Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I am not surprised about this book at all. I had a feeling that I wouldn't like it, and I didn't.
Truthfully, I'm sorry about my opinion, but it's just what it is, and I can't change it.
Here's why I give it only 1 star:
-none of the characters had any depth. At all. Important or not they felt so distant, so hollow and so unimportant, that I was wondering why I was made to read a book (332 pages besides!!!) full of nothing important.
-the story evoked absolutely no feeling in me. None at all. Well, unless I count the annoyance and ridicule I felt throughout the whole novel...
-there was nothing interesting about the events that were supposed to happen. There was no action. Just many separate characters wondering how they'd gotten from one place to another.
-there was so much idle talk, I was furious because I had to waste all that time on reading this (crappy) book.
I would like to sincerely apologize to the author, who obviously spent lots of hours sweating over this work of fiction. It just didn't do it for me.
My rating is
Monday, March 26, 2012
The final book from the Moonstone bundle. It was better than Moon Spun, because it actually made some sense. But still, it could've been improved.
I didn't really like the constant repeating what had happened in the previous installments every time a character's name was mentioned. Sometimes that was done every time a character was mentioned, and it really got me rolling my eyes.
But there was lots of Junior, new mysteries, and finally there was some moving forward. We weren't stuck in faery land anymore, but we were exploring Allie's world along with her. I liked the motion and the new things that got revealed along the way.
I kind of got freaked out at the appearance of that Jessy dude (or however his name was spelled), and he honestly annoyed me. But it was a nice reality check - that one shouldn't believe in everything one hears and sees.
And the new girl, Sammie, appeared in just the right moment. I was sure who she was almost from the beginning, and was glad to see that I was right.
I enjoyed the book, it was a quick light read that had me occupied for a little while. I recommend it to the 14-17 year old girl audience. I think they'd love Allie's voice and her strong willed character.
My rating for this one is
I can't express how much I loved this book. Thank you Netgalley for giving me the exclusive opportunity to review it!!
From the very beginning, the story grabbed me. I loved the descriptions, the inner dialogue. And I absolutely loved Ismae. She was a scared, scarred girl, who had known nothing but hatred in her 14 years. She had thought herself damned, and had almost completely lost hope that life would change for the better for her.
Until that night when she was whisked away from her brute of a husband and taken to a convent. And no, it wasn't just a regular convent where all you do all day is pray and fast and that sort of thing. Oh no. It was a convent where young girls with special blood were prepared to become Brittany's best assassins.
From then on the story spun like a spider's web, smooth and sleek with no blemish to point out. I really liked it that Ismae didn't get to trust anybody automatically, or "because it felt right" as it usually happens in books. No, she was a real character with real thought process. There was a depth to her that made me love her deeply. Because she was a real person to me. At times I even caught myself wondering if people like her existed at that age of time. Assassins, I mean. What their life was like... that sort of thing.
I was with her on all of her assignments, hoping she'd succeed and dreading any trouble she might get into. I loved her steady character, I loved her truthful heart, and I loved the fact that she preferred to show mercy than go for vengeance.
Then there was Gavriel Duval. He wasn't the stunningly handsome guy. He wasn't the adoringly charming person who'd leave any girl swooning after him. No, but he was caring, he was honest and loyal to the death. There was honor in him that could be rarely found even in books. And there was absolutely no way that I wouldn't fall for him. My heart was doomed from the moment I saw him furious with righteous anger. I loved his quirks, his gentleness, his morals. Every single thing he did was to protect his family, and mostly his sister the duchess, who he'd sworn to take care of no matter what. Duval made my heart flutter and bloom, and I'm grateful that I got to meet and know him.
I hated it when great characters had to die, but LaFevers is a brilliant author who knew when and how to sacrifice the people she created. I was close to tears by the end, but I didn't cry. Because it all just felt right. Everything just fell together in the perfect puzzle, leaving me aching for more. Too bad the next book won't be for Ismae.
And there was another awesome thing about the story. It's this that even the bad guy wasn't really bad, he was just human, and as such, he was susceptible to flaws and wrong decisions.
