**spoiler alert** Wednesday buddy read with the Guild Hunters at BB&B.
In this book we take a step back from action and focus on the past and ange**spoiler alert** Wednesday buddy read with the Guild Hunters at BB&B.
In this book we take a step back from action and focus on the past and angelic society. Two years have passed since the events of Archangel's Enigma with no sign of Lijuan. Apparently there's a monastic order among angelkind, which among other things has the right to call a Carde meeting in the case one of the archangels goes MIA. It's a great idea because otherwise the Cadre might be too busy plotting against each other to notice. Or too afraid that it's some sort of a trap. Anyway, this order is called the Luminata (every time I had to remind myself that it's Luminata not Illuminata) and they should be seeking luminescence, peace and wisdom. You know, like most monastic orders. Instead we're met by a bunch of egocentric, power drunk angels, without the common sense not to annoy archangels. After being left to self govern for so long, the Luminata have lost their sense of self-preservation.
At the beginning of the book there was a flashback showing how Marguerite became an orphan in Paris - the place where Jeffrey met her years later. So I was sure that we will delve farther into Elena's family history. So at first I was a bit confused as to how the two parts of the plot align. Until Raphael and Elena went to Lumia and met the delightful leader of the Luminata - Gian. He gave me the creeps from the first time he showed on page. A classic stalker with his eyes always on Elena. The whispers she heard and all other little clues soon made it clear that Elena's grandmother had been on the run from the esteemed leader. Who, by the way, had taken a vow of celibacy like all other Luminata. Sounds a bit like the scandals with the Catholic Church that tend to surface every once in a while.
This order, that should have been a save heaven, a place of contemplation and a keep for angelic lore and art has become a rotten, twisted version of itself under the leadership of Gian with the help of few selected others. And apathy. Apathy from the other members, who cared less about perversions of the believes on which Lumia was founded than for their own peace of mind. The corruption was sickening and just proves the maxim that power corrupts. And for the first time in 9 books we saw the Cadre united. Because as sick and twisted some of the archangels are there's a reason they are the apex predators. I even had an admiring look for Michaela for a few sentences!
I didn't think that we'll find Ellie's grandma alive but hey I was wrong and the family has grown with two other members - Majda, Elena's grandmother, and Jean-Baptiste, her grandfather. They have both suffered a hell of a lot of abuse under Gian but their love gave them strength as well as the knowledge that their daughter was free. The scene where they meet Beth and little Maggie was heart melting :)
As for the overall plot there were more than a few clues as to the meaning of the prophecy and who the mystery angel with broken dreams and eyes on fire is. Lijuan might have retreated from the world for now but just like Raphael I think she's just trying to grow stronger before she rises again as the Archangel of Death. So the final showdown is still pending and it promises to involve all of our beloved characters. Still I think it'll be a while before that happens and that the next few novels will focus on other adversaries and the buildup of strength and power in Raphael and his allies. ...more
Another Wednesday, another book. I can't believe that we've almost finished another series together. TWeekly buddy read with the UF group at BB&B.
Another Wednesday, another book. I can't believe that we've almost finished another series together. Time just flies by!
For me this was the most anticipated book in the series closely followed by the one before it. I was fascinated by the mysterious "tiger-creature" that is Naasir. He teased and teased but never revealed a single thing. Just like Elena I tried so hard to figure out what he truly is. I had my suspicions but I had to wait 7.5 books until I got an answer. Frustrating as hell!
Naasir's POVs were extraordinary. He's just so brutally honest, so innocent in a way, that he sucks you into caring right from the start. The way he thinks, with no guile and rationalisations is so far from what I'm used to that it was like a punch to the gut. I loved him for that and found him extremely adorable. I laughed at his antics and his utter confusion when dealing with other beings and cried when I learned what he was and how he came to be. I got a new appreciation for Dmirti for being a surrogate father to a lonely, different little boy. And I hoped that Naasir will find his mate and she'll be worthy of him. because he deserves a chance at happiness.
And he does find her. Her name is Andromeda and at the start it seemed impossible for her to be the mate of the wild creature that is Naasir. A scholar and the granddaughter of Charisemnon, she should be an enemy at worst and a boring distraction at best. But we all know that people have depths hidden beneath the calm surface and after a rocky start those two hit it off. Smart and brave Andy is just the right amount of mischievous and bloodthirsty for my favourite tiger-creature.
The journey they were sent on provided a lot of new information and a new Ancient to get to know :) Lijuan is getting crazier and more out of control with each passing instalment and I feel that the final confrontation is near. And Raphael and his allies will need all the help they can get. Even if it comes from an old adversary ;) ...more
Wednesday buddy read with the UF freaks over at BB&B.
JANVIER AND ASHWINI'S BOOK!!!
These two intrigued me from the first time I read about them bWednesday buddy read with the UF freaks over at BB&B.
JANVIER AND ASHWINI'S BOOK!!!
These two intrigued me from the first time I read about them back in Archangel's Blood. I absolutely fell in love with them when I read the short story that features them and I wanted to see them in a full length novel ever since. Now I got my wish and it was bloody amazing!
Janvier's seductive ways and Ashwini's quick wit - the perfect combination. But there are depths to both of them and having a chance to see beneath the surface made me appreciate them even more. These two wonderful characters totally deserved their HEA. And for a long time in this book I was worried they won't get it. In the previous books it was mentioned that Ash has a gift but it turns out it's more of a curse. But she won't let it stop her from living and once she admitted the truth to Janvier they embraced life together.
The romance is a slow burn, their courtship stretched over years (and what a courtship it was!). The background for this amazing journey was a bloody investigation, a search for a mysterious monster (yes! I was right for what the monster is!) and the connection with a new designer drug for the Made. Following the end of the first major battle in the on going war between Raphael and Lijuan the emotions run high and there's a hell of a lot adrenaline with no outlet. The latter is a dangerous thing for the vampires as it brings out the predator in them. Here we saw an even darker side of the near immortals with their clubs and cattle. A disturbing picture but, oh, so fascinating one. With so many hunters becoming permanent part of the Tower, the view of mortals is slowly changing in the minds of the Seven and their sire. They start to see their value and that they are worth protecting. And it's the vampires that live in that darker world that the mortals need protection from. The old Raphael, the one i couldn't stand, wouldn't have cared. The new one, the one that's a little bit mortal, cares and is willing to do something about it. And this endeared him to me even more.
As much as I loved the main couple, I have to admit that Naasir stole the number one character spot for this book. He hijacked every single scene he was in and I just can't wait for his very own book. And now that he's on the hunt for a mate I'm sure he'll have a book of his own :)
To all my friends that share this journey with me, thank you, and I'll see you all next Wednesday. ...more
After a little break we're back with Elena and Raphael. And on the brink of an archangels' war!
The Cascade is in full sWednesday BR with the Hunters!
After a little break we're back with Elena and Raphael. And on the brink of an archangels' war!
The Cascade is in full swing and every one of the Cadre is gaining new skills and increasing in power. There is only one possible result - war. But the enemy archangel isn't playing fair. He/she hides behind cowardly acts and biological warfare. Yep, biological warfare. A virus targeting the vampire population. And since we know that the new abilities of the archangels are tied to who they are... well what does it say about the creator of that virus?
While everyone is gaining power Raphael seems to be stuck in the same level. This brings some tension between him and Elena because she worries that she is the reason he remains unaffected. Her deeply rooted issues combined with pretty much everyone telling her she's weak undermine her confidence and Raphael has to constantly battle her demons and prove time and again that he loves her and that she is worth it. At the same time a strange new power is trying to take a hold of him and in turn Elena keeps him grounded. The constant push and pull between them is fascinating. At first it seems like the same old but from a hindsight it;s clear that they keep each other in balance. When one weakens the other strengthens. They've come a long way from the characters we first met :) It's that connection that ultimately saves the day. It awakens the Legion - the angels boogeymen and they come to fight on Raphael's side. Only an archangel sharing this kind of bond with his consort can hold their allegiance and they're truly scary motherf@#$ers!
The Legion reveals a piece of angelic history that I find extremely fascinating. You see I always wondered about the toxin that Makes vampire but drives the angels in which it originates insane. It doesn't make sense from biological point of view. Because according to a scrap of info mentioned in one of the previous books angels had existed before there were humans on Earth. So how did they got rid of the toxin before the humans evolved? It's a species suicide and nature does not tolerate stuff like that. But now we know that angels weren't always like they are now and that the toxin was not part of the original. Maybe back then they looked more like the Legion? With leathery wings? In any case there's a lot we still don't know and I really want to know mre about those ancient times!...more
Wednesday buddy read with the UF group at BB&B. Thanks for making the middle of the week so much better!
