I really enjoyed this whole series, however, this book was a little slower and some parts dragged on a bit too long. I really thought the romance that began in the last book took so long to get established that the heat of it kind of fizzled by the time they could finally be together. All in all, though, it was still really good and kept me entertained the whole time. I did not like the 2 narrators for the last book, though. I felt like the parts from Hector's perspective were a little boring and his voice didn't really fit the part. It seemed unnecessary to add Hector's point of view for this book. I liked it better just from Elisa's point of view.
This series began in book 1 with such mystery, beauty and promise but steadily declined from there. Book 3 was so, so unnecessarily long and wordy! It was trying (WAY TOO HARD) to be very poetic but it just made the whole story very disjointed and hard to keep track of.
I think introducing the new characters and background story lines in the final book was a mistake in this case. The new backstories really needed SO much more development and detail but instead it was just thrown in bit by confusing little bit. And what detail was given, was done so in such a poetic way that it really did nothing to help you understand the story. For as long as the book was, all of the unnecessary stuff should have been removed, and detail and attention given to developing the new characters and backstory in a straightforward manner. It was like she was trying to create mystery up until the very last second but instead created confusion and the build up just fizzled when revealed because it never quite meshed with the rest of the story.
The characters were also very disjointed and felt thrown into the story at random. Sometimes you wouldn't even hear about a particular character for many many chapters. Long enough in between to forget what was even going on with them. Also, many important things that were built up all throughout the book (i.e. Zuzana and Mik finally getting engaged) were just completely glossed over and only given one or two sentences after they occurred. Big letdown!
The ending of the book was so jumbled and all over the place. It really didn't make a whole lot of sense. I still don't even understand all the backstory that led to the ending. And a lot of things were just left open-ended, which sometimes works, but in this case it feels like certain characters were just forgotten about.
While I thought the narrator did a great job with the voices, she sounded a bit subdued throughout this book, even in very intense scenes which should have warranted much more enthusiasm. She read the entire book as if it were one long (too long) poem. She also mispronounced so many words that I thought it was really silly that the editor didn't catch any of them. Oh, and when you change the way you pronounce names and places from one book to the next in a series, it's distracting. I feel like this has happened quite often with audio books and I wonder why the narrator doesn't find out how to pronounce the names and places of characters from the author before recording. Especially in fantasy books where the names are sometimes difficult.
Anyway, I would love to read book 1 again but I won't be wasting my time with books 2 or 3.
I rated the first book 5 stars all around but I took away one star all around for book 2 for the following reasons:
Book 1 was so intriguing, fascinating, exciting, and mysterious. It made me want to be Karou... what a fascinating and mysterious life she had! But then at the end you find out she's not actually Karou, but Madrigal, and that is when the fun mystery that has been so built up all comes crashing down- never to be picked back up again.
In book 2, I was mourning the loss of the exciting, young life of Karou as the whole tone of the story shifted and became dark, anguished, heavy and dry. The whole feel of book 1 that captivated me was gone and I missed it and it was never coming back. In addition to that, the mysterious characters- such as Brimstone, who I so longed to discover more of- were all dead!
The beautiful imagery that painted book 1 so lovely and made you want to be there was missing from this book. Left mostly to my own imagination, Eretz was vast and empty, without much detail by the way of landscape.
The story was really heavy and angsty, which got on my nerves. In my review of book 1, I had said I was relieved it wasn't full of angst, but book 2 more than made up for that with plenty of angst. However, once I accepted that this was now a new and different story with a totally different feel, I was able to enjoy the book for what it was, especially for the way it ended.
Finally, the reason I removed a star for the narrator is because she read this book in a strangely continuous manner. What I mean by that is the story frequently changes locations or perspectives from Madrigal to Karou to other characters, but the narrator transitions from one scene to another completely seamlessly, without even a pause, so if you aren't paying close attention, you may lose track of where you are.
Like I said, I was still able to enjoy and appreciate this book, but be prepared for a dramatic change to everything you loved about book 1.
