I think that one of the measures of a good writer is their ability to make the reader truly care about the characters and/or the issue that they are wI think that one of the measures of a good writer is their ability to make the reader truly care about the characters and/or the issue that they are writing about. In this case, Barbara Kingsolver took a topic that I honestly could not have cared less about, and wrote a book that had me completely gripped from beginning to end. This book left me actually caring about that issue and thinking about it for weeks. Prodigal Summer is a novel about the interconnectedness (is that a word?) of EVERYTHING. The novel follows three distinct story lines, each about a different aspect of nature and how every creature and every act is connected. This is mirrored in the unseen connections between the characters and the interweaving of the seemingly separate storylines. This was a very well written novel that not only kept me interested in a story and in the characters, but taught me a lot about environmental issues that I had never thought about before. This book was extremely persuasive; I'm completely sold now. Please go read this book, and afterwards, I dare you to buy non-organic fruit....more
The thing that's great about this series is that it's so much more than a romance novel. There is so much going on in this book, it's easy to get swepThe thing that's great about this series is that it's so much more than a romance novel. There is so much going on in this book, it's easy to get swept up in Ward's world and invested in the characters. This book was almost as good the second time, and I find myself anxious to read the next ones to see what happens, even though I already know. :)
I loved this almost as much the second time as I did the first. I think the only thing that made it less enjoyable was that I accRead count: 12/07 5/09
I loved this almost as much the second time as I did the first. I think the only thing that made it less enjoyable was that I accidentally left it somewhere and had to wait almost three weeks to get it back before I could finish it, so the ending wasn't as great as it would have been if I were still all caught up in it. But basically, JR Ward is the queen of paranormal romance. It just doesn't get any better than this.
2nd read - May, 2010: My thoughts from my re-read of this book are as follows: I like Butch a lot. I still don't care for Marissa and their romance does2nd read - May, 2010: My thoughts from my re-read of this book are as follows: I like Butch a lot. I still don't care for Marissa and their romance doesn't gel. I guess it's a love-at-first-sight, soul mate kind of a story and I don't like those. I need a reason for my H/H to be in love. Not "just because." I basically come away with the basis of their romance being: Butch loves Marissa because she's beautiful and she smells good, and Marissa loves Butch because no one else wants her and she's been a virgin for waaaay too long. I also felt like this book was needlessly long and that nothing really happened in it. A whole lot of nothing. These books were crack the first time I read them but the re-read has been disappointing so far. I hope by the time I get to the books I haven't read yet that the fresh feeling returns. I'll be really sad to give up this series.
I really wanted to give this book five stars, I loved it so much while reading it, but as has been mentioned by other reviewers, the end just wasn't tI really wanted to give this book five stars, I loved it so much while reading it, but as has been mentioned by other reviewers, the end just wasn't that great. It was kind of disappointing. The book was so detailed and really took the time to engross the reader, and then at the end it completely rushed the climax, underexplained everything, didn't really tie things up, et cetera, et cetera... But disappointing ending aside, I thought this book was great. The first 200 pages were really slow to me. It took me two months or so to get through them. And then one day I picked it up and bam. The next 700 pages flew by. The book has its flaws, but overall I thought the story was gripping, the writing was good, and it was immensely satisfying. For the most part, she handled the intertwining time/storylines very well. The scenery of the book was great. I don't know much about Eastern Europe at all, and while I wouldn't consider this actual historical fiction, I feel like I picked up a teeny bit of a feel for the history and culture of that area, which was interesting to me. Even the parts that other people thought were slow and boring were interesting to me. I highly recommend this book....more
I have been reading these books in order, and though I haven't read the ones that come after this one yet, I would have to say this is by far the bestI have been reading these books in order, and though I haven't read the ones that come after this one yet, I would have to say this is by far the best in the series. The previous books were all okay, they were entertaining enough. But this one had a much less predictable plot, much more likeable characters, etc. It kept me engaged (and up until 2 in the morning.) This is one I would actually read again. Of course, this is a paranormal romance novel. It's light, quick, mindless... you know what to expect. But this is probably one of my favorites of the genre. A great read. If you have not read the previous books in the series, I don't recommend reading this one first. Not because you'll be confused, because you won't. These books stand alone and you'll be just fine. In fact, this is probably the only one that doesn't have any connections to the others. But I don't recommend reading it first because if you like it as much as I did and decide to go back and read the others, I think you'll be disappointed.
