenever Cassandra is talking to Mircea, she's wondering what he's up to, what his ulterior motive is--Wow, Cassie sure knows how to pick 'em. Way boring. And dysfunctional*.
I mean, really, are we supposed to enjoy the time they spend in each others company? The time they're actually speaking to one another, I mean? I'm not sure if Karen Chance is just trying to make a stronger case for Pritkin or if I'm actually supposed to enjoy the whole Cassie/Mircea pairing--I don't, in case anyone was wondering.
The worst part is Mircea is out of town for most of this book yet he still manages to sully a good portion of Hunt the Moon's pages--I'd say one-third, at least.
Otherwise the story arc, character development, etc were great. Everything I loved about the other Cassie Palmer books are back. The great one liners and so-absurd-they're-awesome scenarios are back, too.
And of course Pritkin is back. *sigh* Pritkin. (for the record: I spent the first two books hating his guts/hoping he'd die. Mircea just fell out of my favor a few books back and that sneaky Pritkin started to grow on me). Cassie and Pritkin still have an interesting relationship that, even by the end of Hunt the Moon, has no real definition. I'd say they were just friends, because, despite all the sexual tension, they're wanting to keep it that way. But then you take that friendship and compare it to Cassie's friendship with Marco, or any other character, and it is incredibly clear: what they have is much more then a mere friendship.
Undefined relationship status aside? I love each and every scene that feature these two together. Their working relationship, their partnership, is as fun as it ever was. Same goes for their conversations--vair entertaining. Pritkin and Cassie spend a little more time talking about their pasts--Pritkin shares a doozy with Cassie.
There is also a few new characters. One of these new characters happens to be Cassie's mother. Exciting, no?
Part of me wants to give this more stars--because I really liked it--but I can only give it 3.5 stars.
*Look, I understand 'dysfunctional' is the new 'twuuu wuvvv', particularly in urban fantasy, but it's not really my bag. Sure there are messed up UF couples that I actually enjoy--Kate & Curran--but those couples actually speak to one another about a wide variety of subjects; aren't limited to the topic of control which ultimately leads to "hero" bedding heroine.<-----in a series this scenario can only happen so many times (*cough*TWICE!*cough*) before jumping the shark. (less)
This is the third book by Stacey Jay that I've read. The first one--YA Fiction--You Are So Undead to Me, was a fun and entertaining read. It was so en...moreThis is the third book by Stacey Jay that I've read. The first one--YA Fiction--You Are So Undead to Me, was a fun and entertaining read. It was so enjoyable I was glad that I took a chance on an author I'd never heard of before. The second--also YA Fiction--Juliet Immortal, was decidedly not so entertaining. Or fun. Or imaginative. Or worthwhile. Heck, I'm almost done reading it but I just can't muster the strength to finish--I just don't care what happens anymore.
So why did I buy this book which, by the way, was purchased while I was in the middle of forcing myself to slog through the pages of Juliet Immortal? Because it was marked 60% off at Borders, that's why. Also, like I said Stacey Jay's first offering was quite good, so I was willing to give her another chance. I'm so glad I did.
Dead on the Delta is a new UF series--not YA--that isn't horribly original. Meaning there is a Kick-A Protagonist who has some sort of special ability or power. This Kick-A Protagonist? Has--you guessed it--a troubled past, intimacy issues and a drinking problem that goes hand in hand with her tendency to pop pills. Did I mention this story is set in Louisiana? Because it is. Also? This book has killer fairies.
That's right. Killer. Fairies.
So why did I like Dead on the Delta despite the fact that it doesn't seem to have anything new to bring to the table, you ask? The protagonist, a 20-something FCC employee/former debutante/med school dropout by the name of Annabelle Lee, is a loveable, albeit prickly, character that I couldn't help but root for. Also her "special power"--immunity to poisonous fairy saliva--is actually not all that special, though only about 5% of the population is immune. So it's not like she's an all-powerful (read: unbearable) Mary Sue.
Honesty Time! Look, I could give you a pretty good rundown of what this book is all about, but it's going to be a unoriginal variation of what's posted in the book description box, though my description wouldn't include the word 'sexy'(because, for whatever reason, every time the word 'sexy' is used in a book description it makes me cringe; makes the book sound trashy--which, by the way, this book isn't trashy). And anyway, I'm tired--it's been a long day. Maybe I'll take the time to type something up later, but until then just read the description provided by the publisher.
