Loved this series all the way though. Angel is a very complete character, despite the writing style being intentionally light/funny. Hope to read more...moreLoved this series all the way though. Angel is a very complete character, despite the writing style being intentionally light/funny. Hope to read more from this author.(less)
Way above the IQ of the average paranormal romance novel, but still plenty of moments of awkward writing. The characters are also a bit flat, but Anit...moreWay above the IQ of the average paranormal romance novel, but still plenty of moments of awkward writing. The characters are also a bit flat, but Anita is likeable/smart/independent, so I figure she will probably end up ok once she's been properly cooked over the next few books in the series. Planning to read the next one.
Also, my straight male hair stylist recommended this series to me. (less)
So, this was surprisingly great. I was expecting it to be a little trashier, but the writing was excellent. Just the right mix of funny and cute and g...moreSo, this was surprisingly great. I was expecting it to be a little trashier, but the writing was excellent. Just the right mix of funny and cute and gross.(less)
Ok, so this is clearly a YA romance that happened to have some faeries. It is very character driven and the deeper plot points are essentially left un...moreOk, so this is clearly a YA romance that happened to have some faeries. It is very character driven and the deeper plot points are essentially left unexplored. Of course, this what looks to be a pretty long series, so maybe the point was to make us love the characters first and then go about this business of world building and epic conflict later. I'm ok with that.
I read some reviews that described the characters as flat and I would say yes, they are underdeveloped, but I am so burned out on cookie-cutter YA romance/urban fantasy novels that someone trying to do something more than the standard love triangle is enough to impress the hell out of me.
Let's talk about the feminist subtext, here. For the first time in what feels like ages, I get a YA (or even general!) romance that doesn't rely on the standard patriarchal relationship tropes. I was expecting the typical "heroine attains access to mysterious new powers/world and has to choose between two suitors that represent different life paths for her" formula. And in a way, I got it. But not in a way I've ever read before.
(view spoiler)[ So, we get our first love interest right away. Seth is punk as fuck, rumored to have a long list of sexual conquests, and lives in a train. He seems ripe to fill in the "emotionally distant, traumatized bad boy who secretly longs for the right girl to do all the emotional heavy-lifting for him" archetype. But surprise! Seth is an ethical slut. He gets tested, asks for consent, and when he felt like he met the right person to form a more serious connection with, he took his time winning her over and was the very image of patience and level-headedness throughout the drama of the story. He may look like a bad boy, but he is a righteous feminist dude who loves his lady and doesn't demand she fit into the madonna/whore binary. He gives her room to be herself and loves her for it. His only flaw is being so damn flawless. Still, I would pay good money to get those legions of Twilight fans obsessing over Seth instead of Edward Cullen.
And then there's Keenan. He's the faerie king who is supposed to swoop in, sparkle at our heroine, and instigate some deep romantic conflicts that overlay our standard-issue good v. evil plotline. Only he doesn't! His sexy faerie vibes make him seem a bit tempting at first, but the fact he stalks Aislinn despite being told to fuck off over and over really makes him unappealing as a love interest - to both her and the reader. He is too old-fashioned, too entitled, too wrong-headed about where love and romance actually come from to get anywhere with our heroine . . . until he gets her completely wasted. And hey, that goes pretty terribly, since she blacks out and is terrified she got date raped by him. The fact that he did right by her (seeing her home safely and leaving it at that) doesn't really negate the creepiness of putting her in an uncomfortable/frightening situation that she felt the need to drink her way out of in the first place. Of course, this does give the heroic Seth the opportunity to tell Aislinn that date rape is fucked, she didn't consent if she was drunk, that of course he still loves/wants her, and yes, he will fucking kill that bastard if needs be. Although Keenan is eventually cleared of wrongdoing, he strays into creep territory again later in the story where he considers the use of ambiguous force (violence/sexual assault) to get Aislinn to go along with his plan. Once again, he makes the right choice and doesn't go totally villain on us, but what we're left with is a fairly typical sexist dude who can easily set aside the nagging guilt of the negative affect he's had on the women in his life -- turning the summer girls into his personal bimbo entourage, putting Donia in a permanent state of suffering, and driving Aislinn's mom to suicide. Are all these things directly his fault? No, not really. Does he seem particularly torn up over it? No to that as well. He just thinks about the joy and potential of each new conquest, not the fact his next victim is 99.9% doomed to having her agency stripped from her (frozen and suffering for centuries or becoming a spontaneously willing fucktoy for him and his buddies) and 100% doomed to having her life forcibly made to accommodate his ambitions.
So. Cheers to Aislinn for being the sort of heroine who isn't glamored by some paranormal heartthrob. Sometimes it's ok to fall in love with the "safe" choice. (hide spoiler)]
It wasn't too bad, but nothing exceptional. I think this might be the sort of series that gets better as the world fills out, so I'm definitely giving...moreIt wasn't too bad, but nothing exceptional. I think this might be the sort of series that gets better as the world fills out, so I'm definitely giving the next book a try.(less)
Absolutely perfect. I was beginning to get worried about the series after the last book (which was a total downer with a weird story arc), but this br...moreAbsolutely perfect. I was beginning to get worried about the series after the last book (which was a total downer with a weird story arc), but this brought it all back for me. Tons of loose ends tied up in interesting and satisfying ways plus some new, odd developments. I can't say I have even the tiniest clue what the next (last?) book will bring.(less)