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 cohe...moreCromartie 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.(less)
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,...moreI 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.(less)
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 wai...moreSizzling 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.(less)
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 bet...moreThis 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.(less)
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 their...moreThis 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.(less)
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 be...moreThis 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(less)
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 anoth...moreFight 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).(less)
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 "...moreFirstly 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"]>(less)
I was excited for this book. Peaches sounded like someone I would get along with. So very wrong.
The book began kind of well. I say kind of because...moreI was excited for this book. Peaches sounded like someone I would get along with. So very wrong.
The book began kind of well. I say kind of because Peaches, as interesting as she sounded in the summary blurb, began to get annoying very very quickly. And while I thought Dalton came on waaaay too strong at first, I liked the banter between him and Peaches. I did not enjoy her constant stream of inner monologue'ing about how hot he was and how tight he was and the semi-erotic thoughts she had and how bad she was for thinking those thoughts.
And I swear on my books if I read "I'm not the 'fun' girl" one more time I will print the cover just to use it as a dartboard. Its one thing to say it every so often, its another to say it practically EVERY TIME your boyfriend or your friends comment on you. She'd say it out loud (and be refuted constantly), she'd think it (while doing something your typical 'boring' girl would never do) and she'd loudly proclaim it almost proudly.
Dalton quickly wore thin on me too however. Something just seemed...odd at times. You come to find out why his reactions were a bit weird at the VERY end of the book. And you know what? Frak you very much. To them both. Dalton for being shadier then you can imagine and Peaches for being the idiot who didn't see the signs.
If your celebrity [fake]vampire TV star boyfriend purposely seems to evade your questions about what his current project--that will catapult him from Edward Cullen status to Brad Pitt status presumably--wouldn't that make you suspicious? Like suspicious enough that you'd, I don't know, ask questions and not just be distracted when he decides to pull out his porn star background sexpertise?
And honestly their relationship didn't work for me. It moved so fast. At first I thought 'Oh well okay its a one night stand to friends with benefits to something more dealio'. Not my favorite trope, but hey do what you gotta when its multiple books long. But Dalton was so intense the entire time. And invasive. I can't think of any other word for him.
I'll give Peaches credit, she was consistent about not changing how she looked. A bit cosmetically (dressed a bit more showy, did her hair a bit more), but she never one thought she had to slim down to be with Dalton. Actually most of her self-doubt was geared more towards "God I'm so boring" then "God does he think I'm fat?", which was a welcome change of pace (though as I said it was way overdone).
In the interests of honesty I went and read the synopsis (and many many reviews) of the next two books and it doesn't sound like it gets better. At all. In any way. What little interest I had in Adrian is quickly shoved aside for the fact Peaches apparently doesn't LEARN A THING.(less)
When this was first introduced to me, my friend cited that because I enjoyed Leanna Renee Hieber's "Murder Most Foul" books, I'd really enjoy this one...moreWhen this was first introduced to me, my friend cited that because I enjoyed Leanna Renee Hieber's "Murder Most Foul" books, I'd really enjoy this one. I both agree and disagree with this assessment for a few reasons.
One, Hieber's books had an inherent undercurrent of hopefulness to them. Things got rough for all her characters, but you just knew things would work out in the end. In Sing Sweet Nightingale I was kind of uncertain about how things would end out for Mari. Up until I'd say the last third of the book I was convinced the girl was in for a long hard life and at some point in the second book Hudson would be able to help her.
Hudson seemed like a guy who would land on his feet, Mari was much more ephemeral. Partially because of the hold Orane had on her, but also because of what she allowed to happen. She didn't see the danger of the world--she was hopeful when really she should have been despairing.
Two, Hieber's books did not quite reach the level of gothic darkness that Cameron does. Less so with Hudson's chapters--you can feel his energy radiating from the pages. Mari's begin much quieter as she doesn't seem like someone in peril. Orane weaves a very particular web about her--pushing the right buttons, challenging the right ideas, balancing in a place that Mari doesn't see a threat from. Regardless of anything else he knows her because he has made a very thorough study of her and what would trigger the right responses.
