Strife, yearning, and uncertainty.
It builds from the first book; I can't think of another book to use for comparison. Same world, same evolving characters, additional capabilities and concerns.
My favorite scene was the last encounter between Alina and The Darkling - it was an unexpected twist. Additionally, that encounter caused Mal to finally realize what Alina had been experiencing during the book, and how Mal's actions had left the door open for the Darkling to move in.
It was interesting, but I broke the listening up into a couple of sessions.
The world of Ravka and the Grisha is mesmerizing...can't wait till the next book is released. There are so many shades of gray - people that do evil yet have some good in them as well and vice versa. What finally happens to Alina...the Darkling...Mal? Do her remaining friends survive? What happens to the country? Will the Prince reemerge?
Yes, yes, and yes. It is a mesmerizing tale - in an alternate world of vampire and others. It is stark and sensual, sexy yet innocent - an interesting story that makes me wish for more...
It's one of those stories that stays with you, lingers in the back of your mind, and calls to be reread and enjoyed periodically. The words, the voices, and relationships combine into a wonderfully complex tale. The vampire/human relationship begins due to extreme circumstances, and slowly develops over time. It is not instant love or lust, as in so many vampire books today. In some ways that makes it more haunting.
I like the way she read Con's words...think she had the tone just perfect. On the other hand, it often sounds like his name is 'Kahn', not 'Con' (for Constantine).
So many choices. When he asks 'Who ARE you?' When he heals her? When she travels to meet him after she calls him? When he asks her to come with him for the evening? When they are in SOF headquarters?
No, I probably wouldn't recommend it. The heroine (26 or 28 years old) is too immature. If it was a paperback copy, I would have skipped over many parts. She's an adult, has been to college, lost both mother and father, and is a homeowner working and paying her bills. Yet she has mooned for 3 years over a coworker who has never indicated he wanted to date her. Hello? Small town, no other boyfriend prospects, and she sticks with her waitressing job so she can yearn for the unattainable cook. Get real...
I would make the heroine less of a 'woe is my life' kind of person. Her love life sucks, so her action plan is move to Europe? That abrupt decision is absurd given her background. Does everyone disappointed in love immediately decide to sell their homestead, leave everyone they know behind, and travel thousands of miles away? She couldn't try smaller, more feasible steps first? Too immature.
She varied the character's voices convincingly.
Yes, I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend. It presents one of Kate's more significant challenges. Is everything she believes in a lie? Her strong relationship with Curran and the pack - faltering? Her perception of her father and his supporters - mistaken? Kate is both emotionally and physically hurt. Honor and trust are called into question - what does the future hold?
Only thing I could compare it to would be the previous books in the series...all containing interesting characters, action, and intrigue.
I loved Kate sparring with Hugh - stunning!
Was it all just a big mistake? What if everything you thought you knew was wrong?
One note - Hugh's 'voice' changed from the previous encounter (Magic Strikes). He had an odd, noticeable voice previously. The new voice is not bad, just a distinct change.
Yes, I will listen to it again before the final book comes out in order to refresh my memory.
The heroine America Singer, I guess. Despite the lousy name, she IS the heroine, so we see her perspective on everything - her concern for her family, her confusion about events, her conflicting desires as she is torn between two suitors.
I liked Aspen - maybe it's more the way he was written, but he seemed calm, steady, and totally reliable. He sounded like that too, so thanks, Amy Rubinate!
I was moved (as in taken aback) when America caught Prince Maxon's in flagrante delicto with another contestant - it was so unexpected! Up until then his actions seemed pretty honest and straightforward - that cast him in a whole new light.
Yes, I would listen to it again...but not real soon. It was an emotional event, and I need some distance and recovery time.
I loved the story development and layers. You see the deep changes wrought in so many lives during a brief period of time. There are changes to Louisa, her family, her boyfriend, her 'charge' Will, and Will's family - everyone is different. There are so many emotions stirred up, yet it ultimately left me wanting to read more.
I liked Louisa and WiIl, can't pick just one.
Yes, but of course real life intervened so I couldn't.
I'm going to check out her other books.
I would rank Past Imperfect about midway. It had an interesting story and I loved the behind the scenes look at that period in Britain, but the subject matter is an anomalie for me since my current reading focus is Fantasy books.
One of the most memorable scenes for me was when Damien Baxter passed away. The narrator had learned more of Damien's background story by then, which made his last words more poignant.
The same scene.
Villain or Victim - who is the real Damien Baxter?
I liked the narration - Simon Prebble does a great job, as usual. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that this book is by the same author who wrote Never Let Me go, another book I did not care for.
As I said, it reminded me of Never Let Me Go - both are descriptive, winding stories that ultimately left me wondering why I wasted X amount of hours listening to them. I prefer to read/listen to a story that leaves me smiling or wanting to read more, not something that leaves me depressed.
He did a good job of getting the different characters voices right, creating a picture in my mind of each individual.
Its worth it for the background provided about another time and way of life, but not for anything else.
It was a quick 'listen', light and enjoyable. Kind of Cinderella with a smidge of the Twilight love triangle and Hunger Games (contestants selected from districts, televised, rebels).
America, of course! She starts the story in a place where she has stable relationships - her family, her craft, and her secret boyfriend. Then the boy she loves rejects her, and fate whisks her away from all she's familiar with to be a contender for the position of bride to the Prince. A chance most girls would want, right? Not America. She's still hurting emotionally, out of her element socially, and trying to figure out both competitors and the ins and outs of life in court. Her first meeting with the Prince is a near disaster. Despite it all, she survives and grows. She makes friends, takes care of the staff who are assigned to take care of her, and even talks to the Prince about areas of concern within the country - hungry people, the need for expanded education, and origins and motivations of the rebels.
I guess America...all the characters were good.
One door closes, another opens...who knew it would be so tempting?
I liked the book enough to purchase the 2nd...is that endorsement enough?
It was a combination of things - the additional background about Kate and her family, the Kate and Curren conflict and resolution, and the narration.
One of the most memorable moments for me was when Kate begged Curren to change back to human. The narrator did a wonderful job of crossing back and forth between the various stages of Kate's emotions - coaxing, pleading, begging, sobbing in despair, and finally lashing out angrily. Such emotion - I would have given the narrator 6 stars if I could!
Um, didn't we just discuss the scene where Kate begged Curren to change back from Beast to human?
Blood, order, or heart - all choices have consequences.
Love the series and the narrator.
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