Another Wednesday, another GH book. It's JWednesday buddy read with the UF group at BB&B. Thanks for making the middle of the week so much better!
Another Wednesday, another GH book. It's Jason's time to hit the spotlight. Something the enigmatic, black-winged spymaster isn't too trilled with. But when the threat of another archangel going insane with grief, the possible consequences to the world outweigh his desire to stay safely in the shadows.
As with all of Raphael's Seven, Jason is a deeply broken man and that's made clear time and again in the previous novels. We know that something terrible had befallen the spymaster at a very young age and has left scars so deep that Raphael fears for his sanity and will to live.
I was always a bit curious as to what had happened but a part of me thought that if it ever came to life it would ruin Jason as a character. A big part of his allure is the air of mystery that surrounds him. Thankfully having his past unveiled didn't hurt him in my eyes. In fact it catapulted him to my favourite male character in this series. He is arrogant but in a quieter, more mature way than both Raphael and Dmitri. And despite what he thinks, Jason is capable of great sympathy and compassion. Something the other two male leads in this series so far had had to be beaten into them with a very heavy broom by the girls unfortunate enough to have to deal with their enormous egos.
Mahiya is the female lead in this instalment. An angel princess of Neha's court, at first I though she'll be boring and shallow at best and malicious and manipulative at worst. I mean she's part of the Queen of Poisons' court. And cousin/half-sister to Anoushka - the same angel that thought it's okay to break angelkind's greatest taboo and harm children. With such role models, you can't expect someone nice, right? Well I was wrong because she's one of the sweetest angels I've met so far in this world and had a backbone of steel! Unlike Elena and Honor she's no fighter but that doesn't mean she's weak of a coward. She's learned to wage a different kind of war. One that it's much harder to win - the war to remain good and pure of heart despite numerous attempts from everyone around her to break and twist her. I know I would have failed almost immediately.
It's that inner goodness laced with steel and intelligence that catches the elusive Jason's heart. Something many had attempted. A thing he didn't think he possessed. A slow burn, a build of trust and feelings that scare and exhilarate him at the same time, this romance was a pure delight to read. The banter and misunderstandings made for a funny story and the mystery surrounding the events that brought them together kept me turning the pages deep into the night.
There are lessons to be learned here. About kindness and perseverance. About never loosing hope. And that you must keep on fighting for your dreams and freedom even when it seems a lost cause. ...more
At first I didn't think that pairing Dmitri and Honor would be a good idea. In factBuddy read with the Hunters of BB&B !
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
At first I didn't think that pairing Dmitri and Honor would be a good idea. In fact I thought it's an awful idea. Because Honor is the survivor of a vicious vampire attack and months of torture at their hands. And as we all know Dmitri is a sick SOB with a sadistic streak a mile wide. The pushy bastard doesn't know the meaning of the word mercy or when to back down. Part o me always hated him a little for the way he treats Elena and I was eagerly awaiting the moment when he will be the one in love and have a "weakness" as he likes to put it. But he is also a man deeply scarred by his past and I was curios to discover what makes him tick and what happened to forge such a strong bond between him and Raphael.
And I gotta tell you it was brutal! The fact that he's able to have any sort of meaningful relationships, that he's not an even bigger monster, is incredible. All those flashbacks made my heart bleed for him and his lost family. Yet despite the pain and hopelessness he had found a way to cope. Not the most healthy of ways strictly speaking but a way that works for him nevertheless. So I have to respect the guy for that. And it's that inner strength, that steel core of a survivor that recognises Honor and finds a way to help her pull out of the dark pit of despair and numbness. True, in a way that made me want to scream and bash him on the head with an axe more often than not, but it was still something that no one else had been able to do for all the months after Honor's attack. His special brand of "tough love" is more akin to an outright sadism but, hey, it helped. And most importantly Nalini Singh actually made it work. I was worried that it'll feel too artificial but somehow she pulled it off.
One of the things that bothers me about this book is the time frame. Too little time had passed since Honor's attack for her to be able to really start to heal. Not simply cope, but a real healing process. After she's first introduced to Dmitri things progress at a speed that's simply put unrealistic. People who have survived something like that need years to get to the point when they can be in the same room with someone who reminds him of their attacker. And they most definitely don't fall in love and in bed with that person mere days later. So that's one of the reasons I was considering rating 3 stars. Another reason was Dmirti's many fuck ups. Including one that drove me into a rage. He had a reason to suspect foul play at the moment but it still doesn't excuse the cruelness of what he did and how he used Honor's trust in him to almost break her. Still I gave this 4 starts because I couldn't put the book down. That usually means an automatic 5 star rating but I can't ignore the issues Dmitri's behaviour brought to mind. The truth is this only worked because this is fiction. In the real world so much pushing with so little time to process and internalise the lessons of those pushes would have further broken the victim. And yet there were some really sweet moments when Dmitri showed that he is in fact capable of love and other softer emotions. That he's not just a monster on a leash held by the Archangel of New York. So I'm happy with the way things were resolved at the end and would be glad to see cameos from the couple in the following books. ...more
The vacation is over. If you can call Elena's stay at the Refuge a vacation :D So it's back to NY and the p Buddy read with the UF freaks at BB&B.
The vacation is over. If you can call Elena's stay at the Refuge a vacation :D So it's back to NY and the problems of being the first Made angel. Well maybe not the first ever but the first in millennia. Its not only showing up with wings after more than an year but also facing the division of loyalty this creates. As much as Elena wants to go back to being a Guild Hunter her new status changes everything. There are secrets she can't tell her friends and family and those are slowly driving a wedge between them. We've known for a while that not all humans can be Made vampires but that's not common knowledge in the GH world. So when her sister, who's been rejected as a Candidate, begs Elena to Make her things get hairy. Elena has a strained relationship with her relatives and this is just one more thing that makes her family turn against her. And this is just one of the instances when her being an angel complicates her relationships. And as time passes and she learns more angelic secrets the divide will only get bigger.
I wonder if that part of immortality and change will be addressed in future books. Because frankly it's one of the things that fascinates me. Just yesterday my BFF asked me if I would like to be immortal. My answer was "no". One of the reasons is that I don't want to experience the pain of loosing everyone I care about. Another the fact that contrary to popular believe life won't get more interesting as the years pass. In fact it'll become boring repetition of the same old with a new coat of paint at best. Sure I'll get to read all the books on my to-read list but in time I'll get bored because they'll become repetitive. Friends and family are such an integral part of life that most of the time you don't even consider it. But try for a second to imagine your life without those people. For me it comes up blank. And if you have an eternity without them... well that's a future too bleak to even contemplate. You can say: "hey you can always make new friends" but think about how many friends have you made since you finished high school. I mean real friends. Not coworkers that you go for a beer after work. I mean true meaningful friendships. Those that stay for life, those that are not damaged by a month, an year or two of no communication. How many friends are left? And as time passes they'll get fewer. The other thing is friendships require effort. If you have forever your sense of time will become screwed up and that will further damage your ability to make friends and prioritise things. This is what Elena is facing. She has Raphael and Illium o help her but the transition will still be painful. And she knows that.
Another drawback to eternity, if your family is also made up of immortals, is that over time you grow out of some relationships. Given enough time the alienation could become so extreme that you view your own mother/father/son/daughter as an enemy. And it doesn't even have to be because they've done something horrible. Just the passage of time can do that. After 2-3 thousand years it'll be hard to remember how you looked at your parents as a child or how you looked at your kid when he/she was young. Especially of you don't share much in common other than being immortal. Add to this the fact that no one is truly normal even when they've had a good easy life. Think about how much more screwed up you will be after a century or two? Or a thousand years? Add a few traumatic events here and there (there's no way to avoid them) - what do you become? A mess at best and a monster at worst.
I know I got a bit carried away but I think those things affect the way you experience both the book and the characters. Every single one of the cast is screwed up six ways to Sunday. It's what makes them interesting and relatable even if they are archangels that have live millennia. And while I enjoy the stories, the blood and gore, the banter, etc the thoughts these characters provoke once I've finished the book is what makes me return to this world. ...more
Book #14. And this is the first one of the series I read on my own. After always having someone to discuss with, reading without my fellow buddy readeBook #14. And this is the first one of the series I read on my own. After always having someone to discuss with, reading without my fellow buddy readers was strange and quite honestly lonely. Stupid hotel with no wi-fi :/
Still the book was great. Maybe I'm biased or just too emotionally attached to the characters because despite the formulaic plot I still loved it. This time the enemy doesn't target Gin directly. She takes a much sinister way around - through her foster brother Finn. Finn has been a part of this series from the very beginning. He's been the anchor for Gin through all that has happened in the last few months. And now he is the one who is neck deep into someone else's evil plans. An he can't even see it. Because the big bad of this book is no other but his mother who everyone believed long dead. The fact that Gin had known she's alive for a week almost drives a wedge between the two foster siblings. But Gin is paranoid as hell and thanks to a letter from beyond the grave from Fletcher she's even more suspicious. So when the inevitable happens and dear Mama Dee shows her true colours she's somewhat ready for her. Unfortunately Deidre knew Fletcher pretty damn well and thus knows how Gin operates. As is the usual way of these books Gin eventually wins. But Finn's heart will never be the same.