**Update: I have now read the rest of the books in the series, and I still maintain that this is the best one. Definitely read this one before the ones after it, because from here on they actually relate to each other and it will make more sense if you read them in order. ...more
I'll admit I don't remember much about this book. What I do remember is that I read it as a child (I think it was somewhere in the 9-11 range) and LOVI'll admit I don't remember much about this book. What I do remember is that I read it as a child (I think it was somewhere in the 9-11 range) and LOVED it. So I guess I'll have to read it again and see what I think from a slightly more adult point of view....more
Wow. I just finished this book and my head is spinning. I could probably read this book a dozen times and still not truly understand it, but it definiWow. I just finished this book and my head is spinning. I could probably read this book a dozen times and still not truly understand it, but it definitely took me on a journey and I think that's the point.
I will not repeat the plot or premise here - there is plenty of that in other reviews. Nor will I attempt to write any kind of academic or intellectual analysis. Mostly because I just don't think I'm smart enough to do it justice. Also because one of the main functions of the book was to be a satiric commentary about just such critical analyses, though it practically screams out for it. One could easily attend a college course, an entire semester devoted to discussion of this book and barely scratch the surface.
So what I will say is this. This book is challenging, engaging, haunting, sad, beautiful, heartbreaking, scary as HELL, and one of the most incredible reading (or other) experiences you will ever have. My head is still spinning....more
About halfway through the book, I got curious about what other BDB fans thought, so I went to Amazon.com and read some reviews and some discussions. WoAbout halfway through the book, I got curious about what other BDB fans thought, so I went to Amazon.com and read some reviews and some discussions. Wow, people are not happy. People feel like they've been tricked. They feel like the series has gone from romance to urban fantasy.
While I don't necessarily feel tricked or upset about the whole thing, I have to agree that this is definitely more urban fantasy. The supposed "main" storyline, i.e. the romance between Phury and Cormia, is really just a B or even C story. The main story is the war between the vampires and the lessers, particularly how it relates to John and his friends as well as another character that has gone from secondary to front and center.
Yeah, I'm a little disappointed. This series completely sucked me in, to the point where I would not have recommended it to anyone with a job, a family or any concern for personal hygiene. But this book did not suck me in that way. I was not as invested in the characters as I had once grown to expect from Ward. I used to if not fall completely in love with the lead character, at least grow to like them and feel a bit attached as the book progressed. After finishing this book, I feel no more invested in Phury than I was in the very first book.
The series has changed; in direction as well as scope. However, as far as urban fantasy goes, this is probably some of the best I've read. I was still invested in the story, and I will continue to read the series. I'm curious to see where things go with John and Xhex, and I'm intrigued by the new character Lassiter.
So for BDB fans, no, this is not what you signed on for when you fell in love with the first 3 or 4 books in the series, and for the people who were very disappointed with Lover Unbound; those problems have not been fixed. Character development is still nill, the romance storyline is even less prominent, and the part that bugs me the most: For those of us who were very interested in the Butch and V storyline and very disappointed when Ward completely turned away from it - she did it again!!! Yet again she flirted with the idea of a homosexual relationship (or even encounter) and then shied away. I thought she would have learned her lesson the first time....
Anyway, if you were frustrated with the direction the last book took, this book isn't really any better. However, despite some annoyances and disappointments, this is still a great series. I am still interested in the story, I am still drawn into Ward's meticulously crafted world, and I will continue to read this series. If you go into it expecting less romance and more urban fantasy, then you will get some of the best urban fantasy out there. The fans who came to the series for the romance (like me) will be disappointed, but I think if you can let that go and just enjoy the ride, you'll ultimately be glad you did. ...more
Can you drop a book a star if you loved the whole thing and hated the last 10 pages? I decided no so I gave it five stars, but wow did I hate the veryCan you drop a book a star if you loved the whole thing and hated the last 10 pages? I decided no so I gave it five stars, but wow did I hate the very end.
