I was pretty unimpressed during the first couple chapters of this book, and almost stopped reading. There were a few scenes and conversations that are obvious to the point where I could swear I’ve read them before. I’m really glad I kept with it though, because the author succeeded in sucking me in! It’s been a few days since I finished and I’m really wishing I had the second book to read so I can keep hanging out with the characters. Sadly, it’s not out until later this year.
The book is fast-paced and the plot is interesting enough to keep you entertained, even though it’s a pretty standard space thriller. The characters are generally well-written, especially the main character, Ada and her super sexy love interest, Locke. There is a nice romance aspect, but it doesn’t get in the way of the thrills.
One small thing that I really appreciated is the dynamic between Ada and the male leads. She’s got two very strong and capable dudes with her for much of the time, but she’s still unquestionably the leader. No one tries to take this girl’s captain’s chair!
Final verdict: don’t expect anything terribly groundbreaking, but give it a try anyway! This is a solid sci fi adventure. There’s plenty of fun action and espionage, and great characters with killer chemistry.
This book is fascinating, illuminating, and very upsetting. I picked it up since it was on so many bestseller lists (and I lucked out on it in the 'Hot and New' section in the library -- my fave). I do enjoy education and constant learning, so I thought it would be interesting, even though it’s outside of my normal fantasy/sci fi wheelhouse. I didn't realize how much of the book would be spent detailing seriously traumatic and abusive events from the author's childhood. Even with that, and how much I don't enjoy reading that type of thing, I still couldn't put it down.
The writing style is great; you feel very connected to the entire family through her stories. I loved how carefully she laid out events where the major players all had slightly different memories of the specifics. For me, the book really picks up once Tara finally gets in to college and her world starts opening up. It's so interesting to think about from a nature vs nurture perspective -- this is a girl who had the most minimal early education possible, and went on to receive a doctorate from Cambridge. It's also a sensitive and open portrayal of mental illness, and the way strong personalities can influence everyone around them. Well worth a read!
This book was surprisingly hard for me to get through. I should preface by saying it's the third book in a trilogy, and I've been eagerly awaiting it since I started the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale. That was the best novel I read that year, and I was ready to say it was the best series I'd found since The Kingkiller by Rothfuss.
So, I expected to immediately love the final volume, but I actually stopped reading about halfway through, read two other books, and had to force myself back to it. It's possible that it was just too much pain and hardship to read during an already long and rough February. I wasn't expecting a light or happy read, (these books have always had the main characters slogging through terrible situations) but there just wasn't any relief from the terrible times in this one. Another issue I had was that it seemed like a huge buildup to an ending...that happened halfway through the book. I think this last novel could (and maybe should) really have been broken up into two. That way the climax that happened halfway through this book, and felt anti-climatic in relation to the lead-up, could have been given it's proper due.
I am glad I finished, and I enjoyed the second half on it's own. But it definitely doesn't hold a candle to the first (very beautiful) book in the series. Go read The Bear and the Nightingale, but temper your expectations for the series' end.
This is the second in a series that started with Heartstone, which is Pride and Prejudice... but with dragons. I know, I know, but I couldn't resist. And I'm glad I didn't, cause I fully enjoyed Heartstone!
Dragonshadow is more of a departure, with its own plot rather than one borrowed from the classic. You can tell a difference, the plot was a bit shaky. I think the author is going for an underlying thread that will make for a big finale in a future book, while trying to solve a slightly smaller mystery in this one, but to me it just felt a bit confused between two very slightly different storylines.
However, I still liked hanging out with the characters and all the interesting creatures that pop up along the way! This one's worth a read for something light and quick to get through (I read it while reading another book - see last post for more details :)
This is much more a thriller than a fantasy novel, so it was a departure from my normal reads. The main character is a down on her luck journalist, who's returned home to stay with her mum (it's British) after a breakup. She stumbles upon a mystery literally in her backyard and gets drawn in via the detective on the case, a childhood friend.
