I think I was expecting something more like Molly Harperm but instead it was just some kind amusing jokes strung together by every trope the author coI think I was expecting something more like Molly Harperm but instead it was just some kind amusing jokes strung together by every trope the author could write....more
**spoiler alert** So I didn't hate this but I didn't love this either. This was told in a manner I enjoy quite a bit (Meg Cabot has 4 chicklit/romance**spoiler alert** So I didn't hate this but I didn't love this either. This was told in a manner I enjoy quite a bit (Meg Cabot has 4 chicklit/romance novels out in this format)--letters, texts, notes, etc. That was cool.
Also they play with style and empty space, images and poetry and such.
I just...when I'm more interested in how the page is formatted and not so much the content that's not a great sign.
A long, long, long time ago I read a book called Boy Meets Girl. It was not only my first foray into "chicklit", but also my first time reading something that was not in the traditional novel prose format. It was told instead by inter-office emails, early form text messages, post-it notes, company memos, chat rooms and instant messenger. This is before stuff like Facebook or Twitter existed, before smart phones--when Blackberrys and Palm Pilots were the hottest tech to own for the business person--or tablets. Before phones could do more then the simple 160 character SMS texts.
It was AWESOME. The coolest thing I had ever read. It was like I was back in school and had stumbled upon someone else's notes to their friends or their diary. While it didn't offer the same level of "content" as a traditional prose novel, it offered me something better--made the characters seem real.
Cabot wrote several novels in this format and while I'm sure she wasn't the first, she was the one I know the best.
Kaufman and Kristoff (here on out they're K2) do something similar, though for anyone who has ever played a RPG via chat rooms, message boards or emails you may see shades of that in the pacing. I didn't look into it, but my base assumption is that they each took one main character to write as after creating the world/plot together. Essentially building off what the other said, expanding as needed and revising as needed. Interviews, journal entries, web board posts, messenger, poetry, art...this is all used to rather cool effect. Much of the (rather long, over 600 pages) novel is spent in a sort of he said/she said game. While the experiences/stories match up, they don't match perfectly in terms of feelings or motivations, giving the novel a more "realistic" feel.
(as a digression I don't really like this "found footage style" tagline...its writing. Its written. It does not count as "footage" if its written. This is still voyeuristic, but come on guys we have to have a better term out there for the style of this)
Its with some disappointment I will admit that I wasn't that interested in the plight of the characters themselves. K2 give us a lot of information about the world/universe/time. Whether through stuff mentioned during the interviews, to clues in speech patterns, to the "look" of things, we get a lot of information. I like this. I like world building. I wanted to like Kady & Ezra however. Like, I wanted to like them a lot. Except I cared more about how the information was being conveyed to me then the actual content.
And this is where most reader's mileage will vary a lot from mine. I read graphic novels/comics much differently then I read prose-novels. GNs/comics I spend more time staring at the pictures then I do the words themselves, often leading to me losing the thread of plot. Which when there's MAYBE six sentences total per page isn't such a big deal. Much of the "plot" is being shown in the images. But when its a book, with almost as much information embedded in the images as in the very important to read and remember text, it becomes a problem.
I had less of this problem in the Cabot books, because they are set on Earth, in a (mostly) corporate environment referencing every day things I know firsthand/can understand. K2's book is set five and a half centuries from now, on distant planets, in SPACE on SPACE SHIPS. The core issues are easily relateable, but this is how my brain worked:
Oh hey this character is in a dangerous situation I--OMG ALL THE INFORMATION TELL ME MORE ABOUT WEAPONS AND TRAVEL AND POLITICS AND oh...wait. Did someone just get shot? Okay let me go back and OMG SPACE POLITICS!!!!
Can you see where I would be having problems? In prose novels its words words words on the page. My brain follows the train of thought well enough 98% of the time. I could NOT get my brain to focus for very long while reading this novel.
As I said that's a problem that I have. Its likely NOT an issue most readers have to worry about. I greatly enjoy Kaufman's books in general--and her scifi books with Meagan Spooner in specific. I like her writing style. I really like Kady who didn't let anyone tell her she couldn't do something. Kristoff...I have mixed feelings on as his writing is well enough, but I wasn't happy with the Lotus War books for other reasons. Ezra was enjoyable to read and I found his humor to be especially in line with what I like.
