This book single-handedly destroyed my ability to read books without knowing the ending in advance. I can't remember ever hating a book as much as I h...moreThis book single-handedly destroyed my ability to read books without knowing the ending in advance. I can't remember ever hating a book as much as I hated this one (which, I suppose, is an indication of how good it was). I just felt so horribly betrayed by the ending.
I was a freshman in college when I read it and (view spoiler)[ when the character I'd been becoming attached to and rooting for turns his back on everything and gives in (hide spoiler)] I felt angry and hurt and betrayed enough that I literally threw the book across the room and collapsed in sobs. (I never claimed to not be overly-dramatic...)
I understand the purpose behind that ending, and the book itself has led me to a fascination with dystopian novels, but I honestly HATED this. SO much.
Perhaps with a re-read I might change my mind, but I can't get over the feeling of betrayal enough (even after 15 years) to be willing to give a re-read a shot.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I actually think I might prefer this book to the first. I still love the world-building, and marvel at the little details that make it seem...more4.5/5 stars
I actually think I might prefer this book to the first. I still love the world-building, and marvel at the little details that make it seem so plausible in a sci-fi way. I blame being a linguistics major on being so entertained by the universal translator.
And the one thing that held me back from giving 5 stars to Kidnapped, that I felt I didn't get to know any one of the characters well enough, wasn't an issue for me in this book. It was still ensemble, but I felt that this book was more character-driven than the first.
What I liked: the world-building was amazing! People from each planet are unique, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. Each planet has their own...moreWhat I liked: the world-building was amazing! People from each planet are unique, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. Each planet has their own sayings and unique words. And the scenes where the universal translator doesn't work for one word cracked me up.
What I didn't like: I really wanted to love these books, and the world-building was amazing enough that I could have. But what makes me fall in love with books are the characters, and we never got to know any one of them well enough for me to do that. These books have more of an ensemble cast than a MC and his love interest. Which was fine, I liked most of the characters well enough. I just didn't feel like I connected with any of them enough.
I still may re-read just to spend more time in this world, but I won't be driven back so I can spend more time with any of the characters.(less)
Okay, I have to start by saying that Ender's Game is my very favorite book of all time. So the reason this book is getting three stars is because of i...moreOkay, I have to start by saying that Ender's Game is my very favorite book of all time. So the reason this book is getting three stars is because of its nods to that book. The whole first half of the book I was near to squealing with excitement because I'd found a grown-up M/M version of my favorite book.... And then the second half happened.
If I could rate the two halves separately, the first half would, without question, get 5 stars. Even though Chaz is one of the dumbest names I've come across in M/M, I liked the character. And the first time he meets Ferron is awesome and powerful and just so much fun. Plus, the fact that they're basically at battle school! With the colored strips of light in the corridors to lead them places, and that they're on a space station to train to fight a race of aliens who have a hive mind and were beaten the last time by a sneaky one-man attack who got close enough to kill their queen. Seriously, grown up M/M version of my favorite book. I was LOVING it!
The second half, however, would get one star, maybe two. The decisions that Ferron made just didn't seem to make sense. (view spoiler)[ Not to mention that I just plain don't understand how raping someone is an effective way to get their mind to open up and link to yours. Having them achieve that "perfect connection" the first time through violence like that seemed... wrong. Not just because, obviously, non-con is never okay, but because Ferron had been so kind and so patient with Chaz up to that point. It seemed totally out of character for him to even think that forcing the connection would make it happen. (hide spoiler)]
Plus, there was so much unexplored potential in this half of the book. I kept waiting for an explanation of how the Needles work, of how it feels to fly in one, of why on earth a bunch of homophobic army engineers would create a ship like that in the first place... I guess I just felt like there was this wonderful world- and character- building going on in the first half of the book, and that it never achieved the potential that it could have.
I would love to go back and to get to read the first half over and over again (I know, I've mentioned it before, but a grown-up M/M version of Ender's Game! seriously! <3) and I suppose I will just have to make up in my head a better way for these two to get to their HEA than to have to go through that yucky 2nd half over again.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**spoiler alert** I just re-read this to remind myself of the story before I start book 2. I have to say that I enjoyed this story so much more the se...more**spoiler alert** I just re-read this to remind myself of the story before I start book 2. I have to say that I enjoyed this story so much more the second time than I did the first. I enjoyed Lio and Griffin the first time, but this time I adored them! I'm not sure why the difference, it might be that I knew the end this time so I could relax and enjoy the story the way I often can't do the first time through.
