After reading Evernight last year, I've been impatiently awaiting the arrival of Stargazer. My patience was certainly rewarded.
It's hard to write abouAfter reading Evernight last year, I've been impatiently awaiting the arrival of Stargazer. My patience was certainly rewarded.
It's hard to write about this novel in a way that does not spoil the surprises of the first. I won't even try to summarize the plot, because I do really hate spoilers of that magnitude. And those surprises are part of what makes Evernight work so very well.
It's enough, I think, to say that this book complicates the story in several meaningful ways. Bianca has always been too trusting, and the cynics around her have not been afraid to tell her that--unless, of course, they want her to believe their own lies. Throughout this novel, Bianca inches closer and closer to the truth, slowly making connections. The most frustrating part of this book is the speed; I can't help but wish that Bianca were a little bit of a faster thinker. However, so much of her understanding is also a part of her coming of age, of her maturation process. She's becoming an adult, with all that means, and as the levels of lies around her are slowly stripped away, she's left with several unwelcome choices.
I'm not sure that I liked this book quite as well as the first. Whatever happens in the third (and is that the final one?) book will likely decide what I think about the series as a whole. I do know that I will be anxiously awaiting the new one next year....more
Kenner has written another fun title about the supernatural coexisting with the real world. Her "Demon" series features a soccer-mom who's been fightiKenner has written another fun title about the supernatural coexisting with the real world. Her "Demon" series features a soccer-mom who's been fighting demons since she was a teen. In this book, she explores what happens when a normal teen geek becomes a vampire.Once again, location is terrifically important to Kenner. The "Demon" series is in Southern California, set against a backdrop of sunny days and dangerous facades. In this book, the protagonist is a geek in Texas. The hot, sunny days and sports addictions that Texas is famous for are a huge part of this novel. I enjoyed this first entry in a new series. ...more
**spoiler alert** Every time I finish a book in the Blue Bloods series, I can't decide if I like it or not. Typically, I borrow it and read it in hard**spoiler alert** Every time I finish a book in the Blue Bloods series, I can't decide if I like it or not. Typically, I borrow it and read it in hardcover, and if I liked the new one well enough, I'll buy last year's in paperback. (Odd, I know, but my feelings about this series are so ambivalent, that I can't even decide to buy a single book without more input . . .)
I think this will be my last Blue Bloods book. My reasons are below:
As you can see from my rating, I did like it. Some fantastic things happened in this story. Mimi actually became more than a cardboard villain. Bliss learned to stand on her own feet. And that's it. Everything else to me felt like so many pages of non action. While I didn't mind the narrative switching (each chapter has its own narrator, but they follow in order: Schuyler, Mimi, and Bliss), I was annoyed that there was not more difference in the narration. The chapters are written in third person voice, and the narrative voice is roughly the same for each one. Occasionally, de la Cruz will delve into free indirect discourse (where the third person narrator actually speaks in the voice of the character while maintaining a third person voice), but even these sounded the same. Except for the events going on in each girl's life, they're practically the same girl.
I'm irritated that the series is not over. These long-running series make me ache for the age of Dracula, where the monster dies and there are no sequels, where the narrative ends with just one book. (No matter how many people have tried to write a sequel, they just don't work.)
The worst part, for me, was the end. Oliver gives Schuyler to Jack and tells her: "I know you would never leave me. I know that. I know you would never be able to make a decision, so I decided for you. You have to go with him . . . You cannot choose between us. So I chose for you."
OK. Where to start? In the context of the story, Schuyler still loves Jack but pledged herself to Oliver. When he "gives" her to Jack, Oliver is acknowledging Schuyler's feelings. However, she'd already made her choice--preventing Oliver's pain was more important than her own happiness, so she had decided to stay with Oliver. He knows that Jack can protect her in ways that he cannot, so Oliver "gives" her away. Keeping her safe is more important to him than his own happiness. (Gah! All this self-sacrificing angst gags me!) I hate that Oliver can't respect Schuyler's right to decide her own fate, and I hate even more that when he relinquishes his claim on her heart, Schuyler is happy. Having been given to Jack, she feels like Oliver has given her a gift . . . once again, gag me.
