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Talvi

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • Let the Storm Break

  • By: Shannon Messenger
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl, Kristen Leigh
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable Characters

  • By Talvi on 04-26-15

Enjoyable Characters

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-26-15

I enjoyed the first book in this series and looked forward to this second book. Author Shannon Messenger does a great job of creating interesting and distinct characters that are a pleasure to read. Of course, the world building may not live up to close scrutiny and the villains are rather one-dimensional; but I can forgive the quirks because this can be quite a fun book to read. Note: I listened to the Audible version and the narrators were excellent.

Story: After the events in the first book, Audra has struck out on her own. What she finds in her journey will be disturbing - there is much more at stake than she realized and Raiden has much more power/viciousness than she could have imagined. Vane, meanwhile, is haunted by Raiden's winds every night, creating terrors that only his once-betrothed, Solana, can prevent. When Vane is forced to confront Audra's mother, and Raiden's machinations become even more deadly, the couple be set up for a fight to the death. For Raiden has upped his game - and it means turning Gales into monsters. The power of the four winds may no longer be enough.

There are some interesting developments this book but the story does falter a bit in the beginning. We have to deal with a lot of soul searching on Vane and Audra's part; Vane as he learns more about his heritage and Audra as she does her travels. At the end it picks up, though, with some interesting battles. But I did find myself bored and distracted for quite a bit in the beginning.

As always, the world building is fascinating and imaginative, making the story an easy read. But really, it is for the characters that I am hooked. I really like how different Vane and Audra are - her single minded determination and his quirky pluck and sarcasm. It makes them a great foil and they never fall out of character. Amusing side characters (like Gus) add to a fun mix.

The villain, Raiden, is rather a cliche mustache twirling evil guy. There are no conflicts or depth to him - just posturing and threats. And Audra's mother could probably be a bit more interesting, too, in her machinations. But hey, it's still a darn fun read and I look forward to the next (last?) in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Delirium

  • By: Lauren Oliver
  • Narrated by: Sarah Drew
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,788
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,303
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,324

"Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent narration

  • By Diana - Audible on 04-30-12

Excellent Audible Narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-22-14

Despite having nearly everything going for it, Delirium rarely engaged me as a reader. And yet, I am going to rate this a strong 4 stars because I can see why this series has appealed to so many. Author Oliver has a unique ability to write about common people, giving them personality and life. For once, a story about love isn't soppy or cheesy. And the reader really does want to root for the characters and see them together in the end.

Story: Lena lives in a part of America where emotions, specifically love, have been controlled through a surgical procedure. It was done to keep society peaceful and placid and stop the 'delirium' - the love 'disease'. But when she meets Alex, a boy supposedly 'cured', everything changes. Suddenly, Lena doesn't want to get the procedure done on her 18th birthday. But in this America, choice isn't an option and she will lose all she feels for Alex forever if she goes in on her birthday.

Delirium is a slow burn story with most of the action near the end. It's a girl-meets-boy story, a little Romeo and Juliet in a world that doesn't allow romance. But the angst of forbidden love isn't the story so much as Lena awakening from torpidity into emotion. Since the story is all first person POV, we see Lena's change unfold organically through her interactions with Alex.

Side characters aren't left bereft and given as much personality as our protagonists. From best friend Hana to Lena's adopted family (her mother committed suicide due to the love 'disease'), each person is distinct and doesn't fall into the cardboard character cliche. All the same, Alex was a bit too good for my taste, lacking in nuance and enough quirks to distinguish him beyond idealized love interest.

So why did Delirium fail to engage me personally? I think it has to do with having read the Shatter Me series first. Both series deal with angsty emotion but I preferred the more full on emotion of Shatter Me rather than the slow burn of Delirium. It seems a shame to even compare the two books; honestly, as much as I loved Shatter me, it definitely was not as well written as Delirium. The strength of Delirium is Oliver's writing and characters.