A new major enemy emerged in this book and I hope it will provide more of an opposition than the last few villains. And it seems that the Snow's family past will finally catch up with both Gin and Bria. So bring it on!...more
Weekly buddy read with the best buddy read gang of bloodthirsty assassin-loving people over at BB&B . Guys, you're rock!
Those who have read the
Weekly buddy read with the best buddy read gang of bloodthirsty assassin-loving people over at BB&B . Guys, you're rock!
Those who have read the book will understand ;) I was inspired by Lorelei's problem-solving way and I'll use it right now. One of my fellow buddy readers, Jo, has written an exemplary review filled with all the best quotes of the book. And since I'll pretty much say the same things, I'll save myself the trouble and just post a link to it. I just want to add that I'm worried about Gin turning into the regular idiotic bad guys on TV and in movies that always explain themselves and get killed because of it. Because (view spoiler)[ she almost got herself and her friends killed at the end telling Raymond how she outsmarted him. (hide spoiler)] Seriously, Gin, you know better! *eyeroll* Also if JE had (view spoiler)[ killed Owen (hide spoiler)] I would have stopped reading the series. I might be able to live with anyone else dying but not him.
Thanks to my awesome friends at BB&B for another great Wednesday read :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Weekly buddy read with the bloodthirsty assassin-loving folks over at BB&B . I love you, guys!
We're back on track after that horrible flashback
Weekly buddy read with the bloodthirsty assassin-loving folks over at BB&B . I love you, guys!
We're back on track after that horrible flashback book *shudders*. It's time for Bria to be in the limelight. Unfortunately not in a good way. This time around detective Bria Coolidge was acting like a real psycho maniac. Her total disregard for other people's lives was so out of character that it was almost comical. Thankfully it didn't feel artificial just a bit forced. After all she is Gin's sister so that obsessive behaviour typical for the Spider could be attributed to their genetics. In a few short chapters Bria had gotten on my nerves and managed to alienate all her friends and hurt her sister's feelings repeatedly. Eventually she got to redeem herself and even (view spoiler)[ save Gin's life. (hide spoiler)] Usually it's the other way around but the change of MO was appreciated.
The main villain was the drug lord of Ashland with the unspellable name of Beauregard (I had to Google it to spell it right!) Benson. What's with the same initials for almost everyone in this city??? Anyway, he's a slimeball that fancies himself a scientist. As a scientist-in-training (aka PhD student) this pissed me off. Sure we're crazy and some of us have morbid fascination with death and drug effects but still. Fine maybe he's not that far off *pouts*. So Beau is the object (I use object deliberately because that thing does not deserved to be in the same category as any living thing) of fixation for Bria, who is determined to bring him in for all his crimes. But since this is Ashland, the city where corruption runs amok and the judicial system and the law enforcement is a joke at best, things aren't progressing to her satisfaction. And when one of her informants is (view spoiler)[ found dead with a rat stuffed in his mouth and Bria's rune drawn on his forehead (hide spoiler)] she takes it personally. BB has a special ability that reminds me of the Anita Blake universe where a lot of the vamps can feed on emotions as well as blood. And that's precisely what BB is doing with his victims. It's an awful way to die and Catalina, one of Gin's waitresses, witnesses an execution of an old friend of hers. Bria convinces her to testify and Gin gets involved trying to save everyone from their own stupidity. Ultimately it comes down to a showdown between Gin and BB and once again our favourite assassin wins the fight.
But that's just the opening salvo of the war we've been waiting for since the announcement of Mab Monroe's will. Finally we met the mysterious triple M. (view spoiler)[ And she happens to be Mab's daughter (no surprise there me and my fellow buddy readers managed to guess that). Her daddy however was a surprise - Elliot Slater. (hide spoiler)] I thought that Mab will have more taste. And now this MM Monroe is threatening all of Gin's friends and family. And she seems to be a real badass. Or at least a Queen Bitch. I can't wait for Gin to slit her throat :)
Another new addition to the gang is the vampire Silvio who worked for BB at the beginning of the book but turned coat and went to Gin to hire her. He's a fascinating character and worth keeping an eye on. I would love to see a battle of who is better at finding dirt and info on people between him and Finn. Maybe Finn finally has some competition. But he will always be number one in my heart. As usual the supporting cast was awesome even if most of them only got a few pages here and there or just mentions. But the gang is always there and has Gin's back. And that's the real reason why I love this series. Gin alone, while fascinating, wouldn't have been able to hold my interest for so long,, especially considering some of her more idiotic moments. So cheers for Gin's extended family! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I almost DNFed this several times over. Don't get me wrong the book's not bad I just couldn't connect wi Buddy read with the lovely people at BB&B
I almost DNFed this several times over. Don't get me wrong the book's not bad I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. Even at the end I just couldn't care less about any of them. The only bright spot was the demoness Caitlin but it's not enough to make me read the next book. To be honest I had moments when I read every third sentence I was that uninterested. The reason I didn't DNF was that the story itself was interesting enough for me to want to know how it ends but I still couldn't immerse myself into the world and as a result found a bunch of other things to do while reading it. It strongly reminds me of the Dresden Files. But it's darker and more mature. So if you liked Harry Dresden you'll absolutely adore Daniel Faust. ...more
Buddy read with the KA addicts at BB&B. Also part of the MacHalo reading Challenge as A book set in a different country.
Finally. After almost t Buddy read with the KA addicts at BB&B. Also part of the MacHalo reading Challenge as A book set in a different country.
Finally. After almost two weeks the torture that is this book is over. I don't care that the story was good or the fact that for a change the male lead was likeable and downright cute. I'm fed up with KA's absurdly long books, with chapters averaging more than 50 pages, filled with unnecessary details that I don't want to know about the people closest to me. Dammit I'm not sure a stalker would want to know so much details about the object of his fixation. By the time I hit the halfway point I had started reading only the dialogue. I just can't. I'm not sure I'll be continuing with the rest of this "read all of KA's books" buddy read. ...more
I haven't read the rest of the Rock Chick series (I was late for the buddy reads) so I can't compare this Buddy read with the KA fanatics at BB&B
I haven't read the rest of the Rock Chick series (I was late for the buddy reads) so I can't compare this book to the previous ones. However, I've read some of KA's books from the Colorado series and I have to say this one was much better. Mainly cause it wasn't as long or filled with so many unnecessary details. Oh and Ren Zano wasn't an asshole! That was the biggest surprise in this book cause Ms. Ashley likes to present mega-jerks as alphas. That usually pisses me off. And now, finally, we've come to a male lead that's a real alpha - he doesn't need to be a jerk to prove he's a badass. He had his asshole moments but he always apologized later and actually did something about it rather than just talk the talk. So yeah I loved him. He's my favourite KA man.
Ally - the main female character of the book was pretty awesome as well. A bit too crazy but one of those ladies that doesn't let her man walk all over her just because he can give her amazing orgasms (like pretty much every other KA female). I was a bit annoyed at her at the beginning because in her stubbornness she wasted a year of her life. Seriously there were moments when I was sure Ren's a saint to put up with her bullshit. But once things were laid out and she really talked with Ren things got almost perfect. Almost cause like in real life there were the usual plethora of obstacles that every couple has to tackle.
The plot was pretty straightforward and there were no surprises. It contained all the things I've come to expect from KA's books and that in itself made to book easy and light read. I'm glad I met the Rock Chicks and will read the rest of the books one of these days (if I don't forget). Thanks for the fun, ladies!...more
Buddy read over at BB&B . We can't seem to get enough of Toby's world.
This is the third short story told from Tybalt's POV. It was about time o Buddy read over at BB&B . We can't seem to get enough of Toby's world.
This is the third short story told from Tybalt's POV. It was about time our kitty cat had some good luck and a story that didn't end with him broken-hearted.
Tybalt and Toby go on their first date - an event I've been waiting for since the scene in the allay in Rosemary and Rue when we first met the King of Cats. And what a date this was! I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks! The clash between Tybalt's old-fashioned manners and speech and Toby's modern attitude is even more pronounced here. Damn but it was hilarious.
