I gotta say, I really do not understand where the high rating for this has come from. This is one of the most poorly written indie books I have read,I gotta say, I really do not understand where the high rating for this has come from. This is one of the most poorly written indie books I have read, and only the second that I didnt love and feel the need to help promote. The depth of the writing is at about the level of a children's book. The story was shallow and familiar, although with the right characters and the right amount of excitement, I could still have loved it. But the character development was essentially non-existent. The characters were all the same and there was no way to distinguish between them, and any action was poorly written and hard to follow.
I will say I was actually surprised, from a story so basic, to find the introduction of a love-triangle. I wasnt expecting it. I had grown accustomed to the book's predictability, since the second guy wasnt introduced until almost 40% into the book. Brennus was clearly supposed to be the bad boy of the two, but even then, there was really no character development. Just a few "he said sarcastically", and a few "with a cocky grin", to make sure that we knew he was a bad boy, instead of actually showing us. If you showed me a scene between one of the guys and Alannah, but took out the name and all uses of the words sarcastic, arrogant, and cocky, I am sure I would not be able to tell if it was Brennus or Kaleb.
I really dont know why I bothered to struggled through this. I was probably hoping it would get better, or the story would at least prove interesting enough to make up for the writing, since out of my 8 friends who read it, five gave it 5/5, and the other three gave it 4/5. But in the end, I really didnt give a damn about any of them or their kingdoms. It had what others considered a sad ending, or somewhat of a cliffhanger, but I still feel no inclination to read the sequel. It can keep its one star because there was one original idea in it that I have not seen before. The idea of the marks....more
This is one of the best things I have ever read. And its funny how the comparison to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Matrix actually kindaThis is one of the best things I have ever read. And its funny how the comparison to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Matrix actually kinda makes sense. A lot of the time some marketing team gets out of hand and makes crazy claims, but a cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Matrix ? Yeah, I can see it. But then just throw in the fun level of Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and multiply it by ten.
I loved the world of the Oasis and all the pop culture and nerd references. And the action and the stakes. But what I loved most was how the heroes of the story were normal, relatable teens. And its not a story that tried to be overly gritty or "real". It was optimistic, and fun, and just perfect....more
I am going to give this a 2.5/5. This book really pissed me off. Just look at how long it took me to read it! 9 days! I usually read a book in 2, andI am going to give this a 2.5/5. This book really pissed me off. Just look at how long it took me to read it! 9 days! I usually read a book in 2, and this is a fairly short one. I marathoned several TV shows during that time because I had no motivation to finish the book. If it werent the last in a series I enjoyed, I wouldnt have bothered.
There are so many things about this book that I didnt like, I have no idea where to begin. It was all very contrived. At every single turn Yelena and her companions meet another obstacle. There are such constant, constant, ambushes and betrayals that nothing remained a surprise. They never got a single break or chance to breath. It was so very tiresome and frustrating I wanted to throw the book. Several characters seemed to change personalities at will to suit the story. Cahil's drastic change in Magic Study had me a bit confused, but he was the only one. In this book, add Moon Man and Lief, and at times even Yelena and Valek. As if Moon Man wasnt infuriating enough already.
You know those old, wise, mentor types who speak in riddles and no matter how much they are pressed they refuse to say anything that will actually help? And when their charge makes a mistake because they lacked information or guidance, they got upset as if the charge should have known better? Yeah, he was one of those. I wanted to strangle him! So did Yelena at times but I really didnt see the purpose of his character. And I didnt understand a word of what he said to her at the end in the fire. That was the moment when Yelena apparently had a revelation and understood what Moon Man was trying to teach her all along, but I missed it.
And then there was the self-righteous villain (whose identity was kept secret till the end so I will continue to refer to them as "the villain" although it was rather obvious). They just made me want to scream! More than Moon Man or the constant "surprises". They believed that Yelena and the Commander of Ixia were such a threat to Sitia that they took extremely drastic and sickly murderous measures in an attempt to "protect" Ixia. How can anyone be that misguided?! I know that humanity can be extremely corrupt, and whether it is a fantasy world or not, humanity has committed great atrocities. But I have a hard time believing that so many would have supported the villain. They nearly tore two countries apart with their madness and only Yelena and a handful of companions were willing to do something about it.
