**spoiler alert** There was this one stand-out moment back when I was reading the first installment, Artemis Fowl. I remember it was while I was waiti**spoiler alert** There was this one stand-out moment back when I was reading the first installment, Artemis Fowl. I remember it was while I was waiting for my next class at the university.
That was about 6 years ago.
I remember that I was sitting cross-legged at the corridor and was immersed in the story when one of my professors happened to walk by. He called my attention and we greeted each other hello but then at the last second he did a double take upon seeing the cover of the book in my hands. His smile grew wider, saying that he loves Artemis Fowl, and that he was glad to see one of his students reading the series.
Indeed, I remember a few days later after having finished the book feeling that I can't wait to latch on onto the second installment. There's a certain charm about Colfer's writing. Added to that was the sometimes-distracting allure of the symbolic codes on the pages.
Alas. As I said, that was half a decade or so ago. I cannot really give an excuse as to why I haven’t made good on my promise to myself to immediately hunt for the 2nd book.
Fast-track to the present.
These days? These days I must admit to becoming more and more predisposed towards the digital format. Perhaps there’s still a part in me that can wax nostalgic about the sensate experience of riffling through the crisp pages of a paperback, the old musty smell that leaps out of the pages. But I also have come to appreciate the convenience of the ecopy.
Because that is exactly how I crammed years of regret for promises unfulfilled and subsequently compensated for lost momentum. Perhaps driven by this guilt, I ploughed through the entire Fowl series in a few weeks’ time.
I re-read the first installment after 6 or so years and found myself grinning yet again once I stumbled upon one of my favorite quotes: “Confidence is ignorance. If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know.”
From then on I resolved to finish what I began.
And in every installment, do you know what I found? I found that I couldn’t wait for Mulch to pop up. For yet another one of his wise cracks and pithy declarations of ‘enforced’ cooperation you would think he’s being asked to self-immolate. For Foaly to boast yet another one of his inventions while suffering the indignity of having ‘average’ people still unable to appreciate the extent of his brilliance. For Artemis to up the ante on his ‘insufferable’ meter as he privately becomes more self-aware of what his actions can lead to, and the importance of having friends whom he can rely on. For Julius Root to be all bark and no bite, a crusty old bear that has no time for nonsense and who is laughingly easily baited to lose his temper.
(And, yes. I KNOW. I don’t really want to think about Root because I still mourn. And pages and pages after that incident, I still believed he really wasn’t gone. No one can replace the curmudgeon.)
Also for some reason, I became increasingly interested in Butler. The seemingly cold-hearted bodyguard whose singular name can spark fear in Artemis’ enemies became more and more ‘human’. I found myself despairing when he was shot dead… when he revealed his name – I was edging Artemis on to hurry up and find Holly to resuscitate Butler. BECAUSE BUTLER DEAD IS SIMPLY.NOT.ACCEPTABLE.
He was Artemis’ moral compass. The one who, although would never dream to challenge Artemis’ decisions outright, nevertheless can succinctly convey his disapproval should his principal cross the line. And that moment when he demanded a ‘proper’ greeting from Holly? I gushed when she kissed him on the cheek and hugged him as far as her arms would allow. He’s such a dad.
So when Artemis went back from Limbo and was trudging up the cabin where Foaly told him that Butler has kept vigil for 3 years… when he perused the books that his faithful protector and friend has been reading all this time until his return… and when Butler confronted him from behind…. I felt that that moment was the pinnacle of the series. Theirs is not a love story and yet… you know what? In a sense it was.
The instances when Butler can read – and read well – what Artemis is currently hatching in his devious little mind. And how Artemis himself can automatically and clearly surmise what Butler is thinking. The angst that Butler felt when he thought that Artemis no longer trusts him. His frustration that he has aged and is no longer as quick or as strong in order to protect his charge after being brought back to life. And that moment when Holly realized how Butler can never be the same should Artemis be lost to them yet again. I felt vulnerable (?) in these moments.
(Perhaps this an appropriate moment as any to insert that this is where I am conflicted about ‘The Lost Colony’. More than half the time I absolutely cannot understand the convoluted complications of time travelling back and forth and across dimensions and planes. But I think the installment made up plenty nevertheless what with Number 1’s adorable personality and the Arty-Butler reunion.)
