OMG - I was not expecting this. It was just ... sooooooooooo ... good! There was nothing about this book I didn't enjoy. Twisted Arthur, the Arcana, the death card, and the final showdown. Then, of course, there's Jackson. I want a bit of 'ol Jack. I want him to speak Cajun French to me!!!!
This was a great start to what should be a SPECTACULAR series. I hope it's a long one. It was expertly paced and painted such a great picture of a post-apoloclypic world. I'm dying for more of the Arcana!
Emma Galvin is a fantastic narrator. She doesn't just read, she's completely "in it." She makes me feel like she's really there, feeling and seeing everything. I loved her from the Divergent series and she does another fantastical, spectacular job. She's one of my favorites, no doubt.
I really enjoyed Keith Nobbs too. My first experience with him, definitely not the last! Hope I can find some solo narration jobs of his.
Storm contained a lot of what, I felt, SYLO lacked; that the would be fast-paced with lots of action. In retrospect, I realize that wasn't what was needed. There was a need for the slow build. Otherwise, you wouldn't really understand what Tucker lost -- his home, his friends, his identity, his world. I guess, as of fan of his other (and dare I say most excellent ) series, Pendragon, I was expecting action from the get-go. Which is what Storm delivered. So, I humbly take back a lot of the criticisms I gave SYLO and especially Tucker.
In SYLO, felt that Tucker had a reliable narrator, yes, but not a strong enough character to carry the story and step into the leadership role with his friends. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I forgot he was 1) only fourteen and 2) extremely traumatized. Sees a literal UFO in the sky, idyllic island home invaded by the military and turned into an internment camp, his best friend is killed, his parents turn against him, he's left with "friends" he doesn't really know, surrounded by a bunch of people he can't trust and two branches of the United State Military are duking it out against each other. That's a lot of plot, so sorry McHale, I was wrong.
In Storm, you see this gradual shift of Tucker going from puberty into adulthood. Doesn't matter anymore that he's 14 years of age; he's faced too much to be in his youth. In the beginning of the book, some of the things he does are still childish, but by the end of the book his actions are calculated and purposeful.
When it comes to his companions, I love how each of them doesn't necessarily do anything blatantly suspicious, but all of them could be a Retro infiltrator. I have to admit, I was suspicious of Olivia from the start. She just kept popping up at the right time and her personally shifted. Was she in the end, the bravest of them all as Tucker said or was she playing them from the start? Kent is just an idiotic, egotistical jerk -- or, is he a good actor? He was with Olivia from the beginning and his parents supply of the Ruby was. Even Tori's actions are questionable. With all her anger fueling her, were those little peaks of vulnerability. These characters are well crafted and keep me guessing.
I'm not going to dive deep into the plot, but at the end of this book which leads up to the trilogy's conclusion, I''m asking all the right questions. Who are the Retros and what is there agenda? What is SYLO really? What did Fithe mean he was like them? Those are questions I am really going to enjoy getting answers to.
FINAL THOUGHTS:: As the last words were spoken, a huge grin exploded on my face. Pretty much says it all.
RECOMMENDED FOR:: For those who love science fiction/adventure read.
I must begin on the negative and address my major two criticisms of the book because, I came down hard from my first chapter high. First, it was a bit of overkill on the aspects of the island. The theme of this book’s Forward, McHales's love of travel, seeped into the story a little too much form. The idilicism of the island was explored more than the plot was, which annoyed me because the central plot was really interesting.
Secondly, it's Tucker. He just doesn't seem like a strong enough lead. I didn't mind him being an antihero in the beginning, but as the story goes on he's so disillusioned with life. For a fourteen year old, it's pretty sad. Also, a coward in a distracting way. I'm assuming he's going to do some kind of 180, but I don't know. When the big decision the trio had to make a about whether or not to leave the island, he didn't want to go. Tucker's reasoning -- a defiant stance about not wanting to leave life on the island despite his world going to hell and his need to put 100% faith in his parents though he just learned they're working with the enemy -- was just odd. I guess it goes back to Quinn's criticism of him not wanting to take risks, though he did run race toward armed Sylo soldiers when they chased down the two guys they murdered. I don't know, I guess he was just a little inconsistent for me. However, I do have to say agree with Tucker's philosophy about working hard. Hard work in school and a degree doesn't really equal anything anymore.
