(please note: this book has scenes of attempted rape, discussions of rape, discussions of incest, and misogny/abuse of women up to wazoo. Also Sanghee(please note: this book has scenes of attempted rape, discussions of rape, discussions of incest, and misogny/abuse of women up to wazoo. Also Sanghee is not what you would consider to be "likeable" as her entire method of survival is manipulation)
Where do I even begin?
This was a crazy ride. I mean that in every possible way.
To get the bad out of the way - the format made it difficult at times to follow. The story had awkward breaks and abrupt transitions that were not properly made so often it took me a moment to catch up.
To put it bluntly the technical execution of this novel was utter crap.
That said the story itself was thoroughly engrossing in a soap opera train wreck way. I really enjoyed this book. I won't lie it's hella problematic on so many levels, but I couldn't stop reading to see HOW INSANE the plot would get. On a purely entertaining level this book won.
Soohee finds herself reborn after being murdered by a psycho supposedly in love with her. Born anew in a world where a dog literally and legally has more basis to be a citizen than a woman she vows to change the world...if only to shove King Scumbag (her new father)'s face in it.
Now known as Kim Sanghee, 33rd daughter of Kim Hunsahng, King of Koryo (aka King Scumbag), she basically manipulates everyone around her to her advantage. Born still with the memories of 26 years on Earth, she's fucking sneaky as hell.
Look I'd accuse of her of being a sociopath, but I truly reserve that only for her 2nd oldest brother Kim Hwanseok (aka Royal Brat #1) who in the last few chapters truly can not be called human.
There's a lot in here that doesn't quite connect well and really seems to only serve as a funny plot divergence (like what happens to Kim Hwanseong, her third oldest brother also known as Royal Brat #2) or just disturbing as fuck (Freesia seems to be important...only to be casually tossed aside after a truly horrific ordeal is visited upon her).
Also while attitudes improve towards women by the end the casual violence and brutality throughout 80% of the book is often uncomfortable. Indeed even as perception changes towards Sanghee, most other women are treated like cockroaches still.
So you might wonder why I rated this highly or even finished it. I can't really answer that. I just know that despite my discomfort at times I was eager to read more of it and tossed aside four other novels to concentrate only on it for the last 3 days....more
As an introduction to Hartley's STEEPLEJACK universe, I think this gave me a good idea of the world and what to expect before I dive into the books thAs an introduction to Hartley's STEEPLEJACK universe, I think this gave me a good idea of the world and what to expect before I dive into the books themselves....more
I sincerely enjoyed this urban fantasy. It's fun, light and not overly burdened with a need to take itself seriously. Ivy is fun, amusing and if maybeI sincerely enjoyed this urban fantasy. It's fun, light and not overly burdened with a need to take itself seriously. Ivy is fun, amusing and if maybe a tad bit too good to be true, she's at least energetic in her championing of naps.
At times the story was rather predictable - even who turned out to be the Mastermind is, while clever, obvious enough if you paid attention to the details.
Ivy however was refreshing - she got screwed over (a couple times) while just being herself and yet I truly believe she lived by the principle she mentions in chapter 1. Why let it get to you?
Winter was typical of the genre - all business and rule following with a work hard work ethic and his softening due to Ivy's influence can be seen from a mile away. I did like his observation about Ivy though and the fact he genuinely wanted Ivy to do her best for herself moreso than anything else.
Hands down Brutus was love.
For those who worry about their UF being heated, (view spoiler)[ this was closed door scene. Some light innuendo banter, a bit of warm thoughts, but what they did (or didn't do it's a little ambiguous really) ends at a kiss. Everything else is the reader's imagination. (hide spoiler)] Whether the series stays this way I can't say, this is the first book and I haven't read the second yet....more
I went into this hoping it would be similar to Ancient Magus's Bride and while the bare bones is somewhat aligned, it's a whole different ball game.
ThI went into this hoping it would be similar to Ancient Magus's Bride and while the bare bones is somewhat aligned, it's a whole different ball game.
The Stark artwork here - with the shadows telling more than the actual words at times - set the scene quite well. It's almost a fable at first. A young girl lives with a monster awaiting her Aunt's return at the edge of an abandoned village. The woods are haunted, the monster is under a curse the girl lives mostly in obliviousness.
The tale grows darker as the book goes on however. Deeper. More menancing as others see the girl and decide she's a threat.