I loved Quentin in this. Nothing new cause I always love Quentin but this was the first time he referred to Toby as "family" and that was the highlight for me. As with all the short stories Ms. McGuire managed to pack one hell of an emotional punch in just a few pages. I just can't forgive myself for not reading her works sooner. If you love UF this series is a must read. And if you're a fan of Toby you absolutely MUST read this story....more
This was one of the hardest to read books I've ever attempted to read. And at the same time one of the most interesting ones. Buddy read at BB&B.
This was one of the hardest to read books I've ever attempted to read. And at the same time one of the most interesting ones. The struggle was great because this book is written from the point of view of One Esk Nineteen - one of the human bodies of the AI of a warship called Justice of Toren . There was a constant jumping back and forth in time and usually that's not a problem but this time the time jumps also involved jumping between a solitary One Esk to a One Esk that's part of a whole without being part of a whole. All those POVs that were in fact a single point of view made my head hurt. Add to it the fact that the "in-universe" language lacks gender but the book's written in English and suddenly everyone's a she. But not everyone's female. Even now after I finished the book I don't know if Seivarden, Skaaiat Awer and One Esk's genders. They were mentioned a few times. And in a way it would have been easier if they weren't mentioned at all because when suddenly the "right" gender pronoun (biologically speaking) is used I have no idea who they're talking about. In a way that was one of the things that made me want to stick with the book - it's different, unlike any other science fiction I've read before.
Part of the story is about what makes a person a person, and what happens when one person has more than one body for a long period of time. And I'm not talking a few months or years, I'm talking thousands upon thousands of years. In a way it seems inevitable that at some point the different bodies will start to have slightly different personalities but when does a split occur? When does the whole realize that it's splintered? To make things even harder we have two such characters - the MC One Esk and the Lord of the Radch - Anaander Mianaaia. This is a very complex story and to appreciate it fully the reader needs to put a lot of thought into it and in my case time. Reading Ancillary Justice slowly, a few chapters at a time, with long pause between them let the concept lay in the back of my mind so I could fully grasp all the layers. And the result was spectacular! Kudos to Ann Leckie for writing something so complex and enchanting and actually making it comprehensible. ...more
Uh I'm not sure whether I should start with the things I liked (and they weren't much) or with the things tha Buddy read with the ladies from BB&B
Uh I'm not sure whether I should start with the things I liked (and they weren't much) or with the things that made me want to punch something (and there was a lot of them). I'll start with the later so I can get the bad feelings out of the way. Okay here I go *takes a deep breath*
Chace Keaton is the King of Morons. It's official - he has vacuum between his ears about 95% ot the time. Every once in a while a misguided lonely brain cell wanders in and it's main purposse is to deal with sex and Neanderthal-type behavior. Dude, you're not an alpha, you're just a purity-obssessed asshole with enough baggage you can fill up a semi-trailer. And you're too bussy wailing "oh poor little me, I was so screwed over by everyone" that you can't get your head outta your ass. And here I thought that Tate was bad. Sure Chace didn't reach Tate's levels of jackassness but he was close and adding up his moronic acts he managed to oust Tatum Jackson from the honorable possition of most hated KA male lead. Congratulations! There's a fine line between being a gentleman and being a control-freak and Chace is on the later side of it. He's also abusive in the worst possible way because you can't see it. It looks cute and affectionate to everyone including the victim. And Faye is an idiot. The only reason she's with him (and the reason why he was so obssessed with her virginity) is that she's too inexperienced to notice it.
Moving on to Faye. At first I thought she's great. The one female lead I could identify with seeing as she's introverted (like me), shy (until I get to know you), an avid reader (as almost everyone on this site) and a massive geek (just like me). But she managed to rile me up more than once with her idiotic doormat behavior. And she did act like a doormat most of the time. Sure she showed a bit of spirit here and there but most of the time she was wispering "yes, honey". Yes, wispering! Cause apparantly she can't talk in normal volume. But maybe it's just a habit from working in a library. What would I know about that. Still reading who she wispered this and wispered that was even more annoying than the "bathroom routine" of the previous girls. Reading this book I had flashbacks to FSoG and Anastasia's lack of personality. Some people will say that that was uncalled for but more than once reading this book I had the feeling that we can substitute Faye for a sexdoll with the ability to talk about geek shows and the scene won't suffer all that much. Which brings me to the part where Faye is a fake geek - cause no geek that supposedly loves Star Wars will make the mistake of misquoting the most emblematic line of the entire franchise. Yep, that one. The one every one misquotes but the "real" geeks. It's kind of a password for us. If you misquote it then you're not one of us and we know it immidiately. If we feel like you might be salvagabale we'll correct you (probably while ranting about how everyone says it wrong) and then move on to dumping a whole crate of info on your head about everything Star Wars. I know that's the authors mistake but if you've done enough research to know that Wookieepedia exist you could have spend some time on it and with the community. *sigh* At least she knows that Han shot first.
All that being said there were a lot of moments where I laughed my head off so it wasn't a complete waste of time. I just didn't really care about the two main characters. Mostly I found them annoying but they had their strong moments. There was, however, a subplot that saved the book for me and I even dabated with myself if I should give this one 3 stars because of it. Ultimately I stayed at 2, cause it's just a subplot and the rest wasn't handled to my satisfation. That plotline was the abused kid from the library. His story broke my heart. I wanted to reach inside the book and hold him close and tell him everything will be alright. On that account both Faye and Chace acted admirably. For that alone I can forgive them their shortcomings. Thankfully there was a happy ending on that front as well. But it was emotionally hard on me and there were a few scenes when I needed time-outs to calm down and stop crying. I can be pretty cold when it comes to tragedies happening to adults but I have a soft spot for kids.
To summarize: I didn't enjoy most of the book (I think I hit my limit for assholes) but there were still things that made up for it. So to answer the question of whther I will read the next book - yes. Why? Because I'm a masochist, I love the girls from the buddy read and our discussions and that magic thingy Choko mentiones in her reviews. ...more
Nice and sweet. Great for relaxation. Well most of the time. Generally I have zero problems with gore and vio Buddy read with the ladies from BB&B
Nice and sweet. Great for relaxation. Well most of the time. Generally I have zero problems with gore and violence but for some reason the murders described in this book really bothered me. And I'm seeing a pattern emerging when it comes to the "action" part of these books. (view spoiler)[ The bad guy's the person that you see in a few of scenes but doesn't really make an impression. And there's at least one other person that looks like the bad guy for most of the book and all leads lead to him but in the end it's the one person from the secondary characters you tend to forget that exist. (hide spoiler)] That annoys me a bit because it's like shouting "screw logic". But then again that's not the main plot of the book so I guess it's okay. We're here for the hot guys right?
Well this hot guy managed to make me intensely dislike him in less than a page. Sure Tate managed to brainwash me into liking him by the end of the book but most of the times he just annoyed me with his macho-biker-alpha male behaviour or the way I see it with his regression to hie Neanderthal/5-year-old behaviour. Apparently Tate (and most of Carnal) have more Neanderthal ancestors than the rest of humanity.
I liked Lauren. I can relate to her insomnia problems and kudos for not being a bitch. Cause being nice when you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep is HARD! I don't think I'll have the courage to just give up my life and go wandering around the country even under her circumstances (well under her circumstances I'll probably be in jail for the brutal murder of my ex and the fake BFF but let's pretend I'm less volatile). I also loved her family :) I can't wrap my head around the fact that having that kind of support system she was duped into marrying Brad. He's one of those people you want to squish. And his ego?! It's so big that the planet can hardly handle it (a bit like that West guy that I never remember how to spell so I'll stick to the surname). Too bad she didn't rub his nose in his incompetence more when he finally got his head out of his ass.
The support characters were really well developed and for a few scenes actually stole the limelight. I adore Krys and Twyla. Twyla needs a book of her own! Jim-Billy too for that matter and Wood :)
Now a bit about the writing. Seriously no one needs to read that Lauren brushes and flosses her teeth every morning, every scene that had a somewhat morning-ish feel. Or that she's applying make up. And the myriad other small things that go with the "getting ready t face the world"part of the day. Say it once and be done with it. Just cutting that off would have saved about 20-30 pages and I won't start on the descriptions of clothes and stores and counter tops and I forgot what else (mainly cause I skipped those). I know it's supposed to set the scene and make it seem real but I felt like I'm reading a high fantasy novel at times and kept expecting dwarves and elves to jump out of nowhere.
