Certainly Very Heterosexually Excelled at the Former
If nothing else, this book helped to shame me into picking up the pace on reading the actual Infer...moreCertainly Very Heterosexually Excelled at the Former
If nothing else, this book helped to shame me into picking up the pace on reading the actual Inferno. Actually now that I think about it, I read Dan Brown’s Inferno first...Anyway, I think using actual literature as such a conceit may bother me even more than Ana Steele’s obsession with talking to her inner goddess and that other part of her crazy mind. At least it was entertaining in a horrible way.
Eye-Rolling Notes While Reading: (view spoiler)[“How could someone with an angelic name be so cruel? How could a voice so melodic be so harsh? She was momentarily lost in the frozen depths of his eyes, longing for the time when they had looked down at her with kindness. But rather than give in to her despair, she breathed deeply and decided that she had better get used to the way he was now, even though it was a grave and painful disappointment.” - A world of no. Ye gods and little fishes, this book is gonna be torture if this is how she thinks. “Implicitly, he had compared her to dirt, but of course, that’s what he thought she was now.” - Oh how...sexy. Meant 2 b! “He couldn’t bear the notion of wearing something that had been soaked in urine” - Uh what? Is he incontinent? “Whereas a few hours earlier she had taken pride in her small but clean hobbit hole, now she was mortified.” - Okay fine, points for this sentence. “ His eyes wandered to her clothes, resting perhaps a little too long on the curves of her lovely breasts...Julia’s eyes traveled over his button down and sweater, perhaps lingering a little too long on the planes of his lovely pectorals.” - I take back those points. I have never heard anyone refer to “lovely pectorals.” I don’t care if the author is going for a repetition thing.
“Miss Mitchell was a Calamity Jane, a vortex of vexation.” - A vortex of vexation? What unfortunate alliteration; dunno whether to fault the character for being an ass, or the author for...being an ass. Hey, I can do repetition too! “Her ruby mouth opening and closing, the delicate way she almost sang the words, her tongue peeking out to wet her lips from time to time…Professor Emerson had to remind himself to close his mouth after it had dropped open.” - Just...ew. Well, at least I don’t hate Julia yet. Given time I’m guessing I will. Right now she’s just sort of blank of personality. “And she wasn’t merely beautiful; she was sensual and hypnotic, but also innocent. Her pretty eyes reflected a depth of feeling and radiant purity that he had never noticed before.” - This reads to me as: Ooh hot virgin! Ooh hot virgin! But dressed up in annoying language. “‘You blossom under kindness, don’t you? Like a rose.’” - Don’t most people and things respond better to kindness than...not? At least right now, based on very little, Paul seems okay. Leave Gabriel behind! Even though the title (and his narrating half the pages so far) shows the unlikelihood of that.
“Slightly spectacular sight of the front of his trousers.” - Ugh. Horrible sibilance. He thinks his penis is spectacular, of course. Or, I guess, not even his penis, his bulge. “He was a rational agent. He wore clothes to cover his nakedness” - Mmm, who has these thoughts? “Wished that he had a video camera secretly placed in his condo somewhere. It would probably be too obvious to pull his camera out and take snapshots of her.” - How creepy and sexual predator-y. “‘You’re only a magnet for mishap, Miss Mitchell, while I am a magnet for sin.’” - Said the spider to the fly. “No feelings of affection had ever approximated the love and devotion he inspired in her.Their entire relationship was based on a single night, a night she relived in her memories over and over again” - Get over it. I mean...unless it’s That that makes it so memorable.
“‘The prodigal son. Or perhaps, a demon. The demon Gabriel.’” - Get over yourself, goodbye, it must be hard to be you, yeah, living in your life. I was always the one to cry...Eden’s Crush is much more entertaining than this book. Ew, she’s obsessed with Dante because of him. How creepy. Book bags are NOT that expensive. I mean, unless she’s carrying around a pile of bricks in it, she can get one at Wal-Mart for cheap and make the author stop carrying on about it. “‘I want her petals to open’” - In what world would a guy say this to his sister about her best friend? Or about anyone? Why is Paul obsessed with calling her Rabbit? Is that better or worse than calling her Beatrice? 9-floor library?
