I definitely liked this more than I thought, after the slog of Vampire Academy. At least partially because the whole concept of the vampire academy anI definitely liked this more than I thought, after the slog of Vampire Academy. At least partially because the whole concept of the vampire academy and the politics & structure of vampire society is...convoluted and not that interesting. But also, the characters.
Sure, Jill, Eddie, and Trey don't have enough personality to catch the reader's attention. And Adrian isn't as likable here because he's too busy being depressed and emo about stupid Rose choosing her stupid soulmate over him - but he still manages to retain a decent amount of his wit. And he's way, way better than Dimitri, who manages to be gross and boring on a consistent basis.
The biggest difference is that I don't hate Sydney, while Rose is one of the worst protagonists in YA lit - though I like to blame Dimitri for hypnotizing her with his black hole of a personality. Certainly when she hunted him and he was off-page she was tolerable. I don't think Sydney's character growth is as organic as it should be, and by no means do I love her, but I rarely find her so irritating that I wish she would die and someone else would be the narrator. So there's that.
Decent plot and better pacing than VA usually was too....more
Hmm, the first and third book largely read the same, but this clarifies the strengths and weaknesses of the series.
I find it difficult to care aboutHmm, the first and third book largely read the same, but this clarifies the strengths and weaknesses of the series.
I find it difficult to care about Kat/Hale, largely because Hale is way too much of a perfect ideal to be interesting. And I find Kat most intriguing when she thinks about the life she could have if she weren’t a master thief - the kind of life she only has for a few pages at the beginning of the first book.
Not to say that her schemes aren’t cool and all - though they feel better in the moment than after you stop to think about the actual logistics and steps involved. Plus there’s no fallout to them despite the villainous impetus for hatching them in the first place shouldn’t totally neutralize. I mean, if a bad guy wants to kill someone (and are willing to kill others in the way) for stealing your stolen paintings, I would think he would be even more motivated after being thrown in jail - unless we’re under the delusion that criminal masterminds can’t conduct business while behind bars. A similar, though less dangerous, element remains dangling in this book.
Oh, back to Kat - she feels like would-be Badass Thief wish fulfillment for the reader rather than an actual character, which is problematic.
My MVP of the book is probably her cousin who doesn’t get enough pagetime but still seems more grounded in reality while possessing more charm. And then I suppose the two brothers in Kat’s crew, who while barely have one personality facet are somewhat amusing. I think Nat would be a good character too if she had more buildup for her to make sense as one. ...more
So this is surprisingly fun. I guess I think thieves are cooler than spies, since I enjoyed this more than the Gallagher Girls books I've read. ThoughSo this is surprisingly fun. I guess I think thieves are cooler than spies, since I enjoyed this more than the Gallagher Girls books I've read. Though in both cases I enjoyed the secondary, obviously non-OTP, love interest much more than the main one.
On the light, frothy side often, but with enough stakes that the reader never feels dubious about reading the book in the first place.
If Carter is taking suggestions, maybe Gabrielle should take the narratorial reins in the 4th book. It would be great to know her better, and maybe get some background on the quickly-forgotten plot point about former animosity with Kat....more
Hmm. I don’t like this as much as Warm Bodies, but I feel that 3 stars for this justifies 3 stars for that - rounding up vs. rounding down.
The noticeHmm. I don’t like this as much as Warm Bodies, but I feel that 3 stars for this justifies 3 stars for that - rounding up vs. rounding down.
The noticeably weak part of WB is the sporadic slideshow of the boyfriend’s life; I find it difficult to care about him. While here the Nora part is clearly better than the rest; Julie is as Julie as ever and the R part doesn’t go far enough to make it legitimately enlightening.
Nora’s story is the kind of Desperate Survival story one expects this kind of book to be, and the book does a good job of making the reader care about her and Addis. It would probably also be better for this novella to be Nora-centered since in Warm Bodies we get plenty of the others but only the potential for depth in Nora. Now I’m looking forward more to seeing what happens to her than Julie.
A few nuggets from the book hint at what should be coming in the Warm Bodies sequel; that’s nice. ...more
Lawd, this was so bad it felt often like a parody of Twilight fanfic.
The try-hard teenspeak that managed to feel inaccurate to how teens speak yet soLawd, this was so bad it felt often like a parody of Twilight fanfic.
The try-hard teenspeak that managed to feel inaccurate to how teens speak yet sound so amateurish that one could more easily imagine a tween projecting how she thinks she'd be talking in high school, rather than a published adult author.
The useless leads, so stupid and pointless with their non of a conflict - it's obvious how things will turn out, and Raven both barely thinks about fallout and doesn't have to deal with any fallout given how the book ends with her change. She's so mindless and selfish that I almost rooted for the sorta-bad-guys in the book to get what they want. Except they're stupid and useless too.
Raven meeting her omgtruelove's little sister seems like a very non-climactic central plotline for the ending of a 9-book series. Awkward and random, like the author was just like, "Mmm, can't think of a plot to lead to the obvious ending, oh right I can add a character, that's like a plot right?"
I do like Raven's little brother somewhat, though his sudden appearance at the ending could've done with some explanation. I can't say I hate this book though because it's too incompetent so I'm more embarrassed than annoyed with the author....more
oh joy more mindless action. how much more lucrative is the yaSanderson’s strength: adult epic fantasy. Sanderson’s weakness: young adult urban fantasy.
oh joy more mindless action. how much more lucrative is the ya market that Sanderson feels he has to write these?
it’s weird that with fiction in general I prefer one pov and think that multiple povs usually spring up from laziness (even, say, Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy got bogged down more later by useless ones.). but Sanderson seems to Fwork better with the complexity of juggling disparate perspectives, and here he’s able to be lazy by sticking with one a bland narrator and writing on autopilot. his voice doesn’t have to change at all, and the language can be flatter than Sanderson’s usual because, hey, it’s a young adult book so the standards are lower....more