This time, I couldn't get over how beautiful Lio and Griffin are together. How they've been in love for all these years, but it took something like Lio's slavery to make them willing to explore it completely.
The vision that Lio, Alexander, and the priest share at the end had me in tears this time. Having Lio realize that if he'd taken a different path in life, he wouldn't be where he was was so powerful. It just fully brought home the theme of timing that had been building through the book. Yes, they'd loved each other before, but neither was ready for what that meant until they'd both had the experiences that they did. It was beautiful!
I really liked that even though it's set in this fascinating universe that we're given glimpses of, it focuses more on the main characters and their relationship than on anything else.
I enjoyed the exploration of strength/weakness and submission/dominance and the evolving viewpoints both men had on these themes. I loved the tender moments between these two, and how they came to trust in and rely on each other both physically and emotionally.
I loved how they both came to realize that they weren't just brought back to what they had before, but that they were brought back to something much stronger and more honest than what they'd had before.
I know the end seemed abrupt to some, but I thought it was perfect. The story was about Lio and Griffin, and ends with them safely returned to their new home. Any further exploration of politics or family relationships or anything else would--in my mind at least--take away from that.
A powerful story, beautifully told by one of the most fascinating 1st person narrators I've yet come across. This story has definitely earned a spot in my comfort reads shelf.(less)
I just re-read this to get ready for #3. My favorite thing about this series is still the world. It's so much fun to get lost in the regency-setting u...moreI just re-read this to get ready for #3. My favorite thing about this series is still the world. It's so much fun to get lost in the regency-setting until all of a sudden someone talks to the computer-butler or escapes his chaperon to go down to the docks and draw spaceships.
This was one of the first m/m books I read after discovering the genre, and I was hoping that exposure to more in the year plus it's been since would have made certain things about Nate and Aiden's relationship more okay with me. Seems that greater experience has not significantly altered my tastes--which I don't know is a good thing or not. The fact that Nate was only a few years younger than Aiden's parents and that everyone was okay with that (to the point that nobody even brings it up!) and with Nate having Aiden call him Sir still seems odd to me.
I do still totally adore Aiden, though. He's adorable and oblivious and I loved how when we were in his head, Ms. Langley actually used his artistic way of seeing the world to help me see things that way too. And the descriptions of his paintings are fantastic--makes me wish the book were illustrated!(less)
I just re-read this one also to prepare for #3, and I'm actually a little surprised that I still don't like it as much as the first.
It was especially...moreI just re-read this one also to prepare for #3, and I'm actually a little surprised that I still don't like it as much as the first.
It was especially fun in this book to not only have the regency costumes, but since it was set on Englor, the London-clone to actually have the regency places like Gentleman Jackson's, and White's be mentioned. Made it even more fascinating to be suddenly reminded through things like ID chips in shoulders that this is in the future and not the past.
I think what keeps me from being able to rate this higher is Simon. I keep wanting to like him, and I just can't. His treatment of Percy all along is so off-putting to me that this time through I was actually wishing Percy really WOULD leave him.
**spoiler alert** What a delightful book! It wasn't anything like I expected, and I found myself unable to stop reading it last night.
This book was re...more**spoiler alert** What a delightful book! It wasn't anything like I expected, and I found myself unable to stop reading it last night.
This book was recommended to me by Goodreads because I added Concubine and Gaven to my shelves. So I was expecting a story similar to those. I was delighted to find that in many ways it was very different.
Tristan wasn't a happy man unwillingly kidnapped and forced to be a slave. Tristan was unhappy in his life before the pirates. He even says at one point that he's a submissive who was forced into dominance by his position as the captain of the prince's guards. He fully expects (maybe even wants?) Valero to force him, but Valero refuses to do anything until Tristan is willing.
I think watching Tristan's metamorphosis from unhappy soldier to happy prisoner to willing partner to courageous rescuer was what made the book such a joy to read. And the fact that it was decisions that Tristan made that helped him through each step of growth, rather than anything that anyone forced on him. Yes, Valero was a catalyst for many of Tristan's decisions, but he still forced Tristan to be the one to make those decisions. Which I also totally loved.
I also found the idea of falling in love with someone you've never actually seen before intriguing.(less)