This book is exciting, lovely, tragic, mysterious, sad, beautiful, and more. The writing is so rich and beautiful that I could picture it all perfectly in my imagination as if I were actually there... and I wanted to be! Before discovering her past, Karou had such a unique and intriguing life that it made me want to be a part of it. The way the mysteries unfolded was so interesting and kept me wanting more. And the narrator was perfect with both male and female voices. Karou and Brimstone sounded just how I would have imagined them. I can't wait to start the next book! Oh, and I have to disagree with another reviewer about the teenage angst. I did not feel that it was angst-y. In fact, I was so relieved to find that there wasn't much angst at all, just enough to make it interesting.
As with all of the books in this series so far, I found the story to be good and entertaining, but Celaena's pride and anger are really grating! Maybe if I read the books, rather than listened to them with the narrators own interpretations and inflections, I might not find Celaena to be so hostile and prideful nearly every waking moment. Another thing I find silly is that she is supposed to be THE assassin, but yet she is so trusting of the wrong people and is so easily duped, and all the while she is not trusting the people that she should be. But those gripes aside, they are all good short stories and give you some insight into her life before becoming the King's Champion.
For at least the first 4 chapters or so, you are doing nothing but living inside Wren's thoughts and all she does is speculate and ask annoying questions over and over and over and over. Then, once the book does get going, it is still pretty boring and oftentimes predictable or silly. I just thought the whole thing to be rather blah. Book one was pretty good, the second was decent and the third fell flat.
This book was a wild, bumpy, tense, romantic, angst-y ride. I took one star away because I really get annoyed when all the characters are so full of pride that they can't be real with each other. It was in book 1 as well, but the tension and romance made it worth it. But now, with Death and Evie (and everyone else for that matter), the pride thing is getting old. It seems like writers are just lacking imagination when they create characters that thrive on their stubborn pride. I think there are ways you can still create tension without doing that or with keeping it to a minimum.
In this book I liked the way the story unfolded with the other Arcana characters and how you learn more about their past lives. I can't wait for book 3 and can't believe I have to wait so long for it! Ahh!
I agree with another reviewer who said it was hollow. The set up was great, the characters were great, but it lacked so much depth. I wish it would have developed the characters a lot more. To me it just seemed to abruptly move from scene to scene without much explanation and a lot of the time I was very confused as to what in the world was going on. Maybe I just wasn't able to pay full attention though because the narrator really seemed like she was reading the book to put me to sleep! She has such a soft, lovely voice that it would be perfect to lull anyone to sleep, but to tell a story, it wasn't good. There was hardly any emotion or inflection in her voice and it almost seemed like she read the whole book in a half whisper.
I really love Longmire books! They are all so entertaining and witty and funny! This one made me laugh out loud several times with the clever humor that is subtly tucked into the story. The relationship between Walt, with all his charm and wit, and all the other characters in this story are great and play out perfectly. There is one scene with Vic in this book that I didn't see coming and I'm not sure I liked it. I'm curious to see how it plays out in the following books. Narration was spot on, as always! Great series!
Ok, when I first got this book on a recommendation, I was worried it would be cheesy so it took me a while to actually listen to it. Once I did start it, I couldn't stop! I was so captivated after "the flash" that I would listen for hours at a time, just waiting to see what would happen next. The tension and heat between Jack and Evie was hot! Wow! Nicely done. Narration was great too!
This was a great follow up to book 1 but one thing has been SO annoying about the characters... their stupid pride! They put on these tough guy acts, while inside they are hurting or loving or whatever, but nobody is ever honest about who they are or how they feel. I know that makes for a good story sometimes but to have all the characters acting that way all the time makes me want to constantly slap them. Let your guards down already, geez!
Anyway, now that I have that out of the way, I can say that I did actually enjoy this book a lot. I liked the new magical elements that are being opened up and I like where the story is headed. Looking forward to book 3!
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