3.5 stars, rounding up for it being breezily readable.
though this has plenty of thumbs-up from GR reviewers, the glaring/dead-eyed cover pose and desc3.5 stars, rounding up for it being breezily readable.
though this has plenty of thumbs-up from GR reviewers, the glaring/dead-eyed cover pose and description of an assassin's coming-of-age tale had me more than a little leery that i was in for some stab, stab, level up, stab, dude-fantasy of the most eye-rolling sort. i ended up quite pleasantly surprised that 'the way of shadows' instead was a compulsively readable story with totally engaging characters. these guys aren't assassins just to be badass (the terror in the hearts of men and the respect that engenders is merely a pleasant side effect), nope, they've got to make a living in this rough world, and they can take pride in the quality of their work without enjoying it for its own gory sake. amidst a backdrop of some twisty political intrigue that's definitely going to need the other 2 in the series to play out, 'way' is all about the transformation of westley into the dread pirate roberts (srsly): a boy leaves his girl behind to start a life where the grimmest of grimdark folks tells him continuously, "well, that's alright, but i'll probably kill you tomorrow."
there's more than a few confounding moments that one has to ignore to keep things moving - action sequences are often written in a "wait, what just happened?" muddle (thankfully, these moments aren't generally plot-critical), top level assassins are called "wetboys" (which apparently has nothing to do with soggy diapers), and the most stealthy of all ninjas continuously chews raw garlic (completely disregarding one's preference for such things, dude, that stuff oozes out your pores, rendering your aroma 150% NON STEALTHY) - but 'way' is fun without being vapid, with a good bit more depth than the 'assassin's creed' comparisons imply. ...more
3.5 stars, and basically the same review for the last three or four books in the series.
Neill has her formula down well: come up with a mystery that o3.5 stars, and basically the same review for the last three or four books in the series.
Neill has her formula down well: come up with a mystery that only Merit is capable of solving, then stretch out the final who done it till the end, all while building up bigger and bigger piles of vampire politics. You're definitely too far along in the series for a new reader to start out here, but she does a good job of reminding returning readers about important events at the moment that you need to remember that information. A solidly entertaining series, if not an amazing one. ...more
a relaxed, leisurely story about traveling across a planet in search of compatible genetic traits, 'the best of all possible worlds' is the sort of sca relaxed, leisurely story about traveling across a planet in search of compatible genetic traits, 'the best of all possible worlds' is the sort of sci-fi where mature, intelligent people think their way through problems that need to be solved, instead of laser-blasting their way through bad guys. it's most definitely a pleasant way to pass an afternoon, with huge bonus points for a slowly developed love story based on mutual admiration rather than swoony teenage hormones. unfortunately, the sci-fi-ness of it all was merely a light flavoring sprinkled through a sandwich of diplomacy and data-gathering that could have otherwise taken place across any remote set of locales that a science team would have to travel to: it all felt very here-and-now, and not so much galaxy-far-away. ...more
Jade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by thJade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by the same team that runs the coffee shop she works at next door. keeping tenants in the joint is difficult due to rumors of ghosts in the place, which ultimately turn out to be true. by the end of this story, Jade has to figure out who the ghost is and why it's bugging her, and what she's going to do about hottie landlord.
one of the most solidly written freebies i've come across, this book has clearly seen the blessed red pen of an editor. the story works very well, being neither the comedic fluffy romance you'd expect with the back-of-book blurb, nor a horrific tale of poltergeist harassment, but with a generally nice balance between the two. characters tend to be messy and nuanced, not cardboard good guys. there are actual friendships between women, not just catty chick cut-downs (crazily enough for a romance novel, this book passes the Bechdel test!!). if it wasn't for the eye-rolling insta-romance and the suddenly silly ending, it'd be a solid 4* read....more
well. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model iswell. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model is alive and well in this age of easy self-publishing. the only reasons i slogged through to the end were a)i read most of it on a lazy sunday where relaxing with something brainless was a reasonable pursuit and b)sheer stubbornness of not wanting to DNF something at 70% complete.
on the plus side, this ebook was mainly typo-free, which has been an pretty frequent issue with SP books. the cover also appears to be pretty professional and all.
on the minus side... alexa is a werewolf, self-declared as the alpha of her pack. the male alpha is the only person over 20-something in said pack. with these two as examples, apparently, the sole qualification to be alpha here has nothing to do with charisma, leadership, natural dominance, or animal cunning, nope - you just gotta be a brash, selfish idiot. she works in an office where she & the gang openly take hits on secretive creatures of the night, under no kind of charter from the supernatural community (as in, other than a paycheck, i can't figure out why they feel the need to kill some murdering bloodsuckers and go out the bar with others, and i can't figure out why the hit-ees don't just bomb the joint). the plot (such as it is) keeps happening TO her, rather than the other way around. there's an obligatory love triangle that appears to be set up for the sole purpose of having alexa reluctantly-at-first-but-hey-sparks-fly-anyway shag 2 different man friends.
an unlikable protagonist is a real kiss of death for me, and this girl has the mindset of a 22 year old mall bimbo, complete with what all ass-kicking alpha werewolves go "huntressing" in: a wardrobe of playboy bunny baby tees. since a plot doesn't bother to show up until 2/3 of the way through, there's really nothing to entice you to stay in alexa's suburban world. ...more