“I should seriously kick his ass. And then I should go to work on him.” - What does that even mean? What could he do after kicking his ass? Carve him up? Of course his middle name is Virgil. And of course he’s an obnoxious ass too. “In reality, however, Lobby and its patrons had far more in common with the various circles of Hell. Gabriel did not want to bring Julianne there, let alone Rachel, for Lobby was his hunting ground, the place he always went to feed his hungers.” - Um...okay we get it, you’re Twilight fanfic dressed up in Virgil clothing. Don’t have to make it so grossly obvious. Gabriel’s outbursts seem downright Tourette’s-y. “Dancing with sex. This man, whoever he was, would no doubt be excellent at the latter, because he certainly very heterosexually excelled at the former.” - Let me repeat, very heterosexually excelled at the former. This is as amazingly awful as Ana’s inner goddess. I wonder, how could he very homosexually excel at the former - do the same thing with a guy, or could he dance with her, just in a very homosexual way? Then, could two guys very heterosexually dance together? We need answers, author.
References to Grendel to super creepily tease her about being a virgin? Nice for you to forget your whole “oh but she’s my student” protestations. I’m sure Brad will turn out to be awful to make Gabriel look better, but right now I prefer him. Oh now Gabriel is threatening her for not wanting to dance with him. Gets better and better, I see. Modern romance novels ftw. “Favorite shades of purple” - I would like this book a bit more if it was called 50 Shades of Purple. “In true saint-like fashion, she had accomplished all of her tasks before she returned home, and she had planted seeds that would soon blossom, in unexpected ways.” - Just stop plz. “‘You are where I’ve never traveled: your fragility and your small, small hands.’” - Just for a change...more creepiness.
“‘That’s why I didn’t kiss you back much, even though I wanted to. But it was very nice. Thank you. I know you’re careful about who you let yourself get close to. I feel honored that you kissed me.’” - What world is he from? Ooh, is he very homosexually excelling at hiding who he really is? “Maidenhead? There would be blood. For the price of sin was always blood. And a little death.” - Maybe I should start skipping his sections. There’s more grossness than entertaining awfulness. Oh now he’s scolding her for feeling weird about her professor who’s clearly wanting a super-inappropriate relationship giving her thousands of dollars, almost as if he’s buying her. She’s supposed to be grateful and “professional” about it. Oh Lawd. “Miss Mitchell found herself caught between the Scylla of protecting Gabriel and herself and the Charybdis of holding fast to her pride.” - Why is she calling herself Miss Mitchell? Why does she have to use such an obvious, annoying comparison? “Hands off the Precious, Gollum.” - Oh the 2nd time I was amused on purpose, and it’s a Tolkien thing again. I don’t even like him that much…
Wait, why doesn’t she know anyone else in Toronto? What does she do all day such that she’s never met anyone else? As Hermone would say: What. An. Idiot. Has Julia never heard of drunken people acting weirdly and/or blacking out? “‘You’re on your knees more than the average whore.’” - Drop dead. What a horrible chapter, in which I would think it’s obvious the two awful main characters are forcing everyone else into an almost-lovers’ quarrel. Disgusting. Fire him, university. “‘That was the most disgusting display of infantile behavior I have ever witnessed…Well, I’m not an abusive asshole.’” - Uh, having a lecture basically proclaiming his love for a student is not disgusting and infantile, and being all pissy about it and threatening her isn’t being an abusive asshole? Okay then.
“‘Anything to do with the university should be discussed with me.’ / ‘Please don’t make me give up the one friend I have, apart from you. Then I really will be isolated, since I can’t be with you all the time.’” - What a psycho nutbag. “Why is the universe always conspiring against us?” - Girl shut it. Since when is it a shocking conspiracy that professors and students aren’t supposed to date? Her father is awful too. She retreated into a shell for a year for being cheated on by an a-hole? Hmm. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book feels way longer than it needs to be given all the pages that do nothing to develop plot, mood, character, or even style. I would say that t...moreThis book feels way longer than it needs to be given all the pages that do nothing to develop plot, mood, character, or even style. I would say that they give it a definite “first book” feel, but many authors do this several books into their career, so. As she says: "I am not one of those miserly authors who measure out their words to the last quarter ounce."