Everything that I just said, this relates to the first half of the book. Which was a slow burn to the action. Because the second half explodes like a powder keg. The plot goes from having sinister undertones to all out warfare. I have to admit, while it was an abrupt shift it was a needed one. As soon as Tucker is face with major conflict and has no choice but to step up too the plate after loosing Quinn and his parents support, he does. He was faced with adversity and fought through it. I can appreciate it. Brave Tuck showed up, and things really got good. Classic MacHale action!
FIRST IMPRESSION:: Chapter One was cute. Nice introduction back into the world of Gin and Finn. I love their banter, and Finn in general. He takes being self-conceit to a whole new level, but still remains loveable and charming.
THE STORY:: This story, for me, fell flat because of how linear it was. Very "straight forward and to the point" plot-wise. I was a bit bored the whole time thinking 'this that's it. Really?' The entire book is one event long: Gin attends event, said event is robbed, chaos ensues. Throw in a somewhat resolution to the "will they, won't they" question about Gin and Owen's relationship and a flashback montage into how Gin came to be the spider and ... The End. Yes, that sentence was as abrupt as my reaction was to getting to the end of this book.
The only thing I can hope is that maybe this is the true end of the original story arc. With Mab Monroe's death and Owen and Gin's relationship on the rocks, for the last few books there was a lot of loose ends dangling about. But when I came to the end of this one, I felt some things had been wrapped up.
FINAL THOUGHTS:: This series has made a distinct impression on me. I'm not the type to scream in outrage, but the men in Gin's life often let her down in horrible ways. Especially Donovan Caine. Uggggh. Just thinking about him makes me shiver in disgust. His feelings toward Gin were so spectacularly judgmental and cruel. He made her out to be this twisted, evil temptress who lured him into a trap and played her up to be this horrible creature who had him in her snares He just couldn't help being attracted even though he despised her. Never had I wanted to jump through the pages and wring someones neck so much-- he was a colossal jackass through and through.
All that said, I was dumbstruck when it appeared as if Owen was heading in the same direction over his feeling toward Gin because of Selena's death. Especially since he seemed so far from the colossal jerk Donovan Caine. But, he's just heartbroken and traumatized. i get that and I can live with it.
Without revealing too much, the "new guilt" that Gin gains in this book got really repetitive. I didn't really get where she was coming from either.
RECOMMENDED FOR:: Urban Fantasy lovers who like heroes they can root for and appreciate their fantasy grounded in some good foundation when it comes to realism. Part of what makes this series so great is that there's just as much action and magic as there is character development and story. Estep has created this interesting world and continually gives us little nibbles of detail with each book. It's a great balance, getting learn more about Gin's past and her present concurrently.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE AUDIOBOOK:: I love Lauren's narration of these characters and this story. Eight books in, she of course has a good handle on them, but I appreciate it nonetheless. I'm like a kid, loving when narrators do distinct voices for central characters and I think Finn's is especially spot on. Another great interpretation; I'm definitely audiobook loyal to this series.
I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to see Molly explore a different type of supernatural. One my favorites actually; I love witches and in this dystopian era of storytelling, you don't really see too much of them.
I really liked Nola. She's definitely one of my favorite Harper heroines. This was definitely one of the best books Harper has written. The mystery was laid out in a great way. Lots of little twists and turns. I really enjoyed that. Most of all, I really like that Harper never left Half Moon Hallow. It's definitely a place I would enjoy living, if only I could. I do like how new characters come along and tell new stories, and you get to experience the whole gang all over again. It's really cool to see everyone - Jane, Andrea and Dick Cheney - from somebody else's eyes.
It was enjoyable all around. Two thumbs way up. Fine holiday fun!
