Houston, TX, United States | Member Since 2010
Let me start by saying I like Tufo's writing. I like the character and the world he'd created in the first novel. Mike is a great protagonist for a Zombie infested world because all of his bravado is tempered by being a family man who knows his wife's in charge. I love Tufo's pacing, and once you get into this book, like the first, it's hard to put down. That said, I have to take off some stars for a few things but I'm getting really picky here; First is the glaring pov changes. In the first book Tufo made them work, but if this is supposed to be the second journal of Mike Talbot there should have been more explanation as to why we are suddenly following two characters Mike never seems to hear the story of. Little things like that just come across as "lazy writing". This bring me to my second problem, in that references were made to Mike's "first journal" but indicates he lost it before the final chapters could have been finished - I usually expect a writer to start breaking their own continuity, but not in the second book. These two things just made me feel like this story was rushed to publication. Unlike the first book where things were shoehorned into place, this one just tried to cover it up with a lamp shade. I'm not a fan of Deus Ex Machina and while there were a few slipped into the main plot I almost feel a big one is put in place to end this novel. As for the story, this one tires to introduce something new and at the the risk of being a spoiler, it's in the prologue. Vampires are in Tufo's world, but they aren't vampires like you know them. It makes sense as this is a book about the UNdead but there is no big lead in or foreshadow. You open the book and here's a vampire. It just feels like Tufo dropping in a new plot element for the sake of dropping in a plot element.
All that said, this was still a good book and I'm going to read/listen to the next one. Again, i like the characters and Tufo's writing but I'm starting to feel more afraid for the fate of the plot than the characters.
I'm a fan of other Richelle Mead books but this one would make a for a "good" Kim Harrison novel and I'm not exactly a fan of Harrison's storytelling. So "bad" Richelle Mead is "good" Kim Harrison? This reads like an extended prologue and by the end of it Eugenie has so much raw power and personal influence that it makes you wonder why we even bothered being introduced to her shared home life and her "day job".
As I said, I'm already a fan. I just feel this series is already off on the wrong start. Normally Mead's characters (Kinkaid and Rose) are far more balanced. Eugenie is about the biggest Mary Sue I've seen. If not for Mead then for someone. Her power is unrivaled for the most part and this is the START of the story? It's like introducing Luke Skywalker with the power of Darth Vader and the Emperor combined then hinting that he has the potential to grow stronger.
Her performance is decent for the material. I wouldn't mind listening to her read better written works.
There actually WAS a plot twist, and it has the best personification of Persephone (the Iron Queen) I've seen in modern literature thus far. Too many people have painted her in a light that betrays the awesomeness that is the Queen of the Dead.
I'm still not sure what the point of this story was. It's almost like an entire series of books (akin to the Hallows series as a whole) was condensed and shoved into one book that leaves almost no room for real growth OR this was simply the published back story for the character Mead wanted to put in the books that follows this. Either way, the execution is off.
What Anne Rice did for Vampires, Diana Rowland does for Zombies. This book is fun and Rowland's attention and commitment to the character make this not only a great read but a good example of how to write first person fiction. Angel, being "white trash" (in her words) doesn't just walk into a room and describe things in elegant verbiage to keep the action moving, but instead fumbled for how to explain what formaldehyde smells like to someone who doesn't know what formaldehyde is. She even take the opportunity to expand on her character's detailed background. The character evolution, the story progression and this new form of Zombie mythos make for an excellent read.
As a whole, this book is outstanding. Character's are clearly defined and both their motives and actions seem to evolve organically though I don't seem to care for all of them as much as I think I should. The action is well paced and doesn't devolve into a boring "play by play". Frater has a strong grasp on her world and there is a very rich back story put in place. This feels it could be the setting for a whole new series of books taking place in the same world. Military. Action. Hard Sci-Fi. Zombies. Political Intrigue. It's all in there so there's something for every genre fan. Ironically this selling point is also it's biggest weakness because problems start to arise when a few of the "big reveal" moments seem cheap or forced. More foreshadow or just a hint earlier on would have probably set up those moments a little better, instead of feeling like seasoning added after the duck was already cooked. It's still a good book and a unique take on the Zombie mythos that has something for everyone, regardless of the type of story you usually get into and stands strong as a sum of it's various parts.
There are a lot of Zombie novels out there, so why this one? Because it's fun! Tufo manages to give us a protagonist who's facing a horde of Zombies while keeping his priorities straight like the fact that he arms his kids with guns for back up but has to promise his wife he won't get her "baby boys" killed. And then knowing hordes of Zombies are outside but his dog needs to go for a walk. This isn't a story about killing Zombies either - something else that seems to be the focus of most Zombie myth. If the Walking Dead has a Situationial Comedy on CBS it would be Zombie Fallout. The gore and tension is often mixed with humor and laugh out loud moments as Mike swears "I'm not ashamed to admit it, because that's what happened"... you get the idea.
I enjoyed the first book so much I was looking forward to this one, but Richelle sticks to cheap tricks to try and keep the story going like ending a chapter with someone coming home early. This book also seems to over use the Flashback technique from the previous book, and it started to feel a bit tired near the end or it seems to show up right in the middle of a scene to info dump back story just to justify Georgina's reaction or motivations.