But seriously. So many issues staying focused. I wonder if this will come out in audiobook and if, much like Blood Red Road will be a better audiobook for me to listen to (I could stare at the pages while listening to the novel itself. That would solved so many issues I think for me)....more
Soooo I was right there was romance. Which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, however I'm not exactly certain I like where it went. There's a trickySoooo I was right there was romance. Which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, however I'm not exactly certain I like where it went. There's a tricky bit of foolery that happens in order to make Echo and the one guy's relationship seem legit. As this is a series I'm reserving judgement on how I felt overall for it though.
I like the idea of the Avicen. I really like the Ala. She's like my favorite character ever. From the first page when she meets Echo I was down to learn all about the Ala. Also any magical species that chooses to live beneath libraries is obviously the best choice.
I give Echo mad props for being able to live in the New York Public Library. It was a dream of mine as a kid.
But the romance, which wasn't the driving force of Echo's life but was a driving force for another character thus impacting Echo's life, had me feeling less enthused. ...more
**spoiler alert** Ok this is where I show my gaming snobbery coupled with my intense love of virtual reality stories. Putting aside the comparisons to**spoiler alert** Ok this is where I show my gaming snobbery coupled with my intense love of virtual reality stories. Putting aside the comparisons to READY PLAYER ONE (though I'd argue this has more in common with John Scalzi's LOCK IN or even Erin Kellison's Reveler series) there's some sloppy character development in terms of relationship dynamics. Including between Nixy and those who eventually reveal themselves as the antagonists.
++ THE LEVELLER (which is not the easiest title to trip off the tongue) invites you to believe that parents become so fed up with their kids playing video games for hours on end they'd pay a teen girl a set sum of money to drag that kid's sorry ass out of the game world. While I fully believe parents get sick of watching their kid stare dead-eyed at TV's or scream bloody murder at screens, I can't believe that someone like Nixy would be able to keep from being bullied unto death. In this world its not just "geeks" or "nerds" who play in VRLand (MEEP), its everyone.
And what is the one thing we can all agree teenagers are good at? Shaming a peer for doing the "right" thing. What Nixy does is tantamount to being the school narc with marijuana. I don't know about anyone else but that kid never made out well at my HS. Kids don't like parents taking away their toys and they like their own PEERS helping to take it away even less.
So that right there had me chewing my lip in exasperation.
Then there's the fact that the world itself is hastily put together feeling. This is a rather short book by today's YA standards (just over 250pgs) and you can feel that in the world development. Things are just a SHADE different from our reality. We're not really shown how this rather large leap in tech came about, nor is it discussed. It just is and we as the reader need to accept that. And that's fine if the main plot of the story didn't leave really big, gaping holes where consequences are concerned.
I don't know if Durango is into video games or not. A quick search on the web didn't bring up much chatter in that regard one way or the other, but what I've always felt drew people to gaming is the fact that there aren't real world consequences to what you do (largely, exceptions do occur when folk take in-game attitude into the real world). Right now my dad, who you'll have to take my word on as being one of the fluffiest people in existence (he gets queasy if he thinks about what he's consuming when he has steak), is playing a game called "The Seed". The entire purpose of which is to be the biggest amoral asshole you can be (its post-apocalyptic). And he's RELISHING this.
The game we're playing together, Dreamfall: Chapters, we're playing through each episode multiple times as "the good guy", "the bitch" and "what we really would do in that situation given those parameters". Pop Culture Site THE MARY SUE has a series about what happens if you play through Dragon Age Inquisition as a Dick. Games give people a way to be something else that would normally conflict with their moral center.
I think that's missing from Durango's book. Nixy points out that most of the kids she drags out are "living their fantasy"--whatever that fantasy is, and in the few months she's done it she hasn't run into any of the truly depraved ones so god bless her luck. However in the larger conceit of the book's universe Durango treats what the terrorists can achieve in the MEEP as small potatoes. A small, personal threat.
