Book 3 of The Phoenix Chronicles (Any Given Doomsday and Doomsday Can Wait are Books 1 & 2) -- Despite Psychic/Shape-shifter/Vampire Elizabeth (Li...moreBook 3 of The Phoenix Chronicles (Any Given Doomsday and Doomsday Can Wait are Books 1 & 2) -- Despite Psychic/Shape-shifter/Vampire Elizabeth (Liz) Phoenix's efforts, somehow the Gates of Hell have been opened and the Apocalypse is at hand. Demons are flooding the earth and if Liz can't prevent Satan from taking control, humanity will end. Her newly acquired vampire abilities are her secret weapon against the demon hoards, but she still needs to acquire the Key of Solomon and the Book of Samyaza (Satan) to stave off the Apocalypse -- without losing herself to her inner demon. With the aid of her ex-lover Jimmy Sanducci and mysterious Navajo shaman Sawyer, Liz discovers that someone she thought was dead isn't and will destroy everyone Liz loves to bring about the Apocalypse.
I've really enjoyed this series and am looking forward to Handeland's 4th novel Chaos Bites. (less)
I finally started reading the "free samplers" that Penguin/Ace/Roc Books distributed at SDCC 2009. Several novels seemed promising, this being one of...moreI finally started reading the "free samplers" that Penguin/Ace/Roc Books distributed at SDCC 2009. Several novels seemed promising, this being one of the most intriguing.
I really, really enjoyed it. Great characters, great story and lots of action -- just what I'm looking for in UF books! I hope that Huff decides to expand on this world and give us more tales about Alysha & the Gale family, because I will be waiting to read them!(less)
I have loved and read most of Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels -- they are, in fact, one of my favorite series. However, there was a period of time when I...moreI have loved and read most of Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels -- they are, in fact, one of my favorite series. However, there was a period of time when I stopped reading them, and I haven't read a dragon-centric novel in a long time. Except for an excerpt from Dragon Haven (the second book and current release in the Rain Wild Chronicles), the last dragon novel I read was Christopher Paolini's Eldest. While I thoroughly enjoyed his first novel Eragon, Eldest was a struggle for me to finish, and I've yet to read Brisingr to finish the series. After that, I decided to avoid dragon themed novels.
I am happy to say that while I haven't read any other Robin Hobbs novels, Dragon Keeper hearkens back to McCaffrey's ability to create a fully realized world filled with interesting, well-developed characters. Proof of that is my interest in reading her other series to see how they fit into this one.
Due to the title, I was under the impression that this novel was going to be centered on dragon keeper Thymara and her relationship with the dragons, so initially I did find it odd that it also focuses heavily on self-proclaimed dragon scholar Alise. Fortunately, Alise's story is interesting not only in her struggle to make something of herself, but also in comparison to Thymara. Thymara is a child of the Rain Wild canopy lifestyle and due to physical deformities is ostracized by her people. Alise, on the other hand, is the curious and intelligent daughter of a trader family, but her plain looks and book smarts set her apart from her shallower contemporaries who focus on parties, frilly dresses, and finding a husband. Both are outsiders who leave their old lives behind for a chance at adventure through meeting the Cassarick dragons and helping to lead them to the legendary Elderling city of Kelsingra. Hobbs' does an excellent job of describing the societies of the merchants, the people of Rain Wilds, and the recently hatched dragons, while building engaging characters within each Despite the focus on building this world, the novel is a page turner without bogging the reader down with endless pages of description or dialogue that doesn't move the plot forward.
My only disappointment ... since this story focuses primarily on the background and character development of Thymara and Alise, the journey to discover Kelsingra has only begun when the novel ends. Therefore, I am anxious to continue this trip by reading Dragon Haven.(less)
Dragon Haven begins right where Dragon Keeper left off (which was in the midst of some action, and for this reason, I don't recommend reading this ser...moreDragon Haven begins right where Dragon Keeper left off (which was in the midst of some action, and for this reason, I don't recommend reading this series out of order). Having temporarily stopped their trek up the Rain Wilds River to find the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra, the dragon keepers, dragon scholar Alise, and Captain Leftrin are trying to help the sickly copper dragon recover before moving onward. But secrets amongst the keepers, the hunters, and the crew of the Liveship Tarman are brewing; the dragons are growing stronger and more volatile; and the hardships that the Rain Wild River keeps throwing at the expedition are threatening to tear the group apart. Whereas Dragon Keeper introduces the reader to these characters and their expectations, Dragon Haven poses the question of whether they will find out if Kelsingra is real by locating the ancestral home of the dragons and Elderlings or will they just die trying.