I don’t know… but these moments… Butler and Artemis. Artemis and Butler. The dynamics between these two goes so far and so deep. Can I just say I cried when Artemis was saying goodbye to Holly in this last installment and was agonizing in the knowledge of how Butler will take the news of his decision to sacrifice himself?
Yep. I was dripping snot.
Belated this – I should have said that this categorically is not a review of any of the Fowl series. I can’t review any one book because I really don’t think I can without considering the overarching narratives of the main characters across the entire series. Colfer has deftly allowed room for each to grow and develop, making this small and merry band of mismatched characters endear themselves to the reader.
Sure, the interest will always be the genius of Artemis and how he can make sense out of such a quagmire as they repeatedly find themselves in with a brilliant stroke of hutzpah. The unrelenting mania of Opal Koboi whose ambitions transcend anything, everything, and anywhen.
But I would like to think that the legacy of the series is also about relationships. How the many fantastical death-defying adventures in fairy and human world alike can forge something so resolute and lasting. It can be bent and beaten to the brink of breaking but the trials only serve to make the bond stronger. More unyielding.
And to be frank – For me? The shenanigans of the antagonists across the series blur into one another. What really sticks out is how, little by little, Artemis and Co. welcome each other in warmer tones than the last in every beginning of their adventures. They’d rather, of course, not meet at all in such dire circumstances and actually wish that they all can hang out without the threat of world annihilation or some such hanging over their heads, but there’s no denying their growing delight in being reunited in each other’s company as the series progresses.
Okay, to get it out of the way: Charmain is one of the main characters I've ever come across who I did not particularly care for. And, believe you me,Okay, to get it out of the way: Charmain is one of the main characters I've ever come across who I did not particularly care for. And, believe you me, I am saddened by that fact.
I thought that she was going to be this young lady who, despite having her head up in the clouds with her books, will display some charming qualities that would make her irreverent and interesting. But -- spoiler alert (?) -- she turned out to be selfish, thoughtless, lazy, irresponsible, rude, and ungrateful.
Sure, the novel seemed to attempt to show her in a bit of good light later on. But there really is that impression -- at least with this reader -- that she did not come away from her adventure truly learning anything for the improvement of her attitude or behavior.
Good thing, at least, that there were Howl and Co. to make the story somewhat bearable. Better, still, that Howl in this instance was so adorable to such an extent that I kept having the compulsion to re-read Howl's Moving Castle. Sophie was still Sophie although she really was more preoccupied with being a mother to a bratty (?) son (sorry, Morgan. But you really are a handful. I wonder if Howl finds you intolerable).
Curiously enough, this third installment to Howl -- aside from being the one I least liked -- also seemed to feature a truly formidable and frightening enemy. The respective quote-unquote antagonists in Moving Castle and in Castle in the Air were devious in their own ways but were not what I would call as "cold-blooded killers".
The lubbock in this novel, however, is as bad as they get. And it is the first time in this series that the author perpetuated the feeling of abject fear for the lives of the protagonists.
My point, though? Nothing. I just thought it was a curious fact that there's a darker "feeling" in this novel.
Another aspect that I found peculiar in this story, with respect to the first 2 novels, is the flimsiness of the "conflict" necessitating a wizard's interference: investigating where the coffers of gold are disappearing to.
Maybe I was spoiled by the first 2 installments. They had the honest-to-god-goodness feel of being real adventures. And almost all characters were funny. But this third book seemed a bit flat. A little lackluster. Maybe because of Charmain and her churlishness.
Or maybe it's me. And I just didn't want to accept that, after this, I would never encounter any adventure of Howl and Sophie's ever again. *(unless I'm wrong -- someone please correct me if I am horribly wrong. I shall welcome it)....more
Perhaps it is a measure of how excited I was over the prospect of encountering Howl and Sophie again, that, for quite some time, I deluded myself intoPerhaps it is a measure of how excited I was over the prospect of encountering Howl and Sophie again, that, for quite some time, I deluded myself into believing that Flower-in-the-Night was their daughter and that the garden where Abdullah and she first met is the same one found in the property that Howl (and Calcifer) found for Sophie.