This particular group of terrorists had it out against Wyn's father (and his company), but I guarantee you they aren't the only ones who have genius hacking skillz. And while a fair amount will have benign intentions on a larger scale, what about that percent who won't? At no point does anyone think its a good idea to, I don't know, alert national security bureaus of the potential threat. A simple "Mr. President don't let your kid into the MEEP right now, we're dealing with a situation where they could be held hostage against the nation's best interests." phone call seemed like it should have at least been mentioned.
The concern at one point is for the players logged in illegally (circumventing certain controls set in place to avoid people from staying in so long they forget real time) and a couple character mention that if Wyn's father had acceded to their demands it could have all been over. In the real world if say bill Gates' kid is taken hostage somehow, in a manner kind of easily replicated, you can be DAMN sure every major diplomat, figure of power and rich person would freak out about their own kin. Or at the very least be strongly advised to avoid letting Johnny B. Powerhouse do the same thing as Bill Gates' kid.
I quite frankly found that to be difficult to swallow and left a huge gaping plothole in the world building to me. The book takes place over a week or so of time. In that week several real life consequences to some of the terrorists occur. And while the book ends fairly quickly after the Nixy finds a way to work things out, I was still left with a thousand and one questions. Not questions about what will happen the further the series goes on, questions about the general world and why it wasn't treated as a bigger deal.
And that essentially ruined how I felt about the novel itself....more
This is going to sound weird, but Gail should really talk to Emp from EMPOWERED. They can discuss being Hostage Bait and maybe start a union for folksThis is going to sound weird, but Gail should really talk to Emp from EMPOWERED. They can discuss being Hostage Bait and maybe start a union for folks who get taken hostage frequently. To be fair, once Gail gets powers this is less of an issue...Emp kind of became hostage Bait after getting her powers. I still think they'd have a lot to talk about though.
What happens when a hero decides to switch cities to protect, but forgot to send that memo to one of his villains who's been incarcerated for a few years? Well that hero's favorite hostage gets to gain super powers, lose a mind numbing job and oh yeah - a great beach bod without any of the workout.
Or she dies horribly after being hooked on some super villain drug. It could have gone either way for Gail.
Throughout superhero lore there's almost always that one certain person that the superhero always seems to be saving. The most (in)famous being Lois Lane to Metropolis' Superman. Villains of all sorts gleefully kidnapped her throughout the long history of the comic/tv/movie franchise. Gail is her sister in spirit, having found herself inexplicably targeted by most of (if not all of) Chicago's illegal minded betheren? Is it because everyone assumes her boyfriend is really the city's patron hero Blaze (not the theory she ascribes to)? Does Blaze have some sort romantic interest in her (even though he never says a single word to her during his routine savings)?
Let's just say the reality of the situation fits in with the rest of Gail's really bad luck throughout the novel.
I went into this expecting a fun, humorous romp and that's what I was given, plus so much more. Gail, and the reader, gets to see first hand what happens when you're suddenly given super powers and let me tell you its not as advertised. So don't go chasing radioactive waste or allowing mad scientist's use you as a guinea pig.
Like anything else being a Superhero isn't all its cracked up to be. Saving lives, busting the bad guys, looking cool while doing it...that's all after some intense training, lots of meetings and dealing with some very heavy egos running around. Its really more about managing expectations then anything else. Heroes are expected to have a certain mystique and by golly that's what they're given. So when a villain decides to go to the TRULY dark side and screws with the rulebook...things get ugly.
I liked Gail for the most part. She's down to earth and responds to her ever changing situation remarkably well. Her biggest worry isn't usually whether she'll die or not (by in large her captors tend to have less need for her dead and more need for her alive), but if her company's insurance will continue to cover her. Being kidnapped weekly? Huge insurance liability. Plus she's sarcastic, hardworking and sees the good in people (or situations).
Though I gotta admit her last decision in the end? I wanted to wring her silly super powered neck.
Our cast of characters ranges from only kind of given personality (like Guy's brother) to being murky as dishwater with their motivations (I'm still not convinced Jeremy isn't two shades short of turning dark just to get some damn recognition...or at least control over his life). The archetypes are well know and played off here to various degrees, especially as Gail sees their "real" lives and is surprised by the differences.
