The lines between adult and YA become a bit blurred in the Casts' latest installment to the House of Night series. Things get quite steamy for a few of the characters early on, and I suppose it helps to fill the void that such an over extended series needs. This edition mostly consists of tying up loose ends and conclusions from previous books, and finally introducing some new threads to close this series out. Because of this I find the story difficult to summarize, but I'll try.
Neferet is up to her nefarious games again conning the counsel, and deceiving all of vampire kind. But her black tendrils of darkness have pissed off the wrong immortal. Kalona is not a happy camper. Zoey is as ever unevolving if not less mature than in previous books avoiding her responsibilities for as long as the Casts' can afford to keep her from going home, which is most of the book. Her and Stark are strengthening their bond as warrior and high priestess as well as boyfriend and girlfriend. Just for fun and as if there wasn't enough magic and folklore in the book the Casts' introduce a fey element into the mix. I'm sure a magical kitchen sink is soon to follow. Death brings Zoey around and devastates her click. By the end Stevie Rae and Rephaim will be outed, Neferet will be down but not for long, repercussions of Stark's resurrection will start to surface, and the lines between light and dark will be drawn. Choices will be made. And yes after seven books the ground work for the end is finally being laid.
Nine books in this series was stretching it. Twelve is becoming unfocused and scattered. Five or six well planned four to six hundred paged books would have been enough to do this story and it's characters justice. Now by the eighth book it seems to me that the original outline for the overall storyline and individual books has gotten wildly out of control. I think the plan went out the window and the story's being made up as it goes along. The great idea of the vampire tattoos, religion a sort of mixture of Wicca and Native American rituals and mythology is getting lost and convoluted by the addition of the nuns, and darkness, and the bulls, and the fey or old magic, the other world, Kalona. My head hurts with all the elements I have to keep up with in this series. I am disappointed that this great original series wants to become more like a teen Trueblood, with multiple story lines, a rich diverse world, but it's not working, it's too much and I wish Cast would simplify and focus everything. The amount of filler in the last few books is taking a once enjoyable series and turning it into a novelty. The writing seems to be getting worse. I think I would rather hear some one curse than have to hear them say bull poopie constantly. In print it's not so bad, but hearing it on the audio book is quite annoying. I don't think Mark Twain's idea of write how you would speak applies when your imagining what's the worst possible representation of how young people talk. I do understand what the Casts' are trying to do, they just don't do it very well. I don't think you should talk down to a younger audience, in fact I think you should take every opportunity to display good writing.
If your a fan of the characters other than Zoe and Stevie Rae, you will be as disappointed as I was, since their banter was minimal in this installment. We do hear a little about Zoey's long lost family and mom who hasn't really been featured in quite some time. I was not impressed with all the pop culture references and author shout outs. Instead of relating to the audience it seemed to dumb down the story. While I love Glee and agree with the hotness of a certain Trueblood Werewolve, it took away from the originality of HON. Like when tragedy strikes our close knit circle of friends, an unfortunate opportunity to connect with the reader is missed. I admit I cried when Dobby died in Deathly Hollows, and most likely when Sirius met his end as well, because they were written simply and worded beautifully. I found a death framed in the concept of a glee episode and certain Wicked song kind of corny and less than what the character deserved.
Overall I am a bit confused with this book. The authors seem as bored with Zoey's character as I am. She's not developing at all. There is a distinctive shift toward Stevie Rae and her possible role taking down Neferet and Darkness. Her green glow hints at the old magic introduced early in the book. Someone should write a lexicon to keep track of everything, all the different cultures and mythology are becoming too complicated. Though I applaud Stevie Rae's growth her storyline mirrors Zoey's almost exactly. With her having secrets, not trusting her friends to understand, while she's trying to save her friend (Rephaim) or lover (like Stark) from darkness, and a relationship with someone she's not suppose to be with and whom she imprints with. If you feel as I do, that the books end in a strange place Awakened is no different. Because none of the books have that classic story arch with a climax and conclusion you don't get that resolve. Since they aren't really separate stories within a larger plot, more like a long continuous narrative chopped up at a joint in the story.