I read the two books of this series over the course of a weekend. If you enjoy paranormal romance or anything with vampires, you will love this series (at least I think so!) Not only are these good old fashioned super hot PNR books, but they're also excellent urban fantasy. There are likeable, believable characters in the midst of a very action packed and compelling story. The dialogue is good, the writing is creative.. these books are nearly perfect. Steamy sex scenes, gory action scenes, laugh out loud moments, everything you could want in a PNR/UF novel. I highly recommend both books in the series. If you liked the first one, you won't be disappointed by this one.
Or you might. The story itself was wrapped up nicely and I wasn't disappointed by the true ending, but then in the last few pages, an earlier thread that was seemingly resolved "came back" as it were, and I found it to be over the top. Frost had flirted with the line between great fantasy and "oh, please" so successfully throughout these two books, but then took it way too far at the very end. I was very annoyed and nearly threw my book across the room.
I'm willing to forgive and will certainly read the third book when it comes out at the end of December, but I'm hoping the complete riculousness of that last bit isn't a portent of things to come.......more
When people refer to urban fantasy or paranormal romance books as "light, quick reads" I always sort of roll my eyes and think, "Well, naturally." I dWhen people refer to urban fantasy or paranormal romance books as "light, quick reads" I always sort of roll my eyes and think, "Well, naturally." I don't think anyone's expecting a UF book to be dense or change their lives. They're all light, quick reads. But this book... this really earns that description. One of the quickest books I've ever read, with a pretty simple plot. Not a lot of subplots (actually, I'm not sure there were any...), not too many secondary characters, not a lot of twists and turns, complex mythology or character development.
And yet.. I really enjoyed this book. The quick simple story was fun and interesting. It was different from a lot of what I've read of the genre (i.e. no vampires, werewolves, fairies, etc.) and I appreciated that. And while there weren't a lot of twists and turns, there was one twist at the end that actually took me by surprise and that's always fun.
Another good thing about the book was the writer's willingness to go places that a lot of writers of the genre don't go. (At least not that I've seen so far.) For one, two of the main characters in the book were gay, and they weren't glossed over or treated as stereotypes. They had a relationship. They kissed and had sex. It was awesome. Second, S&M was a big theme, which is always good.
However, on the flip side, I think the writer thought she was being edgier than she really was. The main character (the book was written in first person) kept calling herself a "tough broad" (gag)... because she has ear piercings and one tattoo on her lower back...? Wow, what a badass. And yeah, she took the S&M route, but it was probably the tamest S&M ever. There's a point in the book where the characters go to an underground S&M club, and the big kinky thing that everyone's watching is.... a schoolgirl fantasy? A schoolgirl fantasy and some spanking aren't exactly hardcore.
So if mentioning S&M turned you off from this book, yeah, you may not like this one, but be aware it's not super kinky or disturbing at all.
Bottom line: really good, fun, light read with a certain amount of edge, but not as much as the author thought she was doing. :) If you like urban fantasy, read this one. It's good....more
3.5 stars. This could be a 4 star book if my main reaction weren't "Huh?"
Basically, Karen Chance tried to cram waaaay too much information into one boo3.5 stars. This could be a 4 star book if my main reaction weren't "Huh?"
Basically, Karen Chance tried to cram waaaay too much information into one book. She has created a very complex and very interesting world that would be fun to read about it if she gave it out in doses instead of cramming it down the reader's throat right away.
My other complaints: 1. The main character, Cassie, is really bland. She has no real personality; I couldn't get a real feel for her at all. 2. A lot of the vampires are real people from history. For example, you have Jack the Ripper, Raphael, Rasputin, Dracula's brother, etc. This would have been interesting if she had picked one or maybe two. But it got a little silly after awhile.
Overall, a really interesting premise and okay action - would have been better if she hadn't stopped a million times to give backstory. (And the endlessly interrupted sex scene other reviewers have mentioned? Arrggghh! That was really annoying.) It was just too much of an info dump. I think the book may have been more successful if she had started a little earlier in the timeline; to when she first met Tomas, perhaps.
Hopefully the subsequent books in this series won't suffer from the same problem. I'm interested to see where the story goes.
**Re-read, Dec. 2009** I'm not going to change my rating or review because I think my initial impressions are still valiad, but I will say this was much better the second time around. Great series! ...more