That being said I liked the book and would read the rest of the series eventually :)...more
**spoiler alert** Buddy read with the ladies from BB&B
At first I had some serious problems with the male lead - Ty. The way he thinks about women**spoiler alert** Buddy read with the ladies from BB&B
At first I had some serious problems with the male lead - Ty. The way he thinks about women set my teeth on edge from the first page he was in. Sorry but it's not cool to call/think of all women as "bitch", "pussy", etc. Eventually I found out that he pretty much thinks of both sexes as equal to the slang terms of their respective reproductive organs. Not going to lie it took awhile to get used to that and see past it. But the truth is that Ty is a pretty nice guy. Actually after I managed to swallow my indignation and really take a look at him I have to say he's much better than Tate. I liked his straightforward way of talking (when he bothered to talk) and while he needs to enrich his vocabulary he never lied or concealed his intentions from Lexie. And he proved to be pretty smart and insightful (again when he bothered to speak).
Lexie is the female lead of this story and I adored her. Maybe because she is more down-to-earth kinda girl or because I really felt sorry for her at the beginning. Also she has a great sense of humour (view spoiler)[ which prompted Ty to call her a "goof" on numerous occasions. Which I found incredibly sweet! (hide spoiler)] She's also loyal to a fault and was caught (as many women) in the web of an unhealthy relationship for years. A lot of women never have the courage to leave an abusive partner for numerous reasons (I won't go there or this will turn into a 10 page rant!) and while Lexie's relationship with Ronnie was not abusive it was no less toxic. For a woman who comes from a broken family (it's the closest term to the dysfunctional mess her life had been prior Ronnie Rodriguez) that relationship provided stability and a family. So I can see why she would stick around even after things went downhill. Also a lifetime of routine is not easily broken. She needed a slap on the head by Fate to move past that rut she was in and that slap was delivered by one Ty Walker. In the real world that story would have ended very differently with Lexie dead or beaten down into submission. But thankfully fiction doesn't play by the rules of RL so we got a story of struggle, relationship's ups and downs, friends and love and a HEA.
Apart from the romance plot there was a subplot about dirty cops, corruption and abuse of power. It was implied in the previous book that the Chief of Carnal's Police Department might be dirty but now we learned the extend of it. Basically CPD is a wasps infested nest full of a-holes and the occasional good guy who probably felt under siege. I found this part of the books most fascinating with its tangle of lies and deceptions. And it reminded me of exactly how fucked up our own justice system (if we can even say we have one) is. At least in books things are eventually set right. Thanks to that subplot we met the MCs of the next book in the series and I can't wait to see how that will play out ^_^...more
Buddy Read with the Sanderson cult, umm I meant fans, over at BB&B.
Going into this I was equal parts excited, because I've heard good things aboutBuddy Read with the Sanderson cult, umm I meant fans, over at BB&B.
Going into this I was equal parts excited, because I've heard good things about Sanderson, and apprehensive, because it's still a change and an unknown. Considering how much time it took me to get used to Robert Jordan's style, I was scared that I won't have enough time to acclimate to the new style. Thankfully my fears didn't realise. The book was amazing! I just couldn't put it down. And I think it's because of the changes Mr. Sanderson introduced. The main change was the pacing. The early WoT books had a hell of a lot pacing issues, there were moments when I wondered if this thing will ever end. TGS has perfect (for me at least) pacing and it let me breeze through the book in mere two weeks, when I usually need the whole month. My fellow buddy readers more familiar with Mr. Sanderson's works and style pointed out a few other differences, like the humour, but the only other difference I noticed was the more direct approach to certain situations which I had come to expect to be left vague or explained with a more subtle approach. And to be honest, I quite like these changes. There subtle enough that you might not notice them at all if you're not careful. So ultimately I'm very pleased with the way the series is handled. I doubt there's someone who could have done a better job, except RJ himself.
A lot happens in this book. Lots of storyarchs were brought to fruition. Things I have been dreading for books came to pass and the results left me at times angry, sad, frustrated, elated and once even sobbing outright. I've come to care about these characters so much that seeing their suffering, especially Rand's, who cares the fate of the world on his shoulders, is like a punch. A constricting hand around my heart. So much happened to all of our beloved characters - Perrin showed a willingness to step on the redemption path, Mat showed us that despite the mask he is a deeply caring man, if a bit callus and rude, Rand had to fight himself and his ever growing madness and depression, Nynaeve, steadfast Nynaeve, who cares so deeply for her friends and husband is given an impossible task when Rand descents deeper into the darkness, Egwene showed the world what a true Amylrin should be and many, many other things. Almost all of the main characters showed up at one time or another. The biggest exception being Elayne who is MIA for this instalment. However we got Gawyn who reappeared in a more significant manner this time around. Some of the scenes with him were deeply satisfying, mainly because (view spoiler)[Bryne told him, right in the face, that he is an idiot, something I've been screaming at the books for quite some time now! (hide spoiler)] I can't pick a single scene or chapter that I disliked or was bored with. However, there's a scene that's burned into my soul:
"The difference between you and Cadsuane is that you actually care about me. She only cares about my place in her plans. She wants me to be part of the Final battle. You want me to live. For that, you have my thanks. Dream on my behalf, Nynaeve. Dream for things I no longer can." -Rand al'Thor
What a ride! CoT was one of the slower books (if not the slowest one) of the series so I was a bit acBuddy read with the Dragon Sworn over at BB&B
What a ride! CoT was one of the slower books (if not the slowest one) of the series so I was a bit accustomed to the boredom of political maneuvering and the characters just mull around doing nothing. So when this one started with a bang - the prologue was simply amazing (view spoiler)[ Galad, you made my day with that display of fighting prowess! (hide spoiler)] - I got so hyped that I could barely sleep. Following the prologue things slowed a bit but not by much. KoD was fast paced and choke full of action. Now that all the characters were at the right places and everything was set several major plotlines spanning the last several books got resolved - most importantly the Perrin and Faile one. (view spoiler)[ I'm so glad they're finally back together but at the same time they both disappointed me with their behaviour! A part of me admires this new harder and more determined Perrin because I know he'll need that when Tarmon Gai'don is upon them but at the same time I miss the kinder Perrin - the one who was the voice of reason among the three tav'eren, the moderating force that always took to heart other people's problems. I get that love changes you and the loosing Faile drove him a bit mad but it's no excuse for some of the terrible things he did. Faile also was a disappointment on many occasions but she was always the one with the determination to do whatever's necessary to survive so I kind of expected this from her. I'm only sad that Rolan - the Aile who helped her - died and didn't even get acknowledgedment for all he did to her. At least a proper burial! But no. A total waste of a great character. (hide spoiler)]
Egwene surprised me in this book. Her chapters used to be among the most boring ones but now that she's a prisoner of the White Tower she really showed what's she's made of. The difference between her and Elaida is so huge that I wonder if her mere presence in the Tower will lead to some of Elaida's followers to defect. I feel pity for the red sister because she truly believes that she's doing the right thing and yet one day soon she'll turn back and see that she's ruined everything she holds dear.
Elayne's plotline is another one that finally got resolved. (view spoiler)[In the space of just a couple of chapters she got the Lion throne and got rid of the Black sister in their mids as well as a few darkfriend prisoners. Hopefully Elayne will be able to get maximum information out of them. (hide spoiler)]
Rand's chapters were interesting as well. But the numbness he experience is beginning to worry me. The fact that even (view spoiler)[Lews Therin thinks he is a harder man than he was is bad. The revelation about this mental illness he is suffering felt like a death blow. For so long I assumed that Lews Therin's voice in his head is the result of the taint but now things seem pretty hopeless. I thought that it could be something like that after the cleansing didn't help but knowing that it'll eventually kill him is too much. The guy deserves to live after all the sacrifices he made and have a happy little (or not so little) family with Elayne, Aviendha, Min and all the little munchkins they can give him. (hide spoiler)]
As with the previous book Mat stole the show. I loved every single page he was in. Add in Tuon's POV and I was a happy, happy camper! Their plotline was the one I was most invested in and even knowing that she'll eventually speak the words to (view spoiler)[make him her husband I still hungered for the moment it happens. Too bad that they had to part ways immediately after because I'm pretty sure that Mat will blow her mind once they get between the sheets ;) I mean if she reacts like that to a kiss from him, imagine what a night in his arms will do to her :D I'm so happy that he intends to be faithful because otherwise I would have considered finding a way to geld him. (hide spoiler)] I'm only mad that (view spoiler)[Suroth is going to be sold as a da'covale. She should have been killed because of her affiliation to the Dark One. Leaving darkfriends alive is a recipe for disaster. (hide spoiler)]
The epilogue managed to make me anxious to start the next book, especially with the events at the Black Tower. (view spoiler)[I have a particular dislike of Red sisters but even they don't deserve to be at the mercy of Taim. And if there was any doubt as to him being a darkfriend that final sentence cleared them all! (hide spoiler)]
I hope so, so much that the next few books will keep the pace because Tarmon Gai'don is just beyond the corner and there are only 3 more books left!...more
Ten months ago I would have taken one look at this book, read a couple of chapters and promptly given uBuddy Read with the awesome people of BB&B!