But of course that was firmly squashed once Flower-in-the-Night described the only man she has ever seen in all her life -- her father. Howl with a belly? Inconceivable.
Quickly recovering from that mild disappointment, I continued on with Abdullah's exploits with the flying carpet. And, after turning the last page, I can come up with nothing less than praise for this sequel. Not a single chapter will bore the reader. And every new adventure is better than the last.
Abdullah turned out to be an extremely likeable, hugely relatable character. He is far from stupid or recklessly impulsive, yet events conspire to put him in the middle of a rut that leaves you smacking your palm against your forehead. And continue reading.
And Flower-in-the-Night is so surreal-lynice and surprisingly smart about the ways of the world, considering her sheltered childhood. Though not as iron-willed as Sophie, she will nevertheless surprise readers by her level-headedness. I would admit that I was initially hardly interested in Abdullah's resolve to rescue her, as I -- once again -- believed that she might turn out to be flighty or self-centered. But the woman Abdullah encountered in moving castle was hardly a damsel in distress. And, is, in fact, more than a match for any man.
The surprisingly refreshing aspect of this novel, as well, is the lack of a purely, fervently, evil character for the sake of pitting good against bad. The one being that had to be "bad" -- if the story really had to have a "bad" persona -- turned out to be so comical as to be endearing.
Actually -- come to think of it -- practically every character in the novel was hilarious, that I soon forgot that I was on the lookout for Howl or Sophie.
For sure, when the time came for the "big reveals", I was left slack-jawed and asking myself, "how the hell did I not realize---??"
And, oh, how wonderful it was to indeed, finally be reacquainted once again with Howl and Co. The story can sure stand alone relative to Howl's Moving Castle yet is still very much influenced by the memorable characters from that novel. This sequel truly is a treat....more
I cannot recall what exactly got me going, but about a month ago, I found myself suddenly gripped with restless yearning to watch (or re-watch) any fiI cannot recall what exactly got me going, but about a month ago, I found myself suddenly gripped with restless yearning to watch (or re-watch) any film by Studio Ghibli. I cannot remember if this was brought about by seeing a Ghibli film on cable around that time (honestly, I can't remember if this happened, or what film it was if such a thing indeed occurred), or coming across a post in tumblr about a Ghibli film. Nevertheless, the restlessness took root and had to be quenched.
So for the following weeks, I re-watched the likes of My Neighbor Totoro (and promptly fell in love all over again), Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, while belatedly discovering the wonders in the likes of From Up on Poppy Hill, Only Yesterday, Whisper of the Heart, The Wind Rises, Porco Rosso, Nausicaa, The Cat Returns, and My Neighbors the Yamadas. I staunchly refrained from re-watching Grave of the Fireflies because I refuse to subject my feelings to that kind of raw pain again.
Amidst the re-discovery and the new discoveries that have left me -- up to this day -- thirsty for more Ghibli productions, there's really only 2 films that have strong sentimental value to me: Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. The former because it was the first ever Ghibli film I watched and is perhaps solely responsible for why I am writing this right now; and the latter as the second film which cemented this awe I have with this brand of animation.
True, Ghibli's rendition of Howl's Moving Castle, for me, was not so much preoccupied with a tidiness in plot as with rendering unforgettable special effects. Thus, as breathtakingly beautiful animation films go, Howl will always have choice spot.
Then of course, in re-watching Howl, there arose the disquiet on the perhaps-unintentional vagueness in some aspects of its storyline. In between the scenes when Sophie kept reverting from being a bent old woman to her own young self albeit with grey hair, and the somewhat confusing scene when she encountered the younger Howl, I wanted to know how the novel the film was based on fared against its silverscreen counterpart.
It helped that Diana Wynne Jones apparently gave her approval on this Ghibli adaptation -- this, in spite of the fact that Miyazaki was observed to have significantly veered away from huge aspects of the novel.
