I really liked the book until the end -- because there is no end; it merely stops. Yes, I know the book is part of a series, but I felt like there shoI really liked the book until the end -- because there is no end; it merely stops. Yes, I know the book is part of a series, but I felt like there should've been a resolution to at least one or two of the issues faced in book one. The end of this left me feeling cheated. Other than that, though, I would give this book 4 stars, as it's really very decent (except the lack of resolution)....more
First off, I felt this book was really more fantasy than steampunk; it's focus was on mythological creatures, rather than on mechanical inventions andFirst off, I felt this book was really more fantasy than steampunk; it's focus was on mythological creatures, rather than on mechanical inventions and such. But that may be just me. Parts of this book were really five stars, but there were chunks that seemed to be missing. Seriously, about 7 or 8 times, I stopped and went back to try to find out where I'd skipped a page or a paragraph with the missing information -- but it wasn't there. For example, MILD SPOILER ALERT HERE-- once Vespa discovers she's really got magic, she suddenly knows how to use it. There are vague references to her learning spells, but the reader is never told how or where she learns them. END MILD SPOILER. Also, while Vespa and Syrus were well developed as characters, and Charles was fairly well-developed, no one else really was. Hal seemed to have split personality disorder, going from kind to vicious in a single look multiple times, but we never get any explanation for that. Father and Aunt Minta should have layers that contribute to the story as well, but those are never shown, so what happens at the end doesn't seem to follow with any of what the reader knows about them. I suspect, however, that this is poor edit. I don't know for sure, but the book looks as if Ms. Trent had original written more but then someone made her cut stuff, leaving us with large gaps. Certainly, the copy editing is not great. The POV shifts from Vespa's first person narrative to the 3rd person narrative work okay, but when we get POV shifts from Syrus to Bayne with no transition, it's very unsettling. This is the sort of thing an editor or copy editor should catch. Also, there are several grammatical and spelling mistakes that no one caught before the book went to print. Sure, everyone makes typos, but a copy editor is supposed to catch those. We repeatedly get "snuck" instead of "sneaked." Once we get "lay" instead of "lie." And at least twice there's a mix up with "candelabra/candlebras" instead of "candelabrum/candelabra." (Heck, even the spellcheck here on Goodreads highlighted that mistake in red to tell me it was indeed misspelled. How did a copy editor not catch that mistake?) Overall then, I liked the plot, liked the ideas, and liked that this book is truly suitable for younger YA as well as older. But I feel like the author's work was short-changed here. ...more
I thought Eulberg did very well with writing from 4 different PsOV from 4 separate characters. One character -- Sophie -- was pretty stereotyped, butI thought Eulberg did very well with writing from 4 different PsOV from 4 separate characters. One character -- Sophie -- was pretty stereotyped, but the others were more layered. Emme is especially interesting. I was also impressed that although there was no real critical problem to solve in the plot (it's a character-driven plot), it kept me reading. I wanted to know what happened to each character (except Sophie, as she was too predictable). This book also showed some research. Lately, I've come across a few books about teens in the performing arts where it was obvious that the author had no first-hand knowledge of anything. Take A Bow was much better. Although the book deals with two song writers but only has one actual song in it, Eulberg captures very well what backstage looks like and what performers do before a show (wide variety of personalities covered). This gives a huge boost to the realism of the novel. I will be recommending this to my 7th graders. :)...more
Cute, light romance with some civil rights issues thrown in. True, it has a few moments of lack of historical research on a few details (albeit, ones tCute, light romance with some civil rights issues thrown in. True, it has a few moments of lack of historical research on a few details (albeit, ones that don't affect the plot much), and the lightness with which she treats the protagonist's father's adultery (clearly showing that the mom should just forgive the dad and take him back) bothers me, but the characters are quite good and the writing is engaging. PS. The message of "single women can't parent alone; they need a man" is slammed in the reader's face a couple of times, too, so do watch out for that....more
Hunter Garrity thinks he's pretty hot stuff, and it seems that no amount of getting smacked around will beat any sense into his head. He simply cannotHunter Garrity thinks he's pretty hot stuff, and it seems that no amount of getting smacked around will beat any sense into his head. He simply cannot get over his teen ego -- that he's mister tough guy loner, the stud, who can handle everything by himself. (*eye roll*) However, Hunter's personality issues lead to stupid choices -- and these leave Brigid Kemmerer wide open to create a pretty intense plot. Seriously, the action in this book just NEVER FREAKIN' STOPS. Get ready for more fires, a serious assassin in town, and some scary happenings on a Ferris wheel.
I will not bother here with a plot hook, as that can be found in many other places. However, I will add that I've had several people ask me if this series must be read in order. The answer is "yes." I would NOT suggest reading Spirit before reading at least Storm and Spark first, as Spirit would be fairly confusing without the background of the other two novels.
I am really enjoying this series. And this book, although it does not leave the reader hanging at the end, is clearly not the end of the series. I don't know how many more Brigid has up her sleeve, but I look forward to reading the rest.
(Breathless is my favorite, still.)
Disclaimer: I won a copy of Spirit from a contest on Brigid's blog, which is why I'm able to review it before it's released....more
This is action-packed! Kemmerer's plotting is so tight that the reader hardly gets a chance to breathe between scenes! My favorite part was figuring ouThis is action-packed! Kemmerer's plotting is so tight that the reader hardly gets a chance to breathe between scenes! My favorite part was figuring out what was up with the new character, Layne. Kemmerer's characters are deeply layered in this book; there's nothing shallow about them. As a teacher, I would probably recommend this to kids 14 and up, as well as to the numerous adults who like YA. Note: this second book in the series will have more appeal to guys than the first book, I think. Spark has lots of action and intrigue and a touch less romance than Storm....more
This is a tightly-written work with a good plot. It was a bit easy to pick out the antagonist before the final reveal, but there were still plenty ofThis is a tightly-written work with a good plot. It was a bit easy to pick out the antagonist before the final reveal, but there were still plenty of twists and turns. With most of the characters, it's difficult to tell who's "good" and who's "bad," so the reader is forced to look deeper. This is probably not a book for sensitive young readers, as it deals with a good deal of violence and the threat of sexual assault. It also has some strong language. However, I'd say the average kid of age 14 or older ought to be able to deal with it just fine. Overall, it's a fast, action-packed tale with an unusual take on paranormal. There are none of the usual paranormal creatures here, and Kemmerer deals with ancient pagan ideas of the power of the four traditional elements....more
I will not waste time with a plot summary, as that can be found elsewhere. I will just jump right in and say that this is some fantastic writing. The pI will not waste time with a plot summary, as that can be found elsewhere. I will just jump right in and say that this is some fantastic writing. The plot is fast-paced, but it runs deep. The characters have variety and layers. (Oppel does a wonderful job in this second book of developing the character that we see in Shelley's Frankenstein, and he also foreshadows Shelley's plot very nicely with the creation themes going on here.) This is a superb and chilling read, full of original imaginings....more
This was awesome! I was so glad to find a non-wimpy girl in the lead in a book that is written for both boys and girls. The last few months have not gThis was awesome! I was so glad to find a non-wimpy girl in the lead in a book that is written for both boys and girls. The last few months have not given us many YA books which appeal to boys but have girls as main characters; this one works well....more