The writing style is fairly gritty, and the novel is full of grisly murders with a question of dark magic. I do like a good mystery, and this one was fun to solve along with the characters.
While I think the book is well-written enough, I probably won't seek out more from this author. I need more romance, fantasy, or at least humor to temper the grimness of a murder mystery. This felt very like a tv crime procedural, and it's not my favorite way to spend my time.
I absolutely loved this book! True, I have a bit of a thing for Vikings and strong women so this one could have been written just for me. But one of the things that made it memorable was that it was *never* exploiting the fact that the main character, a teenage girl, was a warrior. It was taken as a complete given that the women would fight as hard and as well as the men, with no more attention paid to it. In this era of female empowerment being called out and highlighted (which I love, don't get me wrong) it was pretty refreshing to be in a world where that isn't necessary, and women and men are equally strong and equally flawed.
The characters' growth and internal journey felt authentic (and hard), and I loved the psychology that the author used to underlay both the character studies and the plot.
The writing is also really beautiful and poetic, as is the setting. Reading this book felt like living in a spare and severely beautiful painting, all shades of blue and ice with occasional brutal splashes of blood or metal.
This was a fun and easy read, although not a perfect book.
I enjoyed the runaway princess theme, and the author does go into some nice detail for a royal learning to live a normal life. Unfortunately the dual love interests were both pretty boring, and I didn't care much one way or the other who she picked. Neither male lead in the story was written very well, they seemed pretty flat to me. I was definitely more invested in any of the three other female characters than the dudes.
That being said, I'm still curious enough about the story to pick up the next in the series when I have time. The book took an unexpected turn in the last third, and it grabbed my attention again!
I got this book for free with Kindle Unlimited. I've grabbed a few this way and in general I think it's not the best way to find new books -- so far I haven't found anything amazing in their free section. This book followed that pattern. It was fine, but not great.
The magic/religion in the world is interesting, and explained obliquely enough to leave you looking for the scattered clues on how it works. The main character is kept as a slave and her body is used to host some sort of demon or being from a different plane. This magic use is highly rare and forbidden, but there are hints of a magic using population that lived in the area before, and it seems like there could be some really fascinating expansion there in later books.
The characters are fairly well-drawn and the plot kept me interested, but for some reason I'm not dying to grab the next one in the series. It's a pretty standard romance between a thief who saves a girl and they fall in love during the escape. I think I needed a bit more interest in the love story between the two main characters -- especially since they were basically the only full characters in the book. But, I may still come back to this series later and see if the later novels are any better!
This was a re-read that I remembered fondly from when it was first released. I figured that it would be a little more disappointing reading it now, and I was right. It straddles (wink wink (sorry)) the line between fantasy and romance, but the plot isn’t terribly well thought out. The sex scenes are pretty great, but they can feel a little disconnected within the story.
There are some fun fantasy elements that feel pretty fresh, but again - they could have been developed a little more to create a cohesive world and magic rules.
I like the main character, with her obsession with muscle cars and complete lack of shame in being hormone-fueled and really owning her own sexiness. However, there seemed to be a lot of lead up with several sexy side-characters and then nothing really happens. There could be at least one male character that she doesn’t have a sexual encounter with, it felt a little forced.
Final verdict...I’m a little sad that I didn’t just leave this one as a happy memory.
I was immediately drawn into the world of this new series, and found myself thinking and talking about it long after I’d finished the book. I’m a sucker for alternate history, and have been getting more into westerns, so this one really hit the spot. The world-building is first-rate, and the dry, dusty, desert heat was perfect to mentally sink into during a wet and dreary PNW winter.
Like other Charlaine Harris novels, the main character is likable with a straightforward inner monologue. The side characters were fun, as well as the glimpses into pockets of other cultures as they go along on their quest. She gave me the action scenes I was expecting, with gunfights, magic fights, and fistfights, as well as some sexy tension between the characters. It would have been interesting to have more insight into the magic rules in the novel, but that could be explored more in later books.
Everything wraps up neatly in the end, with a perfect lead-in to more books in the series. I’ll definitely be watching for the next release!