No spoilers in this review :) An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic. Warning: The Iron King has cussing in it.
Most notable positive aspect of the book - The narrator pronouncing Fairy and Pixy as if it were not a child's nursery book.
It is a Mythical Magic meets normal girl. At times it was extremely entertaining to watch as the author switched us from genre to genre. Fairy land, then Earth, then Supernatural, then back to Fairy Land and all the time having the main heroine and heroes being consistent in their responses, making them lovable and real characters. The author is true to the history of the legends. She doesn't change things like "Satyrs" (who are very sexual beings, and many times aggressive).
There are a LOT of characters in the beginning so it is difficult to remember everything (including all the character's names), but as you go along you realize who is important and who is not important. The narrator is not ENTIRELY consistent with the voice responses. When Ash shouts "Watch out!" sometimes it sounds like someone else is saying it because the voice inflections are out of Ash's calculating character.
The BIGGEST downside is the author or editor's fault…The descriptions of actions are hastily written and shallow. It leaves the relationships and scenery a bit...malnourished.
The book reads, "I picked up Ethan, and started to walk towards the door to the hall. Then he reached up to hold my hand while we traversed down the hall together…" Wait..what? I pictured her picking up Ethan in a cradle position in her arms, just to find out they are walking hand in hand together? Unclear at best…wouldn't her hands be busy holding him? . This makes it extremely difficult to picture the action and fight scenes because this kind of writing continues through the entire book. Made much of the book hold some distant realism (with fantasy novels the descriptions are the plate the meat of the story sits on) My 30 second rewind button got some mileage. What could have been written:
"I bent over to help Ethan get up, cradling him for just a moment before setting him on his feet. We turned towards the hallway door stepping through the echoing space. As we walked in step together side by side, he reached up to clasp my hand in an attempt at normalcy, however the emotion of fear was still etched in his small features.":
See what I mean? An extra 200 colorfully written pages would have made this book epic.
I am halfway through the book and the entire story has been about saving birds. Georgie Gail has an unbelievable passion for beautiful birds. The style of dress at this time period was "bird parts". She starts up a one woman crusade to make others understand how much more valuable the birds are alive.
Luke Palmer (an undercover Texas Marshal) had to share the telegraph office ( which doubles as Georgie's house as was typical that time period) . He is attracted to her physically and he admires her dedication to being the switchboard operator. However, he is overthrown with annoyance and confusion at times by Georgie's burning passion to save all bird kind.
They eventually kiss and have a genuine affection for each other, but Luke is there to catch a criminal, not to get a wife...and so the drama unfolds as a side story to Georgie's crusade.
I feel no passion for birds, so as the story moves slowly marred down by the bird crusade I grow bored and tired of these precious creatures who diserve better than my lukewarm love for them. The story could have been better....
I knew I would not approve of Levana's choices, and I was sure that there was no excuse for any/all of her actions. Levana has given us fantastically believable rationalizations to deluded herself with in order to justify her actions. This was MARVELOUS depth to a malevolent character I felt was headed in the direction of scape goat. We needed a villain that was nefarious not because someone hurt her and made her so, but because she elected over and over to be damanding, manipulative, inflexible, jealous, delusional, and self-destructive, conducting situations in which she unwittingly self inflicted her pain. Granted she didn't have the best upbringing or even a chance at a good one, however as you listen to her inner dialogue you realize she knows what is right, and how offten she ignores it, not letting it get in the way of what she thinks she wants and taking advantage of "Fate". WELL DONE Meyer! This is a boon for the Lunartics!! (like me - squee!)
I am not a huge fan of love triangles. As a married woman I know I will never be a part of a love triangle....so why can't I put this book down???
What is this political significance that has the rebels SO VIOLENT? America has become emotionally invested now (in Maxon), so her inner dialogue is much more emotional. She is getting distracted by her emotions and cannot see the political significance she needs to share with Maxon.... I wish that Maxon could trust America with more secrets, but she needs to prove herself trustworthy....and she hasn't......yet. :D
Maxon has impressed me from the moment we met, and we find out so much more about Maxon in this book (yea!!) We get to see the ladies lead their own royal tasks, like learning about court functions and practice directing them. You grow to like other girls in the competition (who knew?), and even feel a little sympathy and jealousy towards them (dresses, parties, and drama, OH My!).
Also, didn't realize this was a miniseries on tv...
The book starts slow (as most YA novels do) but picks up when she is actually selected. Maxon has impressed me with his gentlemanly nature, and America (for most of the book) impressed me with her honesty to herself and her desire to move forward rather than regret the past. She doesn't seem to disillusion herself either. VERY centered on the girls and all their feelings towards Maxon, but there is some political and state action too. Of course, it wouldn't be a book without drama (love triangle drama). I am getting the sequel because I am interested in seeing what happens, not because I am captivated by characters or enthralled with the story....mearly curious :)
This book was not my favorite, but I am glad I kept picking it up to finish it. It is not what I expected/wanted from a Witemeyer book. Tailor Made Bride & Short Straw Bride & Stealing the Preacher (read in that order) were fantastic. I have listened to them more than once. Full Steam I probably won't read again.