Even the bits that do further the novel are often boring, and I don’t particularly care for either Strange or Norrell’s company. The highlights are definitely the faerie king scenes, especially since for a long time the only ones actively interacting with him are the humans who I actually like. Anyway, some choice quotes from the book:
1 One only need mention the book once or twice and for the rest of the article one may develop one's theme just as one chuses. 2 “For someone who is anxious that I should become a magician, I must say you do not make the life sound very appealing. I hope to be married soon and a life spent in dark woods surrounded by thieves and murderers would be inconvenient to say the least. I suggest you chuse someone else." 3 “Other adepts summon up fairy-spirits and long-dead kings. I appear to have conjured the spirit of a banker." 4 “What wicked magicians? There is only Mr Strange and you." / “Well, that is true, but . . ." / “Do you feel particularly wicked at present, Mr Norrell? Is there some pressing reason that the British Government should establish a separate body of law to control your vicious tendencies?" 5 “Really, Pole, I had no idea you were so fond of my company!" / “I am not.” 6 "A friend, then?" / Mr. Green seemed about to deny that he had ever had any friends. 7 There were no circumstances under which it would be fair or honourable for two men in the prime of life (one of them a soldier) to challenge him to a duel. Hadley-Bright and Purfois accepted this with a good grace, but Purfois could not help looking hopefully about the room for a person of equal decrepitude to Mr Norrell. He gazed speculatively at Shackleton. 8 "Perhaps I am a Receipt-Book! Perhaps I am a Novel! Perhaps I am a Collection of Sermons!"(less)
At first I was annoyed that I wouldn’t be able to hate the book as much as expected, as I could sort of see Kiera’s side of things. But afte...more*SPOILERS*
At first I was annoyed that I wouldn’t be able to hate the book as much as expected, as I could sort of see Kiera’s side of things. But after Kiera sleeps with Kellan, he acts like a pouty asshat for a long time afterwards, shutting her out when he’s not being subtly hateful. Like the next time Kiera and Denny have an argument following his giving up his dream job to stay in the same place as her, suggesting that maybe she’ll bang Griffin this time instead. What a swell effing guy who’s gonna be a perfect bf, right?
And then her solution to try to calm Kellan down is attempting a second bang. Top-notch girlfriend skills. Following that, he tips her with the implication of her being a whore. When she decides that she’s into it (I guess), they’re cuddly and affectionate anytime Denny’s not in the room. She tries to act all wide-eyedly innocent about her illicit activities, which makes it worse: brazenly leading one on esp with her whole hot-and-cold thing, cheatingly cheating on and coldly ignoring the other. At least K&K ending up together is somewhat appropriate as they are both horrid and gross. It’s kinda like Big/Carrie/Aiden, except without good writing or believability or likable-despite-their-flaws characters.
The excuse given for the tortured-bad-boy nonsense is abuse; he needs the perfect girl to heal him. While overdone, that can be legitimately believed. As for her...she just can’t resist hotness. Swell gal. The fact that we’re in her head makes it easier to hate her as we have to put up with her stupid brain for so very many pages. And I actually feel kinda bad for Kellan if this thing is the only person who’s loved him, a girl who will bang her roommate while her boyfriend’s in the next room and then claim to want to move to Australia with said boyfriend the next day. Yeah, that’s someone you can trust.
And while Denny is boring, it’s hard not to feel bad for him as Kiera keeps treating him terribly in various ways while never demonstrating redeeming qualities to explain why he’s with her at all. Sometimes she’s like “oh I feel guilty” but she never behaves any more like a decent human being. I guess the lesson here is “even if you’re totally wretched and care about nothing besides your worthless self, you can get a hawt bad boy to fall in love with you” - how inspirational. And I hate that she doesn’t even get a real comeuppance; her boyfriend sweetly breaks up with her because she clearly is over him and she gets to be with Kellan. Like, ugh.
The rest of the characters in the book are pretty much props with not much personhood beyond being part of the main characters’ lives.(less)
Goodreads says this is the 2nd-best steampunk book, and I did enjoy the #1 choice. But that book has witty humor and a winning heroine. Neither of whi...moreGoodreads says this is the 2nd-best steampunk book, and I did enjoy the #1 choice. But that book has witty humor and a winning heroine. Neither of which is found in any capacity here.
The first half is so dull and sluggish; I kept waiting for the two protagonists to meet so that something would happen already. Aside from the initial premise anyway - noble princeling on the run from his parents’ killers, girl dressed as boy soldier. I find war and military matters blah as fiction fodder, for the most part, unless the author dresses it up in something special.
Then when they do meet, I want him to punch her in the face for being such a snitty ass with a huge chip on her shoulder. At least he’s been mildly likable up through that point, instead of all uppity and smug. I’ll be so irritated if they fall in love which is what I expect from this kind of series.