And, after reading the novel, let me tell you here and now: if Ghibli's Howl was enjoyable, Jones' Howl was even more so. I would go far as to say that it would be a huge injustice (to yourself) if you confine (er... yourself) to only watching the film adaptation.
Because Howl and Sophie on paperback is infinitely more charming. More engrossing. And more engaging. Certainly had oodles of space to grow as characters.
Reading Jones' novel did, in fact, resuscitate one reservation I didn't know I still had after having watched Ghibli's Howl those many years ago. The romance between the two. The wonder of witchcraft and sorcery and magic in the film can perhaps be excused for blinding the viewer to the glaring deficiency in developing the feelings between Sophie and Howl.
(and -- I will stop you right in your tracks before you break something in your fervor to violently protest something so insipid as romantic love. I take no notice of the fact that this is categorized as "children's fantasy". And I don't mind that neither is this pegged as "romance," -- it would be foolhardy to simply refer to this work as one. What it does is straddle the charm that can be found between the easy reading of children's lit and the feel-good sensation of budding romance.)
The novel will show you just how this "love" wondrously came about. There are the incessant bickering between Howl and Sophie. The moments when Howl forgot himself and actually showed kindness in front of Sophie's disbelieving eyes. In times when he expressed exasperation over Sophie's new mishaps, and in times when Sophie slowly truly became Howl's champion, precisely because of his flaws.
Howl in the film is -- let's be honest -- shallow. In the sense that he is shallow for vanity as well as shallow for anything inherently good. There is the impression that he found a bit of humanity once Sophie came into his life, but precious little is left for anyone else. In the novel, he presents himself as all things undesirable from the get-go, but is, in truth, much more than he lets on.
Jones' novel will also show just how much more complex Sophie's family's role is. And, really, how much more there actually are characters in the story. And how everyone is so expertly entwined with the lives of one another that you marvel at the intricacies that Jones has woven.
I implore you to read this novel. Watching the film will help, if only to visually show how Howl's castle is ensorcelled. But for everything else, Jones' novel will leave you with an infinitely more satisfying feeling.
And it got better when I realized there were two -- yes 2! -- sequels. Because Howl and Sophie is a couple that you will find difficult to tear away from....more
**spoiler alert** Sputtering and vainly keeping it together, this finale’s turned out to be quite a downer… dammit!
The only really exciting bits for m**spoiler alert** Sputtering and vainly keeping it together, this finale’s turned out to be quite a downer… dammit!
The only really exciting bits for me in this novel were Lucivar stumbling into Daemon in that service fair – I was like, ‘c’mon, c’mon…sign the bastard already!!’, Jaenelle majorly losing her cool with the Aaron-Vania episode, the ass-kicking after Wilhelmina’s aborted abduction, and, honestly?... virtually everything else involving Daemon.
Yeah, even that excruciating scene he had to play out in front of them bitches Hekatah and Dorothea.
‘Coz, quite simply, a certain ‘something’ was missing in this installment. Sure, Daemon becomes the Consort and, after what feels like hundreds of pages later on, finally gets it on with Jaenelle – and yet, all throughout this novel, there just doesn’t seem to be enough emphasis on the relationship itself between these two. That heartrending scene by the end of the first book, Daughter of the Blood, in which Daemon had to coax Witch from the abyss… there—where did all that emotion, that intensity, go?
Jaenelle was an adolescent then, true, but even then Bishop was able to fully convey (well, to me, at least) just how much Daemon loves the girl-woman – the absolute despair at the thought of losing her was felt so keenly to the reader precisely because the interaction between them was carefully nurtured during that period when Daemon was staying at Beldon Mor.
However, in Queen of the Darkness (wherein the prospect of him finally becoming the Consort was one of the things I really was looking forward to), it seems as if the whole story was about everything but Jaenelle and Daemon’s love (and reacquaintance). Stuff about friggin’ tangled webs, spiders and caves, cryptic messages of kindred dreaming dreams made flesh, and more (in retrospect) fumbling attempts by Hekatah to fight Saetan.
And I think I really missed something in between Heir to the Shadows and this one: uhm… who is Marian? HOW exactly did the love story between her and Lucivar begin? It would have been nice (to put mildly) to have their story given more attention.
