**spoiler alert** wow, i'd forgotten how much kim harrison could totally blow my brains out with her writing. i had been expecting anything but this,...more**spoiler alert** wow, i'd forgotten how much kim harrison could totally blow my brains out with her writing. i had been expecting anything but this, and i was actually beginning to think that trent and rachel might actually have a chance together when ceri confirmed who the baby belongs to. plus, i have a feeling minias will survive and become a love interest. there's been too much built up about him for him to just disappear like that, and maybe minias will seek rachel's protection now that newt is openly gunning.
i also have a niggling suspicion about who killed kisten, but i can't be sure yet on that either. my suspect DID say that he would do anything to come closer to ivy and rachel.. i still feel uncomfortable about the sexual tension (or is that what it is?) between rachel and ivy, and i hope rachel finds someone soon. not that she needs to be defined by a male protagonist, but i think it will solve some of her problems (among new ones, i'm sure). and she did say she wanted to have children.. but i was fully satisfied with the ending being what it is, because it may just be the only way to save both ivy and jenks. and in bargaining for information she can also learn about the kisten issue. there's so much to come that i absolutely can't wait for the next book. so many turns i didn't expect in here, and i'm glad she got rid of marshal. dude was really pissing me off. i'm still crossing my fingers on a chance of rachel x trent or rachel x minias though. trent because he simply seems so lonely all the time, and it's obvious he admires her (though by the end of this i don't know if that still applies). minias because he seems to conveniently come to her aid one too many times. he does show his demonic side in this book, but i think it's out of a vested interest in survival rather than outwardly wanting to harm.
anyway, i can still see minias coming to rachel as an alternative to newt. but then this would turn into a whole LKH episode, huh? i guess not overly much, then, but kim harrison has such a way of making everything believable. i think she might even manage the love entourage crap if she put her hand to it. the woman weaves magic. i have no doubt that the next book is gonna be even better.(less)
**spoiler alert** AGGHHH!! i didn't think this series could get any better, but it manages to--it's been so long since i've had characters that can en...more**spoiler alert** AGGHHH!! i didn't think this series could get any better, but it manages to--it's been so long since i've had characters that can enchant me even when i'm dead tired. coming fresh off finishing this, i feel like i can almost not bear to return this copy to the library. it's soo fucking good, i just want to reread specific scenes over and over again. the sexual tension in here is so well written i found myself holding my breath from time to time. specific thoughts on specific characters:
pritkin: FINALLY got some action going. and he really isn't who he appears to be. the little nude (or almost nude) scenes of him and cassie were the best, and hilarious in one instance. despite the fact that nothing really happens between them, it's surprising that their scenes were written with so much steam. i really hope something will happen between cassie and pritkin. because god is he the best. i especially loved the scene where mircea questions her where she got her boots. xD
mircea: still sounds attractive.. and i like him enough, but strangely, not as much as pritkin. mircea is usually my type of male protagonist, all cool and unwavering suave, but the fact that his ambition could war with his affection for cassie is a bit of a damper. of course, ultimately his future self goes crazy enough over her to not care about power plays, but his past self still sort of ticked me off. the "mine mine mine" chant going on in the end sort of reminded me of a dog marking territory.. i don't know. there's just something i can't describe. and so for me, pritkin reigns.
because cassie even said it, that she knew that things will never last, because the objectives they work toward are too different. i also wonder how tomas will fare once the dark fey king realizes that cassie hasn't kept her promise. and will they ever get to tony now? he would always be in hiding as far as anyone cared. some people claimed this would be the last book, but since there are still plenty of loose ends to work around, i highly doubt that (and am extremely glad of it). unfortunately, from now until next april or may seems too long a time to wait, but i have no doubt it will be worth every second. in the meantime i can go back and reread all of them instead :D
EDIT: by the way, i never realized the "kit" marlowe in this book was THE marlowe. and once i realized it, i just kept thinking, holy crap! every time the character popped up. is that weird? and is the consul supposed to symbolize *ahem* any specific english royalty? i have to wonder. there is also the case of the fact that both cassie's prominent lovers are immortal, of a sort. cassie isn't. a way to remedy that, maybe? so that another pythia can't come into power and can't bring apollo back? just a thought. it'd solve a lot of problems.(less)
**spoiler alert** maybe i have a particular preference to red, since i decided to go for this immediately after the richelle mead novel instead of cat...more**spoiler alert** maybe i have a particular preference to red, since i decided to go for this immediately after the richelle mead novel instead of catherynne valente's, also readily in hand. ahh, the days winding down until i won't have time to read anymore. a little sad.
a lot of the interaction between laurence and temeraire were written very naturally, there was no sort of strain at any point in the book, which is to be lauded. a very good premise too, i must admit, though some of the historical details bugged me, and the way the humans so readily used dragons in combat for their own purposes goes against the written insistence that it is for a good cause. it is fully shown that that neither side are essentially "bad guys"--only that casualty in war is necessary, and sometimes good people have to die by it. i was saddened when choiseul had to be executed for treason; was there no way to spare his life if at the least in the end he gave critical information? i am sure this is a purely american view, but still, both the dragon and its master could be spared a great deal of pain; however, it was explained later that choiseul only did what he did not only to "save" his dragon, as he told them (or also probably claimed to himself in denial of shame) but also to be accepted in glory for napoleon. another instance that really brought me to tears was the death of levitas, who was loyal to the end to his abusive master, refusing even to die before having seen the one person he ever seeked acceptance from. these descriptions of the interactions between human and dragon are astonishingly real--it lends it some form of realism in a subject of fantasy.
there is also the point where it is obviously cut out to be a book in a series, however--most of the book was spent into worldbuilding, with only maybe the last third of the book used to probably set up a plot, and it wasn't much of one, mostly battle strategies and impending war. however, despite the lack of much of plot, really.. the characters introduced more than made up for the lack, i found. and there is actually character growth portrayed, which i cannot be more grateful for--i hate when novels set their protagonists down and try to claim some form of change by the end when there obviously wasn't one to be found. i did find, however, that i am glad i buy the american versions of this instead of the original uk versions, since even while the language was edited for easier understanding for us americans, some terms just made me crack up involuntarily altogether. "smashing" just made me think of family guy and rotten teeth--i just couldn't help it. in a scene meant to be serious, just the usage of that word twisted the mood into something else entirely, not what the author intended, i'm sure.
also, the reference to the french in such biased ways would make me wonder whether this book was ever translated and published in french? there were times in the book when mrs. novik seemed to want to put bias to the troops she was describing.. which just screwed up my initial impression somewhat. or would that be able to be passed off as laurence's bias instead? i wasn't sure, and didn't feel safe to judge. the description of the chinese being petty also made me bristle a little, although at points in history i am sure the empire as a whole, was--but, still, if dragon handlers were shown to be so caring for those in their charge that surely, the chinese wouldn't care of the news of temeraire's master? i'm impatiently waiting to read the second book, and will probably after writing this.. tomorrow maybe? the little section of edward barlowe's observations was cute. the mention of roger bacon in general even cuter. maybe more thoughts later.(less)