Ten months ago I would have taken one look at this book, read a couple of chapters and promptly given up because basically nothing happens. It's a testament to Mr. Jordan's ability to spin a web of characters, events and places around the reader, that now after reading all the previous books in the series I didn't find this boring at all. Slow and frustrating at times but not boring. I remember bitching about books 1-3 with their slow build-up and excessive descriptions and I strongly suspect that if I'm to read them now it won't bother me at all. Because compared to this one they were choke-full of action. In a way, here, we take a breath after the explosive end of Winter's Heart. It focuses on manoeuvring and politics, it sets the stage for future events and shows that despite the monumental event that was the cleansing of saidin the world hasn't changed a bit. It's still on a crash course to total annihilation and everyone is scrambling to avoid it but despite their best intentions are making things worse. Our protagonists slip farther towards darkness and madness and you can practically feel the desperation that drives them. The only bright spot was Mat and his attempts to woo the Daughter of the Nine Moons. That was hilarious and a much needed break from all the bleakness. And as we get closer to Tarmon Gai'don I feel we will have less of those funny and light exchanges and more death and desperation. ...more
Monthly buddy read (well it was more stalking this time since I couldn't really participate in the discussion) with the fantasy fanatics over at BB&amMonthly buddy read (well it was more stalking this time since I couldn't really participate in the discussion) with the fantasy fanatics over at BB&B.
This keeps on getting better and better! I can't get enough of this world! There're simply no words to describe this!
One of the major plotlines from the past several books finally found it's resolution - the Bowl of Winds was finally used and the weather is on it's way to normal. Though I guess that going from extreme heat and drought to torrent rains and snows probably created some pretty awful problems and the consequences will reverberate throughout the world for quite awhile. With that sudden turn the people can say goodbye to whatever crops had survived the drought. Still screwing over the Dark One's plans is always a good thing!
And with that out of the way Her Royal Irresponsibility Elayne Trakand can finally get her behind back where she belongs and do what she was trained all her life to do! And she did. But instead of being thankful to Rand who busted his a@@ trying to keep Andor as safe as possible, she threw a tantrum and (view spoiler)[ ripped his banners from the Palace in Caemlyn (hide spoiler)]. Ungrateful brat. I honestly have no idea why Rand likes her! The thing that annoys me most about her little snit is that just as pretty much all the problems in these books it's based on misunderstanding. But instead of talking with each other the characters jump to conclusions and spend entire books wondering why their relationships fail. Talk to each other people! Sometimes it feels like they speak different languages!
Rand's getting crazier with each book but I can't help but feel sorry for him. He's just a farmboy that got caught in a situation he never imagined. And he's trying so hard to do the right thing. I admire his dedication even if he screws up more often than not when it comes to politics. He's biggest problem is his inability to clearly communicate what he means. I'm so glad than Min is there for him. Unlike the rest of the women around him she actually helps him cope with all that responsibility. Cadsuane and the rest of the Aes Sedai around him picked the worst possible way to approach him and try to get him to listen. As a result they drive him farther into the madness. It's sad to see women, who should know better act like complete idiots.
The Asha'man are becoming a bigger problem and if Rand doesn't establish his dominance over them soon he's going to face an army he won't be able to defeat. Part of the problem is the taint but a bigger part is Taim. Rand should have never had left the man so much leeway. The inevitable did happen and some of the Asha'man betrayed Rand and I wonder if Taim was behind it. He speaks the right words but his actions scream resentment. I was hoping that Logain will be a countering force in the Black Tower but so far we only know he's there. I guess that's a start. (view spoiler)[ I laughed my head off when Logain so easily defeated the Aes Sedai Elaida sent to destroy the Black Tower. (hide spoiler)]
I missed Mat in this book. After the event in ACoS I though that he'll have a bigger role here but he was MIA throughout the entire book. I know he's alive but I hope he's well. And that he'll show up in the next novel.
Perrin had an interesting plot here and it seems he's going to be neck deep in trouble again very soon. Personally I don't think he should have abide by Masema's demand (view spoiler)[ and just dragged the man to Rand through a gateway. (hide spoiler)] He should have simply said that it's what The Dragon Reborn had ordered and Masema would have had no choice. Instead now he'll be stuck with a rabid dog, one who consorts with the (view spoiler)[Seanchan(view spoiler)[. If that's not a recipe for disaster I don't know what is. And with (view spoiler)[Faile a prisoner of the Shaido (hide spoiler)] we might get to see the wolf's teeth in action.
As a whole TPoD is a slower book than the previous but now that I'm so emotionally invested in the story and the characters I don't mind at all. Part of me wants more action but another part wants things to remain a bit slow so I can have more time in this incredible world. (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)]...more
I'm finally past the midpoint of this series. And I can't be more excited!
This time around I enjoyed Mat's POV best. From the character I most wanted
I'm finally past the midpoint of this series. And I can't be more excited!
This time around I enjoyed Mat's POV best. From the character I most wanted to strangle he has become one of my favourites. I was warned that it would happen but he was so unbelievably stupid, selfish and annoying for most of the books so far that I couldn't see that happening. But he has grown a lot and is now someone that I not only like but also respect. And feel a bit sorry for. There was a situation when he was (view spoiler)[ raped by the Queen Tylin. (hide spoiler)] I understand that this was not what RJ intended and that it was supposed to be a lesson and a turning point for Mat but that doesn't change the fact that it happened against his will. Repeatedly. And when some of his companions learned they just laughed at him and told him that it's what he deserves. That he has finally had a taste of his own medicine. But at no point in the series has he been shown to force his attentions on someone. When a girl showed she's not interested he would simply transfer his attentions elsewhere. So there's a difference. I know I might come off as too sensitive but this is how rape culture is perpetuated. In fact there a second such thing in this book. And it happened to Queen Morgase. At least there RJ didn't try to show it off as something else but one of the Queens companions told her that she's acting weak afterwards. I would have been more worried if she wasn't affected. It's one of the greatest violations that can be done to a person and it's not something you can just forget or pretend it didn't happen.
But enough of that. There are three major plotlines here: one follows Rand's preparations for a showdown with Sammael and his dealing with the events that led to the battle at Dumai's Well, the second one is the hunt for the Bowl of Winds and the third one follows Egwene's attempts to whip the rebel Aes Sedai into a proper replacement for the White Tower and convince them to declare war on Elaida.
Rand was doing pretty well during this instalment. I loved how he brought the captured Aes Sedai down a few pegs. Some protest that he was too harsh but after all the attempts to manipulate him and trap him the Aes Sedai deserve a much harsher fate. In fact the Aes Sedai as a whole are among the groups I hate most in this world along with the Children of the Light and the Seanchan. All their machinations are only making things worse when they should be helping Rand wholeheartedly. But they're too used to being the ones in power and now the taste of being the ones who have to obey and follow is way too bitter for most of them. As a result they keep pushing and alienating the Dragon Reborn. It would serve them right if Rand wipes out the White Tower. I would love to see Elaida's face then. Min is a great influence on Rand and now that he has finally admitted his feelings for all three women (even if it's only to Min) I think he'll be able to move forward and stop seeing himself as a monster. Min is a calming force for him and that talent of hers is quite useful. Unfortunately Rand is still a bit reckless and so he gets himself in the dumbest and most dangerous situations. That new Aes Sedai that showed up - Cadsuane - is either going to be a great ally and adviser (once she stops pushing at him) or one who causes great trouble for him. I'm leaning towards the former but the jury is still out on this one.
At Ebou Dar Elayne and Nyneave are trying to find the Bowl of Winds so they can reverse the weather back to normal. That's all good and important but I can't help but being annoyed at Elayne. She's so irresponsible! I get that the weather thing is important but so are her people in Andor. There are other Aes Sedai that can be trusted to handle the Bowl but there's only one Daughter Heir. So she should have been back at Camelyn and taking care of her people. Instead she's playing Aes Sedai and then bitches about the way Rand is handling Andor. And every time someone tells her that Rand is waiting for her so he can give her the Lion Throne she trows a fit. What she doesn't seem to get is that he's not going to hang it to her as if it's a gift from him but rather as if he was a guardian of Andor for a while. And if she bothers to go to him and communicate she would know that. But no she prefers to sulk and ignore her responsibilities. Stupid spoiled girl. Nynaeve is still acting like a bitch and I want to slap her more often than not but she's showing signs of reverting to the awesome Nyneave from the beginning of the series. Now that Lan is with her I have high hopes. *fingers crossed* The way these two have treated Mat so far was despicable but Aviendha opened up their eyes about it. Or at least Elayne. Who would think that the Aiel savage is going to teach manners to the refined wetlanders :) From the women Aviendha and Birgitte are the only two that show sense and I loved them. I hope they won't become obstinate mules like the rest of the female cast.
