I went into The Girl and the Clockwork Cat thinking it'd be a cute, light story to read, but it's so much more than that. McCormack combines two of my...moreI went into The Girl and the Clockwork Cat thinking it'd be a cute, light story to read, but it's so much more than that. McCormack combines two of my favorite things (steampunk and cats). Also, she doesn't pull any punches when it comes to dealing with life on the streets, and her sensory descriptions make Maeko's life seem very real. The characters themselves also come across a realistic and easy to relate to. Furthermore, McCormack's world-building is top notch. I really enjoyed every aspect of this book.
Maeko is a terrific leading lady. She's strong and independent. She doesn't compromise herself or her values for anyone. Maeko is no damsel in distress, so this isn't your typical rebellious and impoverished girl meets rich guy who takes her in and saves her. Nope. Maeko doesn't need saving, and if she did, she'd save herself. Yes, she worries about what people think sometimes, but don't we all? She still holds fast to what she believes, for the most part. However, her beliefs do change over the course of the novel. Maeko grows a lot in this book, and I can't wait to see what she chooses to do next. Ash is an okay love interest, but I really loved Chaff. He's a good guy, even if he is a little rough around the edges. Chaff has had a rough life, but he's not angsty, and I respected that. Ash is a bit of a pansy, in my opinion, but he does toughen up as the novel progresses. I also adored Macack, the cat. He has tons of personality.
The story itself is intriguing and unique. I really liked the feeling of suspense about the murders and not knowing who could and could not be trusted. I also enjoyed McCormack's world-building. I felt like I was in Victorian London. The author even uses English colloquialisms, which give the entire story an air of authenticity that many books set in London lack. The writing is fluid and the pacing is top notch. I was never bored and nothing felt rushed. There is a bit of a love triangle, but this book doesn't focus much on romance. The love triangle itself is more about Maeko deciding what kind of life she wants (does she want to stay on the streets or have a more comfortable life?) than it is about which boy Maeko has a bigger crush on. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, which left me hoping the next installment comes out soon.
Overall, I'd recommend this story to anyone who loves a good steampunk read, but is looking for something a little bit different. This book has heart, and it is easy to get lost in the world that McCormack created. Do yourself a favor and give this novel a try. (less)
Generation 18, the follow-up to Spook Squad, is full of suspense. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more. As the...moreGeneration 18, the follow-up to Spook Squad, is full of suspense. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more. As the secrets of Sam's past unraveled, I became more and more engrossed in finding out exactly what she is. Arthur did an excellent job of further describing the world she's created, and I could easily picture the settings and situations that the characters found themselves in. Speaking of characters, they all evolved as the novel progressed, and I really enjoyed learning more about Stephan and the rest of Gabriel's family. Sam and Gabriel's relationship irritated me a bit, but not half as much as it irritated them, I'm sure. The plot was fast-paced, and I never got bored. This was an excellent sequel.
Sam really started to take charge of her life in this book, and I admired her for it. She began the process of becoming an extremely active and dynamic character. She was a bit passive in the first novel, being more a victim of her circumstances than a proactive participant in her own life. I liked that she wanted more out of life and decided to try and build the life she felt she deserved. Gabriel's stubbornness annoyed the living crap out of me. He was really dense about things quite often, but it was obvious that he had a good heart... I still wanted to smack him, though. I hope he comes around in the next book. Stephan was a bit harsher than I expected. He's a cold and calculating character, and I'm not sure how I feel about him yet. I'm also interested in learning more about Joshua and what his role was in Sam's life.
The plot was complex and mysterious. I enjoyed every page of this book because Arthur kept me on my toes. The introduction of Hopeworth and the shady government plots and secret weapons was a welcome change. Many Urban Fantasy novels follow the exact same formula and never delve too deeply into political workings, but this series definitely looks at how corrupt the government can be. I also liked that the author added a bit of a sci-fi twist to the paranormal by bringing up gene splicing and genetic coding. I can't wait to see where Arthur goes with that idea. The ending tied things up nicely, but left room for the sequel. There wasn't a cliffhanger, though, thankfully.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to fans of Keri Arthur's other novels and to people who are looking for an Urban Fantasy novel that's a bit different. These books are chockfull of action, mystery, and adventure. They're light on romance, like a lot of UF, but they more than make up for it with the intricate plot and vivid world-building. Give this series a try. You won't be sorry. (less)
As a person who loves historical fiction, I was really excited to get my hands on a book that was set in the 1600s in Germany. I don't know a lot of G...moreAs a person who loves historical fiction, I was really excited to get my hands on a book that was set in the 1600s in Germany. I don't know a lot of German history (other than WWI, the Holocaust, and WWII), and I wanted to see what life had been like back then. This book did not give me a good idea of that. The world-building was a bit lacking, with both the setting and the magic. The characters also didn't feel "real" to me. This was an interesting concept, but it fell flat in many areas.