As a reader we know from the backcover Orane is up to no good. I wish that wasn't so. I think if I had gone into the book not knowing that Orane was anything other then he appeared--no better or worse then any other paranormal guy running around in romances today--the gradual realization that Mari eventually comes to would have had more of an impact. Instead I'm impatient with her for not seeing some obvious (in hindsight) signs.
And lastly, while I cared about what happened to Hudson and Mari I had no real feelings for the other characters. Oh I wanted to see Orane fall, but I found myself uncaring towards the plight of anyone else.
Cameron crafts an intriguing world that definitely deserves a read. I'm interested to see where this goes in the next book, though I'm a bit wary now that certain spoiler related things came to pass. (less)
Overall Kyle's shifter books tend to make me happy. I like that her heroines aren't stick figure--that they have some meat on them and (for the most p...moreOverall Kyle's shifter books tend to make me happy. I like that her heroines aren't stick figure--that they have some meat on them and (for the most part) don't angst too greatly over that fact. Mia was a little bit of a black horse in this, but some of what her father said to her didn't really HELP matters in that general area. Ty was...well Ty was yummy. Normally the overwhelmingly possessive attitude he displays would irritate me, but it was so adorable here. It wasn't just towards Mia either, he begins to feel possessive about Parker (the bear cub) as well and that's even MORE adorable.
I've sat down to write this review several times. On the one hand I wanted to really enjoy this book. A librarian! A librarian getting to have lots of...moreI've sat down to write this review several times. On the one hand I wanted to really enjoy this book. A librarian! A librarian getting to have lots of romantic fun with a British Lord! Come on this sounds great right? Except I didn't buy into the premise. Leo is, as far as I can tell, in his third decade. How exactly did he get that far in life without it (his secret) being an actual problem? I mean it. I could understand if this was a hundred years ago, but so much of our lives involve what he was hiding that I did not believe it. Not for a single second.
Not even if he was an uber-rich British Lord who everyone believed was an airhead. There is literally some things you can't avoid that would make it difficult with his secret.
So when the plot involved his secret I rolled my eyes and skimmed past his explanations and moved on. I greatly enjoyed the romance between the two, the bantering and the flirting sparkled. I liked that Mia initiated the seducing with Leo as often as Leo did. I liked that she wasn't intimidated by his rank or his posturing and pushed him to actually try do his best. She didn't let him slack off or pawn it off on her.
I did feel as if the story was rushed at times. The two needed more time overall and the ending didn't leave me thinking 'Yep they'll make it', it felt more like 'They'll have a nice holiday romance to think about'.
In the end this book had me smiling at some of the sweet moments, but afterwards left me with way too much questions (and not of the good kind).(less)
So you've heard the story about Rose Marshall right? How she died on the way to her prom and became a ghost? Some say she leads men to their deaths wh...moreSo you've heard the story about Rose Marshall right? How she died on the way to her prom and became a ghost? Some say she leads men to their deaths when they offer her a ride, others claim she's only trying to save the ones who aren't too far gone. Whatever you've heard this is her story; the story of how a small town 16 year old girl who just wanted more from life could turn into an urban legend everybody knew.
Unlike a lot of folk going into this book cold I knew that the "Rose Marshall" stories were episodic and at one time spread across the internet as far as possible. I went into the book knowing this and thus wasn't surprised or irritated by the repetition from time to time. Rose spends half of her time educating the reader (or newly dead) on what it means to live in the Twilight. What you lose, what you gain, what the rules are that govern those who travel the Ghost Roads.
Rose is a "Hitcher" or a "Hitchhiker", she's drawn to those who live their life on the road or will die because of it. That young girl you see on the side of some lonely back road or hanging at a diner off the beaten track? Probably Rose. She'll hitch a ride to get to where she needs to go and maybe, if you're very lucky and your time hasn't come, she can even prevent you from dying on the road.
As she explains the stories aren't told in a very linear fashion, not til closer to the end when they begin to bleed into one and other and you can't have one without the other. By in large a good half of the book can be read in whatever order you want. I'm not sure if MacGuire (or her editor or Publisher) decided to mix them up even more. What I can say is that some details you'll read about in one chapter, you won't find out the truth of the tale until a later chapter. And some truths are harder to handle then others.