Egwene is playing a very dangerous game. She did manage to establish her authority to some extend over the Rebel Aes Sedai. The joke's on them for thinking that they have chosen a figurehead but there's a Forsaken on the loose in their midst and some Black Ajah sisters. So Egwene needs to keep on guard. Instead she trusts people I would have had banished. For all they have learned over the last few months the Two Rivers gang is still way too trusting and naive.
Perrin is still having marital problems thanks to Beralaine's fixation on him. I sure hope that Faile will stop blaming him and turn her wrath on the real culprit. A catfight between those two will be hilarious!
Overall this book didn't move the plot forward much but it was still very interesting and exciting. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Monthly buddy read with the lovely people over at BB&B
Almost halfway through the series. And I can't be more exited! I should have read this agesMonthly buddy read with the lovely people over at BB&B
Almost halfway through the series. And I can't be more exited! I should have read this ages ago.
Finally I can see why all the old timers say that Mat's awesome. Don't get me wrong he still gets on my nerves but he's no longer that spoiled little brat that though only about gambling, wine and women. And he knows how to lead an army. Even if he tries to convince himself he's not cut for the whole hero/warrior thing. Part of it are the memories he got from his encounter with Eelfinn. But a bigger part is Mat himself. He always had the potential but it was buried under that annoying attitude combined with his utter selfishness that made me want to strangle him for the better part of 6 books. And now he's in an even bigger mess running after Elayne and Nynaeve and trying to protect them from their own stupidity. Mat being the reasonable one is a totally new experience. Such a big difference from the beginning of the series when I could always count on Nynaeve to be the voice of reason.
Lately Nynaeve, as well as the other main female protagonists, is acting really strange. It's as if the old Nynaeve has been replaced by a whining, cowering and brainless doppelganger. The same goes for Elayne who is progressively getting more and more irritating. Elayne claims to love Rand but also plans to (view spoiler)[ bond him as her Warder without asking and making him obey her. (hide spoiler)] Good luck with that! And instead of helping him by assuming the Lion Throne she runs off to do whatever she wants. I honestly don't know what Rand sees in her. And feel sorry for him.
This instalment was both good and bad for Rand. He's growing into his role as The Dragon Reborn and as a leader. He gains confidence with each passing book as well as knowledge about the use of saidin and his own strength in it. But he's also suffering from the effects of the taint. More and more he argues with the voice of Lews Therin in his head and it seems that Lews Therin is growing stronger and might displace Rand's personality from his own body. Lews Therin's knowledge is incredible and extremely useful but it comes at a greater price each time. And with the events at the end of the book I'm worried that that displacement is inevitable. Personally I think that Rand's biggest mistake so far was trusting his school for male channelers to Mazrim Taim. That guy spells trouble. Way too ambitious and ruthless I think that he's either a darkfriend (even maybe one of the Forsaken in disguise) or he'll become one. Either way he'll betray Rand sooner rather than later and considering the army of men channelling at his disposal that Rand gave him things will go down badly for our heroes. I'm hoping that Logain will help balancing the situation. I like him and really, really want him to be one of the good guys. But I'll have to wait to see which side he will choose.
Perrin and Faile are awesome as always. Except when Faile is jealous of Berelain. Poor Perrin is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It's not his fault that Berelain has fixated on him but for some reason Faile blames him instead of the real perpetrator. *sigh* In the last few books the women act like idiots all the time. I loved their meeting with Faile's parents. That was priceless and I laughed so hard that tears ran down my face.
The Aes Sedai are becoming my number one people to hate. More than the White Cloaks and the Seanchan. With their constant meddling, manipulation and outright bullying of everyone they meet they make me want to kill the all. Even the ones that are supposedly on Rand's side. And with their latest bullsh*t move they killed any chance of Rand ever trusting them. They're so deep in their own scheming that they're going to ruin any chance of victory at Tarmon Gai'don if they're not brought to heel. Rand needs to teach them a lesson and soon!
Even though there was almost no progress on the overall plot of the series this instalment was a great addition to the series. It sets the stage for the next few books and gives us a greater understanding of the complexities of the world and the characters inhabiting it....more
With each passing book this series gets better and better! I can't believe that at the beginning I was contemplating givin Buddy read over at BB&B
With each passing book this series gets better and better! I can't believe that at the beginning I was contemplating giving up and now I have to pace myself so I can stretch the reading for a full month. Sure I can read an instalment in three-four sitting (these books are huge) but then I'll have to wait too long between books. And reading them without the wonderful people at BB&B will be a lot less fun. Not to mention that I'll miss too many things. My fellow buddy readers tend to notice incredible little snippets of information I've somehow missed or remind me of a connection with one of the previous books that I have forgotten.
Now that Rand has fully accepted his role as The Dragon Reborn things became more heated. With the Last Battle coming he's desperate to become the man the world needs. I like this colder, more calculating Rand. A lot more than the boy he was back at the Two Rivers. Mat's still annoying with all that whining about being Ta'veren but he's showing some potential once he embraces his new-found memories of ancient battles. I doubt he'll ever stop complaining completely but at east he's pulling his weight around. I felt bad for him when he had (view spoiler)[ to kill his lover (hide spoiler)] but all of the ta'veren need to make sacrifices and so far he's been the one to escape with the least emotional scars. Egwene is getting more and more cocky and quite honestly I don't like her anymore. She should be on Rand's side not plotting on how to manipulate him better. Even Moraine stopped trying to influence him so much and realized she has to let him do what he must. Nynaeve and Elayne's plotline was interesting mostly because of Birgitte and Moghedien. Nynaeve has become a bit of a weakling in this book and I hope things will be remedied in the following instalments. The Aiel are fascinating and I'm glad we got to spend so much time with them. Of all the people populating the Westlands they're the most interesting with their connection to the Aes Sedai of old and the ji'e'toh.
The entire world of the Wheel of Time is incredibly rich and I can't wait to start the next book....more
We've finally reached the point where things have picked up. This book starts with a bang and ends with a bang. There were no s Buddy read at BB&B
We've finally reached the point where things have picked up. This book starts with a bang and ends with a bang. There were no slow parts where I wanted to gut myself like with the previous three books. I just hope it remains like this for the next ten instalments.
Maybe the writing got better or I finally got used to it but I'm no longer annoyed by the long descriptions. And I'm pretty invested in the characters. Who wouldn't be after more than 3000 pages? During the last four months these characters have become if not exactly friends than at least people I would like to have as friends. Even if it's only so I could yell at them for the stupid shit they pull. I like watching them grow into their potential. And I've started hating the bad guys (White Cloaks, Seanchan, etc) with a passion! Even the side characters have their own particular charm that makes me want to comfort or smack them and more often than not both. Just like with real people :D
If I start on the plot I could go on forever. But there's no point to it. There are enough reviews about this book that will tell you all you want to know if you don't want to actually read it. Or you can go to the Wheel of Time Wiki. And it'll also mean writing a long review and I'm not in a mood for it. So just a few quick points about the things I loved most:
The Aiel - they are awesome. Learning about their culture and their history was flat down the most fascinating part of the book. Perrin and Faile - The battle between those two made me laugh out loud so many times! I adore them. They are perfect for each other. I'll use this to go on a bit of a tangent here. Over the years I've noticed that men write terrible female characters and women either write assholes or almost perfect (from a female point of view) male characters. And we all know that things aren't as black and white in RL. The authors who manage to write real believable characters from the opposite sex are rare. So I want to take the time to point out how good RJ is at this. He understands the psych of both men and women. He knows how both sexes think and react and it's most obvious in the chapters where the battle of the sexes rages on. And I have to say it's great to read! Rand - I love how he's finally acting instead of reacting. He's growing into his power now that he's accepted his destiny. And that edge of insanity makes him such an interesting character to follow. The events at Emond's Field - at first they broke my heart. However watching Perrin grow into a competent leader and accepting the responsibility of leadership was one hell of an experience. It didn't hurt that in the end (view spoiler)[ the White cloaks got kicked out of the Two Rivers. (hide spoiler)]
As usual I found Mat annoying and I'm starting to dislike Egwene. I can't put my finger on the reason why but I have a feeling that she'll disappoint me soon. Nynaeve is always a source of entertainment with her temper. And Elayne with her conflict between duty and love is also starting to worm her way into my heart. Her brothers are a bit of idiots but that's not her fault :D
The Shadow Rising is my favourite book of the series so far and I'm grateful that I took the time to get this far. ...more
Buddy read with the cult from BB&B. Thanks for the discussion and the interesting tidbits here and there in your comments people ^_^
Finally! This Buddy read with the cult from BB&B. Thanks for the discussion and the interesting tidbits here and there in your comments people ^_^
Finally! This is the first book of the series that I actually liked from start to finish. The previous two were good only in the last third. This one, however, was a wild ride from page one. I had to pace myself to savour it. I'm grateful to all the WoT cult members that got me through the first two books because all the suffering was so worth it. And now I'm officially hooked.