I don't feel like Murgia did a ton of research into Germany during this time period. She described the forest in exquisite detail, and I could picture it clearly. However, when it came to the architecture, her descriptions were a bit sparse. I couldn't picture the houses or castles as they were. Instead I ended up picturing Irish and British architecture because I'm more familiar with it. I did feel like I was in the past, but I just didn't get the feel of Germany in this book. Sure, Murgia threw in a few random German words, but that didn't do enough to convince me. I actually really hate when authors do that. If this takes place in Germany, I would assume that everything was "translated" for the reader, since in that time period Germans only spoke German, as far as I know; rendering the random words in German useless. All that did was pull me out of the story. Other than that, the writing itself was okay. The plot was interesting, but some things felt too convenient. The plot twist at the end made a little bit of sense, but the way Rune's mother's ghost changed was unrealistic.
The characters weren't extremely well-developed. Rune was really hard to relate to, and no one's actions made sense. Everyone was super secretive and almost random at times. In order to get into a story, I need to know the characters' motivations, or I just don't really care what happens to them. A lot of stuff that the characters did was just strange. I also don't feel like I got to know any of them. Even Laurentz, who was supposed to be swoon-worthy, I'm sure, wasn't memorable.
Overall, this book was just okay. I didn't hate it. The plot was intriguing enough that I read the entire thing, but this is definitely a forgettable read. (less)
I thought this book sounded like a fun read, but unfortunately it didn't grab me as much as I'd wanted it to. I had a hard time staying focused on the...moreI thought this book sounded like a fun read, but unfortunately it didn't grab me as much as I'd wanted it to. I had a hard time staying focused on the plot through all of the dialogue. The world-building is done pretty well, and the settings are painted out nicely, but the characters weren't easy to relate to and fell flat for me.
The characters of this book just weren't very likable for me. I couldn't connect to any of them to save my life, and I really just didn't like Augustine. He reminded me of one of those egotistical man-whore types, and that just repelled me right away. Harlow was just boring for me. I know she wasn't designed to be, but she just didn't stand out. I can barely even remember her name, and I just finished the book. Painter tried hard to make the secondary characters interesting, but they, too, fell flat.
The pacing was a bit slow for me, but it wasn't horribly slow. Just slow enough that I got bored easily. If I'd been more invested in the characters, I think the book would have held my interest more. Also, this writer is a huge fan of useless dialogue. I know she's trying to show relationships instead of tell them, but actions speak louder than words. I started skipping chunks of dialogue because I was tired of reading mundane chitchat. I have no patience for that in my real life, and I certainly dont' want it in a book. One of the places Painter excelled, though, was in painting a vivid picture of New Orleans. The city was the perfect backdrop for this story, and I could picture it as if I was there. The author also did a great job of explaining the fantastical elements of the story.
Overall, this book was okay. I didn't love it, but I also didn't hate it. If you're a fan of Kristen Painter's, then I'm sure you'll love this series. (less)
Guild Assassin: Curse Breaker had the potential to be an amazing and unique book. However, after about 50-something pages, I simpl...moreHad to DNF this one.
Guild Assassin: Curse Breaker had the potential to be an amazing and unique book. However, after about 50-something pages, I simply could not continue. I was bored to tears.
For starters, I could not connect to Wendy. There was no heart to her character. I had no idea what she was feeling ever because no feelings were discussed. She was very robotic. I didn't care what happened to her because she didn't seem real.
The writing was bad. Kerr told everything and didn't show anything, ever. The settings were so overly-described that my eyes started glazing over, yet the world-building was lacking. I didn't understand much about the world. That could have changed as the book progressed, but since I couldn't make myself finish it, I didn't know. Also, the pacing was slow and the events that did happen felt forced. The book didn't flow.
