**spoiler alert** I only just realized that I never wrote a review for this book. I probably figured that I would get to it later, and well, if a few...more**spoiler alert** I only just realized that I never wrote a review for this book. I probably figured that I would get to it later, and well, if a few months are "later," I guess I was right. Unfortunately, that means that most of the finer details of the story are gone from my memory.
I guess the only thing to do then is leave some general observations.
1. I hate the direction that Harry's character is going. I despised Harry and all his selfish "let the world burn" crap in Changes, but Ghost Story gave me hope that Harry had learned the consequences of that kind of attitude. Unfortunately, any growth that Harry's character had undergone throughout any of the previous books was completely wiped out in Cold Days. So instead of smart, capable Harry who understood how his actions affected the well-being of his friends, we got bumbling Harry who stayed about two steps behind the bad guys for most of the book and couldn't stop himself from thinking about raping every women who walked within two feet of him.
2. And speaking of rapey-mantle Dresden, I don't care if it's the stupid Winter Mantle giving him these urges, how am I supposed to related to and root for a character who is making my skin crawl? Harry Dresden should not be skeeving me out and I am so angry with Butcher for introducing this aspect into the story. I sincerely hope that this particular characteristic is fixed or at least toned down in the next book, or I might seriously have to give up on this series, which would make me incredibly sad.
3. Jim Butcher is turning Harry into a caricature of himself with these stupid pop-culture references. They were amusing before, when they were occasional, but in this book it seemed like Harry had to drop a reference into every conversation.
I'm being ranty here, I know. Months after the fact, most of what I can recall are the things that made me angry, but it was not a bad book. It was a enjoyable read (minus the rapey thoughts) and as exciting as most of the earlier books in series, even if not on par with the best ones (Dead Beat for example).
My love for this series has never really recovered from Changes, but I keep anticipating the next installment anyway. How long that will last, I'm not sure. But I just can't stop hoping.(less)
I was lucky to meet the author and buy this book at a local event. My 8 year old daughter was with me and she seem...more(cross-posted from my amazon review)
I was lucky to meet the author and buy this book at a local event. My 8 year old daughter was with me and she seemed interested, so I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.
The story follows a precocious group of orphans who find themselves battling evil from another dimension. Normally I find stories of children who are wise beyond their years a little off-putting, but I thought it worked in this story because of the kids' backgrounds and it wasn't overdone. There were some definite gross-out moments (that my daughter and I loved cringing over), but nothing that would be too much for young readers.
My favorite parts of the book were the theme and the strong moral compass of the protagonists. Another plus is that while the theme is obvious enough for young readers, the story never gets preachy.
My daughter's favorite parts seem to be action scenes (which I also thought were well paced and plotted) and the moments were protagonists support each other through troubles. (I'm being deliberately vague so as not to spoil the story.)
If I had any criticism at all, it would be that some of the dialog and descriptions could be simplified a bit for easier reading flow. BUT I think that something like that can be forgiven for a self-published author with no professional editor--it certainly didn't distract from what turned out to be a great story. And it certainly hasn't stopped my daughter from re-reading this book multiple times.
All in all, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to just about any middle-grade and young adult reader.(less)
My review for the debut novel in this series applies here too. Although, I definitely didn't enjoy this installment as much, mainly because one of the...moreMy review for the debut novel in this series applies here too. Although, I definitely didn't enjoy this installment as much, mainly because one of the villains is such a flat, obvious caricature of a celebrity that it took me out of the book. Young children probably won't have that problem. Once again, my daughter loves this book, so I averaged our scores. (less)
I borrowed this from my daughter for research for an upcoming project. It was a cute, fun read. My daughter, whose opinion matters more than mine in t...moreI borrowed this from my daughter for research for an upcoming project. It was a cute, fun read. My daughter, whose opinion matters more than mine in this case, absolutely loves it. She would give it five stars; I'd give it three, so I averaged them for this review. If your child likes superheroes, they will probably like this book. (less)
I always have a hard time pinpointing how I feel about the books in this series. On one hand, I generally like them and keep coming back for more. On...moreI always have a hard time pinpointing how I feel about the books in this series. On one hand, I generally like them and keep coming back for more. On the other hand, there is always something that leaves me feeling just vaguely dissatisfied with the story, the characters, the world, or all of the above.
This latest book had more lows than highs for me. I almost dumped the series a few books back when Rachel spent most of her time whining about her relationship with Ivy. But then the two partners came to an understanding and the angst and navel-gazing was kept to a minimum for a few books. Suddenly, in A Perfect Blood, we're back to angsty, whiny Rachel and I did not enjoy her return.