And then that brings me to a minor point about Ixia and Sitia. All the Sitians seemed to believe that the Commander of Ixia is an evil Dictator. I guess technically he is a dictator, but he is fair and uncorrupted by power. A few things about Ixian law I would say are a bit strict, but overall I would rather live in Ixia than Sitia, a country that can easily be overrun by murderous, power hungry, magicians. It really bothered me that no matter how many times Yelena told Cahil or Lief that the citizens of Ixia are safe and happy, they would not believe her and accused her of being brainwashed by her time there. It left me very worried for the fate of Ixia. Even in the end of the book Cahil is still determined to free Ixia from its "tyrant", giving us no resolution to that part of the conflict. Cahil was not the villain, he was only misguided by the villain for a time, because of his desire to help Ixia. But the villain would not have gotten as far without Cahil's help. So I really think that there should have been some resolution of Cahil's feelings about the Commander of Ixia, otherwise it is just left open to happen again.
Also, far too much time was spent recapping the previous books. Instead of just briefly explaining the relevant points for those who hadnt read the first two books, we were taken into an in-depth description of events that sometimes lasted for paragraphs. And on a few occasions, a point was explained twice, as if Maria V. Snyder forgot she had already explained it earlier. And lastly, Valek's character was greatly underused. He did some fighting that helped, but whenever it came to planning and strategy everyone turned to Yelena, which I didnt really understand. She is known for not thinking things through. Valek was just there. And after a particularly hard day he is there for Yelena to have sex with. He was like a prop, when he was probably the best thing about Poison Study. I was planning on reading Storm Glass next, but now I am not going to make it a priority....more
So, this was like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, with a bit of his Jurassic Park and Timeline mixed in. I had to rate it on the same scale that I rated allSo, this was like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, with a bit of his Jurassic Park and Timeline mixed in. I had to rate it on the same scale that I rated all his previous books. My tastes in books have changed so much since my startout days as an MC fan, that it wouldnt be fair otherwise. This compares with his other books that I rated 4/5, even if it was a decade ago, and even though it doesnt really compare with the books that I have rated 4/5 more recently.
I wont go too in depth with my review, it was a typical MC novel with lots of science, danger, and adventure, but there were a few things that bugged me. The adventures MC sends his characters on are always dangerous and deadly, and a lot, if not most, of the characters end up dead. Even those who have only seen one of his movie adaptations knows this. But I really did not like the way it was handled in Micro. I dont remember him ever doing something like this before. We never really get attached to any doomed characters before. It was new and I did not appreciate it. When they make the inevitable movie adaptation, I hope they focus on Rick as the main character from the beginning. Also, the ending was weird. I liked Karen. Her, Rick, and Peter were obviously the strongest characters from early on, but then Karen started to get weird at the end and her state of mind did not seem too good. I dont know why MC insisted on making her future ambiguous. I suppose asking for her and Rick to have a normal happy ending would have been too much to ask for. Although, I dont really know how much of a hand Richard Preston had in all this. ...more
This book was emotionally exhausting! Just like the first two. The ending didnt make me cry though, which is a first. The first ended with (view spoilThis book was emotionally exhausting! Just like the first two. The ending didnt make me cry though, which is a first. The first ended with (view spoiler)[Kelsey refusing Ren and returning to Oregon, which was a very moving scene (hide spoiler)]. Then the second ended with (view spoiler)[Ren losing his memory and Kelsey overhears him telling Kishan that he doesnt love her anymore. That was heart wrenching and I cried more at the ending of the second (hide spoiler)]. But the third ended with (view spoiler)[Kelsey being kidnapped by Lokesh (hide spoiler)], which is quite a cliffhanger, but an action one not an emotional one. I am quite excited to find out what happens next.