By the way, yes, I am very much aware that this is a fantasy first before romance. And even if I do try to focus on the non-romantic aspects, I still find myself missing those bits wherein Jaenelle was an extremely likeable character. Wherein she is the Queen yet still very much that winsome daughter of Saetan or the bosom buddy of the coven and the kindred. This finale was just too too serious. Either she’s almost always withdrawn to herself, in pain, or in anger.
And even if the reason behind these ‘serious’ things is the brewing threat of war (and how ‘queenly’ Jaenelle has had to act), the pockets of side-stories themselves (Karla’s, Alexandra’s, Lord Jorval’s, Kartane’s, etc.) which were supposed to help on with the whole storyline felt too disjointed and underdeveloped. Like there were really just there to fill-in the pages. Oftentimes, there really was no coherence or even absolute closure as to how some of the other characters’ fates played out. For instance, whatever happened to the triangle of power hinted at very strongly in the 2nd book? That of Jaenelle, Karla, Gabriellle’s?
And Witch’s maelstrom itself? What happened to it? So much build-up on it but I turn a page and it has apparently passed. I mean… what the hell…? If this undisclosure was Bishop’s intent to convey how truly terrifying and majestic Jaenelle’s powers are that it defies description, well… frankly, it was quite disappointing. I was expecting more than rough winds and being tossed and pressed down on the ground…
And then *poof!* there’s Jaenelle, done with the cleansing of the Blood, drained of her powers and now hurtling down into the abyss. It’s over.
And THAT’s why Daemon’s ‘game’ in order to rescue Saetan and the others will just have to be the highlight of this particular novel. It’s a hefty consolation. I mean, if you have to skimp on the showdown itself, why not at least make the penultimate that devastating, eh?
Okay, rant over.
Seriously, though, I am just really disappointed because I absolutely LOVED the preceding two books… *le sigh*...more
It’s the 2nd installment yet it almost feels as if things are only just beginning to unravel…
Daughter of the Blood intrI want a Blood Jewel of me own…
It’s the 2nd installment yet it almost feels as if things are only just beginning to unravel…
Daughter of the Blood introduced readers to the terrifying promise of Jaenelle’s powers during her childhood years: the knee-weakening feats only she was able to achieve, the awe-inspiring acquaintances she has formed from all around the realm, and the glimpses of Witch with those sapphire eyes haunted with ancient wisdom. I loved how Bishop revealed these aspects of Jaenelle while still being a tease, holding back what surely would simply be… more.
And Heir to the Shadows proved to be yet another one of those teasers.
Some of the things I liked about this following installment: there weren’t too many of those sudden shift in POV or scenarios, less Dorothea and Hekatah (these bitches, I swear to god…), the introduction of the kindred (I want me one of those, too!!), Jaenelle’s more queenly I’mma-cut-you attitude, and, lastly… LUCIVAR… !!
…unf!… Just thinking about those wings of his… mmmhmmm!
On a more serious note, it’s also a relief to discover that Bishop did not relent on the emotional aspect. Most heartbreaking in this instance is Daemon’s descent into the abyss. There were times I almost didn’t want to read a chapter showing snapshots of his struggle in the Twisted Kingdom; it became too painful to see how the vibrant Warlord Prince of the first book transformed into a broken hull of a man, haunted by memories twisted by sorrow and pain. (And yes, that teaser thing I said applies to Daemon’s appearances in this story.)
Indeed, Jaenelle’s remembrance of those events at Cassandra’s altar proved to be one of the more highly-charged scenes of the book.
And though there weren’t as many tricks, spells, or feats by Jaenelle this time around, those few instances wherein she let fly were all the more fascinating as they showed a young woman who’s frighteningly become a master of her immense powers. The author has really begun to show what Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar meant when they claimed Jaenelle as the Queen they have been waiting all their lives to serve.
P.S. That encounter with Lorn… Holy fudgesticks. Which reminds me, I seriously do want a Blood Jewel… right nao…
P.P.S. I really thought the first book and its vice-like grip onto a reader’s imagination was a one-off thing. You know what they say about sequels. But, hell, here I am… now, more than ever, anxious to get on with the next novel.