Rachel was also almost TSTL in this installment and there were more than a few times when I would have liked to reach into the book and give her a good smack. (view spoiler)[There is a nasty group that's out for her (literal) blood for nefarious reasons and her friends and colleagues keep telling her to either stay out of dodge, take a certain step to protect herself, or both. She does neither and then is SHOCKED when she's captured and abused. I couldn't roll my eyes any harder at her epiphany that *gasp* her friends were right. (hide spoiler)] She can't seem to hit the broad side of a bard with her splat gun anymore either.
She spends more time getting her butt kicked and being saved by Trent than anything else. In fact, this whole book has Rachel being dominated by the men in her life. Decisions are made for her by her pack leader, Trent gets her out of trouble more than once, she has to call up an old boyfriend for help with a spell, Al has to be on hand for another important bit of magic, and she's constantly thinking about her attractions to whatever man wanders onto the page with her.
There were good points in this book. It moved Trent's story forward a little and I like seeing his growth as a character. There was a hint that both Rachel and Ivy might be moving on from their attraction, so I might never have to hear about that again. Jenks has found an unlikely friendship that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, Rachel was so lame in this book that it overshadowed everything else. I'm still going to keep up with the series, and I'm hoping that the next book will feature a Rachel Morgan that grows up, stops whining, and starts kicking ass again.(less)
**spoiler alert** This book is apparently the second in a series of mysteries involving Dr. Morgan Snow, but it stands alone just fine. In fact, the a...more**spoiler alert** This book is apparently the second in a series of mysteries involving Dr. Morgan Snow, but it stands alone just fine. In fact, the author did a good job of showing how the events of the previous book affected the characters without giving anything away for people who may want to go back and read it.
I enjoyed this book, which was a pleasant surprise after my last few experiences with free Amazon titles, but it was not without its problems.
First, I found the constant POV switching to be a confusing choice. Only Dr. Snow's scenes are in the first person. Everything else is told in the third. I suppose it was a stylistic choice, but it left me wondering just who was telling this story, which took me out of the book a bit. I preferred Dr. Snow's narrative and found myself wanting to get back to her whenever the POV switched. Dr. Snow is an interesting, smart character and I enjoyed her psychological insights into people around her.
Second, the "murderer" was much too easy to figure out. There were only two sets of characters that were plausibly behind the crimes. One was an obvious misdirect, leaving the other as the only choice by about half way through the book. Despite that, there was a twist with the ending that I certainly didn't expect and thought was pretty unique for a murder mystery.
Third, the ending. It was rather abrupt, but that was not my main problem with it. What bothered me is that it just didn't make a lot of sense. *SPOILER ALERT*(view spoiler)[If the villain is so concerned about not being a murderer that she risks exposure to save one of her victims, then why would she (only minutes later) have no qualms about killing the rest of her victims plus an innocent bystander to keep her activities secret? (hide spoiler)]
These weren't exactly minor nitpicks to me, but they didn't keep me from enjoying this book and even seeking out others in this series.
Finally, some scenes in this book were pretty sexually explicit. If that bothers you, this may not be a story you want to pick up.(less)
I wasn't quite sure what to think about this book when I finished it. On one hand, it was a page turner and it was fascinating to see how the past liv...moreI wasn't quite sure what to think about this book when I finished it. On one hand, it was a page turner and it was fascinating to see how the past lives we were reading about connected into the future. I was actually surprised by one reveal, so either the author was good at misdirection or I'm just easily duped. Either way, the plot twists worked for me.
Some reviews have mentioned that the frequent POV switching can be confusing, and I would probably agree with that, even though I felt the book was pretty solidly written overall.
Still, I was just vaguely dissatisfied at the end. I'm not sure if it was caused by the underlying philosophy of the story, the unresolved issues left open, or both. I see now that the book is first in a series of four, so maybe the sequels will help. Now I just have to decide if this story intrigues me enough to read further. I'm still not sure.
I've read some of the later Hugh Corbett mysteries and thoroughly enjoyed them. The debut book for this mystery-solving medieval clerk is simplistic a...moreI've read some of the later Hugh Corbett mysteries and thoroughly enjoyed them. The debut book for this mystery-solving medieval clerk is simplistic and a little flat compared to later books, but it was still an enjoyable enough read. At the very least, I was glad to see first hand how Ranaulf came to work for Corbett. I'm looking forward to making my way through the rest of the series until I catch up to where I originally began. Heh.(less)