**spoiler alert** This book is mostly talking about doing something, reminiscing about the past, and clunky exposition dialogue. A lot of sidetracking**spoiler alert** This book is mostly talking about doing something, reminiscing about the past, and clunky exposition dialogue. A lot of sidetracking, in the middle of important events, (such as the "planning" to save Maxis' kids) and so much joking. By the way he discovers he has kids on page 27, but doesn't actually go to save them until page 113. Between those pages all of the above dialogue happens. No adventures, no harrowing obstacles have been thrown in his and Sera's way. Just lots and lots of talking and pointless cameos from other books like Fang, Aimee, Bride, Fury, Vane, blah, blah, blah. AND EVEN BETTER, you get to meet their kids, too, and find out their names, and then they go somewhere else I guess.
Sera didn't even have a rad adventure trying to find him to let him know he has kids and that they were kidnapped, which confuses the hell out of me because her justification for not finding him MUCH sooner (like Idontknow...after the kids were born, maybe? Yeah?) was that he hid himself so well she couldn't find him. Yeah, right. Yet, when their children get scooped up like ice cream, she suddenly had no problem finding him.
Sera's a bitch, I should probably mention. Seriously, she is the worst heroine. What she puts Maxis through is mind blowing to such a degree that I honestly felt she should have just been the evil ex wife instead of the friggin heroine of the story. Abused him thoroughly, let him be abused by others of her tribe, let them TORTURE HIM AND LEAVE HIM FOR DEAD. And I am supposed to forgive that? I am sorry but there is a line in the sand, and I can handle a hero being a jerk, sure, but I can't deal with this. And for him to forgive her so easily after she comes back into his life? There's no groveling. Hell, she waffles between thinking he is an animal one paragraph and then changing her mind the next several times, maybe tears up a little at her memories of his abuse, then asks him for a second chance and he's like "durrrrrr okay, ma, just turn into a dragon for me and den I furgive yew okay? kisses."
Let's see, what else, what else. Oh yeah, the clunky exposition dialogue. Plenty of it in between lots of inopportune flashbacks and all of it taking place in the same basement. "as you already know" speeches abound like this gem; Maxis; "Draki don't scare me. I was a natural-born drakomas long before they were created or birthed. Not half-bred. Fully blooded and vested, spawned from the egg of my demon mother. If they think they can stop me, I defy them to bring the best they have and I shall roast them over a pit of their own arrogant stupidity. Reaching up, she cupped his cheek in her palm. ' And you were merged with an Apollite prince. That blood and form weakens you. They know how to force your change and lock you in this frail body where you can't fight with your full drakomas power.'" Then there was a flashback of how they met. But honestly most of the clunk comes from Blaise and Illy about what Maxis went through because of her, or some thrown-in jokes just randomly sprinkled about during (again, supposed to be tense) situations. And the story. In one word, confusing. Too many characters pop in, too many artifacts show up. When they finally start to do something to save the kids, Maxis and Sera go to sleep to track them or something? Then he bites her in the dream and she wakes up bleeding from it somehow, and he's off to save them alone but I don't remember him waking up first so how is he physically there to help? The rescue lasts only a couple pages, and when you think it'll finally get serious when MAXIS gets captured after sending his children to safety (dun dun dunnn) only for him to take care of the opposition super easy, you guys, in like, the next page.
Oh God, there is some squick in it, too. Like Maxis "getting hard" for Sera and, yeah, he is in dragon form when that happens. So, there's that in your head for, you know, if you wanted to think about a 9-ton dragon's erection. I think she also kissed him while he was a dragon, and it mentions how she "wanted to taste her dragon". Bleh.
And now I have to keep up with Lords of Avalon and who the f*** are they? Am I that far behind?
****SPOILER ALERT***** Honestly, this was a DNF for me. Even considering the time period this book was set in, I still couldn't get over the atrocitie****SPOILER ALERT***** Honestly, this was a DNF for me. Even considering the time period this book was set in, I still couldn't get over the atrocities committed, and I skimmed the story at best. There are several instances of rape; Hero Christopher rapes Heroine Desiree, but feels guilty when he sees the pain in her eyes and realizes he shouldn't hurt her when it was her dad he wanted revenge against. He begins to pull out, but suddenly h wants him to keep doing it. And they LOVE each other.
Then our disgusting villain Frazer. He, along with his equally nasty father, used to torment his poor mother until she wasted away. After both parents died, Frazer continued his horrible ways. He comes upon a beautiful 14 year-old Charlotte and rapes her while she cries and begs him to stop. Then he makes her swear not to tell anyone. But he follows her and kills her when he is certain she will talk, and pins the crime on the H, who is sent to prison for it.