The story almost doesn't seem like it's even using the same character. Georgina was smart and focused, able to handle a personal life, day job, demonic job, and single handedly solve a mystery all at the same time. This time, however, I found myself predicting everything that had been going on with both storylines long before the mid point of the book. It was as if the Smart and Multi-taking Georgina was replaced with a dumb blond who couldn't buy a clue without Government Assistance. In fact, she ends up asking everyone else in the story for help as if she didn't know how to look up anything on her own.
Another thing that kind of bothered me was how the flashbacks read as if they were still in modern times. I've honestly forgotten how old this immortal is supposed to be because the dialog across two different flashbacks reads just like the contemporary narrative. Especially when using slang like "trolling" in what should have probably been Medieval Greece but I'm not sure if it's not even earlier. Little things like that probably got glossed over in an effort to get this book out quickly. While the book may be "Succubus on Top" it's clear that Georgina is anything up on top... in fact, it's hard to imagine her falling much lower by the end of this story. Not sure why the choice was made to have her fail so epicly and often. Maybe if Richelle Mead had more time to write this one. I'm hoping the next book is better.
Elisabeth Rodgers is the perfect narrator for this book, able to quickly transition with the character changes. Consider the main character is a shapeshifter this can be more challenging than you might think. Also some of the most ridiculousness scenes are still read with such conviction that I truly took fault with the words over the speaker. I still want to believe in Richelle as an author based on two other books, so I'm going to give the 3rd a chance next.
I think, because we've gotten used to John at this point there isn't a need to explore the character and his motives anymore. We get to, however, explore more emotional context for this character's life. It's strange to imagine, after the first two books, but it was still impressive to see the "softer" side of John Cleaver. Probably good as a stand alone, but I'm sure it's much more effective if you'd read "I am not a Serial Killer" and "Mr. Monster" first.
No Spoilers but the end. I mean, it's a Horror novel, so obviously the final confrontation is going to stand out the most.
John's confrontation with the Handyman was brilliant. Not only is it a climatic moment as John closes in on his target, but themes that are so poetically addressed in that scene were so well set up prior that you know this is a huge arch for this character.
The title alone says it all "I don't WANT to Kill you..."
I think this really is the best book in the series. By the time I got to Part 2 I couldn't stop. Dan Wells really has become one of my favorite authors with this story.
There were so many things that were done right with this book. For starters the lead is strong but still feminine. Most female leads are physically powerful, but they lack an matching level of independence. If anything Mercy survives more on her wits and conviction than her powers and abilities.
The story had me thinking the entire time and never fell into the cliche trappings I thought it was going to take. Just when I think Briggs is about to pull out an old cliche she turns it just enough to make it original. The plot is involved and the way Briggs describes wolves is so primal that she makes the cool again. These aren't lost puppies or smoldering drifters who are trying to protect people from the best within - these are Wolves so you best step aside.
It's probably just me but Lorelei King is fantastic. I'm actually looking at other books based on just the fact that she's the narrator.
Werewolves without bark.
If your tired of cliche Paranormal Romances and Werewolf love interests who pine over women like stray dogs then this is your book. This book revives my trust in Urban Fantasy as a genre. Mercy Tompson is a well written character who doesn't rely on her author giving her limitless resources and contrived scenarios just to set up an high-epic ending.
I'm on the fence with this book. The characters are fun if not a little too Mary Sue/Gary Stu (really, a computer hacker/financier/car-jacker/marksman/thief who has a way with the ladies?) Most of the characters just seem to be an expert and whatever skill they need to force the scene to carry on but the contrived scenes are offset by good characters. The mythos is creative, but the prose is wordy. For every good thing about this book there is something that I feel and good editor should have asked to see cut.
First thing I would have asked is for the word "silverstone" be limited to at least once per chapter. Even better, just stop using it since everything seems to be made of the stuff from Gin's knives, to normal kitchen knives, to gardening tools, hand cuffs and car keys (I'm making up that last one). Worse is every time she mentions the knives, which can be several times in one chapter, we're reminded they are made of silverstone. Also, I'd avoid the overly contrived subtext that everyone Gin opposes in the book is either tortures people to death or sexually depraved. It's like Estep is trying to make Gin a anti-hero by proving she only kills people who truly deserve it.
This is actually the best part of book. Fortgang probably gives this book more life than I would have imagined if I reading this myself. Audible is probably the best way to go with this one in particular.
I do. Probably on the CW where the focus is a limited cast of good looking people with very little in the way of moral ambiguity.
I kind of feel like this is probably the authors first book- and by that I mean first book EVER. It reminds me of Larry Correia in that this book would be better if it had been polished, or had the author made some of these glaring mistakes in unwritten novels so that the writing could just be cleaner. That said I assume the following books are better, but it's going to be a long while before I'm willing to return to this series.
The entire production of this was amazing from start to finish. The different voice actors in the "cut scenes" made this feel even more alive.
Orson Scott Card creates a rich but easy to visualize world. Nothing is so technical I fail to understand it, yet everything is so developed I can easily see the future that was created. It's truly hard to stop listening because everything happens so quickly and there is also a reason to come back to this story.
Hmm... I actually like Valentine the most.
I don't think it made me laugh for cry but I did have an emotional connection to this character by the end. I felt I'd gone on this journey with Ender so I can't help but feel a part of his world.
I know it was written 20 years ago, and what amazes me is how nothing seemed "over done" and I couldn't say "I've seen this before." There are always tropes you find in every story be it the modest pretty girl or overly nice guy who turns out bad - things like this don't really show up in the story. It just amazed me that a book written so long ago was still managed to surprise me from time to time.
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