Hobb did such a fabulous job of creating engaging characters and immediately enveloping the reader into the world of Dragon Keeper that moving straight into the action and intrigue of Dragon Haven is eagerly anticipated. My only complaint is having to wait to find out what will happen hereafter because I really want to spend more time with these characters. Without a doubt, this is the best Dragon series that I've read since Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels. (less)
I adored this book. Excellent world building, terrific characters, engaging plot, lots of action, and filled with magic and imagination.
Being short in...moreI adored this book. Excellent world building, terrific characters, engaging plot, lots of action, and filled with magic and imagination.
Being short in stature and fourth in line for her father's throne, Princess Sylviianel (Sylvi) is glad that for her, life as a royal brings little responsibility and the benefits of pretty things and food that she enjoys. She is able to observe the trials and tribulations of running a kingdom without experiencing much impact upon her everyday life--not even from the increasing numbers of predatory creatures long absent from Balsinland thanks to the high walls surrounding their kingdom. Her aspirations are few and expects that she will perform minor duties upon adulthood and that one day she will marry.
However, Sylvi's life drastically changes with her twelfth birthday. Like all royal and noble children, she is to be bound with a Pegasi offspring. The Pegasi are small, delicate, winged creatures* who have the intelligence and willingness to communicate with their human neighbors due to a treaty signed between them hundreds of years ago. The Pegasi were hunted near to extinction by the vicious native predators (ladons, taralians, norindours, wyverns, and rocs) until an exiled expedition party of humans stumbled upon the Pegasi lands. The humans were awed by these intelligent and wondrous creatures with whom they were able to communicate via their magicians and physical signing. In exchange for protecting the Pegasi by hunting down the native predators, the Pegasi allow this party to establish a new kingdom
Much to Slyvi's chagrin, the elaborate binding ceremony is steeped in traditional speeches, protocols, and magic, which requires her to perfect her knowledge of Pegasi sign-language, memorize the required oration and actions, and be on her best behavior so as not to embarrass her family. Nothing in her training prepares her for the shock she receives during the ceremony, which sets off a chain of events that not only affect Slyvii and her Pegasi bondmate Ebon, but will change Pegasi-human relationships and send Slyvi on an exciting adventure.
*Edited to change Pegasi description as they are not winged horses in this series.(less)
Loved it. A great story that grabs you and sucks you in immediately, characters that are interesting and relatable, a well balanced amount of descript...moreLoved it. A great story that grabs you and sucks you in immediately, characters that are interesting and relatable, a well balanced amount of description and dialogue, and a fast paced plot that will keep you turning the pages. I can't wait to read Beautiful Darkness, the next book in this series.(less)
A worthy follow-up to Beautiful Creatures that begins two months after the concluding events in that book. The pacing this time around is slower with...moreA worthy follow-up to Beautiful Creatures that begins two months after the concluding events in that book. The pacing this time around is slower with a lot more of the story going on in Ethan's head, but the plot and character development is completely satisfying. Ethan starts hearing a new song about Lena and this time the focus is on the Seventeenth Moon and Lena's decision to be either a Light or a Dark Caster. In her grief, Lena has isolated herself from everyone -- including Ethan. Ethan starts his summer job working for his Aunt Marian, the town librarian and discovers that she's also hired an apprentice Ivy.
Despite Gatlin's reputation for being a sleepy, southern town steeped in tradition and oblivious to the powerful Casters and Incubuses in their midst, a whole lot of trouble is brewing as the Light and Dark factions of Lena's family wait impatiently for her to claim herself. Soon Lena's trouble-making cousin Ridley shows up with her mysterious, motorcycle riding companion John Breed and their presence, along with jealousy, fear, and misunderstandings, pull Lena and Ethan apart. But Ethan is determined to stand by Lena at all costs.
For a novel that spends a great deal of time in Ethan's head, once the action takes off, the adventure is filled with twists, turns, and surprises that you just don't see coming. I love it when I'm so sure I know where a story is headed only to be proven wrong, which is exactly what happened for me in Beautiful Darkness.
I'm very much looking forward to the next book in this series Beautiful Chaos to find out the repercussions of Lena's choice.(less)