As with most YA dystopian, the premise is pretty bonkers and doesn't hold up to close scrutiny (I felt the same way about Oliver's Panic setting). But Delirium is all about the awakening of a normal girl and a sweet love story.

I listened to the Audible version of this story and the narrator was one of the best I've heard. She lives and breaths the story, not just reads it.

  • The Maze Runner

  • Maze Runner, Book 1
  • By: James Dashner
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12,945
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,462
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,530

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers - boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out - and no one's ever made it through alive. Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, though a little long

  • By Darrin on 11-28-11

Decent but not Great

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-16-14

The Maze runner is a decent dystopian - not bringing anything new to the genre but interesting enough to keep you reading and trying to solve the mystery of the maze. The book is written purposely teen juvenile - representing the "Lord of the Flies" type of situation in which the characters find themselves. But ultimately I was left a bit disaffected by the whole experience. The spark of cleverness I expected to find at the end just didn't materialize.

Story: Thomas wakes up on an elevator that deposits him in the Glade - a giant open area surrounded completely by a steel walled maze. He has no memory of his past, as do none of the other boys there, but instincts are pushing him to go out into the Maze and fight the bio mechanical monsters within. The next day, a a girl shows up clutching a note: she is the last. And no more supplies come after that. It becomes that much more imperative that the boys solve the Maze and escape before their food runs out.

What started out strongly, with great mystery and clues, never capitalized on that promise. From really idiotic choices by the author (such as naming an organization W.I.C.K.E.D. - really??) to the whole world and reasons for the boys being there making no particular sense at all. I typically have to shut off my logic half for a lot of YA books but this ended up ridiculous. To say the ending reveal was anticlimactic is an understatement.

At first, I thought we would be dealing with a YA version of the movie The Cube. But that didn't happen (in both a good and a bad way). Most of the characters in the Maze Runner were very one dimensional and with no surprises (unlike the robust cast of the Cube). And the traps in the maze ended up being one thing: the bio mechanical creatures. I think I would have enjoyed some really creative traps, all of a diverse nature, instead. It would have made more sense in perspective of the ending reveal. Or, in the very least, characters with all kinds of motivations and failings, as in the Cube.

In all, I couldn't help wishing there was more to The Maze Runner: more nuances, more depth, and a lot more thought gone into the reason for the Maze (or even the maze's mechanics themselves).

I listened to the audible version and the narrator did a decent, not great, job.

  • Independent Study

  • By: Joelle Charbonneau
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Morton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 584
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 528
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 529

Seventeen-year-old Cia Vale survived The Testing, as has Tomas, the boy she loves, and they have both gained admission to the University. She has a promising future as a leader of the United Commonwealth and no memory of her bloody testing experience, thanks to a government-sanctioned memory wipe. Cia should be happy but is plagued by doubts about the past and future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Woot woot!!! Book 2 was just as great!!'

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-03-17

Decent Follow Up

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-14

Independent Study is not a bad book per se; however, quirks that didn't bother me as much with the first book became problematic by the second. Yes, Cia is a bit too smart and figures everything out. But ultimately, that the characters talk like textbooks with very few colloquialisms made the story and characters feel very artificial to me. This was exacerbated by a narrator on Audible who also couldn't make the words sound natural and instead felt like she was reading off a card, with odd breaks in the overly wordy dialogue.

Story: Cia has passed the testing but now faces the challenges of induction. She's been chosen as a leader for government and her life is just as perilous and decisions just as critical as during the Testing. Lives will be lost, she will face betrayal, but she will also be given hope for the first time. Cia will have to learn quickly: for every mistake she makes, someone will die.

Unlike most dystopian books, the government isn't all evil nor populated with moustache twirling bad guys. Characters are good and bad and each have their own motivations for what they do. While this book did not peg my implausibility meter quite as frequently as other dystopians, there were still some questions about why the government is so stupid/allows Cia the chances she gets to learn more about them. The old "hiding behind an object just in time to overhear incriminating words from the bad guys' was more than a bit too much.