The setup of this book was a bit different from the previous two. The first two start out with Kelsey in Oregon, until she returns to India, then the bulk of the book takes place on their adventure in another realm. This one started out in India and Kelsey does not return home between her second and third adventures. Which is good because I dont really enjoy the parts in Oregon as much. The first half of this book is set on a yacht, before they start their adventure. Kelsey, Ren, Kishan, Mr. Kadam, and Nilima. The usual group, while they prepare for their next adventure. It is during this time that the love-triangle is taken to a whole new level. So much back and forth and fighting between the three of them. I think it may have been taken a little too far and shifted the focus of the book a bit too much away from the curse.
In Tiger's Quest I was very impressed with Kelsey's loyalty to Ren. I was impressed that she so strongly resisted such a hot, flirty guy when Ren wasnt around. I had new found respect for her. But Kishan is unlike most back-up guys and I knew it would be possible to turn the triangle around, and that Colleen Houck would likely do it. Although I couldnt figure out how it could be done without Kelsey betraying Ren. Well, it was done very well. Not on Ren's part of course, I am still mad at him, but on Colleen's part. She convincingly took Kelsey away from Ren and gave her to Kishan, in my opinion. She did it without me having to lose respect for Kelsey. Although I did lose a little respect for Ren, which is unfortunate. But I have a new found, immense love for Kishan which I am very happy about. I love him so much I could cry! Haha, maybe not literally but when you read so much teenage romance your emotions can get a little confused. :s
But I was disappointed in how Kelsey kept saying that she loved Kishan, but she was constantly thinking about Ren. Even after she listed all the reasons why she chose Kishan (Chapter 24), which were all good reasons imo, she could barely stay focused on him. She kept making horrible analogies like how Kishan was the steady player who would last the game but couldnt score the three-pointers. I found it extremely unfair to Kishan and I think he deserves more. He loves Kelsey a lot so I would want him to be with her so he could be happy, but at the same time I think he deserves someone who could love him more thoroughly. Although I would never want Colleen to do that thing where you throw in a new girl at the end so everyone can be happy. I hate it when that happens. But the girl always ends up with the main guy. Colleen will find a way to get Kelsey back with Ren, and she will most likely find a way to do it smoothly and naturally like everything else. But will she find a way to do it without breaking Kishans's heart? :(
But this book still excelled where the first two did. The amazing adventure and mythology! This one may even be my favourite in that respect. They travel the ocean of another realm and face five dragons inspired by Chinese mythology. Each dragon gives them a different task to complete before they reach the end to claim their prize. My favourite was definitely the green dragon, although it was probably the characters' least favourite. It was very exciting. :P I really look forward to what happens next. It says Tiger's Destiny doesnt come out till September, but the first three all came out in 2011, so that seems a little unfair. :( Although these books like to torment me emotionally, Colleen has somehow managed to make me agree with all the changes that have happened to Kelsey. I am taking the ups and downs with her. I love Ren when she loves Ren. I love Kishan when she loves Kishan. So I hope whatever happens in the next book, I will agree with it. I dont know how she does it!...more
I liked this about the same as the first. It felt like it had a much larger scale, as it took place over much of Sitia, instead of just in one castleI liked this about the same as the first. It felt like it had a much larger scale, as it took place over much of Sitia, instead of just in one castle for most of Poison Study. It also contained a lot more characters. The Zaltanas in the jungle, the Sandseeds in the grass, Cahil and his men, the Master Magicians, students, and the visiting Ixian delegation. Oh, and horses. :P
I was only disappointed by the fact that Valek was hardly in it. We didnt see his character until over half way through the book, and then sporadically after that. And of course he and Yelena were seperated at the end again. I really hope they are together at the end of the next. I was also a little disappointed by Cahil's character. I was starting to really like him in the middle. I was disappointed when his opinion of Yelena changed so drastically in the end, and so quickly. It seemed so out of character I have trouble really understanding what happened. But I suspect we will see him in the next one, and hopefully Yelena will prove to him she means him no harm....more
A very basic YA adventure most likely appealing to boys. A 15 year old boy is chosen to apprentice to a Ranger, who are like medieval spies. He learnsA very basic YA adventure most likely appealing to boys. A 15 year old boy is chosen to apprentice to a Ranger, who are like medieval spies. He learns to shoot arrows, throw knives, ride a horse. Its all very basic and just focuses on the training, and how cool it is for a boy to be a ranger. ...more
Wow, I really didnt expect to like this so much. My confidence in my book choices was wavering lately, after reading a few disappointing books in a roWow, I really didnt expect to like this so much. My confidence in my book choices was wavering lately, after reading a few disappointing books in a row. But this was awesome. 4.5/5.