I was hoping for a good steampunk/sci-fi masterpiece, but that wasn't what I got. Feel free to give this one a try. You may like it more than I did. (less)
Blurred is a good addition to the Kissed by Death series. I actually enjoyed it more than I did Inbetween. It has a bit of a darker feel, and I really...moreBlurred is a good addition to the Kissed by Death series. I actually enjoyed it more than I did Inbetween. It has a bit of a darker feel, and I really loved getting to know more about Cash and Anaya. Those two did not disappoint. The pacing is pretty spot on, and the character development is good. Some parts of the book were a bit lacking, but for the most part, I really enjoyed this story.
Cash is an interesting character. He's angry, and rightfully so, but I never felt that he was angsty or whiny. He had a really hard time, and I felt badly for him often. He evolves a ton throughout the course of the novel as well. Anaya is likable and not half as boring as Emma. I really liked how she changed, and I enjoyed the dynamic between her and Cash. Their situation was a unique one. I also liked seeing more Easton. I hope he's the star of the next installment.
This plot is a bit more complex than the last one, and I enjoyed that. Some things that happened, and some character reactions, didn't seem authentic, but for the most part, everything made sense. I felt a sense of urgency much more in this book than in the last one, and Cash goes through a lot of hell to get to where he is. Fuller didn't go easy on him at all. The ending wraps things up nicely for Anaya and Cash, and I like how things turned out.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to people who like light romance novels. This one is a bit darker (due to the characters), but it's not intensely dark by any means. If you want a quick, fun read, look no further. (less)
Promise Bound is an excellent conclusion to the Lies Beneath trilogy. Calder grows quite a bit, as does Lily, and Brown manages the alternating viewpo...morePromise Bound is an excellent conclusion to the Lies Beneath trilogy. Calder grows quite a bit, as does Lily, and Brown manages the alternating viewpoints in this novel like a pro. I could clearly hear every character's voice during their chapters. The characters are also faced with tons of challenges, which I liked. However, this book isn't perfect, and there are a few things that I would have liked to have seen, such as a clearer, more definite ending and more steady pacing. For the most part, though, I really enjoyed this novel.
Brown pulls out all of the stops when it comes to the characters in this installment. We get to hear from Calder, Lily, Maris, Pavati, and Daniel. Also, the reader gets to learn a lot from Nadia through Lily's dreams. This caused me to view all of the characters as more well-rounded and real. I could connect with, or at least understand the motives of, everyone after reading from all of these different perspectives. I know the last book was really Jason-heavy, and he wasn't as prominently featured in this novel. I would have liked to have learned a bit more about how he was dealing with being a mermaid. I also would have liked to have seen more of Sophie. It would have been nice to get at least a chapter from her perspective.
The pacing was pretty slow for part one of the book. The second part was a bit faster, and the third part flew by. I really liked the ending, but I feel that Brown left too many loose ends. I won't say what they are here because I don't want to spoil it for you. Also a couple of things could have been explained a bit more clearly. The plot itself was easy to follow, but there were a few twists at the end. Some of which I really liked and one of which didn't feel realistic to me. When there's a mystery being solved, a few clues should be dropped so it at least makes sense to the reader in the end. As it stood, things just felt too manipulated by the author for one event. Also, Calder didn't need to state he was fully evolved. That would have been better left unsaid. We could get that without being told.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but as I mentioned, some things were lacking. It held my interest to the very end, and while the conclusion isn't completely satisfying, it's not exactly unsatisfying, either. I'd recommend this series to anyone who likes good mermaid tales. (less)
This is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series, and 11 books in, it still hasn't gotten old. I feel like the series is coming close to an end because...moreThis is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series, and 11 books in, it still hasn't gotten old. I feel like the series is coming close to an end because Gin isn't growing much anymore, and we all know she'll come out of everything okay. However, I still enjoy meeting the new villains and seeing what Gin and her friends are up to. Poison Promise is a fast-paced novel, full of action and adventure. You won't be able to put this one down.
I really enjoyed this novel, but I still had a few complaints. For instance, Gin didn't grow at all, in my opinion, over the course of the book. I wish something had changed for her... at least something small. Bria still annoyed the crap out of me, and I still hate her and Finn together. Also, they have 0 chemistry. I really think Finn needs to find someone else. Their relationship is too convenient for my liking. Owen and Gin are back to normal, and he is fully supportive of her. Yes, he made mistakes in the past, and I wish those had been dealt with in book 10 instead of having a flashback novel, but I really love how he accepts and supports her as she is. I think they're a good match. Beauregard Benson, the villain is different, but he seemed weak to me, so I wasn't worried about Gin at all. I really enjoyed Silvio, though, and I'm glad we'll get to see more of him. I'm also glad we finally met M.M. Monroe. This nemesis may be worthy of the Spider.