As a lark, Frazer seduces H's beloved sister Chrissie, and she eventually falls in love with him and gets pregnant. You really get a taste of Frazer's personality by way of internal monologue. You hear his thoughts and see his memories in grueling, cruel detail. How he never intends to marry her or give their child his name, that he doesn't love her, and that he really lusts after Desiree. In a drunken state, he decides he will reveal what he did to Charlotte and how he framed H, figuring she loves him so much she will get over the shock of the news and near instantly forgive Frazer.
*******WARNING******* This next part made me very queasy, so read at your own peril.
Not surprisingly, Chrissie turns against Frazer with fury and hatred and swears everyone will know what he did. Angrily, Frazer pushes her to the ground, where she hits her head against the sharp edge of an iron fender. Frazer is overcome with lust and anger, and doesn't notice her slowly bleeding out as he rips her clothes off and start fondling and putting his mouth on her. He rapes her while the reader gets a heavy dose of her last thoughts and feelings. She dies while he is violating her and Frazer never learns this until AFTER he "finishes" inside of her.
Top this off with a deformed, insane man stalking and then attempting to rape the heroine because "s-s-she i-s m-m-mine" and you have a book I could not stand enough to finish....more
**spoiler alert** It was a good story. Katie made a pig-headed mistake when she was younger(choosing someone else over our hero Booker), then regrette**spoiler alert** It was a good story. Katie made a pig-headed mistake when she was younger(choosing someone else over our hero Booker), then regretted the decision soon after but allowed her pride to keep her from coming back. Two years later, Katie returns home destitute and pregnant. Her parents reject her and the only person willing to help her is Booker. And thus their trek into love begins.
Like I said, good story. So why only 3 stars? Because some of it bothered me. At one point, Booker manages to find her a great job opportunity with a guy named Mike, who she had a huge crush on for years. The job would be bookkeeping at $15 an hour, lodging included. Katie finds out Mike was talked into it by Booker and is upset by it, so she says no to the job and instead offers to cook and clean for Booker while she gets her web designing business up and running.
See, it bothers me because Katie made the mistake of letting her pride rule her and it nearly destroyed her the first time. This time, her pride is wounded by the "charity", and she can't seem to understand she should be grateful to both men for this chance to really make a good life for her and her baby.
Don't even get me started on how mad she gets at Booker when she thinks he is fooling around with another woman. Her pride steered her right out of his house and into Mike's pretty fast after that. Booker and her were not an item by this point, yet she was acting pouty and mad like she had made a claim on him.
I just felt like Katie didn't learn anything by the end of the book. Everyone loves her again at the end, accepting that she was grown enough to make her own choices, but not ever letting her know that pride goes before the fall.
h decides on a "harebrained" scheme(don't worry, if you forget the scheme is harebrained, she will remind you several times)t***SPOLER ALERTS AHEAD***
h decides on a "harebrained" scheme(don't worry, if you forget the scheme is harebrained, she will remind you several times)to stage a false betrothal to the H, her best friend/rakish little scamp who really does love her. This is just to get her estranged parents back together, who lived separately after her father gets drunk and sleeps with a whore on a dare(though h doesn't know that bit)years ago. Okay, so here are my issues;
1. Sophia insists constantly, and cartoonishly, that she will NOT ever get married. 2. Though Sophia is a grown woman, as she professes every other interaction with her parents, she whines and cries and huffs at them to get together as if she is only five. Mind you, parents have been separated for over 14 years at this point, a well-set reality for this "mature woman" 3. Sophia rambles. If her H talks about kissing her, she talks about all the ways she will hurt him. So charming.
4. The romance between the H/h is overshadowed by the angry romance of h's parents, which brings me to another point. 5. Her father is angry at not being forgiven for cheating on his wife. I realize that sort of thing was common in those days, even the author sets it up as something horrible. Plus I just don't like that sort of thing if the married couple truly love each other. The way he coldly treats in response to HER hurt was baffling. NOW would be a great time to grovel, you ass. 6. The "real" heroes barely show up once her parents get heated up.
7. H/h are concluded waaaaaay before her parents's issues are resolved.
The only redeeming quality was Christian, who honestly did not make enough appearances. I cheered him on when he calledTerrible. ***SPOILER ALERT***
The only redeeming quality was Christian, who honestly did not make enough appearances. I cheered him on when he called out Rose for her childish, hypocritical behavior, and when he called out Lissa for hers.