It was good that the story didn't revolve only about the assassin stuff, and that there was intrigue, romance and lots of dilemmas. It made it strong and controversial and tightly mysterious until the end.
I gladly recommend it to all my friends, and everyone who's into strong female characters, slow romance development and lots of mystery on the paranormal side.
My rating clearly is
Friday, March 23, 2012
I requested this book from the R2R event in one of the Goodreads groups where I'm a member.
What can I say? I saw lots of negative reviews for it, and thought that I'd give it a good review. But guess what - there was nothing even remotely good to base such a review on.
I'm really sorry to say this, since I know how much time and effort it takes to write a story, but this one was really not good. The whole time my eyebrows were raised at the absurdity of it all. There was absolutely no detail. We weren't introduced to 90% of the characters at all. People came and went and I had no idea who they were, what was the purpose of them being mentioned.. that sort of thing. And I'm not talking minor characters that kind of blend with the crowd. Oh, no! I'm talking major characters (like the narrator who's name I can't even remember), who have no depth, not even air to their persona.
I was going to just leave this story and apologize for not reading it till the end, but then it didn't take me more than an hour to get to the end. I also hoped that it would have some sort of good ending, which it didn't. It was a total disappointment.
So, honestly, what was the whole point of this story?
My rating of this story, sadly, is
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Moon Spun was also included in the Moonstone bundle I got from Netgalley. However, unlike the first two books, this one didn't really get to me.
First, there was the weirdness of the three guys going after Allie. And to be honest, I didn't like any of them besides Junior (of course). I was truly happy for his return, cuz I missed his spicy Latino air.
Second, there was the fairy stuff... seriously, why does there have to be something else weird going on? Wasn't the moonstone and the star seekers stuff enough already? Apparently not, but I honestly didn't think that the fairies were the answer here. So in a way, that kind of felt pushed. As if the story was meant to develop elsewhere, but instead was pushed into fairy land.
Third, besides Allie, Chad and Junior all other characters seemed to be lost somewhere in the pages. Especially Melia. She seemed so shallow, that I couldn't at all understand what was her purpose at all. She was so unrealistic, I was rolling my eyes at her lines. Yeah, I know this is a teen story, but that doesn't mean that the adult characters should be made to speak in a childish way. Adults are supposed to be mature, and to know what they're doing and saying. So, yeah, unrealistic.
What I liked was that the author kept Allie's voice the same. There was no change in her spunk, nor was there a change in Junior. In fact, I had expected Junior to have morphed in this super proud guy, but he was even more reachable. Loved him all the more for it :)))
And Beck?? Well, I didn't like him from the beginning, so I liked the turn of events very much ;)
My rating for this book is
Monday, March 19, 2012
Okay, so I was so swiped into this series, I went straight onto book two. It had as much zest and even more romance than Moonstone. It raised lots of questions, and even answered some of them. I really liked it and would surely continue to read on.
Now first of all, let me say that I missed Junior, who wasn't featured at all in this book. Yeah, he was mentioned a couple of times, but I could feel the bitterness and hurt in Allie's heart every time she heard his name. Well, I couldn't blame her - he went off to Mexico without calling even once. Could he still count as a boyfriend? Surely not.
Especially as this gorgeous new boy arrives to town. And guess what? He's not fully human. Beck and his sister Nicole have some different genes and skills that one can only dream of. It would be them that Allie must depend on in order to figure out some things about her moonstone talisman.
*Allie - she's the same sassy girl, though I think she has grown a little. She isn't all that trusting, which is good, being who she is. Still, there are troubles stirring, and she has to figure out how to deal with her own fears and her own heart.
*Beck - well, what can I say? If there ever was a good replacement for Junior, perhaps Beck would be it. Still though, I miss the hot Latino dude. Anyways, Beck is irresistible and has talents of his own. The best thing about him? He's totally smitten by Allie.
*Nicole - oh, she's the good-girl-turn-bad kind of character, who acts bitchy just because she needs to fit in. I like her though, and her skills. She's impressive.
*Mike Purdy - finally we see something of Allie's father. Not that he's acting like one, but still. It's nice to know that there may be future development in that department
This is yet another book I got from Netgalley to review. It came in a bundle with the other 3 books of this series.