This book has a lot of action, just like all of the Elemental Assassin books do. Gin's fights need to be mixed up some, though, and I'm tired of her getting kidnapped constantly. We all know she'll make it out alive. In a way I feel that the formula for these novels is getting old, but I was still intrigued and flew through the pages of this book. The pacing is fast, and I love that. Also, Estep quit spending pages upon pages rehashing things that happened in past books, and for that I am thankful. The ending tied things up nicely and set the stage for the next book in the series. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment thanks to M. M. Monroe's introduction.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who loves a good, bad ass lead character and action packed Urban Fantasies. Estep is a fantastic author, and Gin is a great character. You won't be sorry you gave this series a try. (less)
This is one of my absolute favorite Urban Fantasy series, and I was really looking forward to this book. However, Red Blooded wasn't half as enjoyable...moreThis is one of my absolute favorite Urban Fantasy series, and I was really looking forward to this book. However, Red Blooded wasn't half as enjoyable for me as the previous installments. It seemed like one of those books that needed to be created in order to progress the story to its next phase, but wasn't the best in the series. I have high hopes for the next novel, though, and I'm looking forward to it.
Jessica doesn't grow much in this novel. Sure she gains new abilities and a lot of things happen to her, but as a person, she doesn't grown a ton. Rourke is around, but he still feels absent in a lot of ways. I missed seeing a lot of the "regular" characters, like Marcy, since Jess was in the Underworld almost the whole time. Some of the new characters were interested. I hope we get to learn more about the Princess of Hell soon. For the most part, though, not a lot went on in the character department.
The plot was action-packed, but moved incredibly slowly. I felt like Jessica was going in circles for the majority of the novel, which was frustrating for me. I wanted the plot to advance, but nothing much really happened until the last 75% or so. The world-building was fantastic, though, and I could picture the odd landscapes of Carlson's Underworld. The ending was a cliffhanger, which irritated me. I felt like we could have cut out half of the Hell scenes and moved the plot forward more so that the readers could see what happened following the ending, but I trust that Carlson has a reason for writing the book the way she did. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next, either way.
Overall, I'd only recommend this book to you if you've already started the series and enjoy it. You'll need this one for the subsequent installments to make sense. I'd recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Adult Urban Fantasy novels, though. Just because this book didn't blow me away like the others doesn't mean that it wasn't good, and the series as a whole is fantastic.(less)
I really enjoyed Born of Illusion because of the unique setting and world that Brown had created. However, the magic is gone with this second installm...moreI really enjoyed Born of Illusion because of the unique setting and world that Brown had created. However, the magic is gone with this second installment. The descriptions, world-building, and character development are seriously lacking in this novel. Also, part of the book, including the climax, were extremely boring. From about 25% until about 75% was fantastic, though. That's why I rated this a C instead of a D or an F. However, I'm not sure I want to continue this series.
In the last book, I fell in love with Cole and Anna and the world of magic that they created together. In this book, the chemistry is gone. Cole is one of the dullest characters I've ever read, and Anna is a whiny, emo brat. Bronco Billy had the potential to be interesting, but that was taken from him, and Brown tried and failed to create a love triangle. None of the characters was fully developed enough to actually be intriguing.
The world-building is lacking. Brown managed to somehow strip all the character out of London, and this story could have taken place anywhere in the world. I still don't understand the society, and I'm not sure I really got what Calypso's powers were, either. Everything was vague and nothing was delved into enough. Also, the climax of the story was so anti-climactic, I could have slept through it. I was riveted for about half the book (25%-75%), but the climax itself had no sense of urgency about it. The ending wrapped everything up in a nice little package, complete with bow, which was also disappointing. That makes me not care about the sequel that much at all.
Overall, I'd only read this book if you were in love with the first novel and really want to continue the series. Otherwise, you're going to be bored and disappointed. (less)
The Jewel was a pleasant surprise for me. I've read mixed reviews on this one, and I wasn't sure I'd like it... especially when some people compared i...moreThe Jewel was a pleasant surprise for me. I've read mixed reviews on this one, and I wasn't sure I'd like it... especially when some people compared it to The Selection, which I loathed. However, I absolutely adored this book. The world-building was spectacular, the characters were intriguing and well-developed, the plot was full of suspense and romance, and the the writing was beautiful. Once I started this novel, I could not put it down.