Anyway, if you're looking for a new UF series to pick up I suggest you give Stacey Jay's Dead on the Delta (book #1 in the Annabelle Lee series) a try.
(4 stars because I was genuinely entertained by this book despite the fact that there were a few things that didn't quite work for me. I will be reading the next book in this series).
I like this book. Genuinely, I do. It has so much going for it, somany elements I absolutely adore. That said, there is a particular plot hole--severa...moreI like this book. Genuinely, I do. It has so much going for it, somany elements I absolutely adore. That said, there is a particular plot hole--several plot holes, actually--that just, for whatever reason, I could not overlook. Even now, that all is said and done, it still irks me. There are other elements, other storylines that got under my skin, especially since some just petered out, all pointless and useless like.
Right now I'm goIng to have to give this three stars. I wish I could give it more. I tend to think most people will like this book much more than I did, so I will be recommending it to anyone looking for an exciting, original fantasy with a strong female protagonist. (less)
In all honesty, this book deserves 1.5 stars. Barely. But I'm felling generous today so 2 stars it is.
Where to start? It feels like Ms Jay wasn't eve...moreIn all honesty, this book deserves 1.5 stars. Barely. But I'm felling generous today so 2 stars it is.
Where to start? It feels like Ms Jay wasn't even trying, like she didn't care about the characters and the series anymore. Almost like she phoned it in, drunk. There are so many typos it got my eye twitching right off. There's even a 'your're' where a 'your' should be, I kid you not. And our little MC, Anna-Belle Lee, is so inconsistent, so bi-polar, she's not even recognizable. One minute she loves this guy then she hates him then she loves two other guys and hates another. Then she's making out with the guy she really hates because he's so totally hot and she thinks he's the one she really likes, until five minutes later she doesn't. Then she knows she loves her not-quite-boyfriend and wants to commit to him always and forever. Until suddenly she doesn't and she's lusting after the guy she loathes, and wishing for her ex-boyfriend too. By the way, if you didn't notice there are three love interests in this book. Really.
Don't even get me started on the fairy lore. It's a disaster. Which is odd because I felt as though I had a fairly decent grasp on all that when reading the last novel. And it's impossible to descern who the bad guy is because everything we're told is a lie. Everything. Even at the end of the book I have no idea why any of what happened had to happen. There was no point, seriously. When all was said and done I had nothing left to do but count all the gigantic plot holes.
Lots more I want to say on this, and I may do so later, but I'm going to have to wrap this up since it's not so much fun typing this whole thing up while peddling away on a stationary bike.
When I was nearly three-quarters of the way through Iced I was fairly certain I would never read another of Moning's books ever again. This book got m...moreWhen I was nearly three-quarters of the way through Iced I was fairly certain I would never read another of Moning's books ever again. This book got my skin crawling and my stomach weak and just pissed me off far too often. Like all the reviewers who don't quite love this book, I'd have to say my main complaint is the vile old men chasing after the 14-year-old jailbait that is Dani O'Malley. And no matter what she's capable of doing, or what world she lives in, or that she's getting some curves, Dani is still very much a girl. I wouldn't even say she's close to being a woman, because she's such a kid it's ridiculous. Dani might have hips and breasts but she's not ready for any sort of adult relationship. This girl has never even had a boyfriend, and the last two guys she's had a crush on were Barrons and Vlaine.
So, yeah, she's not ready for the sort of adult attention she's getting from two grown men, nor do I imagine she will be for at least 4-5 years. The fact that it's happening within the pages of this book creeps me the hell out.
That said, I'm starting to get the feeling one of the adult men giving her way too much attention starts to become more of a mentor or possibly even a father-figure in Dani's mind, which set me at ease quite a bit. I totally don't mind that sort of relationship between the two of them so long as it doesn't develop into a sexual relationship down the road, because EW! I'm never going to be into the whole adult male grooming his future lover thing. Too gross for words.
I have so much to say here but I'll have to finish it up later (and I fully intend to do so because I have so much to say about this book). (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)](less)