What worked less for me was the journalist thread that wove in and around the rest and ultimately informed the ending sequence. It just honestly made so little sense to me that Gail would do that. She knew first hand what could happen (on several personal experience levels) and yet she chose the naive path. With crippling dread I read with only the mildest of hope that it would be okay. Though I did start hurling insults at the people on the last page for being presumptuous and stupid, on behalf of Gail who was shell shocked, so that at least means my emotions were thoroughly invested right?...more
Longer review later, but what fun this was! Owl is refreshingly upfront about why she does what she does (its for the money) and I'm honestly intrigueLonger review later, but what fun this was! Owl is refreshingly upfront about why she does what she does (its for the money) and I'm honestly intrigued by the supernatural world she's getting unfortunately caught up in (Japanese dragons!!).
Also cat on a leash that's potty trained on the toilet and sense vampires. Guys...guys come on. I need one....more
Cromartie High School - which I came into because of the anime - is one of those series that you either love because of its absurdity and lack of coheCromartie High School - which I came into because of the anime - is one of those series that you either love because of its absurdity and lack of coherent plot or hate because of its absurdity and lack of coherent plot. I haven't read past this volume in the manga (don't own any others), but the anime (made up of 12 minute or so "episodes") doesn't ever settle down to a plotline like say Excel Saga, Vol. 1 does so I doubt this ever develops a serious plot line.
Which you know sometimes is a good thing. Each chapter is really short and other then some character situations that make more sense reading chapter to chapter (like why Maeda is looked down upon, why Kamiyama is considered a 'badass', who the hell "Freddie" is) you can randomly start a chapter and read it and drop the book again for weeks or months. I had apparently read as far as chapter 4 in the book before I put it away (years ago) and picked it back up again with little problems....more
I can honestly say it's hard to categorize Keeping It Real exactly. There is definitely the science fiction element to it--Lila is a cyborg after all,I can honestly say it's hard to categorize Keeping It Real exactly. There is definitely the science fiction element to it--Lila is a cyborg after all, and the end of Earth as we know it was presumably caused by a scientic thing (the Quantum Bomb). Plus there's plenty of technospeak happening for the techie gurus out there. Then there is also the fantasy element--High Elves, Dark Elves, Dragons, Elementals, Demons as well as the mysterious 'Games' that are played because of Wild Magic. There's also romance, mystery, humor and a shade of the horrific as well.
It all wraps up into a not so easily defined bundle of fast-paced action, crazy hijinks and even some thrilling heroics for Lila.
At the very beginning is a recap of how Earth became Otopia in 2015 thanks to the Quantum Bomb. Something happened that caused Earth to become not quite like it used to be, though no one is exactly clear on how exactly Earth changed. Regardless thanks to the Q-bomb all those creatures of stories have become real, living flesh...and the elves really don't like being called Legolas.
The first chapter or two was a highly confusing mixture of information dumping and of Lila's own brand of 'what is going on here?' information gathering. Robson doesn't quite meld the two together, with the info about the new world order awkwardly outshining the emotional troubles Lila is having as well as the exact nature of Lila herself. She's more metal and synthetic material then human flesh--with both her legs and her arms being replaced by machinery as well as a goodly portion of her brain, but I found it hard to picture her.
Zal, an unheard of aberration of a Rock star Elf, is mysterious in his motives as well. Its clear that he is interested and intrigued with Lila, as she is with him (albeit reluctantly), and possibly initiated the 'Game' the two are currently entrenched in, but he holds many cards close to his chest. Slowly his secrets are revealed, but often they just breed more secrets that have yet to be revealed. His banter with Lila is easy and quick-witted, he enjoys setting her off balance, but also enjoys her intelligence and biting sharpness.
A source of real confusion for me, even after several lengthy explanations is the exact nature of the 'Game'. From what I gather is gambler's dream--the stakes are usually pretty high, the pay out is even higher and the cost of losing is extreme.
The Game that Lila and Zal enter into is tricky and dangerous. It's not clear who began it, but Zal welcomes and relishes it while Lila is terrified of it. Her past experiences with elves are what led her to current state of cyborgness. The elf who caused the trauma also seems intent on hunting down Zal, though this book taught me something important--appearances and perceptions are truly not to be taken for granted.