So far, in my limited experience of fairy tale retellings, Meyer has been top notch. She's done more with the story than just make it something slightly new. She's created this crazy advance fairytale world with cyborgs, advanced technologies and data chip, and an insane Lunar race that can read your mind and infiltrate your thoughts. It makes for a wonderfully spectacular reading experience.
Now, getting into the story, this one of course is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Definitely not one of my favorite fairytales. However, the wave that Meyer has told the story has made it definitely made me rethink my opinion. Scarlet and Wolf definitely had one crazy adventure to "Grandma's House". I really liked Wolf. He was all sexy but tortured and damaged, and these days, that seems to be how I like my book boyfriends, lol. I liked the twist on who he was and how he fit into the story. But I did have issues with Scarlet. She was just too much - too strong, too determined, too hard-headed and too annoying.
I definitely will be continuing the series and I think it might be just one of my favorites. Nice job, Meyer.
Rebecca Soler is a great narrator. As soon as I find an interesting premise, I'd be happy for her to take me on another ride.
Is there a review for such a tale? You just dive in and the whole world is there for you to learn about. All of the story threads were fantastic and it fit together so well. It read like a fairytale, but had the elements of an adult story that made it all the more enjoyable after a beat. i have to admit, I didn't know it was intended as a "fairytale for adults", so the first sex scene caught me a bit off guard. But, I didn't mind it as the story got on. I did enjoy the prose in which he wrote. It gave the story it's magic, drawing you in.
The only issue i had - and it kind of was a big one - was the major love story. For me it just never really developed enough for it to be believable for me. But, I liked it in the end.
Neil Gaiman doing the narration definitely made this audiobook stellar. So good.
Overall, it was a somwhat interesting read. I was mostly engaged and interested in how it was going to end. That said, once I got to the end, I was kind of like, :hmmm". I don't think that it wasn't a good book, just not really my cup of tea.
I did, to a point, like both Peter and Tiger Lily. I think they were both interesting characters.
I didn't like the book in the beginning. When i started the book, I wasn't sure how I feel about this story. I, for one, don't really get Abby's appeal. Especially when it comes to Travis. I mean, I understand that he obviously was attracted to her from the start. But I wasn't sure what kept him coming back. And being so willing to help her in the beginning of the story. She was like on a crazy mood swing teeder-toddler. But then, same goes for Travis. His desperation for Abby to like him and not leave is odd. I guess I want to know what the deal is faster.
I didn't really get into the story until about halfway through. Then, i started to really like Travis as a character. He had a very extreme personality and there was something very Pan-like about him. Yes, I mean Peter Pan. He was fierce and he was strong but very, very vulnerable too. I really felt for him because Abby really put him through the ringer. She even had my head spinning through the whole story and it was told from her perspective. However - his behavior was a bit too extreme at times. And damn - what a temper he had.
I will be reading the next book though. I can't wait to read Walking Disaster and here what Travis has to say... the man behind the myth. Excited.
On another note, Emma Galvin was perfect, as always. She's one of my favorite narrators.
Nalini Singh is a master at bringing two people together in the most darkly, beautiful ways. With this book, the story is so far removed from the entire world. So isolated. You don't see, or hear, much of anyone else. It's just him and her while the whole world is falling down around them. The setting beautifully emulates their feelings toward each other. The simplicity made the perfect setting. It's so beautiful; I never felt like anything more was needed. I won't spoil anything for anyone. If you're even a teensy bit of a Psy/Changeling fan - this is a must read.
I just love this book so much. It's a masterpiece. The darkest love story I have come across and it's just perfect. Truly amazing!
Harkness is a master storytelling; the world was rich and full of color. What you could also appreciate was how everything that the character's loved was shown, not told. I learned about wine as Matthew explained it and fell in love with the beauty of alchemical manuscripts as Diana read them. Brilliantly done.
I just wish this much care was put into the actual plot... For it to be as long as it was... not much happened. I've heard someone say that this was the adult Twilight. I agree - and that's not a good thing. Not at all...
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