When I sat down to read it, I thought that it will probably be just like any other light book, but honestly - I liked it. It had a constant diary style voice, and in my opinion that fit with the narrator - 15 year old Allie (Alfrieda).
I loved her feisty character, loved how much she cared about the people she loved. Well, I didn't like it when she was trying to lie to her mom, but point for mom (Faye) - she always saw through the lies.
Also, until it came to be, I had no idea which of the boys would end up in a romantic relationship with Allie. But then came Junior Martinez - a total Latino hottie, who knew not to cross the boundaries with that particular girl. Because she's dangerous, powerful and not one to mess with.
The story was light, and at the same time intense. There was love, there was action, there was paranormal activity. In four words: it had it all.
Well, there were some grammar mistakes (missing conjugates and such), so yeah it kind of needs some minor editing. But really, nothing major.
*Allie - Well she's a girl who can't be messed with. She protects her friends, and generally the weak. Sometimes she saves the bullies from the strongest of the day. Good thing is that she can also save herself, and she doesn't hesitate one second when she has to put her life in danger in order to protect her mom.
*Faye - Allie's mom who is a really irresponsible adult. She and Allie live in a trailer, and Faye doesn't care to do anything to change the situation. In many cases, Allie is the adult, while Faye is the disobedient child.
*Kizzy - that's who kind of got it all spinning. But without her, I think that Allie might not have had half as much confidence in herself as she does now.
*Junior - oh well, what can I say? He's absolutely yummy. He's the hot guy who grabs the girls' hearts and doesn't let go.
This is a very good book for 14-16 year old girls.
My rating is
I received this book from Netgalley to review, upon request. I wanted to read it because it had a Christian twist, and I'm into that sort of books.
In the beginning, it started out slow, and it kind of felt like the story won't ever get to develop. But, that was done with a purpose: getting to know Allie (Alcyone)'s background. Where she came from, what made her act the way she did after the tragedy in her life. We saw where she came from, we saw why it was hard for her to trust others and herself.
And even though she absolutely infuriated me because of her stubbornness, her cold heart and bitchiness, I knew why she did and said everything. I knew why she couldn't accept being adopted, or loved, or trusted. I could understand her train of thought,I cried and laughed along with Allie and to me, that's important in a book.
It was easy for me to live through her pain and to understand her sorrow. And I loved it when she finally got to grow up and see her mistakes and ask for forgiveness. That moment of grace was really captivating, and struck me real hard.
*Alcyone - she was a frustrated child, who had to take care of her sick mother until the poor woman died. I have no idea how I would've coped with all the hardships if I were in her place, but for a 14-year old, she did quite well. Yeah, she was always grumpy, and held back her hurt and distrust, but what's there to expect? I was surprised that she actually got to grow up as a character. She got to understand her mistakes and to finally give into love.
*Sam Carroll - he was a sweet boy. Too sweet really. I have no idea how he managed to ignore all the insults coming from Allie's mouth. She never appreciated him, never showed him any real care. She only shoved him away, and still her persisted. I loved that guy. He was honest and open hearted and he won me over from the moment he brought Allie the eggs.
*Beatrice - That woman was so caring, so devoted and so unconditionally loving, I couldn't help but feel for her every time she got rejected by Allie.
I would totally recommend this book to anyone who's going through a hardship and needs some strength from above.
My rating is:
Thursday, March 15, 2012
This is yet another book I got from Netgalley to review. I got drawn by the cover and description, because the coven thing really gets to me as fiction reading. Anyway, I liked the story, but the characters were very shallow. There was only kissing and fear and that's about it.
So this is the story of 16-year old Jax who escaped her power-thirsty witch coven in the hopes that they won't ever find her. Because they're dark and deadly. They're murderers. And all she wants is to be normal. Well, that's not exactly on the list. She escapes her family, only to stumble upon hunters, dark powers and love that could take away her powers forever.
I think that there were extensive descriptions and inner dialogue when there shouldn't have been. It felt like Jax was mostly talking to herself than looking outside of herself. There was so much telling, that the showing kind of got disregarded. Still, I liked the zing of her inner voice, although at times it felt overdone.