By the end of the book several people lay dead, Lila has yet something else causing her to worry and the Game they both play is far from being done with it. The second book, Selling Out, sounds thrilling as well and I look forward to the continuing adventures of Lila the cyborg and Zal the Elf Rocker....more
Sizzling is an appropriate description of this short story. Almost from the first paragraph Gavin is hot and ready, though truth to tell he's been waiSizzling is an appropriate description of this short story. Almost from the first paragraph Gavin is hot and ready, though truth to tell he's been waiting 6 long months and its been a sort of hell for him. Meanwhile Cassidy has also been hot under the collar for Gavin and has been burning for his touch. Certainly Gavin saving Cassidy from a bad situation works out well for them both, but that's pretty much when the tension stops.
There's sexual magnetism, and the author knows how to make the scenes tempting and scorching, but after the initial frenzied sex (in the bathroom no less), there's no doubt they're together for keeps. Even when their job, which they thought was through and over, comes calling to push a wedgeblock I never had a sense that it meant very much overall.
Between Gavin's possessiveness and Cassidy's rather inappropriate feelings at the scene of a crime, whenever either would internally worry about what would happen if they had to work side by side together again, I just felt irritated at them.
I did think that Christa had a compelling read, but it may have fared better with a longer format....more
This short story nearly burned a hole in my screen as I read it. Natalia and Ethan have amazing chemistry from the very first exchange of dialogue betThis short story nearly burned a hole in my screen as I read it. Natalia and Ethan have amazing chemistry from the very first exchange of dialogue between them.
Ordinarily I'm wary of D/s relationships in fiction, since half the time it doesn't seem to be an equal partnership or its written in a half-hearted sort of way, but Paulin writes the relationship perfectly. She shows us what both sides get from such a relationship and the rewards while also making it abundantly clear that its not the life for every single person. She doesn't condemn or encourage, merely illustrates how it could be for the right personality types.
For as short as the story was, there was a surprising amount of depth. Natalia and Ethan knew each other before the story began, but the astonishment when they both find out the other's activities was amusing. And then its full tilt from there on out. Natalia makes a comment that she was like a "nymphomaniac on speed", which is probably an accurate description. Up until a work related issue comes up, separating them, the two of them can't get enough of each other.
Natalia's reaction to being away from Ethan also didn't seem to be contrived or just there for tension either. They had very little time together and she's new to the whole culture of being a submissive, so she had to work out something on her own. Ethan's reaction wasn't over the top either.
Basically this is a hot, thrilling short story that anyone even slightly interested in BDSM should look into....more
This is less of a review then a short story - memory.
When I was in HS I would often go to my local library and sit there for hours reading from theirThis is less of a review then a short story - memory.
When I was in HS I would often go to my local library and sit there for hours reading from their (very limited) science fiction/fantasy section. They RARELY updated that section (much like they rarely updated the young adult section) and usually when they did they for some reason housed the newer genre books in the regular fiction shelves so I sometimes had to go hunting.
Anyhow I read this one book for about maybe 10 chapters--it was a portal fantasy, about an older woman (older then the usual portal fantasy sort, I remember her being in her 30's?) and the MC was a journalist which I aspired towards at the time. It seemed sure as hell like something I would enjoy.
However at some point it dawned on me that the love interest was younger--much younger--then the MC. This wasn't unusual, I read historical/regency romances plus older harlequins where the guy was usually about 32 and older and the girl in her early 20's. However the MC was female and the love interest male and I could not for the life of me wrap my brain around that. This is before I heard of cougars and before my mom's sister married a younger man (though I must have known my dad's older sister married a younger man, it just didn't click).
At 14 that turned me off from wanting to read more. I would find myself for the next three years constantly going back to that book and constantly stopping at the instant I read that. After a while I stopped going to that library because I read everything there and had a job so I could buy new books to own. I more or less forgot that book except for two things: 1) the love interest used a ROCK to remove hair and 2) it was an older lady/younger man romance.
