I was really looking forward to reading this because I found the concept so interestinThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
I was really looking forward to reading this because I found the concept so interesting. I wanted to see a girl who didn't understand "why she breaks the rules, just to be near him." The idea of a girl not knowing anything about boys, having never even seen one before, yet falling for one all the same, without even knowing he was a boy. It sounded like a 'love conquers all' type of story, which is pretty much the whole reason why I read romance. The more obstacles a love has to overcome in order to survive, the happier I will be in the end.
Although I still enjoyed this story overall, it ended up not being what I had thought at all. The mystery of Taylor's gender is actually solved within the first few chapters, after he reveals the truth to Mary. No one else knows, but it is no longer the obstacle it was. Actually, I suppose his true gender is more of an obstacle than being a girl ever was, because Mary has been taught to fear men her whole life. She didn't even know what the relationship between a man and a woman could be. They figured it out through bits and pieces of surviving information and instinct. Once Mary comes to terms with who and what Taylor is, and her eyes begin to open to the true potential of life, they decide to strike out on their own.
The time they spent together in Section Seven was both sweet and painful. I enjoyed seeing them try to live the domestic life together, and learning new things about each other. But that inevitably leads to clashes of opinion, like any new couple would. But with their lives always at risk being separated could cost them dearly, and they almost lose everything when they stumble upon another group of survivors. I did get pretty frustrated at times with the amount of near misses, the amount of times Mary and Taylor got separated and continued to come so close to being reunited, but not quite making it. The story felt more like a post-apoc than anything else, as Mary and Taylor attempt to survive in a world ravaged by disease.
The narration and characters felt a bit flat and two-dimensional, although I did appreciate certain things about them. Mary and Taylor were very dedicated to each other, even if they didnt tell each other soon enough, and some things could have been avoided if they had only known how the other felt. I especially loved hearing all the sweet things Taylor thought about Mary. How she was the sun in a world of gray. I still cared a great deal about them, and I was nearly pulling by hair out with worry at times. It was a simply story about finding love in a broken world. Not highly recommended, but I am glad I read it.
“I love you. Not your body, not your face." I hold her hand to my chest. "As you are. As you will be.”...more
This book was super awesome and I am tempted to give it 4.5/5, but I think I am gonnaThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
This book was super awesome and I am tempted to give it 4.5/5, but I think I am gonna have to stick to 4/5 for a couple of reasons. The first being the major info-dumping that happened in the first 50 pages. I had some trouble getting through that, but I hope you will find it easier, after reading this and knowing that greatness is waiting on the other side. The other reason this loses half a star is because of the amount of different clairvoyants there are, and trying to keep track of them all, and their weird names and what they all mean. Some are straightforward; like soothsayers, and mediums, and necromancers. Others are not; like drymimancers, astragalomancers, and cleidomancers. These kinds of words kept getting thrown at us as if we were supposed to know what it meant. Eventually I had to just give up and skim over them. Although, you can sometimes pick up what they mean from the context.
One of the first things you need to know before starting this book is that there is absolutely no basis for any comparison to JK Rowling. That is a ludicrous claim that no one should have ever made. If Samantha Shannon's writing emulates anyone, it would be Veronica Roth. World and tone-wise, I would compare it to The Hunger Games. And characters and romance-wise, I would compare this to Shatter Me and Half-Blood. I thought it was absolutely engrossing, but its still just a YA paranormal. A great YA paranormal. Story and mythology-wise there is nothing I can think to compare this to.
The story starts out with Paige in Scion, explaining to us how clairvoyants have become feared and hunted over the years, starting with the alternate history of King Edward VII. The info-dumping explains Scion's underworld, but its not really that important. After less than 50 pages Paige is taken away to Sheol. Sheol is a hidden city where supernatural beings who have made a pact with the Scion government, take clairvoyants to enslave them. The Rephaim of Jewish mythology are giant, beautiful beings from the netherworld. Its a complex mythology and I am sure there is still a lot more to learn about them in the future books.
Paige's new master is Arcturus, usually called Warden. He is intimidating and a strict task-master as he taught her to use her gift to become a soldier fighting the Emim, creatures that followed to Rephaim from the netherworld. I hated him so much at the beginning. He never beat her like the other keepers, but he let bad things happen to her and other people, and he tried to force her to cooperate. But Paige's spirit was strong. She was a fighter. In that way she reminded me of Juliette and how she fought against Warner in book 1 of Shatter Me. How she refused to play his games.
But unlike in Shatter Me, there is no love-triangle in this. As much as I hated Warden in the beginning, I suspected he would become the love interest, and the book actually brought me around to that idea. I ended up rooting for Warden way sooner than I would have expected myself to, considering how much I hated him in the beginning. He was stoic, and mysterious, but you could tell how much he was watching out for Paige. He took care of her as much as he could get away with before it would become suspicious. And in that way, he reminded me of Warner, and I really recommend this book for fans of Shatter Me. I am very curious where their relationship will go in the end. It is a planned 7-books series, so they have a long journey ahead of them.
This series is a lot darker than the average YA novel, though. The Rephaim were torturing and killing humans left, right, and center. There was always a sense of danger and mystery, because we didnt know how much danger Paige was really in. How many of the Rephaim knew what she was up to? Did Warden know? What did he want from her? You never really knew, until it was too late. Its a really unique, complex world that captivated me. I highly recommend this book!...more
This was a great conclusion to this series. It has been almost exactly 2 years since IThis review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven
This was a great conclusion to this series. It has been almost exactly 2 years since I read Born Wicked, and I have enjoyed the whole experience. I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time.
I really enjoyed the danger in this book, with all the sneaking around and secret meetings. Cate and her friends were never safe from the Brothers or Inez, and you truly never knew what was going to happen next. Yet Cate stood strong through it all. Her and her friends are extraordinary young women. They have gone through so much for each other, for other women they don't even know, and for the betterment of all of New England. I really have a hard time hating any of the young Sisters, even Maura and her posse. Yet Cate is still the most amazing of all. I wonder why the prophecy put so much focus on Tess when she didn't really do that much. She is a brilliant and strong little witch, but so are many others. And her visions weren't even that helpful. It seemed to me that Cate really was the one that everyone rallied behind.
I think Star Cursed is still my favourite book in this series, but Sisters' Fate is a close second, and Born Wicked is not far behind that. The action and suspense in this book were heightened even more from the previous books, as was the death count, with a huge climax as Inez enacts her final plan, which is more heinous than I could have possibly imagined.
I think the ending was the best way to settling things. I am only surprised at what Cate and Tess did. I was not expecting such drastic measures from them. But Finn was as adorable as ever, and I loved how he and Cate came together again, despite what was done to him. And I am also glad that Tess and Cate managed to reconcile with their father and tell him the truth. Only Maura was left out of a wonderful Christmas. But I wish I could see more. I know things will be better now, but I would love to see it. I would love to see Cate and Finn get their relationship back to where it had been. I would love to see Elena on the city council. I would love to see Tess grow up into a wonderful woman. And I would love to see what becomes of Rilla and Alistair. Perhaps we will get a short one day, set a year or so later. That would be wonderful!...more