Seriously, just drop the entire series, and start one featuring Christian. I would eat it up....more
After reading "Shutter Island", which I liked, (with reservations that have grown in hindsight), and having seen the film "Mystic River", which I als After reading "Shutter Island", which I liked, (with reservations that have grown in hindsight), and having seen the film "Mystic River", which I also liked, I decided to hunt down some of Dennis Lehane's other novels. "A Drink Before The war" is Lehane's first novel and is proof that a writer gets better with experience, (though they do have a ceiling and Lehanes is a low one). Let me explain; While Shutter Island had an interesting plot with clever twists, an interesting lead character, and a well written phrase every few pages it suffered with generic dialogue. The plot was developed solidly enough to overcome the books flaws though. The same can not be said of "A Drink Before The War". Lehane's star characters, two private investigators named Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro made their debuts here and I simply do not understand how either was found interesting enough by the publisher to warrant sequels. I suppose the nature of the publishing industry is every writer has to have recurring characters, even when they are as insipid as these two. Kenzie is completely generic as the wise guy P.I. and the only distinguishing characteristic for Gennaro is that she is an abused spouse. There is the typical sexual tension between the detectives but none of the charm and humor that made that so entertaining in "Moonlighting" with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard. While reading Shutter Island I did have a nagging unvoiced complaint. I felt that the dialogue could have been better. It wasn't so bad as to distract from the story though. The dialogue in Lehanes debut novel is so cliched it overwhelms the already weak plot. Honestly, it is full of "groan-out-loud" CONVERSATIONS. Not a line here and there but entire exchanges between characters. One cliche after another. So many, so often it left me wondering if Lehane lacks self-awareness at all. I also wondered if he is surrounded by "yes-people" that never tell him the truth. The cliches are most noticeable whenever Lehane attempts to portray his characters as witty or sharing chemistry. The plot itself concerns incriminating material, powerful politicians, street gangs, and, well, I suppose, on the chance one might still want to read the book I should not say more about the plot. One other thing that bothers me about Lehane is his emphasis on race both here and, to a lesser degree, in Shutter Island. It comes across as, and I know this is speculation, but it is my review, Lehane might think it makes him edgy but to me it is just more generic cliches trying to pass itself off as some kind of enlightenment. Bah. I think I have had enough of Mr.Lehane. Hollywood seems to be able to make his novels worth watching and the ones I've read could benefit from a few rewrites themselves....more
I actually liked the pacing of the book. Too many books and films are so fast-moving, bam bam bam, the end, that I was refreshed with reading a book tI actually liked the pacing of the book. Too many books and films are so fast-moving, bam bam bam, the end, that I was refreshed with reading a book that took some more time on realism with a supernatural twist. It felt like it wasn't being treated as something with a simple, straight-forward plot to get over with. You had random events happen, just like in life. There was tension, drama, comedy, and danger throughout the book. What I am very glad about is the fact that we no longer have to know how many cups of coffee Sookie has each chapter. Now, THAT, is too mundane for me.
Of course, I still wasn't happy with Sookie. She once again proves to be self-centered, impulsive, and hypocritical. Same old, same old. If only she would remove the "stay out of my business while I butt into yours" mentality I would like her a bit more. Also, waaaaay too comfortable with naked guys. tsk tsk, show some respect for your relationship. Amelia rubbed me entirely the wrong way. Too pushy, too willing to jump into changing Sookie's life without a thought. I have always loved her, but in this book she took a turn for the ugly. Eric. For once I didn't like him. He was too secretive about some BIG things and Pam didn't deserve the treatment he gave her. Claude should just leave. Period. I liked Bill a lot in this. He was very sensible and gentlemanly. Alcide, too obsessed. Sam, too intimate with Sookie while in a relationship with a less-than-likable were-girl.
All-in-all, I recommend this book for those who don't mind a slower pace.
One thing I take pride in is my obstinate way in refusing to know too much about a bit of entertainment prior to reading or viewing it. Give me too m One thing I take pride in is my obstinate way in refusing to know too much about a bit of entertainment prior to reading or viewing it. Give me too much of a jacket summary and I won't read a book. For this reason I try to barely glance at the back of a novel. All I want to know is the genre and a very, very basic outline. No plot details please. I am the same way about films. If a film is based on a novel then I go for the book first and avoid the film. For this reason, to this day I have never SEEN Gone With The Wind because the novel sits upon my shelf of books-to-read. (In a side note of "opposites do attract theory", my wife Carolyn, whose account this is, LOVES knowing all the details in advance. It isn't uncommon at all for her to hop up off the sofa during a movie to read ahead on the internet, then rush back to my side giggling about how much I am going to love or hate what happens next. Knowing in advance seems to enhance her enjoyment but completely ruins mine.) Having written all that I approached Shutter Island the novel knowing I had planned to one day see the film. Leonardo is one of my favorite mature actors nowadays so I figured it was just a matter of time before we saw the movie. Now that I have read the book I don't think I want to see the movie. Here's why; The book is really very good. It is a page turner that deals with some very heavy and depressing subject matter. It is difficult to say what this book is about without spoiling it all so I will just say that if you like a novel that makes you want to re-read it just to recognize the obvious giveaways you missed the first time around this is it. Just be warned the subject matter cuts straight to the heart of mental illness and the sometimes terrible consequences that can come with it....more