I was a little put off at first when I realized the story starts out with McKenzie already having worked for the Fae king for 10 years. And already being in love with Kyol for the past 10 years. And even though they are not together due to Fae laws, he is in love with her too. I found that very disappointing. Most of the appeal in paranormal romance, is seeing the couple meet and fall in love. I was a little worried where this was going to lead. But then, right in the first chapter, McKenzie is abducted by a Fae rebel leader, Aren. He is cocky and attractive and McKenzie cant help but notice. And then I see where things are headed. ;) The first half of the book McKenzie is with the rebels and they are trying to convince McKenzie that their cause is just. That the Fae king and Kyol have been hiding things from her. McKenzie's thoughts and memories of Kyol give us a glimpse of the person she sees him as, and I didnt know who to believe. Our only real glimpse of Kyol was in the first chapter before she was abducted, so I couldnt help but sympathize with Aren. But as time goes by McKenzie does not waver in her devotion to Kyol, and even Aren is impressed. I was beginning to doubt as well. How could Kyol hide such things from her for so long?
About half way through, she is reunited with Kyol and I now know to pay close attention, to analyse his actions. But I couldnt find anything to hold against him, and neither does McKenzie. But she still cant stop thinking about Aren. She berates herself. Telling herself that she does not want to become one of those girls. A girl who cant decided between two men. Because if you cant choose one, you dont love either enough. I was sooo proud of her for that. Because I hate those girls too. After much tension and confusion and nail biting, all is revealed, and in the end McKenzie made her choice clear. And I think she made the right one. :) Now hopefully this love triangle can join the ranks of my favourite healthy love triangles, where the losing man bows out gracefully, but continues to protect the woman he loves with his life. Like Puck. :)
I listed this as adult because the characters are all a mature age, but there is nothing objectable for YA readers in this. There is no sex or nudity, only a few kisses. The violence is not excessive, but there is a handful of F-words. ...more
This was very similar to the first book, Tiger's Curse. It starts out in Oregon, leads to an adventure in India, and ends on a sad note. At first I waThis was very similar to the first book, Tiger's Curse. It starts out in Oregon, leads to an adventure in India, and ends on a sad note. At first I wanted to shake and smack Kelsey because I didnt understand why she left Ren, but luckily that didnt last too long, and they were together again and it was super cute, just like when they were briefly together in the first book. But then they got separated and she had to go on her second quest with Kishan instead, the next step in breaking the curse.
Kishan was a great companion, even if a little too "hands on" at times. I was very impressed with how Kelsey resisted him and remained faithful to Ren. I was afraid they were gonna go all out with the love triangle, but it wasnt too bad. Even when Kelsey did hesitate or sway a bit, it was done believably and never too much. If she had given in to Kishan I would have held it against her. I missed Ren's sweetness, but Kishan is funnier. And then, after they completed the mission, they got Ren back and it again ended on a sad note.