I'm too much of a feminist to enjoy either the tortured gender roles or angst in this series. I'm done....more
This is yet another entertaining entry in the Morganville vampire series. I won't write a long review of this book; it's the seventh in the series. OdThis is yet another entertaining entry in the Morganville vampire series. I won't write a long review of this book; it's the seventh in the series. Odds are that those interested in reading it already read the first six. Basically, if you like those books, you'll enjoy this one as well.
Several significant things do happen in the course of this book. Relationships are tested in new and intriguing ways. Amelie and Oliver become more than one-note characters. Caine continues to flesh out this world, adding further depth and to the characters and to the mythology.
I love this series, and each new book reminds me of all reasons why....more
I can't believe that I forgot to add Evernight into GoodReads when I first read it. My only defense is that I was still relatively new to the site andI can't believe that I forgot to add Evernight into GoodReads when I first read it. My only defense is that I was still relatively new to the site and not yet accustomed to writing reviews of the books I'd read.
For me, Evernight was one of the greatest results of the Twilight craze. I've been a fan of vampire fiction for years--Annette Curtis Klause'sThe Silver Kiss put me rather firmly on that path back in high school. When Twilight became so popular and so many YA vampire/supernatural novels hit the market, I was overjoyed. I'm not a Twilight fan, but I do approve of the influence that series has had on publishing. I don't want to say that this novel would not have been published without Twilight, but Stephanie Meyer's books did open doors that might otherwise have been only cracked.
So far, this review has said very little about the novel, and that's deliberate. Evernight is a delicious, slow moving novel full of surprises and fun. Telling too much about this book is dangerous, though, because I'd hate to spoil the surprises that the plot holds. As a veteran of vampire novels, I was caught off guard by Ms Gray's imaginative concepts, and I'd hate to destroy that for a new reader.
The plot is seemingly simple: Bianca is a new student at Evernight Academy. She doesn't fit in very well with her classmates; they're all much cooler and more sophisticated than she is. There are a few others that don't fit in all that well, either. Among them is a young man named Lucas . . .
This is my first of the Night Huntress books, so I can't write an extensive review of it. For those that have read the adventures of Cat and Bones, I'This is my first of the Night Huntress books, so I can't write an extensive review of it. For those that have read the adventures of Cat and Bones, I'm sure there are all sorts of layers of history among these characters. I saw a few hints of those layers, but since I haven't read the Night Huntress books, I can't place this one in context with them. That said, this book is good enough that I plan to seek them out.
Denise knows that vampires and other supernatural creatures are real; she's best friends with Cat, the half vampire known as the Reaper. However, after Denise's husband is killed by supernaturals during a surprise attack on a vampire New Year's Eve party, Denise decides to separate herself from that world. Her resolution is destroyed when she sees her cousin murdered before her eyes--apparently, by another supernatural of some kind. Scared, unable to reach either Cat or Bones, Denise calls the last vampire in her contacts list--Spade.
Spade agrees to help, even though he's no certain that Denise actually saw what she claims. Unfortunately, before he can arrive, that supernatural finds Denise, and harms--but does not kill--her. Now the two are on a desperate hunt to find the key that can release Denise from her suffering, and they are desperately fighting their attraction to one another as well . . .
Overall, this was in the category I like to call "entertainingly bad." It's not high literature, but it's a good, fast, and fun read. The romance is well developed and believable, as the two characters gradually become aware of their desire. The sex scenes are appropriately steamy--Frost is very good at writing a detailed scene that does not sound cliched or trite. The slow revelations of their histories complicate their story nicely. I don't know how many of these revelations might have been explained in other novels, but the slow exposure worked well in this book. It stands alone nicely, and I think it works as an excellent introduction to the Night Huntress World. While it does contain some spoilers for Cat & Bones novels, it avoids rehashing the plot of those novels. Despite having read this side novel that occurs after at least the first Cat & Bones novel (once again, since I haven't read them, I can't place it in context), I feel that I can still pick up the original series and be surprised.
