I liked the characters, but I think the genre (horror) isn't quite my cup of tea. (view spoiler)[The parts where John is stuck in Forman's house wereI liked the characters, but I think the genre (horror) isn't quite my cup of tea. (view spoiler)[The parts where John is stuck in Forman's house were juuuuust a bit more squicky than I liked. And I read it all in one night and finished it at like...1 a.m. So that probably didn't help either. (hide spoiler)]...more
**spoiler alert** The imagery was good, the characters were by and large believable, and the plot flows well. What lowered my rating were a few things**spoiler alert** The imagery was good, the characters were by and large believable, and the plot flows well. What lowered my rating were a few things. Mask theft should have been a problem so much earlier in the country's history, so there should be official methods for dealing with it. That would make the overarching foe far less intimidating. And while I know the kidnapping of the prince might not have been as dramatic or perhaps not work out as the author wanted, but Evie keeping the Mark from the Chameleon a secret until the bitter end grated on me. I can understand why she didn't want to tell anyone after her doctor freaked out on her.
But that reaction bothered me a lot. She was branded the night before, any doctor worth their salt should recognize a fresh brand. And that is the only mark put on her- so her doctor who has known her since birth should recognize Evie and assist her.
Evie's concealment of her brand (which has the prince freaking out after his proposal) all hinges on that one reaction from the doctor. And it feels contrived to me. And it's still bothering me hours after I finished reading it.
Because I really want to give this story a better review. I liked Evie, loved the banter she has with the prince, thought Hachi was cute and liked all the scenery.
I want to start nitpicking other little things in the story, but I'll only list them quickly here as they come to mind. Hachi is described as small, but Akita are large dogs. And generally protective and not the kind of dog people would have walking sans leash in a crowd, but I'll admit I am not an expert on the breed. A Shiba Inu would fit Hachi much better in my mind. The random mix of Italian/European culture and Japanese culture felt a little off to me - why are they both present? Why are there no random Japanese words other than proper nouns? The meshing of cultures didn't feel developed enough to me. (So apparently my nitpicking wasn't so quickly listed.)
Nothing else comes to mind at the moment and I hope this didn't come off too harshly. (I know the author so it's been hard to be critical without cringing.)
Overall, a fun read, but I just have to suspend my disbelief a little more than usual.
ADDITION: On talking to my husband we figured out it was two factors that hurt this book. 1. the editor did not do their job. Yes, I did not see any typos, but things like the doctor's illogical reaction should have been addressed and corrected. 2. not enough world building. Ms. Skidmore did a good job making the world feel vibrant and interesting, but the nitty gritty parts of the details that make a setting really come to life were not addressed. (A long, difficult, and brain intensive task, I won't sugar coat it.) She needed to ask the questions of how more mask-changing criminals have not existed. And if masks are such a huge part of the society and one's identity, then how does one trust that a person really is who they say they are? Couldn't Joe Bob the fisherman go to an area no one knows him at in fancy clothes and a nobleman's mask and become Lord Vene? How does the criminal element get around society and what about a huge potential for a mask black market?
I hope she has plans to address such issues in future books. (Even if only she knows the answer, the answer must exist.) There is a lot of potential and I hope book 2 is that much more awesome....more
Most of this book can be summed up as America waffling. And screwing up. And waffling some more. And screwing up. But mostly, a whole lot of nothing.Most of this book can be summed up as America waffling. And screwing up. And waffling some more. And screwing up. But mostly, a whole lot of nothing. It took effort on my part to not get a headache from rolling my eyes.
And of course, I still am slightly curious about the third book. But mostly I want to know about the rebels and if my suspicions are right....more
I read it back in high school and loathed it. I have way too many books that I want to read now and while I'm sure plenty of the people who gave it awI read it back in high school and loathed it. I have way too many books that I want to read now and while I'm sure plenty of the people who gave it awesome reviews would be horrified that I'm not giving it a second read, well, I just don't feel like it. Two stars since it probably had more than just the awful imagery messages that my English lit teacher tried to pound into my head. ...more