Violet is an extremely relatable character. Somehow she still manages to be kind and good, even though her life sucks. She isn't selfish, but she isn't selfless, either. She makes some less than excellent decisions, but for the right reasons. She's also brave and strong and intelligent. I really felt for her and the predicament she was in. All of the other characters take a backseat to Violet, even the romantic interest, but they're all well-developed. I really enjoyed the Duchess, oddly enough. She's extremely complex. I was constantly torn between feeling sorry for her, thinking she may actually somehow be twisted but okay, and absolutely hating her. I absolutely adored Garnet, and I really hope we get to see more of him in the next installment. I also really liked Annabelle. She is a unique character. She expresses herself so much, though she can barely speak. I really liked her interactions with Violet. I would have liked to have gotten to know Ash better, but he really showed himself to be a good person in a couple of instances.
The world-building was amazing. I could picture the world in which Violet lived very easily. I really liked that The Lone City is an island and not just some destroyed and corrupted America. Ewing showed a lot of creativity in creating the different towns within the City. The Auguries are intriguing and unique. The mystery behind them blew my mind, and the surrogates' lives are much more complicated than is first let on. The plot unfolded nicely and nothing felt forced. I felt a sense of urgency and danger the entire time because the Jewel is truly a terrifying place. Ewing does a great job of showing how much money and power can corrupt people. Also, the story is written beautifully. The way Ewing described things was almost poetic at times. The ending is a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers, and I can't believe I have to wait a year to find out what happens next. That's the only part of the book that irritated me, but I also can't figure out how else it could have ended because the story progressed so naturally.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys unique dystopians. I really loved it. Be prepared to lose some sleep with this one. (less)
While Witchrise is a captivating and satisfying conclusion to the Tudor Witch Trilogy, it didn't quite live up to the previous two books, in my opinio...moreWhile Witchrise is a captivating and satisfying conclusion to the Tudor Witch Trilogy, it didn't quite live up to the previous two books, in my opinion. I did enjoy this novel immensely, and I feel that each character got an ending that suited them, but some bits at the end just fell into place too easily. Also, I don't feel that any of the characters grew quite enough, though I am happy that there were no personality changes to make the plot work or anything of that nature. Lamb's writing was exquisite as always, and her world-building was wonderfully done. For the most part, this book was an excellent ending to the series.
Meg has always been a strong character, and she still held fast to her beliefs in this novel. However instead of coming across as strong, she sometimes came across as overly stubborn and bratty. There were a few times when I just wanted to tell her that sharing means caring. For the most part, she was still likable, though. Elizabeth never was my favorite character, and she didn't really blow me away this time, either. Lamb did a terrific job at creating a character that'd be similar to how Elizabeth would act, though. It's clear that the author did her research before starting this series. Alejandro was a good love interest throughout the entire trilogy, and I really enjoyed his interactions with Meg. Richard never proved as a believable opposing love interest to me. I just couldn't buy him being a threat to Alejandro. Marcus Dent definitely won the most annoying villain award in this book, but villains aren't supposed to be pleasant, so it worked.
The pacing was a bit slow-moving at times, especially the first part at Meg's dad's house, but aside from Part 1, I was captivated for most of the novel. The world-building was extremely well done, and I got a clear understanding of the world that Lamb created. The setting descriptions were perfect. I felt like I was in Tudor England, both in the countryside and in London. The author really got the nastiness of medieval cities down in her descriptions, and I was glad that she didn't romanticize the past like many writers do. Some parts of the plot were just too convenient and felt forced, but mostly things flowed well.
Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who loves historic paranormal novels and/or the Tudors. This trilogy is an interesting take on life during that time period. (less)
This is probably my favorite book in the series, but it is also the most difficult to read. Kemmerer pulls out all the stops this time around, and she...moreThis is probably my favorite book in the series, but it is also the most difficult to read. Kemmerer pulls out all the stops this time around, and she is super hard on Michael the whole way through. However, he grows for it, and the Merrick boys get an uncertain, but not depressing, ending. My one complaint is how Kensington put the novellas at the back of the book, leading me to believe that the novel was longer. Therefore, I didn't have an emotional connection to many of the situations because I thought they'd somehow rectify themselves in the end, not knowing that the end was like 3 pages away. Other than that, this book is fantastic, and I'd recommend this series to anyone who is looking for something real and gritty with a unique paranormal twist.