The Dragon Reborn follows a few distinctive subplots that all merge together at the end. Personally I liked Perrin's story best but the other ones were no less interesting. His struggle with his inner wolf reminds me of my usual genre of choice UF and it makes it easier to follow. Of the Two River's boys (I have trouble accepting their real ages cause they act like children most of the time), Perrin is the most mature one. And he grew even more during the events in this book. So for now at least he's my favourite ta'veren.
Rand was scaring me every once in a while. He seems to be going crazy really fast and I hope he'll get the hang of this channeling business soon. I can understand that he feels pressured so I'm more than willing to cut him some slack but enough is enough. He needs to man up and take responsibility for his actions. In a way he was mostly missing during this book and that made me anxious. We learn most of what he was up to from the results of his passing and the dreams of the rest of the characters. It was a well played way of keeping the mystery around him but still keeping the reader updated. And when he finally showed up at the end it was spectacular. Too bad he's still not learned the lesson (view spoiler)[ that no matter how dead Ba'alzamon appears after their battles the cursed being has somehow managed to escape. (hide spoiler)]
The character that showed greatest growth in this installment was Mat. He finally started acting like someone I can root for. I know, I know, all of you old timers told me so, repeatedly, but I was still unconvinced until I witnessed his transformation. I'm glad for it cause I was starting to doubt being able to stomach his ridiculous behavior.
The subplot involving Nynaeve, Egwene and Elayne and the hunt for the Black Aja was by far the one that made me loose some sleep. The boys seem to have it easier for now but those three are neck deep in darkfriends. Maybe because they deliberately poke the hornet's nest they seem to be the ones that get in trouble most often. Still I like them and it's fun to read about the various ways they can get on each others nerves (mostlt Nynaeve and Egwene).
If the next book follows the pattern of the previous ones I know it'll be even more interesting and suspenseful than this one. So I'm looking forward to it. ...more
This was just what I needed after all the emotionally heavy reads lately! The Gamble was my introduction to Kr Buddy read with the folks from BB&B
This was just what I needed after all the emotionally heavy reads lately! The Gamble was my introduction to Kristen Ashley and boy did I like it! It was fun and light and there was a murder mystery to help me not drown in the romance. Don't get me wrong I love romance but I prefer it diluted a bit with something else (preferably action but mystery's okay as well). I loved most of the characters, hated a few (Niles - the king a-hole of all fiancées possible - was the character that got the crown this time) and enjoyed their shenanigans immensely.
A few sore points:
All those descriptions - for me they don't help me get a clearer picture, they just annoy me and I often catch myself skipping them;
Nina's obsession with clothes and accessories - kinda reminds me of Mac from the Fever series. When she starts on her clothes I skip the next few sentences. I just can't relate.
The main squeeze - Max - was both impossibly sexy and impossibly annoying. I was constantly swinging between wanting to jump his bones and punch him in the mouth (pretty much the same as Nina). Still he was adorable and sweet. I wouldn't mind to meet one like him. Well under other circumstances cause the way they met initially was bizarre and dangerous. I mean he could have been a serial killer!
One of the best things was that I didn't figure who the murderer is! Ms. Ashley managed to lead me by the nose right from the start and that plot twist was a total surprise! And I loved it :) And in the end it left me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside and that's al that matters for me right now....more
Buddy read with the folks at BB&B . Special thanks to Sarah and Choko for providing new POV and pointing out things I might have otherwise missBuddy read with the folks at BB&B . Special thanks to Sarah and Choko for providing new POV and pointing out things I might have otherwise missed.
Another brilliant book by the amazing Robert Jackson Bennett. With this book he cemented his place in my heart.
City of Blades is both very similar and very different from the previous book in the series - City of Stairs. The biggest similarity (in my humble opinion) is that it deals with some very serious real life problems under the guise of a urban fantasy novel set in a world similar to the late 19th century. This time around the main character is General Turyin Mulaghesh. She's a soldier where the protagonist of CoS was a spy and that in itself changes the focus of the story. If I have to pick one thing to describe what this book is about I'd say "war". This is a story about war - about all its aspects and consequences.
The book starts with a broken and disillusioned Mulaghesh. Broken by war, weighted down by grief and guilt, but most importantly by the feeling of failure - she failed to make it all matter. Even when she had some power she failed to protect the soldiers under her command, failed to stop the endless circle of violence. And so she feels responsible and so damned helpless. She looks at her life and feels like she's accomplished nothing. To top it off she suffers from PTSD. And so, like many soldiers who return from the front lines, she turns to alcohol and sets herself on the path of self-destruction. Until Shara Komayd - the Saypuri Prime Minister and friend of Mulaghesh - asks her to carry on one final mission for her country with the only words that could wake Mulaghesh from her stupor - (view spoiler)[ Make it matter! (hide spoiler)] And the general answers. On the journey that follows she's forced to confront her inner demons most of which stem from that first war she was part of more than 40 years prior. (view spoiler)[ Mulaghesh's memories of the Yellow March provoke both sympathy and outrage. sympathy for a 16 years old girl trapped in a impossible situation under the influence of charismatic leader who convinces her to abandon all honour without her even realizing it. Outrage over the senseless slaughter of innocent people who's only fault is being born Continental and being at the wrong place at the wrong time. When you're faced with the threat of death, when you're marooned deep behind enemy lines you show your true colours. You can either show great courage and integrity or more likely become a savage. Unfortunately it was the later for our protagonist. Only after it was all over did she realize how far she's fallen. And she hates herself for it. And even after four decades the guilt has not lessened. (hide spoiler)] These events beg the question: How far is too far? What's acceptable when you're at war? When does the maxima "The ends justify the means" stops being true? When do you become a monster? The thing is the answers seem so easy when you're sitting in a comfy chair far far away from the action. It's easy to judge and say 'I would never do something like that!" But the truth is you probably would if faced with the right circumstances and especially if someone with authority says it's okay to do it. We want to have someone to guide us and tell us what to do. And that mentality has led to many tragedies over the course of humanity's history. You don't need to be a bad person to do unspeakable things. And that's the truly terrifying thing.
However, Mulaghesh had an opportunity that few get - the opportunity to grow and change her worldview. I loved how her idea of what a soldier is has evolved over time: (view spoiler)[ "This is the service, and we soldiers are servants. Sure, when people think of a soldier, they think of soldiers taking. They think of us taking territory, taking the enemy, taking a city or a country, taking treasure, or blood. This grand, abstract idea of “taking”, as if we were pirates, swaggering and brandishing our weapons, bullying and intimidating people. But a soldier, a true soldier, I think, does not take. A soldier gives.’ ‘Gives what?’ ‘Anything,’ says Mulaghesh. ‘Everything, if asked of us. We’re servants, as I said. A soldier serves not to take, they don’t strive to have something, but rather they strive so that others might one day have something. And a blade isn’t a happy friend to a soldier, but a burden, a heavy one, to be used scrupulously and carefully. A good soldier does everything they can so they do not have to kill. That’s what training is for. But if we have to, we will. And when we do that we give up some part of ourselves, as we’re asked to do.’ (hide spoiler)] Time brings new perspective if you're wise enough to acknowledge it's passing. Many don't and they just end up making the same mistake again and again.
Another problem that was briefly touched by this book was the one about the way we see ourselves. When we look in the mirror we see a twisted image of ourselves. Some see more than what they are and some (most of us in fact) see less. Constantly comparing ourselves to others can both hinder and elevate us. Mulaghesh's inferiority complex is another wonderful little facet that made her so complex and real and so easy to relate to.
The last thing I want to talk about (I'm not a fan of long reviews and this one is too long in my opinion) is the change of priorities. This was brought by Sigrud's final words to Shara: (view spoiler)[ ‘If you had asked me last week if this fight was worth it, I would have told you yes. But if you asked me today, Shara Komayd, if you asked me right now if this was worth it – I would tell you no, no, a thousand times no. Never, ever, never could this fight be worth what it asks of us.’(hide spoiler)] Those who have read the previous book can see how much he's changed. But it was too f*cking late and he'll have to live with the consequences of his choices and the knowledge that he has missed his chance. Change of priorities is not a bad thing but if you don't realize that they have changed until after you've lost the things and people you value most it can be the thing that brings you down. ...more