I picked this book up while looking for portal fantasies I (ostensibly) hadn't read yet. Almost immediately after flipping through the first pages I realized THIS was THAT book. However its been 16 years and while its not a favorite trope of mine I have read (and enjoyed) novels with the cougar pairing so I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel this time around....more
This was an interesting take on both the Cinderella fairy tale and on werewolves in general. The book starts off with the 5 "Blood Princes" meeting beThis was an interesting take on both the Cinderella fairy tale and on werewolves in general. The book starts off with the 5 "Blood Princes" meeting beneath what turns out to be the "World Tree" and nearly coming to blows with each other because god save us from men who can get along. From there we jump int Prince Etienne's story, or rather Loupe's story that has to do with Etienne.
If I had one complaint about this book its that we're never exactly told what the intentions of the "well meaning" witch are. If I had to guess it was to make it so that Etienne--who she thought was cursed, not born a werewolf--would no longer be afflicted with something she thought was unwanted, but that's pure speculation on my part.
Loupe's situation is all too well laid out. Stuck as an unwilling participant in her stepmother and stepsisters plots to hunt the prized wolves for their pelts, Loupe spends her days (and nights) stuck inside the family's basement skinning and curing each skin to be sold. One such day caused her to be bitten by a not quite as dead as it appeared werewolf, cursing her. Which would mean double death since her stepmother would take unholy GLEE in hunting down her stepdaughter that she hates.
While overall I found Etienne and Loupe's romance satisfying, there was a couple leaps in relationship development early on that made me twitch. I did like that both refused to be crushed under the weight of their individual issues--Etienne spent his days searching for a cure to his mixed blessing while Loupe sought ways to protect the wolves. And despite the attraction both felt, it was their mutual interest in the protection of the wolves that initially had them bonding.
I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with the next set of Princes - I believe our dear vampire Prince is up next and considering how well his visit went over in this book, I'm sure he'll have a super easy time of it XD...more
Fight Your Fiction. In a world filled with adaptations I adore ( Fables, Once Upon a Time, The Eyre Affair series) it can be a bit hard to write anothFight Your Fiction. In a world filled with adaptations I adore ( Fables, Once Upon a Time, The Eyre Affair series) it can be a bit hard to write another version that doesn't smack of familiarity. Thompson does it like gangbusters though and man what a trip.
Brand and I need to discuss his semi-annoying habit of screeching all his panicked worries though.
Thompson, who some of you may remember as the author of the omg fabulous i love this book THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING in 2012, comes back with another stellar example of what potential self-pubbed authors should aspire towards. Funded once more by Kickstarter, Thompson plays with fairy tales and fiction instead of superheroes this time around giving us all a chance to see how well (or not so well) Fictionals turn out in real life.
Getting the obvious out of the way--yeah if you enjoy the Buffy the Vampire Slayer type of urban fantasy (snarky out of the box thinking heroine, unreasonably hot guys providing assistance, geeky best friends who provide support/back up) then there's every expectation that you will enjoy this. Moving beyond that, fans of fiction coming to life with unexpected results will enjoy this as well. Or fans of action oriented heroines who DO use their brains.
Tessa won me over pretty quickly. Her take no shit attitude coupled with her very realistic response to suddenly having powers and a destiny and expectations foisted upon her endeared her to me instantly. Micah's sensible "give her space" approach was also a welcome relief, especially as Brand more or less was an excited jumpy puppy from the get go. As I mentioned earlier, he had a habit of screeching his panic, which very quickly became annoying.
As for the Fictionals we have the Snow Queen (from the self-named fairy tale), who's annoyance at being dragged into the "Scion's" life and battles is palatable throughout. Robin Hood, who's brought in as Tessa's fighting coach and is one of two people who benefits the most by fighting his "fiction". Fenris--aka the Big Bad Wolf--who I don't care how shady the guy is, name him Fenris and make him a wolf in human form and I will love him. End of story. Then there's a few I can't name for spoilers, but let's just say its not just Fairy Tale Fictionals running around in the town of Lore mmkay?