As noted before, the dialogue here became very stilted by book two. I didn't mind it as much in book one - I greatly appreciate a character who acts with maturity and thoughtfulness. But when every character seems to be the same way, it does lead to monotony. I began to wish for a character who would actually speak in sentences less long than an entire paragraph. It's the type of writing that sounds good in your head but when said outloud, you soon realize how stilted and unnatural it sounds. On the audible version, it really became problematic.

I will continue to read the series through to the last book. I've read some really poor YA dystopians lately and this is definitely not among them. But at the same time, I would have liked this better without the endless textbook dialogue or supernaturally gifted main character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Pledge

  • By: Kimberly Derting
  • Narrated by: Casey Holloway
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 293
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 268

In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place - looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she's been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3-1/2

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-16-12

Dystopian Meets Fairytale

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-14


The Pledge attempts to marry dystopian with fairytale and for the most part is successful. Similar in many aspects to Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles (which merges fairy tale with science fiction), we have the typical evil queen, her minions, love interest prince, and princess in disguise. But I found the writing in The Pledge to be a bit better and the main character a lot more grounded. As well, the book has a solid arc despite being first in a series.

Charlaina (Charlie) and her sister live in a dystopian American future where the society has a rigid caste system. Languages stratify the layers and a Queen with magical abilities holds power. But the Queen is dying and she needs a new sacrifice: a new body to take over. There are those who would overthrow the queen, including members of her own family, and Charlie will find herself thrown into the middle of the revolution. For she and her sister have special abilities that will make them very important to the Queen and the Rebellion.

The writing of The Pledge is surprisingly strong and there were very few points, if any, with logic holes or stupid characters. Charlie is a grounded but practical main character who doesn't rush into conclusions or actions. If anything, since we are given POVs of the Queen and Charlie's love interest Max, Charlie's hesitation to act was a bit frustrating. This is the type of book that would have unraveled much more smoothly and interestingly if the author had kept to one POV and so we could have discovered plot points along with Charlie only.

I am rating this as four stars but really it was a 3.5 for me. As with The Lunar Chronicles, I just don't enjoy the fairytale subtext and so didn't enjoy the book as much as others. I was hoping for more dystopian than fairy tale. That said, the blend was very well done and the author clearly thought out situations to create a solid story.

The story continues in book 2 but I find I'm not compelled enough to continue with the series. That lack of interest has more to do with my own personal interest in not wanting a fairytale than in the quality of the book or writing, which were good.

Note: I listened to the Audible version and the narrator did a decent, but not great, job. She was very flat and so the book felt flat as well.

  • Unravel Me

  • Shatter Me, Book 2
  • By: Tahereh Mafi
  • Narrated by: Kate Simses
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,044
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,045

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her - people with gifts - and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • When Superheros meet dystopian teen romance

  • By Sara Crosby on 03-15-13

Excellent Character Driven Series

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-16-14

This is one of those series that will likely divide readers into the love or hate category. By this second book, it is clear that the story will be very emotional driven rather than action-oriented. And in setting up the story to be character driven, we have a clear arc of strong character development as the events in the book change each person in unpredictable ways. Clearly, I love that that focus and rate this book highly. I rate 4 rather than 5 stars because I really wish the x-files type subplot had been jettisoned.

Juliet and Adam are acclimating to Omega Point and making new friends among the highly talented individuals. From healing to telekinesis, everyone has a unique gift in the hidden rebel base. But Warner, and his father, still have plans for Juliet and Warner's obsession with her means he will never stop trying to get her back. And what Juliet first thought was a haven - Adam being able to touch her without dying - now turns out to be a curse. For as much as she loves Adam, if she touches him for long periods of time her ability eventually overrides his and she runs the risk of killing him. Then Warner is captured and everything she believes about herself will change.