I liked this book--and I look forward to reading the rest of Frost's titles....more
It had all of my favorite elements of a neo-Victorian Gothic--the impoverished gentlewoman seeking to make her way in liThis was a truly perfect book.
It had all of my favorite elements of a neo-Victorian Gothic--the impoverished gentlewoman seeking to make her way in life; the mysterious, sensual young count that catches her eye; mysterious deaths; superstitious locals; and a fraught relationship to the past.
Theodora is an orphan, and her grandfather has recently died as well. When her schoolfriend, Cosima, invites her to Transylvania to be a guest at Cosima's wedding to the local count, Theodora views it as a handy escape. She's a writer, and she knows from Cosima's childhood stories that Transylvania will provide fertile ground for her imagination. Also, she'd rather not live with her sister and brother-in-law, who are expecting their fifth child.
Upon her arrival at the castle, Theodora is thrilled with the magnificent setting, and her writing takes off. She is troubled that Cosima's wedding has been called off, and Theodora is even more disturbed when she realizes just how attracted she is to the count.
In true Gothic fashion, secrets from the past continue to haunt the present. Was the current count's father so evil that he rose from the grave as strigoi? Why did the count's father and grandfather hate each other so deeply? What secrets of love and passion will drive these characters to commit desperate acts?
Raybourn has a fantastic narrative voice, and her ear for dialogue is top-notch. Unlike so many neo-Victorian romances, her characters speak naturally, with only small differences from our modern speech. Clearly, Raybourn has read many Victorian novels in order to master the language so thoroughly. This book was a joy to read, and I would have loved to read it slowly and savor it, but I was too engrossed and had to know what happened next. ...more
This may be my favorite Meg Cabot novel to date. And that's saying a lot.
The novel follows Meena Harper, a dialogue writer on a major soap opera calleThis may be my favorite Meg Cabot novel to date. And that's saying a lot.
The novel follows Meena Harper, a dialogue writer on a major soap opera called Insatiable. She desperately wants to be promoted to head writer, but loses the promotion. She shares an apartment in a nice old coop building with her unemployed brother. And she can tell you when and how you're going to die.
This last thing is a real problem in her life. She doesn't like to ride the subway, as there are simply too many people that she feels compelled to warn about their future demises. And, as the novel opens, she meets a young immigrant that's going to die within a week. Meena's action here will come to direct many of the events that follow.
The other complication in Meena's life? She's finally found an interesting man, one that she values as highly as she does her job. And he's a vampire.
This book is a departure for Meg Cabot. It has many of her familiar traits--the heroine with a layabout brother, close friends with complications of their own, and a snarky attitude. However, it feels like many of her romances were training for this book. While it does deal with vampires, it's also the most original vampire novel I've read in some time. It deals with consent in a far deeper fashion than most of the vampire novels I've read. In Cabot's book, a human must be bitten three times by a vampire and drink that vampire's blood in order to be turned.
Meena can't stand vampires, even after she learns that her boyfriend is one. But others don't share her feelings, and Cabot explores the many reasons they'd be willing to allow those bites.
Far from jumping on the vampire bandwagon, Cabot has done her best to not only write a steamy romance but also deconstruct the reasons why so many people are drawn to vampires. I recommend this book highly....more
This is a great story in the Evernight world, but I'm starting to wish that the series had ended with the fAm I alone in getting tired of book series?
This is a great story in the Evernight world, but I'm starting to wish that the series had ended with the first book. I know that Gray's plan for the series has always been for four books, so it's not as if she's stretching the series out just for the sake of writing more books.