Also, the slang is super irritating. It’s more tolerable in Uglies because it’s in the future and all. (less)
**spoiler alert** I feel weird about not liking/loving this because of the incredibly enthusiasm so many have for it. But basically the only element I...more**spoiler alert** I feel weird about not liking/loving this because of the incredibly enthusiasm so many have for it. But basically the only element I found special was Evanjalin, and even that's marred by her later losing her personality thanks to the powers of (sappy, unbelievable) true love and responsibility.
Still: “You have a very dark heart,” he accused./“It’s good of you to recognize, Finnikin. There’s hope for you yet.” “You are evil,” he seethed./“Oh, the way that word is thrown around! Everything is evil that humans can’t control or conquer.” “What bothers you? That I found a way of getting your father out of the mines while you left him there to rot for years?” “Why do the men of Lumatere always speak of dying for the kingdom and for each other?” “It’s lovely to know that you are picking up the language, Froi. But I do not recall the authority to command being part of your bond.”
And, she sells a child thief who tries to rape her to the slave traders, guides Finnikin in a position to save or kill said thief, stuck an arrow near her heart to feign death, and arranges all the power players together in a successful campaign to retake the kingdom. Badass. Isaboe though, I can do without.
Finnikin has a bland voice and thinks too longwindedly about matters I don't care about. He also comes off as an asshole at various points, though overall he's...okay, I guess. I'm generally not a fan of a book being mostly from one character's POV only to have sporadic sections from others, and here it doesn't help the story much if at all - however, because it gives short respites from Finnkin's head, I'm not entirely opposed.
The only memorable part of the men of the book are their male bonds. It's sweet when they reunite, only to make way to the boredom of their training for a non-starter of a climax. And they all kinda blend together in my mind with their singular goal: Reclaim Kingdom.
I do like these two short passages: 1. Clutching on to each other, collapsed onto the ground. Finnikin had no idea how long they lay on their backs, staring up at the sky, side by side yet refusing to acknowledge each other’s presence. “Come,” Lucian said finally, his voice husky. 2. “Tomas and I are bonded to each other,” Bosco said from a lower step. “Which we are forced to be reminded of each night.” “While the rest of us go with nothing,” Aldron sulked.
The book doesn't really have anything notable to say about gender relations or sexuality though. In fact, I was highly reminded of Wheel of Time's over-the-top constant back and forth about how women are nags who use their power to cow men into submission.
I never marveled at the writing. It's rarely lush or beautiful, and its peak is when Evanjalin is amusingly sniping at people. The plot overall is...there. Standard fantasy plot, not much to talk about. I'll try one of her contemporary novels to see if she's just not for me.(less)
**spoiler alert** Strengths: 1. Interesting examination of gender roles, esp via a girl posing as a boy, a eunuch (thus a man without his “manhood”),...more**spoiler alert** Strengths: 1. Interesting examination of gender roles, esp via a girl posing as a boy, a eunuch (thus a man without his “manhood”), and a very sympathetic likable trans woman. 2. Insightful look at the treatment of the disabled by society.
Neutral: Eon/Eona. Realistically flawed, but that means she often alternates between getting on my nerves and boring me when she’s meant to drive the action. Her master. Very helpful, but it’s apparently cuz he’s a dirty old man? The writing works fine for what it is, but it never pops and makes me want to jot down some quotes. The premise is okay. Unoriginal. A bunch of the other Dragoneyes are killed offscreen. However, I don’t really care about them so I dunno if the book would’ve been better by depicting this action. This unwanted penniless crippled girl of course has a super-important lineage. Expected.
Weaknesses: 1. The royal family has no personality. I dunno how I’m supposed to care about the power struggle. 2. Poor pacing with various parts that fail to hold my full attention, all building up towards a meh, somewhat sappy climax. 3. Hints of romance with two different guys, when both have had moments of treating her horrifically. 4. Weird preaching about drugs, and the tween burnout is super boring.
Eon vs. Throne of Glass: Heroine can’t remember her parents but is clearly of an oh-so-exalted line cuz that’s how fantasies roll. She was plucked out of the mines. She knows swordplay in a realm where that’s largely a male sport. She suddenly becomes one of the most important people in the land via a public spectacle and is party to courtly intrigue. She forms close relationships with both a prince and a guard. (less)