What I really didn't like was the abundance of misspellings and all sorts of grammar mistakes. There were repetitive substitutions (ex. attack for attic), words that didn't mean what they were supposed to, and basic misspellings (blonde for blond).
It kind of felt like a teenager wrote the book without the consecutive help of an editor. The book has potential and could be improved, but it might be a little late for that.
*Jax - she was supposed to be the strong one, even though the fear of her coven was supposed to somehow make her weak. Well, in truth, she was strong, but she was also uncontrolled, and that fear didn't quite get through to me. I read it almost at every page, but it was just that, a word on a page.
*Keller - was his name supposed to give the reader an association with, say, 'killer'? Because it would totally fit, even though the guy didn't really kill anything. He was supposed to be a supernatural hunter, yet we never saw that part of him and I think we should have. There was just a vague mention of it, and a scene that could've been developed well, but wasn't. The guy only wanted to kiss and cuddle once he got over his scruples that hey - Jax is a witch!
*Egan - I think he was the most down-to-earth person in this whole novel. He knew when to get dragged in and when to pull himself out. But hearing how swoon worthy he was didn't really make him so.
I don't think I'd be eager to read the next installment, but then again, the author might have improved her writing by then, so we shall see.
My rating is
I requested this book from Netgalley, because the cover kind of drew me in. It's dark, mysterious and deep. Just like the book was.
I haven't read any books from this author, but I can safely say that she is really good. I loved the descriptions, the narrative, the voices. I loved the dialogues, the story and the action. It was all combined in a very good way.
What I didn't like were the many viewpoints that felt scattered. There were some times just a couple of sentences from a viewpoint and there was no switch indication. So, I was reading from one perspective and the next second I was in someone else's head. It got confusing. Another thing that didn't work for me was that the prologue started the mystery, then nothing happened toward its solving for the next 30-40% of the book. I'm not saying that those 30% were bad or not interesting. They were just going in a totally different direction.
I suppose it was all well thought out and planned, because in the end everything came in place. It's all acted out and revealed. Just in the moment of reading, it felt confusing and scattered.
*Freida - she's a loner, who loves being by herself, undisturbed in her own little house, in her own world. She is afraid of getting close to people and prefers to live at a certain distance even from her own family. The only thing that gets her going are her patients with their mind problems that Frieda tries to solve. It's when she starts to meddle with one particular patient's mind that things get a little out of hand. But it was kind of awesome that Frieda never lost her cool. There was this one mistake she made which almost proved fatal for Matthew Faraday, an abducted 5-year old, but truth is that given the circumstances I couldn't really blame her.
*Inspector Karlsson - Ah, he was such a sweetheart. Through the whole book I felt like he was the proper match for Frieda. He had character and showed love, care and devotion. Not particularly to his own children, whom he loved by the way, but also to the case with the kidnapped Matthew. He wasn't the basic cop who is always portrait like a brainless idiot. Yet, he wouldn't have accomplished anything without the help of Frieda, because he had no experience in mind deciphering.
*Alan - poor thing. I felt so sorry for him. He was abandoned as a baby, manipulated through dreams, and never really given the chance to live.
*Dean - Ugh, I hated that man! And that little twist in the end? I totally knew it was coming, but that didn't mean I liked it at all. He did not deserve what happened to him. It really should've been the other way around. But I just knew that he was smart in that cunning sort of way. Nasty person.
And I can safely say that all the supporting characters played their roles pretty well. They made the story complete and intriguing.
My rating is
Monday, March 12, 2012
I received this book from Netgalley to review upon request. It was later that I learned it was a part of a series, but as it happened, the installments aren't dependent on each other.
I noticed several types of grammatical errors: 1. there were times when words that sound alike were substituted for each other (to for too); 2. In the beginning, entire paragraphs were repeated several times; 3. There were sentence constructions that could've been tweaked to sound better.
The story started out real slow, and nothing really happened till we hit the 50-60%. There were many points of view, but they were all fairly easy to follow. There was going back in time, there was romance, there was brotherly love, devotion, faith.
