I read this book in one sitting, after waiting to track down a copy since last November. And it was not at all what I expected.
Ransom Riggs knows how to tell a story and wrote the characters well - any characters that weren't well-rounded were done so intentionally, whether they were enabling progress in the story (such as the fishmonger) or (view spoiler)[Jacob's parents and extended family - they were blank canvases because Jacob shared very little with them and would ultimately leave them (hide spoiler)].
I think, ultimately, the worst part of this book was that the plot took half the book to get started, and promptly ended when things were heating up. An entire world (view spoiler)[of time loops and 'peculiar' children, children who were forced to leave their home to save their race and stop the monsters (hide spoiler)] was built up only to end. This book needs to be apart of a trilogy, because it genuinely feels like the story has only just begun.
Edit: Wikipedia failed me, but Google has revealed there WILL be a sequel, complete with more creepy photographs. The fact that a sequel has been announced means that most of my complaints with this book are moot. It was all about how it ended.
I look forward to the sequel XD["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'll be honest, I didn't hold much hope for this book. The cover did nothing for me, and I never really considered myself the reader of dystopian, sci...moreI'll be honest, I didn't hold much hope for this book. The cover did nothing for me, and I never really considered myself the reader of dystopian, sci-fi or anything outside of either historical or realistic young adult. But a good friend was very excited about its release, so I thought I'd give it a go and bought the ebook. I am thrilled I did.
First of all, Marissa Meyer can tell a story, and tell it well. She managed to include a lot of information about the world that Cinder was set in without it feeling like an info dump, though some of the information about the Lunar population was a little dense. Cinder was likeable, Kai was tolerable - far and away a better love interest than appears in most YA. I loved Iko and genuinely hope she reappears in the next book.
I saw the twist/reveal coming a mile away, and see a strong influence from a popular manga series - but it really is only an influence and nothing more, and one that I think only a small group of people will catch onto.
This is really no one thing that pushes this book into the incredible zone, it's just a satisfying read and I am really looking forward to the sequel. Since I have yet to purchase a hard copy, I am hoping that the publishers will do more with the cover (the short prequel available online - Glitches - has a gorgeous piece of artwork to go with it; I am sure that the illustrator behind that would create a gorgeous cover for a hardcover edition) because it deserves more (the art student in me LOVES the font, though. It's perfect.)
I think this series has the potential to be big and, for once, it is a series that I will be pleased to see do so. (less)
**spoiler alert** This book kept popping up as a Recommended Read for me on multiple sites. The blurb didn't really grab me, but I downloaded the samp...more**spoiler alert** This book kept popping up as a Recommended Read for me on multiple sites. The blurb didn't really grab me, but I downloaded the sample and was hooked.
Overall, this book isn't bad. Laini Taylor has skill and can tell a story. Karou is a reasonably likeable protagonist, and Brimstone and Issa are awesome characters who we just don't see enough of.
Other things that I thought... - I don't like Akiva. I find him dull - too one dimensional so far to be anything more than the gorgeous, brooding love interest. And how many times was it mentioned that Akiva was unimaginably beautiful and that his eyes resemble fire?
- I thought Akiva's siblings were a waste of space. Their reactions were predictable and bland. If their presence was there to show how strongly Akiva felt towards Karou, it failed based entirely on the fact that there wasn't enough of a bond between the angels established beyond being told.
- Karou's backstory was disappointing. I was genuinely hoping that this series would focus on Akiva moving on from Madrigal with Karou and living the life he planned with Madrigal with Karou - basically a tale of loss and love during a war. But to make Karou the reborn Madrigal? So disappointing. I found the idea that Brimstone had retrieved a child from a customer in the store, or even a lost baby seraphim and raised her to be the best of both their races. I thought there was a load more potential in Karou and her backstory than Taylor used.
- I think it would have been awesome if Taylor had included a prologue or flashback of Brimstone with little Karou, to establish the relationship more.
Overall, it is a well-written book and a series I will be following, but there are things that I think could have been better. If nothing else, I hope that the second book develops Akiva more and gives the chimaera a much larger role. (less)
That sobbing sound you hear is the fact that Anna is over. I'm still not coherent enough to review it, but Kendare Blake is the most amazing writer. T...moreThat sobbing sound you hear is the fact that Anna is over. I'm still not coherent enough to review it, but Kendare Blake is the most amazing writer. The technical skill is mind blowing. The book finished perfectly, in the only way I could, and honestly, I would read ten books set in this universe.
Whatever Ms Blake writes after this, I'll be front of the line to snag my copy, because it will be pure gold. (less)
That the MC didn't (view spoiler)[end up with the brooding, abusive asshole. She ended up with the gu...moreDo you know the most satisfying thing about Want?
That the MC didn't (view spoiler)[end up with the brooding, abusive asshole. She ended up with the guy that genuinely loved her, was there for her and only wanted the best for her.
This book was unique in so many ways. Parental mental illness does appear in a lot of YA, but rarely manifests itself as a physically and mentally abusive mother. Julianne is a character that desperately needs someone to speak up and say that it is not okay.
