Catherine's Reviews > Stranger

Stranger by Zoe Archer
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 15, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: adventure, england, dragons, fae, fantasy-paranormal-sci-fi, historical, magic-mystical-ability, read-2011, romance, series, steampunk, boring
Read from February 15 to March 19, 2011 — I own a copy

*sigh* It's always so sad to say goodbye to a series. But it's also wonderful at the same time. Seeing everything tie together and resolve itself is great. This book was no exception. We got to see all the previously mentioned characters draw together to fight the ultimate battle against the Heirs. It was really nice getting to see the previous heroes and heroines and reaffirm that they are happy together.

Catullus is the one constant character through all the books in this series. He is a brilliant, particular man that caught my interest from the very first meet. I've been really looking forward to his book and am glad that I finally got to get a closer look at his personality. I only wish that I had gotten to see more of the person he was described as being (dedicated inventor with a hard time staying interested in people before his mind wandered back to an invention) instead of just being told about it. He really seemed stunningly normal here when you look at his actions and ignore what we're told about him.

I don't know what changed between the first two books and the last two books, but something did. The first two books were excellent, but the last two books were increasingly less interesting for me. I actually had to take a couple week break in the middle of this one in the hopes that absence would make the heart grow fonder. Luckily it did, so it ended up being average instead of a complete disappointment.

One thing that has really bothered me is the way the supernatural part developed. I absolutely loved it in the first two books, but then the third book confused me by branching out into shapeshifters. And then this one completely blew me out of the water by including the mythical Arthur and the Fae. It just got too weird for me.

It's not my series, so obviously the author can do what she wants, but as the reader I got a certain impression of what this series would be like in terms of magic from the first two books and I had a hard time adjusting when that changed. I don't know why some magic was believable for me and some wasn't, but I really had a hard time enjoying the direction this book took.

Added to my lack of interest in the plot this time around, I really had a hard time caring about Catullus and Gemma once they got together. I don't require a tempestuous relationship by any means, but they were both a little too sweet and pleasant to keep my attention. One of my friends used the term Disney-esque to describe part of the relationship in the last book, and that seems apt here too. They were just too sweet and too good and too accepting of each other for me to care at all. I didn't dislike them, but I didn't find them interesting at all.

The author's skill with detail and plotting was still there, but without a story I cared about it was really hard for me to work my way through this book. I enjoyed seeing the Heirs finally confronted on a large scale and loved seeing previous characters that I enjoyed, but I was rather disappointed on the whole. I also was incredibly irritated by the convenient way (view spoiler)

Although I didn't enjoy this book much I still plan to try this author's future work. She is definitely an author I plan to keep track of.
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Stranger.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

02/15 page 15
3.0% "

"Yes, magic, Miss Murphy." He spoke lowly as though recounting to a child a tale of terror. "There exists in this world actual magic. It is too dangerous for any civilian reporter to confront--and live."

"I know."

"You might scoff, but--wait. You know?"


"About magic?"


"That it is real?"


02/15 page 113
24.0% "

"Mm, I slept very well. Thanks to your very skilled hands." Her smile turned sultry.

Oh, Lord. "Ah. Thank you. Likewise."

Thank you? Likewise? Catullus squeezed his eyes shut, mortified by his ineptitude. He wondered if the innkeeper kept any hemlock.

02/16 page 164
35.0% "

But, to his mind, the real marvel of the evening was that he'd been seducing--and kissing--Gemma. Rather well, too.

Catullus Graves, acclaimed inventor, inveterate outsider, now successful wooer of women. If that didn't convince him that the world was about to end, nothing would.

02/16 page 255
55.0% "Hmmm, this one (just like the last one) is surprising me with the direction of the magic." 19 comments
03/18 page 294
63.0% "Hopefully absence made the heart fonder. Otherwise the rest of this read is going to be sloooow." 4 comments
03/18 page 303
65.0% "

"He wasn't like Bennett, who fell in and out of love as often as most men changed socks. This had altered once Bennett met London. Theirs was a deep and abiding love, carnal, sacred. Enviable. Now, Bennett had eyes and love for only one woman: his wife. Yet, until London appeared in Bennett's life, he gave his heart as freely as his body, and God above knew what an almighty slut Bennett had been."

- LOL!"
03/19 page 463
100.0% "Luckily absence did make the heart grow fonder."
07/07 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Julie I enjoyed that about this series - how the books were not carbon copies of each other. They each had their own feel with their magic and characters.

Catherine I liked how different each one was as well. I also liked that we got to visit a different place with each.

Julie Catherine wrote: "I liked how different each one was as well. I also liked that we got to visit a different place with each."

That was cool! Not only that they were different, but REALLY different!

message 4: by AH (new)

AH Great review, Catherine. I like how each book is different. Didn't like the prequel that much - a little weird for me.

Catherine Thanks, AH. I really like the differences between them as well. I just wish one hadn't gotten quite as out there with the paranormal aspect as it did.

Based on your updates about the prequel I think it would have been a little too weird for me as well.

message 6: by AH (new)

AH Wait until I get a chance to write my review!

Catherine I'll keep an eye out for it. :)

Julie I liked this one a little more than you, but I agree that the whole Arthur thing was a little unexpected. The second book is still my most favorite. :)

Catherine London and Bennett were great together. I really enjoyed that one. The first book is still my favorite. :)

message 10: by Quinn (new) - added it

Quinn Hmmm. I'm tempted to quit this series while I'm ahead!

Catherine You never know, Quinn. You could end up this one more than I did.

back to top