Woven throughout is Rose's crusade to stop "Bobby Cross" (the man who killed her to become an immortal legend) and her resolve to prevent him from doing to others what he did to her. Sometimes she's successful, other times she's not, but through it all she has a grim determination and resolve. Its more then revenge, though several characters ask her if that's what it is to her. She found a purpose in her aimless wandering after life and she was bound and determined to make it through.
I really liked Rose--she's much more practical and pragmatic then many of the characters running around in fiction, especially of those who are "teenagers", but not really (looking at you every single teen vampire/immortal out there). She didn't stay "stuck" in time, she moved on, she grew and expanded and learned how to work the system. She's not without her flaws of course, and we see as she makes mistakes that she later reflects on and realize it was really dumb to not notice the issues, but she felt so very real.
Insofar as other recurring characters go there are a few--Emma, the bean sidhe who Rose befriends, Tommy who she once asked for a ride from, Bobby Cross who we don't meet in the "flesh" until later in the book but who's shadow is long and dark. Emma is likeable and given more depth then either Tommy or Bobby in my opinion. Bobby is...he's portrayed as a certain kind of guy who many of us know or know of.
There's some loose-ish ends that don't get as much tying up, comments from Rose that drift away as her confrontation with Bobby looms, snippets of conversations that she doesn't focus on in her pursuit. And this book can get downright creepy and spooky, though I found myself feeling sorry for many of the people Rose comes across. Some of them just don't know any better, which is sad and pitiful no matter if you are alive or dead.(less)
In Fisher's first book, GHOST PLANET, I had a few qualms with the narrative style. It was rather confusing honestly. I'm happy to say that this second...moreIn Fisher's first book, GHOST PLANET, I had a few qualms with the narrative style. It was rather confusing honestly. I'm happy to say that this second book, not related to GHOST PLANET, kept me riveted to my Kindle (of which I read the e-ARC on).
The premise is pretty simple - humans f'ed up by creating a race of beings to be their second class and it turned out very very badly. For everyone. For the "Manti" (which is really a short form of anyone with mutagens basically...yes we managed to be even more offensive towards our creations by labeling them all the 'same') it sort of worked out. Kind of. For the humans...well...they live in gilded cages. Or hunted. Or they disappear. Really the options aren't so great in the beginning (they get moderately better sounding towards the latter half).
We open to both our heroine (Ash) and our Hero (Pax) waking up on the shore of an offlimits lake. Ash is dressed in a flimsy dress and Pax is naked having at some point gone into defensive mode. Neither remembers how they got there, why they are there, why Pax was in defensive mode, why Ash is in a flimsy dress outside the confines of her city or why they're anywhere near each other. Unfortunately for Pax his mating instincts kick into overdrive with Ash, but he does everything short of putting himself inside of a cage to keep her safe from his...courting shall we say.
Which I'll give Fisher credit, even though Pax is very very keen to get with Ash he is also very very keen to gain her trust, help her recover her memory, keep her safe and untangle the web they're in. So while his body (which is part insect) is urging him to make her his, his mind (and heart) are like OMG STOP. TELL THE SHIP TO SHOOT YOU IF YOU TRY.
There's a lot packed into this book--we have the memory issues, the truth of what lies between the Manti and the humans, the rebel faction, the religious faction, the religious rebel faction, Ash and Pax's...relationship and the truth above all truths. While I found some of it a bit repetitive and the truth behind Ash's memory loss to be a bit of an eyeroll handwave, I genuinely was interested to know what was going on. I wanted to see where the whole thing with Pax was going, what was going to happen with his sister, why it was so damned important for Ash to risk everything on a gamble that could have turned out badly (spoiler: she has 9 lives, I swear it).
I was also genuinely pleased with how Fisher handled Pax and Ash's evolution towards their trust. It felt organic and well paced, with only a little bit of impatience with Pax on my end (his urge to mate with Ash had him making...tactically unsound decisions at times, but it was all right, his sister was there to hit him upside his head for it).
Definitely give this a shot, fans of Linnea Sinclair especially will enjoy this.(less)