This is a wonderful coming of age story. The whole angel thing, although undeniably a prominent backdrop, is really overall secondary to the character's growth as a person. Self-esteem, identity, friendship, love - they're all the themes of this story. It is well-worth the read. Samantha Quan is a great narrator. If you're into Young Adult fiction and have any qualms about angels or the supernatural, this book may change your mind.
For a middle book, this one blows that "middle book syndrome" idea right out of the water. Wow! Every bit as action packed and drama driven as the first book, Alexandra Bracken has delivered a whopper of a sequel. The audio by Amy McFadden is superb. Every voice was distinct, every emotion appropriate. I am getting spoiled by all these voice actors and highly impatient with those who just narrate. This book is amazing. Just get it and listen to it - you're welcome.
I'm undecided on Jennifer Armentrout. I would prefer that the main character here (Katie) had less of a potty mouth - but that said, the story is pretty good. I liked the type of aliens here. Daemon (pronounced Demon? Didn't care for that) was a rather infuriating character. This wasn't a story that went where you thought it would - so that's good.
Justine Eyre was a very bad choice as a narrator. She has a bit of a whine, her voice is entirely too low, and she can't do a West Virginia accent at all. She was a terrible match for this story. And that's sad, because it definitely colored my impression of the book. This one is better read in print.
I feel as if I have a love/hate relationship with this story. Not surprising, when you read all the reviews. People generally are on the "I love it!" side or the "This was a total waste of my time" side.
On the positive side, the story was pretty good. Some true lovers of the genre were disappointed that everything wasn't explained. For example, the war wasn't explained. Was it a civil war? Were our borders breached? I'm not sure it mattered in the long run. There was a war, it was terrible (as are all wars), it's over now, and the FBR is in control as we start the story. The Articles, as well as martial law, were made clear.
The pacing was good. There was a lot of action and suspense. It was predictable if you read this sort of thing all the time; there were no real surprises. There were some really creepy scenes, which added to the appeal of the book. It was nothing if not entertaining. This speaks to the writing, which was good. It wasn't overly flowery or poetic, which would have been inappropriate for this sort of plot. There was really nothing profound, either. And I didn't find it witty or funny or smart. These are things which would have made it better, but the book was still good without them. I think it just reflects that this author is young in her writing.
I had some serious problems with the characters. First off - great name, Ember Miller. Love that name! And for someone with such a great name, you'd think she'd have a functioning brain cell! There were so many times I found myself yelling at her idiocy that I almost gave up. It was hard to like a main character who wasn't just badass stubborn, but just flat stupid. She did impulsive things, didn't really learn anything from her mistakes, and most of all, didn't change until the very end. She never apologized for her behavior, blaming Chase for everything. And the thing that bugged me the most was the way she held this idealistic expectation of the world even when time after time it proved to be a bad place. I wanted to smack her and yell "Duh! What did you THINK was going to happen?" What may have been planned as naivete came across as willful, spiteful, childish behavior. She was anything but sympathetic.
I did like Chase. He was as likable as Ember was irritating. His PTSD was believable. He was honest. The only fault I think he had was his dogged determination to "just keep her safe." I think one of my favorite parts of the book was when [ they have the conversation on the road after getting away from the crazy lady in the trailer. He finally tells Ember that she's an idiot. (hide spoiler)] Emotionally, Chase did all the work. It might have been ok if she had at least appreciated it.
The angst and tension between the characters really got on my nerves. Just when I thought they'd finally be honest and get somewhere in terms of trusting each other, they would retreat or make asses of themselves. And here's the thing: I had to keep reminding myself that these two were 17 and 19 years old. Ember's maturity level should have risen far before it did based on her circumstances. If she was supposed to have street smarts from growing up poor and avoiding the soldiers, then she should have had more common sense than to think she could trust people.
In the end, Ember did redeem herself, so I suppose that also redeemed the story for me. It's ok to dislike a character in a story as long as the story is still good. I don't think Simmons wrote a bad story, or wrote a good story badly. She just wrote a really irritating character with no common sense. For me to have gotten as mad at her as I did tells me that Simmons did a good job. If I hadn't cared about Ember, then it would have been a badly written book.
Jenny Ikeda does a great job with the narration. And all things considered, it's a good read. I'm looking forward to the sequel, since Ember has (hopefully) finally gotten a clue. It's about time.
Sarah Drew. She's amazing. She makes the story come alive.
Delirium and Pandemonium, the first two books in the series. There is no comparison I have found for this series; even though there are other dystopian romances out there, none of them have had the emotional charge this one does. I just finished it; I am exhausted.
I loved Lena, but I also loved Alex. He was so complex. And I loved his voice.
Yep. All 10 hours. I couldn't stop listening.
Get ready to be wrecked by the end. This is a true emotional roller coaster.
I don't think I'd change anything; it is a relatively shallow, formulaic romance novel. It's like junk food for my brain - like chocolate, which isn't good for you in large quantities, but sometimes is just SO yummy . . .
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
I think probably the scene where Jacqueline comes to Lucas' house, and he's been asleep and is wearing glasses.
Let's not pretend this is great, deep literature. It is what it is. It has a slightly pointed message about date rape and self-defense. But mainly it's just your basic romance novel. It is not remarkable, but it is entertaining.
And Tara Sands is a wonderful narrator.
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