In this middle book we have Juliet growing beyond her own prison and learning to communicate. The strikethroughs and stuttering of the first book are lessened as she acclimates and learns more about herself and the world. I really like that we can see that transition and change - that there is an overall arc to the story beyond just rebellion and fighting. This series is clearly about Juliet and her growth, with the dystopian elements thrown in for flavor.

It goes without saying that Kenji is the star of the book - amusing, clever, witty, and with such a distinct personality. Mafi really has an amazing talent for capturing a character and making them very conflicted, 3-dimensional, and full of layering and depth. But at the same time, she kept her focus on the Adam/Warner conflict and never gives in to temptation to make Kenji a love interest (fortunately!).

I loved the first book and felt this one was even better. Yes, it will likely get you heated if you enjoy obsessive love affairs. I really appreciate Mafi exploring the themes of insta love, puppy love, and obsessive love (to oneself and between the male/female characters). It made for a riveting book for me.

Note: I listened to the the Audible version and the narrator did an excellent job - really captured the heart of the story.

  • Variant

  • By: Robison Wells
  • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 442
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 378
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 390

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life. He was wrong. Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive. Where breaking the rules equals death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape - his only real hope for survival - may be impossible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Goldstrom Nailed 'VARIANT' with A++ Narrating

  • By Tracy P. on 01-12-15

Decent, if Unoriginal

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-16-14

Variant is an easy, undemanding read featuring a slow burn mystery and a plot that, if not unique, flows. It is the first in a series and, although abruptly ends with a 'big reveal', has enough surprises to keep the reader following the story. A lack of sappy romance lifts the book but savvy readers will soon realize this twist has been done many times.

Plot: Benson has been shuffled between foster care parents, mostly cold and abusive individuals who just want an extra unpaid hand around the house/work. So when he finds and wins a scholarship at a prestigious boarding school, he jumps at the opportunity. But once he's inside, he finds a micro society run by the students and monitored from afar by the adults. There's no escape from school and he must find his way among gangs, violence, and rules that, if broken, mean you disappear forever.

Benson is a relatable character and the author does a good job of bringing many interesting personalities into the mix. I felt the plot had been thought through and definitely enjoyed the mystery and the tension as Benson has to quickly adapt to the prison in which he is thrown.

As with all of these type of teen books, I really have to suspend disbelief that the people running the prison are stupid enough to let events happen as they do. As well, the final mystery reveal was extremely disappointing - we've seen this plot before (specifically, a 1970s movie with the exact same twist, but with a community of adults). In fact, the ending was so unoriginal that it took all interest away from me wanting to continue the series further.

Note: I listened to the Audible version and the narrator did a decent job.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Let the Sky Fall

  • By: Shannon Messenger
  • Narrated by: Kristen Leigh, Nick Podehl
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 120

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category-five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who's swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever, fresh and fun.

  • By Crystal on 08-12-13

Greatly Enjoyed This Book

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-14-14

Let the Sky Fall is an interesting urban fantasy with a strong heroine, funny and engaging hero, and some interesting concepts. I was quite surprised with how much I enjoyed this story, one I thought would be a throwaway YA.

Audra is a sylph/wind walker/air elemental. Though she has corporal form, her kind shuns much of the human race. Vane lives in the desert - the Coachella valley in California. His parents died in a horrific tornado and he survived, though he doesn't know how. All he remembers of his past is the face of a girl - a face that has haunted him since he was 10. Audra's sold purpose is to protect Vane - she's a warrior who won't let the past repeat and this time lose Vane in the same way his parents and her father was lost. But there are those who want Vane and are searching for him - and Audra can hide and protect him for only so long.

What I really liked in the book is that Audra is a strong character and has a good purpose. And though Vane is a bit smart alecky in the beginning, we never had situations where the two were snipping at each other just because. Audra stays fully focused on the mission and it is Vane, who doesn't know the full story of his heritage, that often gets sidetracked.

The world building here is interesting - the sylphs are pretty much like humans - just with the ability to manipulate air. Messenger has done a great job of establishing the rules of the 'magic' that controls the air, as well as giving clear limits as well.