As they say, Mother Night…! I’ve never been this thrilled for quite a long while…
I run the risk of sounding like a pretentious ass, but even though IAs they say, Mother Night…! I’ve never been this thrilled for quite a long while…
I run the risk of sounding like a pretentious ass, but even though I never really understood the whys and hows of this fantasy world from the get-go, my god… I absolutely loved how the author relentlessly, unfailingly, commanded this reader’s attention. Made you near-slave to the emotions of the characters. Lulled you into a false sense of seemingly finally comprehending what the hell’s going on and how the fates of these characters would twine and intersect, only to smack you dead-center on the forehead with another mindbender of a twist.
To say that this story pulls you in is an insult to good story-telling. I can only humbly describe it as nothing less than being hurtled into a fantastical world where you find yourself at a loss. And, from that confusion, having an unsavory sense of discomfort coupled with a premature wish to not even bother taking one step further to explore.
That’s how I felt when I turned the first few pages. I fucking had no clue what was up. I couldn’t grasp what the eff were Blood Jewels (or how they come about), riding webs or spinning tethers, the Offering, or even what a Black Widow is.
I couldn’t understand differences among high priestesses, dark priestesses, queens, and witches. Or why the dead were still the ‘dead’ but were very much different from dead dead.
Or why, from within this fantasy world, there’s still such a thing as shopping, attending balls, or the need to posses the mundane physical objects when one apparently has telekinesis (or something akin to that) to accomplish almost anything – including being able to kill someone with just your mind or a crook of your finger.
And don’t get me started on Saetan. His ‘existence’ and whole persona is still something I’m trying to wrap my head around in.
Yeah, sure… all throughout reading this novel, I probably had my brow perpetually puckered in confuzzlement even up to the last page…
but that’s just it.
Despite that wish to not even take a step further, I found myself reaching that last page (hence this garbled attempt at a review… erm, we’ll just compromise and refer to it as a ‘reaction’). And that was when I fully realized that, all the while, without even wanting to explore further, I was actually greedily turning page after page.
I was surprised at how I was held in thrall at the promise of Jaenelle’s terrifying splendor once she finally ascends into Witch (and no, I do not know why it has to be capitalized). Or how the chillingly-stoic Daemon would finally serve her as her lover and protector once she holds court. Or how the sadly-underdeveloped character of Lucinvar would affect their futures.
But, above all, the lure is in the tantalizing prospect of retribution.
Perhaps that’s the element in this first installment that kept me turning the pages.
In truth? This novel would make you bloodthirsty. The unceasing spectre of violence, perversion, and cruelty makes you positively(!) relish a smackdown of sorts. And the fact that the author deftly doles it out in increments is both maddening and gratifying.
And Anne Bishop, I can now say, is a master in manipulating emotions. There’s almost a sense of ruthlessness in the way she will make you have a searingly-painful inkling as to how Daemon, in all those years of ‘whoring’ himself, is practically brutally maimed inside that you feel a little of that hurt even as frost creeps into his eyes, or how Jaenelle is heartbreakingly pitiful in her pre-pubescent innocence as well as awe-inspiringly magnificent in the many ways she is already more powerful than all the Blood, living or dead.
The author would bait the reader with “heartwarming” scenes of Saetan becoming carefree or instances of Daemon falling more and more headlong into lustful as well as reverent love, and then, on the next turn will stun you with fear, horror, grim disbelief, and, yes, anger.
My overall reaction?
Why the hell do I not have the next installment within reach?! ...more
Simple, straightforward insight into a kid’s world…
I confess to not being the kind of person who is overly fond of children. I don’t gravitate towardsSimple, straightforward insight into a kid’s world…
I confess to not being the kind of person who is overly fond of children. I don’t gravitate towards them, and I think the little ones can sense that – so they keep away from me. And in the end, we’re both left happy.
But that is not to say that I don’t empathize with kids. In those rare times that I have to be in the company of a gaggle of young ones, I find out how smart and even introspective they are, and how often they are underestimated by adults.
