After rereading this book this past week, I must admit it's managed to improve in my estimation. Perhaps this second read made me slow down and apprec...moreAfter rereading this book this past week, I must admit it's managed to improve in my estimation. Perhaps this second read made me slow down and appreciate the details more. I tend to "gobble" books, and the pace at which I do so tends to glaze the little intricacies that many writers spend so much time slaving over.
I still didn't much care for the way the immortal pines after the mortal she "can't have", but it became a niggling thing for the most part.
Here's to hoping the next installment doesn't continue in a similar vein too much.... :)(less)
Madeleine Urban teamed up with Rhianne Aile to write this one, and while the "friends who become lovers" is a cute premise, and the characters are int...moreMadeleine Urban teamed up with Rhianne Aile to write this one, and while the "friends who become lovers" is a cute premise, and the characters are interesting enough to carry the book -- there is a great deal to be desired in the quality of the prose.
The biggest issue this reader encountered was the sliding POV, which in some places shifted every other sentence or three. This is what comes of live tandem writes, with little regard for much else beyond furthering the plot with smut in mind. It's readily apparent that little to no editing was done on this pre-publication, for surely this prevalent and repetitive issue would have been caught, rectified--the prose tightened, the POVs more delineated.
It certainly would be a better read, not pulling me out of the story with o.O and other myriad facial expressions, had such been the case.
Overall, however, Aile and Urban deliver a quick, fluffy romance that'll put a smile on your face. So long as you don't think too hard while reading it. Talk about taking a story at face value.(less)
Kittredge has crafted a raw and believable story in this first of the "Black London" series. Her world-building and fantasy elements are that much mor...moreKittredge has crafted a raw and believable story in this first of the "Black London" series. Her world-building and fantasy elements are that much more palpable when combined with the realistic aspects of drug use and abuse. This is without a doubt one of the grittiest in the UF genre that I've read to date. Though short on gore, she makes you care about the characters and the outcome of the story -- be prepared to read it through in one sitting, because tearing yourself away from it at the end of a chapter is nigh impossible.(less)
This is obviously the first book in a trilogy, if not a series. Devoti has a knack for flawless plot crafting, to say the least. The arc in this story...moreThis is obviously the first book in a trilogy, if not a series. Devoti has a knack for flawless plot crafting, to say the least. The arc in this story feeds directly into a series plot without struggling, flailing or otherwise leaving the reader the impression of giving itself a hernia from the strain. Added to that is a cast of unique characters that stand as quirky individuals despite their socio-cultural cult. Devoti makes these women come alive with such flair. Mel's dynamic portrayal, purely human flaws and foibles... make her the furthest thing from a Mary Sue that I've encountered in quite some time. As far as world-building goes, Devoti grounds her fantastical elements in sufficient reality that the setting feels real, the plausibility is almost palpable. While this is far from being her debut, I think it's safe to say her other publications pale in comparison. She takes the genre's concept of "strong female lead" to an entirely new level. (less)
For me, the redeeming quality of this book was found in the horses. Gruen's portrayal of equine characters through the eyes of the human MC was authen...moreFor me, the redeeming quality of this book was found in the horses. Gruen's portrayal of equine characters through the eyes of the human MC was authentic and spot-on. If nothing else, she did butt-loads of research -- but I'd like to step out on a limb (without knowing anything about the author) and venture a guess that she has at some point spent a less-than-healthy amount of time around the animals (in the opinion of a sane individual, which I am not). Having done so myself, the quality of the descriptions was sufficient to drag me in and pull me through the story, even though the MC started to seriously grate on my nerves after a bit. I wanted to know what happened to the horse and to hell with the rest of it.
Don't know that I will bother with the sequel any time soon, and this one read wasn't near enough to make me a Gruen fan. Yes it was a touching and emotional read ... but while I'm all for MC's with flaws who have internal struggles throughout the course of the story, there is a fine line where a character's flaws begin to grate on the nerves.(less)