Unfortunately, the story couldn't really grab me. Perhaps I was expecting too much of it - I was thinking it would go into more anthropology, and instead there was just romance and a couple of tortured souls. The only part of the novel which stirred me was the one pertaining the Tibetan lama's. Not that I hold their beliefs, but I respect people who do not give in to the authorities pressure on faith.
*Jac - I didn't feel close to her at all. She sounded really unreasonable to me from the very beginning when she was visiting her mother's grave. She was too stubborn for her own good. And on top of that she was weak when pertaining to one character - Griffin North, who plagiarized her thesis back in the day and on top of that abandoned her. Afterwards she'd spend years smelling his perfume in the hope that that would make her hate him. Seriously, who does that??? Then at the first possible moment, she beds him. Umm.. not realistic at all. Not in my book at least. And to be honest, it felt gross. Also, she kept on thinking she was crazy because of the visions she'd get when smelling that special fragrance. If it had only happened once or twice, sure you could think that something's wrong with you. But it happens every time, and any person in their right mind would be tempted to investigate. She didn't, which made her unrealistic to me even more.
*Griffin - He was the character I absolutely loathed from the moment I met him on the pages. He was a man who ran from his responsibilities the first chance he got. He was weak, full of self-doubt and ready to blame his problems on his girlfriend/wife/whatever. When he tried to manipulate his life into Jac's life, I felt like leaving the book and never picking it up to read at all. Soul mates or not, he didn't deserve a single thread of her hair.
*Robbie - I wanted to congratulate that man for his strong faith. Neither money, nor pressure were able to make him give up on his beliefs. That's the sort of man who can earn my admiration.
*Malachi - I kept feeling that he was misunderstood. He wasn't given enough time/space to show his character. It felt like he was cut short, before he had the chance to bring out his real self. He had potential.
*Xie - he was my favorite character of the lot and the only reason I gave 3 stars to this read. He gave the essence to the book. Coming from a society where anything you say or do might get you killed, it's difficult to mask your identity and your bright mind and still pretend that the brainwash performed on you is working. I admired him - his courage, his determination, his faith.
If all the characters in this book were like Xie, it would've earned a better rating.
As it is, my rating is:
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I received this book to review from the R2R event organized by Kayleigh on the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Club. It was a quick light read with a nice twist at the end (that I should say I didn't see coming). But, it was too much Twilight, and that kind of buried it for me from the beginning.
It was obvious that the author put some time writing and editing this novel, but it still needs to be improved. The writing was immature with lots of unnecessary repetitions of proper nouns and expressions. There were a ton of grammar mistakes that I won't be pointing out. At some places the tenses were mixed up incorrectly - past when it should've been present and vice versa.
There were also a couple of inconsistencies with the story. I was annoyed by the simple sentence constructions, which felt like a plague for this book. It could've been written in a much much better way, with intricate constructions of the descriptions and narration. As it were, most paragraphs felt like I was reading the script of an Animal Planet film, aka in a monotonous boring drone.
The literary side of the writing was missing, which was a huge minus to me. I can't say I didn't enjoy it, I did, but it had nothing to do with my feelings toward a brilliant book that would stir the very cells of my body. This one just read to pass time. In other words - nothing special about it.
I did get annoyed by the quick development of Lexie and Torin's romantic relationship. Firstly, the characters themselves felt shallow and underdeveloped, and secondly - they were kissing just after exchanging a couple of words. If that's not rushed, I don't know what is. Perhaps the fact that they didn't know each other almost at all before they were bonded? Even if the two were fated to be together, this relationship should've been given the time to develop before either of them could trust the other fully. I do believe in love at first sight, but this wasn't it. This was a foolish way to put the characters together.
I can't say that Torin was swoon worthy, because I didn't get to know him well enough to make such a conclusion. Nor can I point out Lexie as a fighter, because she didn't really hold her ground.
With all that said, I think that the story has potential to become much better if the author decided to put some time revising.