It wasnt just a little bit sad. It was heart wrenching. The adventure, and characters, and romance are enough to make up for the sad endings, but why does Colleen Houck like torturing us like this?! But judging by this book and the previous, things will be resolved in the next one. Although, only to leave us with another sad ending. The last chapter was so bad (when Ren and Kishan were arguing in the dojo)! I cried and I cried and I couldnt see so I had to take a break and wash my face, and then finish the book. ...more
Eden is told from the alternating POV of Aiden and Elisa, two young soldiers in trainiThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
Eden is told from the alternating POV of Aiden and Elisa, two young soldiers in training in the southern army; Rose, a young girl who is captured by the invading northern army; and Jameson, the southern king, or High King. This story had a lot of potential. I was interested by the idea of Eden, and I really enjoyed Aiden's character and I love saviour type characters. It had a lot of ingredients for a great fantasy.
Unfortunately it was unfulfilled. Aiden remains the best character, but his saviour status was rushed, the whole story taking place over two weeks. He is only 15 and he leads a battle against two powerful potential kings, with only two weeks training under his belt? It was just two much for the limits of my imagination.
The only other character that was was even remotely interesting to me was Elisa, but I still feel like I hardly know her, which is surprising considering that she was a POV character. But she mostly just described things and didn't think about her feelings much. She had potential, being such a kick-ass character, but it is as of yet, unfulfilled. I guess I also kind of liked Jameson. He was different, for a king.
And romance? There was fuck all! There were just the barest of hints, and I wasn't even sure which way the hints were pointing. Wolf and Aiden both like Elisa, but Elisa and Wolf can't seem to stand each other. Their friend Logan seems to think it means that they are in love and just don't know it. And I get that sometimes people just have that kind of tension, that you can tell is just going to explode into sex, if they weren't 15. But not Elisa and Wolf. I just didn't get any of those vibes from them. It felt like honest hate. And Wolf is fucking annoying anyway. Asshole. But speaking of having sex at 15, all of Aiden's friends were shocked when they found out he was a virgin. WTF? Bunch of sluts.
Anyways. Elisa and Aiden got along well but they were just kind of stuck somewhere in between comfortable girl/guy friends and something more, and they didn't seem to know which way to lean. (view spoiler)[I cannot invest myself into a story without knowing where it is going. I just don't feel safe doing that, so I looked up what happens and read that Elisa and Wolf end up together. I gotta say that really pisses me off. Enough to make me decide not to finish the series. (hide spoiler)] I also didn't like how the bad guys were humanized. I can't accept characters that rape and pillage no matter how nice their manners.
The action and adventure in this book were gripping enough for me to enjoy the experience, and the world was new and interesting. And despite everything, Aiden was a great young hero. But I will not be continuing this series. The first book works well enough as a stand alone.
"I've never met a girl like you. You're absolutely fearless to me, and you handle situations like they're nothing. You have no reservations when approaching difficult scenarios. Its amazing."...more
I love this whole series so much I cant even express it! It reads as one long story so how I feel about this pretty much mirrors the previous three. II love this whole series so much I cant even express it! It reads as one long story so how I feel about this pretty much mirrors the previous three. Incredible world building, a large host of lovable characters going through trials that reveal they are even more amazing (especially Nasuada and Murtagh) led by one of the most amazing leading men, world changing events and discoveries, and an epic battle to cap it off.
My only complaint is the ending, what Eragon decided to do with his life afterwards. I understand why, and I should accept Paolini's decision, and I shouldnt let it bother me so much considering how epic everything else is. But all the time I spent reading this series, I thought I knew what was going to happen afterwards. I was so certain. I fooled myself and it is my own fault, but I am so sentimental and romantic I couldnt help myself. I am having trouble reconciling to the truth of it. I got way too invested in this world. But, its still a good ending, as long as you dont cling too strongly to your own hopes for the ending, you should enjoy yourself immensely. ...more
For the first half of this I loved it. It was 4-4.5 stars worthy. Deuce lives in underground tunnels in a small community called an Enclave. The EnclaFor the first half of this I loved it. It was 4-4.5 stars worthy. Deuce lives in underground tunnels in a small community called an Enclave. The Enclave is divided into Hunters, Builders, and Breeders. Deuce is a Hunter. She protects the Enclave against zombie-like creatures that live in the tunnels. Slowly she learns the Enclave leaders are corrupt, and when one of her closest friends is framed for a crime she knows he didnt commit, she confesses to it in order to save him from being banished into the tunnels, where he would surely die. Her hunting partner goes with her, not wanting to abandon her.