Darius's story at the beginning of the book made me cry....I physically had to dry my tears, hug my son and husband, and then pick it back up to read.
I had a hard time wrapping my head around these christian people putting so much stock in a "Lucky Dagger". They risked their (and their daughter Nicole's) life on keeping this dagger in the family. Nicole continually defied her father to prove she was as good as a son (she was definitely better/smarter than a son). During her defiance she used her intelligence and wit to rescue an emotionally traumatized Steamboat Fleet Owner (Darius Thornton).
There were also a LOT of musings by Nicole about this childhood boy friend who she loved dearly and hadn't seen in a very long time. It didn't seem to have a solid purpose in this book, but I think that it might be just a set up for a sequel. I would be willing to listen to the sequel (if one comes) because I believe Karen is a great writer.
The narrator OLD, but the characters were young...hard for my imagination to remember most of the characters were under 50. There was a french accent when the narrator felt compelled to say the word in a "French'y" way.
I am glad I read it, but it has put my Witemeyer craving on hold.
The story was familiar with its Woman meets Man(in disguise) and they fall in love making each other better people along the way. The plot didn't really start until about halfway through. There were some HOT moments and they wernt unrealistic. However, I wish the political plotline was spread more evenly through the book so that I could get a better handle on where everyone was getting the motivations for their actions. Why did the brothers want to kill anyone? I thought I knew why Dogface did not want to marry Kat, but then I was taken off guard when he was upset with her brothers for not giving her to him. I am not a die hard Highland fan, but historically everything felt very accurate and it was wonderful to picture the cold scenery.
The narrator was a bit confusing...everyone sounded very similar ( Have to applaud his accent though, it was really good!). I won't be continuing the series. :(
My favorite of all her novels. I read it, then I audiobooked it. The heroine is everything I want to be. Strong, spiritual, clever, generous, kind, loving, and healthy. I want to give the Hero a pat on the head to tell him he has handled his lot in life well, and to not be discouraged by the need to grow a little more. Very romantic in Texas!
The narrator is unknown to me, but I enjoyed the subtle way she went from descriptions of the scenery to the dialogue. It isn't easy to read a story from multiple points of view. She kept all the voices straight and did a good job being lighthearted amidst the drama.
I read the book and enjoyed it so much that years later I baught the audiobook so I could hear it again. The quality of the recording was bad (distracting). The narrator sounded barbaric, like he was always shouting... and his inflection left much to be desired.
The story was still good. I like it when the woman gets a choice and yet a soul mate is still in her future. The hero wasn't "desperate to make her his" but he was very exited to start his life with this charming woman (from a lower class) if she would only accept the mysterious gift and himself in her future. The futuristic world was well described and I didn't get bogged down with the descriptions of an environment I have never seen.
I read the first book (good book btw), and the second was similar, but with a happier/sweeter ending. I enjoyed seeing all my fav characters from book 1, and felt this one held a bit more emotional drama and less action drama (but there was plenty of both). Hilarious! Lucy March (among the Molly Harper footprints) did a great job slipping in hilarious descriptors and inner dialogue that only added a great dimension to the action and emotion. Plus...it was fun!
I was happily confused and disturbed by a new main player "The Widow" (her mom). You HAVE to love Leo (even though he is every perfect everlasting unconditional love dream that girls - not women - sing about). In this book it was a bit more difficult to follow the parameters involving the potion creation problems. There are surely "rules of limitations" I am supposed to understand/remember, but just didn't quite hold them through the entire book (Example: Using a Funnel Beaker vs a Einstein Beaker).
I heart Amanda Ronconi!! She is by far the best narrator I have ever listened to. I love many narrators (Nick Podehl, Kate Redding, Barbra Rosenblat, Eva Wilhelm, Rebecca Soler, Jim Dale, Therese Plummer, Angela Dawe, Rosalyn Landor, and Laural Merlington) but Amanda holds a special place that inspires me to read short stories out loud to my husband and son. Keep inspiring us Amanda!
I read this while waiting for book 3. It is a VERY short story, and just gives you a little taste of what Kate used to deal with regarding Nick back in the day. If I hadn't read the other 2 in the Fox & O'Hare series I wouldn't have enjoyed this as much. I don't usually like narrators like Scott Brick, but I find myself enjoying his dry deep vocal tones narration of this book. Unrealistic outlaw gone good story. I love to hate Nick's targets, and Nick's ability to cover all bases during a con. Well done! *applause*.
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