And that’s why I appreciate Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Hardly a hundred pages, but it managed to convey how earnestly simple a child’s wants are. They can be as audacious and precocious as they want to be, but, in the end, what it all comes down to is their expression of their need for love and attention.
Sendak’s book also imparts how richly endless a child’s imagination is. Something that is slowly forgotten as one grows up into adulthood. Such imagination is often supplanted later on with cynicism and distrust.
All in all, this little book full of iconic, elegant illustrations is sure to be a treat to little kids. I may not volunteer to read it to them (I’m really not that kind of a person), but I won’t hesitate handing it over as a present. ...more
The whole premise of an otherwordly galaxy, of Familiars, Charls, and such were very interesting – thA man to make a woman purr in more ways than one…
The whole premise of an otherwordly galaxy, of Familiars, Charls, and such were very interesting – the introduction of Gian Ren in the first chapter was sure to hook the reader head on. Case in point:
“He tossed his hair back and viewed her through half-lowered eyes. The eyes of the ultimate pursuer. Secretive, disciplined, and sexual. His voice was a low, rumbling purr…”
In fact, Gian unapologetically dominates the love story, with his obvious magnetism, good ‘ol gallantry, and contagious sense of humor. Jenise, although herself a bit strong-willed, still displayed moments of helplessness in the face of the Familiar’s sensual assault (it’s okay…we understand how you must have felt). The interaction between the two was definitely electric. Their lovemaking very passionate without being risqué.
Though I enjoyed the story, I admit I was not quite satisfied with the whole anti-climactic feel to it. There were a lot of half-finished stories – what with the revenge of Karpon, the fate of the badly-injured Dariq, the menace of the Observer, and the destiny of Traed and Rejar. Sometimes the love story of Gian and Jenise took a backseat when the other characters’ stories had to be told in portions. And the ending part, after Gian’s Incarnation, felt a little hurried. There should have been more emotional weight given on the decisions Jenise had to take concerning accepting being queen of the Familiars, the choices Gian had had to make in taking her to M’yan.
What it all boils down to, anyway, is that I’m now itching to have the rest of the series. Dara Joy certainly knows how to dangle a story and make her reader clamor for more. Despite some reservations, this was an entertaining read. ...more
I don't know if it's the rave reviews for David Eddings, but as for this first installment, I have to say that I'm on the fence. Though I definitely eI don't know if it's the rave reviews for David Eddings, but as for this first installment, I have to say that I'm on the fence. Though I definitely enjoyed the banter among some of the lead characters and the strong hints of stories-within-a-story, I've yet to experience that gripping sense of suspense and drama. I was expecting quite a bit more show of magic/sorcery [even if just a teaser], since other fantasy epics have quite a lot going on even on the first book.
Of course it's very likely that this need to know more is exactly what drives readers to the next installment. Definitely I'm more than willing to do that myself, I'm just hoping that by the second Book, I would find myself rooting hotly for Belgariad. *cross fingers*...more
Normally I wouldn’t put too much credence over installments – especially if it was about paranormal romance – experiences in the past from other novelNormally I wouldn’t put too much credence over installments – especially if it was about paranormal romance – experiences in the past from other novel series were seldom encouraging.
Even after reading Twilight, I was still skeptic about all the hype it was getting (strange really since I finished it in one day). So, when I bought New Moon, I was braced for disappointment.
One thing I can say about Meyer, she sure does know a trick or two.
Let me just say that I was not jumping up and down with the first half or so of New Moon. Though Jacob still made for an interesting character, some aspects of Bella’s attitude felt weird to me. And I just plain missed Edward. In fact, I missed the romance part so much that Victoria’s hand with all the killings, ostensibly to preserve the tension, teetered close to being just plain annoying. I was about ready to give up.
But then, on what felt like the last stretch, Meyer pumps up the suspense. She introduces a whole new coven of vampires with serious powers and hang-ups. And Edward comes back with a vengeance. Ultimately, despite all my pessimism, I found myself crying when he reaffirms his love for Bella (another measure of Meyer’s skill: I always forget that Bella's still just in high school and this is actually supposed to be a teen romance…).
But please! enough with this hysteria. It's verging on the ridiculous. And I hate that it's kinda soured me on the whole series....more