Michael really blew me away in this novel. I felt so bad for him at times and other times I wanted to pummel him because he was so stubborn. His family and friends and frenemies put him in his place, though, and some of the characters who reappeared in this installment really surprised me. I enjoyed getting to know more about Tyler, and I was shocked that I didn't just flat out hate him (I always hate bullies). I figured if Michael could forgive him, then so could I, though. Also, Irish, a new character, was really interesting. I really enjoyed learning about him. I had his secret figured out pretty early on, but how it manifested still surprised me. I also liked watching Hannah's relationship with her father evolve.
The plot was tough and gritty and full of action and suspense. Poor Michael could not catch a break. Kemmerer didn't pull any punches, and she showed her bravery as an author with many of the choices she made. As I previously stated, I felt a bit robbed of emotional responses to certain occurrences because my e-book said I was at 62%, so I thought things had time to work themselves out, but that is no fault of the author's. Also, Kemmerer dealt with the fact that racism and sexual harassment exist in the workforce, and more often that not, nothing can be done to stop it. The writing was spectacular, and the world-building and scene descriptions made me feel like I was there with Michael through all of this horror. The pacing was spot on, and this was an extremely quick read. The ending was uncertain, but it fit. I felt that the last scene kind of put a close to this part of the Merrick boys' lives. Things were still up in the air, but they'd all grown so much that it was time for the next parts of their lives to start. I was satisfied with the how things ended, though I was sad about one of the events.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and series. Kemmerer addressed some really important issues in this series, and I must commend her for creating books to deal with harsh realities such as bullying and racism She wasn't afraid to create a book to tell the story of Nick, a gay character (Breathe), which I commend her for. It was a beautiful story. She also didn't back down and made Adam, Nick's boyfriend, a big part of this book, which I loved. She dealt with teen pregnancy in Michael's girlfriend, Hannah, and racism by looking at the harassment that Irish encountered. Every story in this series is extremely important and speaks to larger problems that occur in today's society. Kemmerer is arguably one of the most important YA authors to grace the scene, and I can't wait to see what she writes about next. (less)
Visions is an excellent follow-up to Omens. The world that Armstrong created keeps expanding, and I love that the novel is set in Chicago. Olivia cont...moreVisions is an excellent follow-up to Omens. The world that Armstrong created keeps expanding, and I love that the novel is set in Chicago. Olivia continues to evolve, as do the secondary characters, and the plot is complex. I really enjoyed this book, for the most part. I did not enjoy the new romance, though, and that's why I rated this one a B instead of an A. I have extremely high standards for Kelley Armstrong novels because she's my favorite author, so I rate her a bit tougher than most. I know that's not fair, but I can't help it.
Olivia is a fantastic leading lady. She's very different than the leading ladies from Armstrong's Otherworld series, and I really like that. She stands on her own, but she also is very intelligent and very rarely makes rash decisions. She's quite selfless, but not completely so. She's flawed, but at her core, she's good. I really enjoy reading from her perspective. I also like seeing her discover who she really is outside of the upper class society she grew up in. She's really coming into her own, and it's fascinating to watch. The secondary characters are also well-developed, and I absolutely adore Gabriel. He's so scarred, but he's not angsty. He never feels sorry for himself, but he does go to great lengths to protect himself. I really love his relationship with Olivia, and I hope that it grows into what it has the potential to be. Ricky is probably the least complex character. Sure, he has some depth, but I just really don't like him all that much. There's something there that I really don't trust. He seems too good to be true, almost, and that's never right. I also don't like his romantic relationship with Olivia. It's completely lust-driven, and while that is clearly what Olivia needs right now (or so she keeps claiming), it just doesn't seem "right." I don't think it's supposed to, though. It's the most underdeveloped relationship I've ever read from Armstrong, so I'm pretty sure she's up to something with it. I'm looking forward to seeing what, exactly, that is. The elders are intriguing, as is Patrick. I'd like to learn more about them in the following installments.
The world-building for this novel is unique and top-notch. I feel that I understand things as well as Olivia does at this point. Also, the setting is described well. Armstrong has either spent a lot of time in Chicago or done her research (or both) because she has everything from the terminology (State's Attorney instead of District Attorney, for example) to the feel of the city down perfectly. The plot keeps thickening and getting more and more complex, and I love it. The pacing is perfect, nothing is too fast or too slow, and the ending isn't a cliffhanger. The murder mystery for this book was wrapped up nicely, but there are still tons of things to find out about the world and Olivia and the other characters. I can't wait for the sequel.
Overall. I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who is looking for something new and different in the paranormal department. From the characters to the world, everything is fresh. You won't be disappointed with this series. (less)