If you like the other books, well then you'll love this one as well. It's more of (sadly) what we've come to expect from the HON. If your like me and are hoping it will get better, it's not. I would like to see things to the end, but I'm not sure I will feel the same in November. Awakened was as equally entertaining as it was annoying. Once you pick past all the filler and fluff the plot points were decent. Unfortunately you have to wade through all the bad poetry, and dialogue to get to it. The whole book revolved mostly around death. Ironic for a series that just won't end.
In a shakespearean twist of fate, poverty and privilege find common ground in Legend.
Two districts, each unlike in prosperity,
In the Republic, where jurisdiction is to demean,
From governmental grievance to societies mutiny,
Where civil blood makes military hands unclean.
From forth the mutual losses of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take control of their fate;
Whose misinformed sorrows and woes
Do with their lives bury their caste's disparate.
The fearful passage of their souls-mark'd free,
And the continuance of their rebellion's rage,
Which, but their sacrifices' end, nought could flee,
Is now the first tomes' traffic of our page;
The which if you with patient eyes attend,
What here shall miss, Lu's series shall strive to mend.
It's hard to make anything sound bad written in Shakespeare's footprint. But Marie Lu's debut novel is a wonderful blend of WOW inducing words that makes you want to live, fight, rebel, and know love in all it's forms.
Legend isn't the type of book you put down and think, well I didn't see that one coming. Lu employed a lot of basic and typical devices used in most popular YA fiction today. While there were pops of the unexpected here and there the real strength of Lu's Legend is in it's relationships. She's built a harsh world and isn't afraid to make some sacrifices. This book is as much about tragedy as it is triumph and maybe Lu could have delved deeper into the bonding and betrayal sequences drawn them out a little more. But nevertheless the emotional connection is there. Her characters are steadfast and interesting. Day and June really draw you in with their personalities. The most compelling aspect is the goodness in the characters and their motives. You can't help but want them to succeed, to win, to overcome.
I experienced Legend through the wonders of audible. Mariel Stern narrated June's chapters which started off a bit jarring at first. Stern had that Type A personality spot on, but the annoying overbearing quality of her performance soften as I became more acquainted with June. Steven Kaplan does a wonderful job narrating Day's chapters. Day has a more quiet personality, he's not as noticeably intense as June, and plays he's part perfectly. Their readings really brought the words to life and drew me in.
Any fan of Hunger Games and Divergent will love this world and it's characters. Legend is a well crafted emotionally stunning thriller. The book's biggest downside is having to wait for the sequel.
Eona the sequel and conclusion to Eon was a great idea that in the end underwhelmed. In Eon we met Eona the last Mirror Dragoneye, a crippled girl posing as boy. On the run after the fall of the emperor by he's brothers coup along with Lord Ido, she must find a way to restore the rightful monarchy and save the dragons.
Eona is like a reflection of the first book as she is wanted as a boy so she is hiding as a girl. Unfortunately regardless of gender Eona keeps getting in her own way. In Eon she was frustratingly slow or maybe it was just how apparent the storyline was, but she displays cleverness at the speed of molasses. It seems Eona learned nothing from the first book since her fears and lack of communication was the root of most of her problems. I was really disappointed at the lack fighting in these books it seemed like a good setting for a strong female warrior, but wasn't. I found all the supporting characters way more interesting and likable than the lead.
I love the idea of this series. The set up was great. The world, asian lore, and influences are refreshing in the stacks of vampires, witches, and shifters. But with all the time and effort put into creating the Eona world, the heroine got left behind. The storyline was interesting but really what good is the plot or an intricately written world if your main character is annoying and ruining everything. What a waste.
If you want to know what married life is like for Mercy and Adam, River Marked definitely has you covered. Patricia Briggs' latest effort kicks off with a shot gun wedding. We follow Adam and Mercy for a majority of their honeymoon, which was for the most part was uneventful. When the story does pick up, Mercy will take on a journey to discover her heritage and meet her father along the way. A reconnection to her past and ancestry will help her to battle an ancient evil.