Isaac was totally and utterly unlikable as a character, but I honestly didn't believe he was a predator until he took off at the ball. I figured, teens aged 15 and 17 are stupid, and playing with fire if one is still under the legal age of consent, but not sinister. But by the end of the book, I am convinced Isaac has some serious issues about his past, and he is a danger to teenage girls and himself.
Dave was a great character - one that burst off the page as someone real; flawed but genuinely kind and good.
Julianne was flawed. She was screwed up and irrational and mentally ill and she was a wonderfully complex character, this desperate girl was on a crash course of disaster. Everything That Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong, so I was utterly thrilled when she made it into NEC to be mentored by her idol. That Dave cared enough about her to stick around, even when she rejected him. I honestly believe that it was Juli's damage and her mother's influence, her father's distance and her brother's absence that caused her to seek out Isaac.
I felt that the build up between Juli and Isaac was paced appropriately, but I think the fall-out needed to be dealt with more - an epilogue of Juli arriving in Boston to meet Dave; Juli's mother arriving home permanently; years in the future, married Juli and Dave running into Isaac; Juli at her psychiatrists... the possibilities are endless; I really thing that would have been a more satisfying ending.
The book mentions the fallout at the ball from the discovery of Juli and Isaac, but that's really so close to the end that it feels like it takes too long to get to some so feted. This book is really about Juli's destruction and rebirth at the hands of Isaac, Dave and her mother. (hide spoiler)]
It's a great, unique read and I'd absolutely recommend it.
I just found out that this book will have a sequel, and I can't tell you how pleased I am. This is a book that actually needs a sequel.
The set up of t...moreI just found out that this book will have a sequel, and I can't tell you how pleased I am. This is a book that actually needs a sequel.
The set up of this book is interesting - intricate and totally foreign, and we are given enough that we are curious but not confused, which is a balance that is hard to achieve.
Rose comes across as quite naive and a little juvenile in the early chapters, slowly building up until all the pieces slide together. The writing is a little awkward in places, but I honestly found that it added an authenticity to the character of Rose rather than detracted from the writing.
This is an extremely unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and I adored how the story ended - here is a female protagonist who was desperate to latch onto someone, but stands much stronger (not quite alone) but without a romantic partner. It's refreshing, honestly.
Once I finished it, I knew I liked it but moved on. A month later, and it's still in my head and it's definitely one of my favourites for the year.
This is a world that has so much potential, a genuinely likable but fragile heroine and I am genuinely looking forward to the sequel. It also helps that the paperback edition in Australia is just gorgeous and I can't wait for my own copy to arrive <3(less)
It was a unique twist on the Cinderella story that is set in a bizarre modern-fairy tale world. This world...more**spoiler alert** This was a strange book.
It was a unique twist on the Cinderella story that is set in a bizarre modern-fairy tale world. This world acknowledges modern medical conditions and guns but still has carriages and ballgowns.
I really rather liked it. It had a rather strange narrative that, at times, seemed intended for younger readers but I think that was more of an attempt at a fairy tale or legend attempt at story telling.
Honestly, I found it a bit short. Moonlight and Ashes could have been a lot longer. All the elements were there for this to be a two-book or even three-book series - Selena's family history, the Mancers, Olga's story, Max's story. It had all the elements of something that could have gone on for several books. I for one would have liked to delve deeper into the Mancer world; and a little more to the relationship between Max and Selena rather than insta-love. I just wanted more.
Never the less, a sweet story that I enjoyed very much. (less)
I was looking forward to this series, and I really enjoyed the first book.
(view spoiler)[Elysia is, to me, reasonably likable. Her innocence is balan...moreI was looking forward to this series, and I really enjoyed the first book.
(view spoiler)[Elysia is, to me, reasonably likable. Her innocence is balanced and understandable.
I think it would have been more interesting to keep Ivan alive for future books - as someone obsessed with destroying clones, after Elysia stabbed him. However, the pregnancy at the end of the book could put the Brannons on the war path.
Zhara's return was a curious twist, since the love triangle - Alexander - Elysia - Tahir is now a square, unless Alexander dismisses Elysia straight away. I'm also curious to see if Zhara takes Elysia to her father.
The fact that the doctor was a clone of herself caught me unaware; I thought that was pretty cool.
The world building wasn't bad, a little vague, but that's typical in futuristic dystopia. Better than many other stories. The story telling was solid, some of the characters needed more substance (Xanthe, Liesel, Tahir and his parents, Dementia) but as this is a series, I'll wait and see what happens. I'm also curious to see what happens with Astrid. I think she's going to be a key player. (hide spoiler)] Looking forward to the rest of the series XD ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book made me cry at the end, not for any specific plot reasons, but because Sydney is my home and I knew all the places this took place, that I g...moreThis book made me cry at the end, not for any specific plot reasons, but because Sydney is my home and I knew all the places this took place, that I got to connect with it more than I usually do with the usual generic-American location.
Beautiful prose and a story that I wish beyond anything else could have been dragged out for longer; one of the plots that I cheerfully would have read over two books. (less)
I like this series because of how fun and easy it is. It really is intended for the 13-15 year old set, but I find them a frothy break from the darker...moreI like this series because of how fun and easy it is. It really is intended for the 13-15 year old set, but I find them a frothy break from the darker or more thought provoking YA. I enjoy it enough that I play to get hardcopies.