**spoiler alert** I got a little annoyed with some of the characters in this one. Mostly because of the whole would-be love triangle. It seemed horrib**spoiler alert** I got a little annoyed with some of the characters in this one. Mostly because of the whole would-be love triangle. It seemed horribly forced, if only because Bella supposedly loves Edward so deeply that she becomes a shell of a person when he's not around... so how could she fall for anyone else?
Jacob went from being a fun kid who was a really good friend to her, to being a possessive, emo, snot-nosed brat. He's constantly manipulating Bella emotionally, everything from putting her on a guilt trip for hurting his poor widdle feewings, to threatening suicide if she didn't kiss him. He also insisted on using slurs when he talked about Edward and his family, even though he knew it bothered Bella to hear them talked about that way. He completely disregarded everything she said to him about how she felt, and forced his own feelings on her every chance he got. Really, what kind of guy treats ANYONE that way, especially the girl he claims he loves?
Bella not only puts up with this, she dives into the mess head first. Sure, she's not afriad of vampires and werewolves, and she'll bravely face a killer in a feeble effort to save her mom. Sure, she's tomboyish, independant, and determined... only, not when Jacob shows up. Then she's feeble and wishy-washy and lets him dump on her because she deserves it and he's really a good guy and he loves her. Yeah... abusive relationship waiting to happen. And all this time, even though Edward is as dedicated and honorable as ever, she's running back and forth between the two of them saying "But I love you BOTH, can't we all just get along?" and it makes me want to slap her.
Uh, Bella? Sweetie? This is not a hard decision. Stick with the guy who respects you....more
This is really a pretty good book. It flows nicely, so it's a quick read, and the characters are generally likeable. The plot is good too, beneath allThis is really a pretty good book. It flows nicely, so it's a quick read, and the characters are generally likeable. The plot is good too, beneath all the sugary sweet romantic fluff. There's a lot of that. But hey, what can you expect? It's a YA vampire romance, of course it will have a lot of romantic fluff. I did get a little bored and start craving some action and conflict a while before it got to it, but that's probably just because I'm used to books that focus on action and conflict instead of romance. Overall, I enjoyed reading it....more
This was a very enjoyable book, and I loved the background given to Beauty and her family. The characters were all interesting and the setting was marThis was a very enjoyable book, and I loved the background given to Beauty and her family. The characters were all interesting and the setting was marvelous. My one and only complaint was how rushed the conclusion was....more
**spoiler alert** This one isn't rated for a reason...
I don't really know what to rate it overall, and wish I could rate it in parts. I suppose I cou**spoiler alert** This one isn't rated for a reason...
I don't really know what to rate it overall, and wish I could rate it in parts. I suppose I could average it out and give it three stars, but that doesn't seem to fit.
So I'll rate it in my review, which is very long and rambling.
The First Half: *****
I really liked it. The characters were likeable (or unlikeable if that's what they were meant to be) and everything flowed nicely. I really liked the main character, Aerin. She had spunk, for lack of a better way to describe her. She was different from everyone else, and it bothered her, but she didn't let it mess up her life. She took pride in herself. She had a short temper that got her in some minor trouble, and that made her more interesting as far as princesses go.
She handled the incident with the magic plant (can't remember the name of it) well. Drawing on her stubborn nature and desire to prove she was more than people thought she was, she recovered completely. I love how she identified with her father's injured war horse during this and helped him recover too. (Talat was a pretty cool horse too.)
She also took on a job that was far from glamorous because she knew she could do it better than anyone else, and she worked hard to get to that point.
She was cool, and the story was nicely building around her ability to make the best of what she had to work with.
Then came her battle with the Maur...
The battle itself was fine, and the immediate aftermath was too. It's when she gets home that I draw the line between the first half of the book and the second half, even though it might not be right in the middle of the book.
The Second Half *
Perhaps the reason the rest of this book made me so mad, is because the first part was really good. I felt cheated.
I'll start where I left off, when Aerin gets home from her battle with the big dragon. Her personality totally changed after that. She became all mopey and whiny and depressed. I think that was supposed to have something to do with the dragon's evil taint or something, but why did it wait for her to recover before it kicked in? She was nearly dead after the battle, but she managed get home, and then she recovered to the point where she could walk around without assistance, and her hair all grew back and she didn't even have any noticeable scars... THEN she started getting all depressed-to-death. And even after Luthe dunked her in his magic pond to cure her of the dragon's taint (or whatever) she was mopey. She even frets about her hair several times during her boss battle.
Then there's Luthe himself. I know he's in some of McKinley's other books, so maybe there's more to him than what you get in this one, but he just came across as such a jerk in this book. He'd been watching her all her life, but after he healed her and taught to use he magic he said he should have stepped in sooner but he figured she would have realized her ability to use magic before and used that on Maur... despite the fact that she had never used magic at all before and didn't know she could. He constantly bashes her country and her family, especially Tor, who was always kind to her and loved her. He even bashes her horse. He has so much contempt for everyone that he just comes across as the most arrogant guy on the face of the planet. He even sounds condescending when he talks to Aerin, remarking constantly about how simple she is and how he feels terrible about sending her to fight Whatshisbucket when she is but a child, when even he doesn't stand a chance.
That brings me to Whatshisbucket. Her evil uncle who is somehow the most evil bad guy in the whole land, yet she's never heard of him. He was never even mentioned earlier in the book, yet suddenly he's the main cause for all the trouble. If you walked up to someone in Middle Earth and asked if they'd heard of Sauron, they'd say the Middle Earth equivalent of "well duh, who hasn't?" and look at you like you were some kind of idiot. Everyone in the wizarding world in Harry Potter had heard of Voldemort. Everyone in Narnia knows about the White Witch. How the heck does Whatshisbucket manage to be the ultimate bad guy anonymously?
And how does she defeat the ultimate bad guy? She accidentally throws a magic rock at him. She wasn't even trying to throw it, and she didn't know it was magic anyway. She had no clue what it was! She was just carrying it around because it was an interesting shiny red rock she found after she killed the dragon. What kind of climax is that? The hero accidently kills the anonymous ultimate bad guy with a magic rock they just happened to pick up because it was pretty. Hurray for deus ex machina!
Then Luthe shows up and informs her that she's actually taken a few hundred years to battle Whatshisbucket and he's come to take her back to her own time so she can end the war that's raging in her kingdom... but not far enough back to prevent the war and stop her father and countless others from being killed. But there's no rush, so they spend a few days strolling along through the woods together, making out, and sleeping under the stars. They whisper sweet nothings to each other and are all kinds of mushy, and it really irritated me. Why the heck did she fall in love with him? Was it his arrogance? The condescending way he talked to her? The way he was constantly dissing her family and homeland and the nice guy back home who had always treated her like the princess she was? Or maybe it was the way he sent her off to battle a super powerful bad guy and then showed up after the battle was over to walk her home? It's hard to choose, they're all such charming things.
So she goes home and uses a magic crown (which was lost for centuries) that she got from Whatshisbucket to help win the war. And she marries Tor, even though she loves Luthe and looks forward to the day when she can go back to him.
What do we learn kids?
Don't suddenly introduce a villain nobody has ever heard of and expect him to have an impact on the story. Don't introduce time travel for absolutely no reason other than to show off someone's ability to do it. Don't make your heroine fall in love with a total jerk, especially when there's a perfectly awesome guy back home that she could fall in love with. Deus ex machina is not a good thing. ...more