My rating is:
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I received this book to review from Netgalley. I have not read the first installment, but as it happened, it wasn't really necessary. "The Nightmare Garden" was written in such a way, that a new reader, who has no idea what she's got in her hands - what world she's entering - would have no problem to follow the story. I sure did, you would too if you like a mix of steampunk, paranormal, dystopian kind of thing that has a tinny tiny flavor of romance underneath all the drama.
Well, unfortunately, for the time from 33% to 80% the story got so boring, I was a second away from putting it down and just dismissing it. I was totally ready to do it, but decided against it out of respect for the author who put so much time and effort into writing this story. Instead, what I did was skip around and read just the dialogues and some of the descriptions. It's unbelievable how good it felt to read it this way. No tedious explanations that repeated themselves, no descriptions that went beyond the necessary... And then at 80% the action, tension and drama picked up, and with them so did my interest. It's why I gave it the 3 star rating.
I was annoyed by the repetitive explaining of the main character, Aoife, how terrible she felt for leaving her mother in Lovecraft. That happened at least once every couple of pages, and after the first several times, I got tired of it. Then Aoife was saying how much regret she felt for ever trusting the Fae Tremaine, but she did it again and oh, how terrible she felt!!!
Also, there was so much telling, that the showing kind of got lost somewhere in between the lines. So, me skipping around was kind of helpful. And with reading so little of the overbearing descriptions, I was still well aware of what and where was going on. So why make a novel so unbearably heavy with needless narrative?
I don't think I liked Aoife. She felt superficial and lost in herself for the better part of the book. She didn't really care what anyone else around her felt like or thought. The only important thing to her was... well... herself. Her feelings, her inner turmoils... It was too much.
And Dean, her Erlkin boyfriend, never got angry at her even though she had to be yelled at at least half the time. It was unnatural, like he was a toy and he had to be played.
Conrad, her brother was more with his wits than Aoife wanted to portray. He saw things in their real image, he saw what was right and did it. I can say that I liked that guy.
I don't think I will recommend this book to my friends, seeing that it was too long for its own good. One must really be into extensive descriptions to like The Nightmare Garden.
My rating is:
Thursday, March 1, 2012
I received this book to review from the World Literary Cafe (WLC). I requested it with the hope that it will be a quick read, and indeed it was.
I noticed that the writing needs some mild editing, as in, there are words repeated twice like "this this", and it wasn't a single case scenario.
The story was entertaining and engaged my attention almost the entire time. It had a nice mystery that wound through the pages. There was also a sweet romance which at times felt a little forced.
I give the book 3 stars, because I don't really agree with the reality of it. I mean, we're talking about a 40-year old ex-model who suddenly turns private investigator and is damn good at it with no experience behind her back? Seriously? That's not only incredible - it's impossible. I know that there are many books like that, where the main investigator isn't really a police officer, but they always, ALWAYS have a real officer/retired cop/real private investigator behind their back to feed them info and help with the clues. Not here. In "A dead red heart" Lalla is the only one with brains and a thought process. Okay, sure I give it that Dal was a journalist who was helping her. But my point still stands.
I think that even though this is a work of fiction, there must be some realistic boundary in it. After all it's in the contemporary genre, not the paranormal or urban fantasy where all sorts of things are possible. Here we're talking about normal people with no special powers.
I don't agree with the author on her portrayal of the cops either. Sure, some cops really are lazy asses and all, but how come not even one of them had brains? Why did all their information come from Lalla, the ex-model? She fed them clues that she stumbled upon and she figured out and they never got to think at all? That's lame, and smells of prejudice against the law enforcement.
Also, I think that Lalla should've been scared at least a little bit. But no. She was real steel. She only got a bit shaken when she got the threat note and the dead rat (ewwwwwwww!!!) but that's about it. If it were me (or any other woman in her right mind) I would've freaked out!! Instead, what did Lalla do? She got into the mess even deeper.
Her relationship with Caleb, like I said, felt a little forced. He wanted her, she wasn't sure half the time. He ran after her, called her, wanted to live with her and marry her. And Lalla was just so whiny! She hurt him without thinking twice about it, then he kept running back to her!It was kind of annoying too.
The characters were well developed in their unrealistic situations. The one person I liked the most was Lalla's father. He was funny and sounded real.
My rating is