While we get some great insights into the evolving relationship between Adam and Mercy, and I love seeing them work through their emerging problems, and how the alpha persona and wolf pack complicates things. Their relationship takes on a new richness, but the overall book seems disjointed. One part is this great in depth look at our love birds then there is the actual story. I felt like the story was tacked on, and not really developed fully. The book was a typical 336 pages but the real story line didn't seem to start until halfway into the book. The beginning started with Stefan and his human stable, and you would think that the storyline is going to follow along those lines then that resolves rather easily and we move on to family issues, nuptials, and the honeymoon. Sometime after we settle into marital bliss and after a few bread crumbs here there that hint at the bigger picture to develop, we actual get into plot. But it seemed very short. I think if Briggs had integrated the plot earlier in the story it would've blended into the usual standard we have come to have expected. Even the little bits introduced during the start of the honeymoon were too little and too far between. Though I loved the stuff with Jess and Mercy's family, and wedding I think the overall story should have been threaded within or in between the stuff with Stefan, and her wedding.
Overall River Marked has some great background on our favorite were-coyote couple. The actual story is good, just a little to short seeming, better integration from the start of the book would have the whole thing gel better and read like one book instead of two stories. The background on Mercy's father was great too. This is a must read for Mercy fans.
The fate of the world is at stake, and the deciding factor between good and evil rest upon the shoulders of a teenager. Sherrilyn Kenyon's foray into the popular YA genre hits it's stride with the sophomoric release of The Chronicles of Nick series, Invincible. This second effort is definitely better than the first. We pick up where the last book left off, right after Nick and his friends defeat the zombies, and the mortents. Oh, and then there's Kyrian's flashing some fang. But who and what his so called friends and allies are, are not the only obstacles Nick will be facing. The pressure is on for Nick to start mastering his powers, because there's a bounty on his head, and no shortage of demons trying to collect. His love life has gone from not to hot, trying to decide between the girl he's pined for in the past and the one who saw him when no one else did. Nick can't seem to catch a break with a new principal who's even worst than the last one. Gautier can't even put a W in the win column when the new football coach wants him back on the team, since he also has even more devious extra curricular activities to add to Nick's roster. In Nick's world everyone's a player and surrounding yourself with the right people is the key to being a pawn or a king, and by the end someone close to him will be on evil's payroll. His soul is constantly teetering in the balance, as we watch on pins and needles whether the choices he makes now will sway the future.
I found the writing as witty as some of the characters. Kenyon approached this book with a sense of humor and satire that I think really fits her leading man. She really captures an innocence, curiosity, and attitude with Nick that make you want him to succeed. At the same time Invincible was a lot of fun bringing back old characters like Bubba and Mark and adding some new dimensions to them, while introducing new and interesting characters like Grim, Pain, and Suffering. Even when we were in the build up stage at the beginning of the book Kenyon kept us occupied with interesting places and people like the Sanctuary. It's a great vibrant world set in an equally lively and tragic city, that mirrors Nick's character. There isn't a dull moment in the life of Nick and by the end we'll all be rooting for the underdog.
I opted for the audiobook for Invincible, which was excellent. The narrator Holter Graham was wonderful.Graham made the words come to life. He doesn't sound too old, and he captures Nick's personality. I highly recommend the audio version if you get the chance. If not, well you can't go wrong with a great world, wonderful characters, and interesting storylines. The ending will have you wondering what's next and how Nick's going to deal with the relentless revelations.
Tensions are running high for Faythe and her beaus in Rachel Vincent's sixth and final edition of her shifters series. And let me tell you all hell breaks loose in Alpha. Malone, again finds a way to weasel out of punishment for his crimes, and come out on top... of the council. Marc, and Jace's lives are in the balance, and Faythe is in jeopardy of loosing her claws. The South Central Pride is being backed into a corner and ready to erupt.
Like the title and cover art suggests we follow Faythe in her heart wrenching ascension to alpha. We're also along for her emotional dilemma as she chooses a mate. We are privy to her hard fought and failed attempts to be seen as more than a womb in the male dominated boys club that is the council. And Malone is not making it easy for her, challenging and taking away everything that her father worked for. War is a given, many will die, and the end will come to soon.