There's an insta-love just add hormones romance, but Thompson endeavors to show that Tessa doesn't just let herself be ruled by those hormones. As she learns more about Fictionals and what they can (and can't) possibly do, she does step back and say "Wait. How real is this thing I'm feeling?" I will admit that through that romance a lot of interesting concepts are brought up (moreso then the secondary character's plight, who much like Robin is trying to fight their narrative, but we see less of that struggle). Thompson explores how the evolving landscape of fairy tales and fiction over the centuries can both inhibit a character and offer them flexibility. Also the whole "can a person really change" concept is very much present for various different scenarios (good and bad).
I will admit that this is less self-contained then TGWWBK was. TGWWBK very clearly was an "ending" to a chapter in Bonnie's (and Lola's) life. The epilogue ad the sneak peak aside, a reader could finish TGWWBK and feel like they got a whole story. STORYKILLER however ends with a lot of loose ends floating around. Not just for Tessa, but in regards to Micah, Brand, Fenris...heck even Tessa's parents. The phrase "Plots within Plots" certainly sums up some of the storylines.
This isn't a problem for me, as I happily will hand over my bank account information to Thompson as long as she promises to keep writing, but its important to keep in mind so you're not shocked at the end when everyone is still alive and not dead by rocks.
And oh yeah, Batman is totally real. And awesome (or so Aladdin claims)....more
Firstly let me start off by saying that because I adored (to pieces) Lyons novel The Deep End of the Sea I decided to check out her other works. The "Firstly let me start off by saying that because I adored (to pieces) Lyons novel The Deep End of the Sea I decided to check out her other works. The "Fates" series, which is currently at 3 books and 1 side story long (with another novel and another side story planned), appealed to me because of the notion of "fate" and "destiny".
In some ways much of what I enjoyed in DEEP END were in this book--a romance that didn't make me feel as if it was shallow, secondary characters that were interesting and a resourceful(ish) girl trying to take back her life. And the world itself was intriguing.
Where the book failed for me however was the character execution. Chloe, Cora, Lizzie, Kellan, Jonah, Karl...I can see what Lyons wanted to achieve with them (individually and together), but at times they came off as too much caricature. For instance when Karl first meets Cora and Chloe, and is explaining his mission, Cora is constantly interrupting, correcting and badgering him until he grows so frustrated he yells. Chloe rationalizes this by saying that Cora is just being protective, and its true Cora is coming off as protective of Chloe's sensitivities...but it makes Cora look bad.
Instead of seeming like she's trying to get Karl to understand that Chloe is not just some future asset to protect, but a living breathing girl who at the moment needs to be related to as a person, she comes across as seeming as petty, bratty and obnoxious. And Chloe often came across as a bit bipolar. She'd lash out at her friends' legitimate concerns about her behavior then grow frustrated when they refused to help her.
My main problems though lay in the romance. And this is all spoiler talk so avoid like the next paragraph if you haven't read:
[start](view spoiler)[In the end of the book we're told why Chloe feels such a strong, insistent pull towards both Kellan and Jonah, despite having fallen in love with Jonah all her life. And it makes sense. However it didn't excuse her behavior and actually came off more as a cop out then an explanation. Especially as Chloe spends most of the book lying to one or both brothers and I can only assume from reading the next book's synopsis that Lyons explores more fully how Chloe deals with the issue now that its out in the open. So while its obvious Lyons wants to give us this love triangle (Square? Circle?) with no true 'bad choice' because their both equally the 'right' choice, I just wanted to smack EVERYONE involved because really. Why would anyone want that sort of "Connection" (aka Soul mate principle) if it has the ability to fuck everyone up? (hide spoiler)][end]
I'll give Jonah and Kellan credit though, the two of them do their damnedest to work through their problems once they're out there and don't play the victim blaming shit on each other or Chloe (unlike everyone else in Chloe's life pretty much). It hurts, they hate it, but they understand its not something any of them can change so they just have to work through it.
This book also felt very very long--which according to GR its 550 pages o.o dear lord I've read epic fantasies that are shorter that's a lie...kind of. I read this on my Kindle so I didn't see the page count that way, but that's really long for a story that probably could have been at least 200pgs shorter (to be fair it looks like the next two books grow shorter and shorter).
In all honesty I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series. I'm not particularly fond of any of the characters and I don't want Chloe with EITHER of the love interests. Want to defy fate? End up being a super badass Creator without romance. Or end up with both of them. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more