This is where I got excited. I was loving the action and survival of the hunting in the first half of the book, but there were so many unnecessary rules. Deuce's hunting partner, Fade, was not born in the Enclave, and he understood human nature far better than Deuce. It was clear that he liked her, enough to risk his life going with her, and I was hoping that now he would be able to show her how to care about someone, and that not only Breeders could be together. But it didnt last long. He managed to kiss her once and tell her that he never felt like he belonged anywhere until he met her. But then they pick up two stragglers. Another young man and young woman. Fade starts drawing away and Deuce doesn't understand why. She tries talking to him but he wont open up. So she starts spending more time with Stalker, the young man who has joined them, and Fade starts spending more time with Tegan, the young woman that joined them. Although neither of them ever say so, it is clear they are both insecure and jealous and confused. And they just needed to tell each other how they felt. It was extremely frustrating, especially since I still dont know why Fade refused to open up to Deuce in the first place. It seemed to be more his fault than hers. If only he hadnt drawn away, which started the painful cycle.
It ends before they manage to reconcile which was extremely disappointing, but I will definitely be reading the next book to find out what happens next. ...more
This book did a great job with its world building, which is a must for high fantasy. IThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
This book did a great job with its world building, which is a must for high fantasy. It even introduced its own mythology, all smoothly done and I needed no adjustment time when I stepped into its world. But I always put the most importance on characters and relationship, and unfortunately I didn't feel that drawn to the characters or invested in their relationships.
This is surprising considering that there is an important romance at the center of this book. Its not only involving the two primary characters, but it is central to the story and almost everything of significance for the last 10 years has been pointing to it. But I didn't really see or feel what was between them, I was only told. Their relationship felt a bit distant and forced to me. As if it was a matter of fact that I should accept without being convinced of the 'why' or 'how'. I really enjoyed all of the characters, though, independent of any relationships. Pretty much all of them were interesting and unique. Evanjalin included, even though sometimes she grated on me. I actually found the most interesting relationships to be Evanjalin and Froi, and Finnikin and Trevanion.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the story and the world and magic, and how everything unfolded and fit perfectly together in the end. I look forward to reading Froi's story and learning more about Skuldenore....more
This book was a nice little high fantasy adventure. At first it was steadily interestiThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
This book was a nice little high fantasy adventure. At first it was steadily interesting but not overwhelmingly awesome or anything. A war is coming and Sydelle's parents agree to send her off with a young wizard to save her from whatever might happen to their village. And the wizard agrees for his own reasons. Most of the book is Sydelle and North trekking across the country towards the capital. North has information about the war that he has to take there.
At first Sydelle hates him for taking her away from her home, but they get to know each other very slowly. I love how neither of them ever says how they feel. Its just so natural that they dont need to. One day they just start holding hands as if its the most normal thing, without having to say a word about. And one day he refers to her as his, and she doesnt object. She responds as if its fact. He could have kissed her sooner but their love is too innocent to ruin by rushing their physical relationship. There is a scene where Sydelle takes care of North when he is sick and it is aboslutely the sweetest thing.
But once they get to the capital, that's when things get awesome! I could not put the book down! I had to shamefully ignore my husband until I finished it! I had no choice! Sydelle finds out why North agreed to take her with him, she meets the head sorceress, and gets kidnapped by an enemy country! It was all very exciting. And the ending was perfect and sweet. There is only one thing left open at the end. But it is left in a way that gives us hope. It is similar to how at the end of The Iron Knight we dont know if Ash will age or not, but we are left with enough hope to assume the best. There is something about North that we dont know if it will work out, but we can assume it does. This book was a sweet treat that will brighten anyone's day....more