My biggest criticism is that even though the story resolved I feel like there is so much more to this world and these characters that can be explored. Faythe may have set into motion a great deal of change, but they have so much possibility for further books. She seems like the best point of view for the political policies that will arise with the first female alpha. It will be interesting to see if Vincent will continue with a spin off with Kaci.
Overall I liked this book it was very entertaining. There was action, surprises, and heartache. Alone it was wonderful, but as part of the series I wasn't satisfied. I found it more of an opening then the ending it was meant to be. It was bittersweet. Good yet unfinished.
There's nothing notable about John Smith being on the run. His life has been a nomadic blur of alternate names, new locations, and anonymity. What's new is the infamy. John is not just on the lam, he's now a notorious fugitive and he's not alone.
Picking up where Four left off, John and his friends are just trying to recuperate. But the world outside their seedy motel room is exploding with John mania. The media is being flooded with updates and revelations of John and Henri's seemingly criminal activities. Four's face is saturating the airways and internet. Too bad he didn't get that invisibility legacy.
She has been monitoring the news religiously. The events unfolding around a one John Smith is hard not to notice and has fueled her flame of curiosity all the way from the small Spanish town, where living the quiet life of devotion in her convent run orphanage has become the norm. It's been a long time since she felt the thrill of covert activities, moving from city to city, traveling from one european country to the next, and picking a new name to match her fleeing fancy. The last one she chose was Marina. She is number Seven.
John, Sam, and Six are trying to lay low and continue their training while deciding what their next move is, but that's kind of hard when you're driving a stolen truck with borrowed plates, every law enforcement agency is looking for you and only the blind have no idea what you look like. Of course traveling to the most unlikely and dangerous places possible doesn't help, neither are the close encounters with the Mogadorians who are tracking them a little too easily.
Marina is miserable. But the news on John Smith gives her hope. The chaos involving Smith causes Marina to believe he's Lorien like her and could be a sign of the Garde's emergence out of hiding. Unfortunately regardless of her developing legacies her education and training have been neglected. Marina's cepan Adelina has lost the will to do her duty, instead devoting her self to the church and dismissing any talk of Lorien. Marina knows that the safety of the Spain is on the brink and if Adelina won't see that then she'll leave on her own. But Adelina has hidden her chest and Marina can't leave it behind.
Skipping town is about to get harder. A mysterious man has been watching Marina, she's been a little careless and is starting to draw attention to her abilities. Marina's location is about to be compromised.
John is trying to deal. With the loss of his cepan Henri, having to leave behind his girlfriend Sarah, and his increasingly confusing feelings for Six, life is difficult enough without the bloodthirsty aliens constantly trying to kill him. But John and company are starting to learn the coincidences that brought them together may not be so random. Henri moved John to Ohio for a reason and Sam's missing father is a huge part of it. To discover what's going on they'll journey back home where everything began. As they get there it's looking less and less like Paradise.
Turmoil is on the horizon in Spain and Six feels the need for help emanating from the region. The glyphs of One, Two, and Three have been burned into a mountainside there as a beacon to Garde and Mogs alike, but John see it as an opportunity to sneak into the Mogadorians headquarters.
Can Four and Six divide and conquer?
Pittacus Lore's chronicles of the Lorien Legacies is extremely entertaining. Very addictive. The Power of Six is what I would call a bridge book. It's more about building the characters, strengthening the world, and establishing the threads for the larger storyline. Normally these in-between books, without a prominent individual plot of it's own, aren't usually as good as the rest in a series. But The Power of Six is the exception. There were a lot of mini threads cycling throughout the book keeping the story from becoming stagnant. The multi POVs also helped to thoroughly introduce us to Seven while maintaining our connection to John, Sam, and Six. The ever complicating relationships are balanced well with backstories, and lots of action. We meet some other interesting personalities like Nine, who stole the show since his first scene. I have the audiobook narrated by Neil Kaplan and Marisol Ramiez. They did a great job performing the voices, and I love that they have Ramiez doing Marina's POVs.
The Power of Six is just as engrossing as Four. Absolutely enthralling. I can't wait to meet five and eight! Some will live. Some die. Others will be lost. The war has just begun. Saving the world by numbers is my new obsession.