There are some great twists and though the middle gets a bit slow as the two train and learn more about the sylph heritage, I still found I couldn't put the book down.

The narration was excellent.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Forsaken

  • The Forsaken Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Lisa M. Stasse
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the US, and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet - having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help standing out when she fails a test that all 16-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to the wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable

  • By Talvi on 01-12-14

Enjoyable

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-12-14

Forsaken reminded me a lot of a dystopian Lord of the Flies. Keeping the Battle Royal theme of sending kids to a remote island and letting the strongest survive, the author avoids the typical mistake of having her heroine suddenly able to fight and kill - but doesn't turn her into a hapless maiden needing constant saving, either. So while there isn't necessarily anything new to the genre here (oppressive government, random death, a battle to survive after being outcast, sappy romance), at least we have something solid. I was greatly reminded of the second Hunger Games novel through several of the characters as well as the location.

Alenna is an orphan - her parents were taken and killed as rebels in a world run by a messianic leader who united North America after resources ran out in an overpopulated world. Children are tested at 16 to make sure they don't have latent violent tendencies - and Alenna is sure she will have no problem passing the test. Until she wakes up on a remote island where most only survive 1-2 years as groups battle each other for the limited resources.

The author skips a lot of the world building and concentrates mostly on the action. I had worried this would be as gory as Battle Royale but it was surprisingly light despite all the action. Alenna is a relatable figure - someone who has to learn how to survive by learning the rules of the island. An intriguing 'friend' comes into play who may or may not have ulterior motives (he's my favorite character by far) as well as other interesting co-inhabitants make for an interesting read. There will be a lot of interesting political and romantic machinations by the time this first book ends.

So although some of the later survival scenes did stretch credibility, I enjoyed Forsake and will be continuing the story. I listened to the Audible version and enjoyed the narration.

  • Compliance

  • The Dust Chronicles, Book 2
  • By: Maureen McGowan
  • Narrated by: Tara Sands
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

Haven Equals Safety. This slogan is emblazoned on the minds of every Haven employee. But for Glory, life inside Haven is anything but safe. Most of all, she must keep her special "Deviant" gift - the ability to kill with her eyes - a secret from those who would want to expunge her. Far from her family, Glory faces danger at every turn as she trains to be a Compliance Officer - to terminate her own kind - while she works undercover to rescue as many Deviants as she can.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dust Chronicles book 2

  • By Angie G on 05-18-18

Frustrating But With Heart

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-12-14

Deviants continues the Dust Chronicles by bringing Glory back into the Dome as a COT (Compliance Officer in Training). As with the first book, the story and pacing are uneven but a strong willed protagonist and a bit of heart at the center of the story help bring enough to make me continue reading the series.

Glory is back in the dome and pretending to be Cal's girlfriend while training to be a Compliance Officer. She's been asked to spy on her fellow trainees to look for deviants and rebels - but this also gives her a unique vantage on management and helps her to head off and save doomed deviants as well. But then a mission goes wrong, others begin to suspect her relationship with Cal, and Glory finds herself under the close scrutiny of a senior manager who wants to 'adopt' her. As well, rebels are bombing the city and individuals with very terrifying deviations are beginning to appear. It all begins to unravel for Glory very fast....

We're given a whole new set of characters as well as a few returning ones now that Glory is back in the City. There are some fun plot twists (one I didn't see coming) but as with the first book, foreshadowing is so incredibly obvious as to be frustrating and make one want to bonk head on table. I found myself yelling, "wake up! he/she is deviant you idiot!" in annoyance several times.

As well, the love triangle which wasn't too bad in the first book is very problematic here. "I love him....no wait, I love the other guy" dithering, as well as 'great misunderstanding' plot machinations to keep the couples apart were just a bit too much. I didn't find ANY of the relationships interesting.

And yet, as noted before, there really is a heart here and that gets me through the book's 'bugs' and willing to continue to the next book. I did like the action in both novels especially.