The problem is that Evernight was one of the rare truly perfect YA paranormals, and it's hard to follow that sort of story. I've enjoyed reading the continuing story of Bianca and her friends, but nothing has had the same impact that the first book did.
All that said, I did like this book. I highly recommend it for those that want to read the continuing story of these characters. But I also think the series could have ended with book one and perhaps been a better book for it....more
A long time ago, I heard a movie reviewer (Leonard Maltin?) provide his criteria for judging a sequel: If this were the first, would they make a sequeA long time ago, I heard a movie reviewer (Leonard Maltin?) provide his criteria for judging a sequel: If this were the first, would they make a sequel to it?
While I thought this book was good, I'm not certain I would read part two if this were part one. By now, the relationships among these characters have become so convoluted that its impossible to fully define all of the shifts that have taken place. Sookie is recovering from the Fae War of the last book, and as she struggles with her physical and mental injuries, she also works to rebuild her damaged relationships with the humans around her. The action in this book was essential; Sookie needed this time to regroup after everything that she's been through.
However, that does make for a slow novel with a rather abrupt fight sequence at the end. To be honest, I almost think the novel would have been better without the fight. It almost seemed like it was there because a Sookie novel has to end in violence, not as a logical outgrowth of the plot.
Back to my original question: Would I read a sequel to this book? Well, yes, I know that I will read #11. And I'll probably love it. But this book did have a sense of tying up a number of loose ends and a strong conclusion. The conclusion itself was reasonably satisfying for me, and if this were book one, I'm not certain that I'd want to see it altered in another book. But this isn't book one. It's book 11, and with each book, I feel that Harris is getting closer to ending this series. I'll stick it out through the end, but I have to hope that it won't take that much longer....more
Kitty faces two challenges in this newest adventure: a libel lawsuit and werewolves with PTSD.
The lawsuit is Kitty's fault. Someone, she decided to deKitty faces two challenges in this newest adventure: a libel lawsuit and werewolves with PTSD.
The lawsuit is Kitty's fault. Someone, she decided to devote an entire episode of her call-in show to supernatural occurrences involving Speedy Marts without consulting a lawyer to find out if that would constitute libel. No one is surprised when Kitty gets served with papers. There are two defenses to libel--apologize, or prove that you weren't lying. Of the two, Kitty's path should be obvious to her readers.
The werewolves with PTSD are another issue. It seems that a werewolf serving in Afghanistan decided to make his own pack--by forming and biting a unit of Green Berets. After his death, the pack was left in disarray, and the three survivors are being brought up on charges of murder. Ever hopeful, Kitty tries to talk to them and tell them it's possible to lead a normal life as a werewolf . . . while still dodging how much her own change altered all of her hopes and dreams.
Through all of this, Kitty's pack lends its support, although few of them are fleshed out in any way. Someday, I'd like to get to know her packmates better--maybe then I'd understand how she could be their alpha when she herself is so beset by fears and uncertainty. Cormac is a solid, if shadowy, presence in the story as well. Finally, however, readers learn some of what his jail experiences were like, but it's just the basics.
I had hoped that this book would delve into the Long Game, but it does so only tangentially. As with learning still more about Cormac's many mysteries, I guess it'll have to wait for book nine. Or ten. Or maybe even 11. The only thing I know is that I'll keep reading them all....more
I couldn't make it past page 283. There's nothing significantly bad about page 283, in case you're worried about spoilers, but I realized after readinI couldn't make it past page 283. There's nothing significantly bad about page 283, in case you're worried about spoilers, but I realized after reading 17 chapters that I simply couldn't take it anymore.
I'm too old for this series.
I bought the original series--the trilogy--when they were first published. I love them still, even though my tastes have gotten much more demanding as I've grown. Reading the Return series for the first time as an adult, I don't have that rosy affection for it that I have for the original books. It's not that there's anything wrong with this series; L.J. Smith's writing has not significantly improved or declined in the intervening years. I've just grown to expect more depth from a book--even a YA title--than what's here....more