It's a simple thing to be forgotten, erased from all memory, but can remembrance be something more than mindful, can it be soul deep.
Georgina's life is finally coming together. Sure Satan's little helper has been moonlighting for Santa, but her latest career choices are overshadowed by romantic bliss. Georgie and Seth are having another go of it and overcoming the challenges of her succubus state. But all that is about to change with an all too sudden transfer looming. Though it might not be so bad, with the new scenery comes just about everything Georgina has every wanted. Is it a blessing in disguise or too good to be true.
Richelle Mead's sixth installment of the Georgina Kincaid series was wonderfully romantic. Georgie and Seth's relationship have always been equally blissful and turbulent but Mead uses the highs and lows to punctuate how much in love they are, after all bonds are built on the kinks as much as the links. The storyline is simple yet effective, relying on Mead's expert ability to build complexity through different situations and a well thought out conclusion executed in an interesting and unexpected way. Succubus Revealed also added to the already interesting crowd with some old and new characters in Las Vagas and Seth's mom and younger annoyingly endearing brother.
I started this series about a year ago with the audiobooks and I just couldn't end it in any other way. Elisabeth Rodgers is one of my favorite narrators breathing life into the words that form some of my favorite characters. This is really an excellent audio series.
Filled with humor and romance I am really sad to see this one end, but maybe Georgina Kincaid will spawn a series based on these beloved characters like VA. With all the possibilities left open, one can only hope.
What an aptly named disappointment. If you're looking for a continuation of all the wonderful things happening in the first two installments of this series, than be prepared to get nowhere fast.
Normally I write a brief summary of the book and then an evaluation but I am truly at a loss for a real concrete storyline. Yeah Aden got somewhere with the souls in his head but Showalter spent a majority of the book on Aden's new alter ego and complete character reversals for our two main couples. Everyone changed so drastically so fast that I found myself wondering who are these people and where did the wonderful characters I loved so much go?
When I first picked up Intertwined I was blown away, I mean vampires, werewolves, witches, necromancy, a couple of interesting wildcard paranormals and two love stories, this book has everything I love about the genre. I invested in this intriguing story and got involved with these characters. I looked forward to the continuation of these books every long year. And now I feel like the author just trashed everything I invested in.
I think Gena Showalter is the truly twisted one here. To wait a year for a book that makes me think even the author wasn't happy with the direction so she went completely insane with the characters, extra light on the storyline, and destroyed everything just so she could have a do over.
This book is about 98% filler. I get the idea of Twisted, but with a weak storyline and without the anchor of the characters and romances the fans have grown to like it became muddled and confusing at times. Showalter let go of everything all at once so it was hard to hold on to the bits and pieces I came back for. Just when I find a familiar character or relationship, it's pulled out from under me and I'm left flailing for some point of interest. Twisted was executed poorly and was an unnervingly drastic change from the previous books. I wish the author would have just kept the important parts, left out the weird character developments, and moved on with the story.
As for the audiobook version I was really confused because the main lead character is a guy but the narrator for some reason is a girl. She didn't have any range either. I think this is one series that would benefit from a duo male/female narrating combo.
The most dynamic thing about this book is the cover. The Furies are more like modern day mythological mean girls who have nothing better to do than to dole out retributions of a hundred fold felony from a misdemeanor crime.
Em has an eye for her best friend's boyfriend, Chase is all about image and pride. They both will pay the price for their petty mistakes in the furies twisted view of fair. I found most of the characters unlikable shallow superficial teenagers, who even as the story progressed and they grew had no real chance of redemption. The plot was based on typical contemporary teenage behavior of boyfriend stealing, cyber bulling, and upper clickisms. Though current issues, they are also a bit cliched and not very inventive. The juvenile intent and inexperience in consequences add to the naive nature of the crimes committed by the chosen ones but the level of maturity of the characters makes the harness of their punishments unbelievable. This concept would have worked better in a different genre or age group.
Fury is a bad dark teen drama with some crones thrown in to make it different. It needed a stronger concept and a little camp thrown in to lighten up the way too serious feel of the book. I found it a dismal depressing drag.
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