Hmmm… I came across an article that mentioned the magic in this series was actually a metaphor for girls coming into their own powers. Whether the author intended it to be taken that way or not, I found the book less random when I read with that in mind. Although, whenever the thought slipped my mind, I kept asking why after each scene! There is a certain randomness to it all that I didn’t like.
It might be that I was never able to connect with the characters that made me feel this way. The fact is that the protagonists were written to act their age and not as noble versions of themselves. So, they didn’t just use their powers for the greater good. They were selfish and materialistic, which is how we are most of the time. They shirked their responsibilities and delayed taking difficult decisions for as long as they could. Again, a very human thing to do.
Or, it could be because the main character was a headstrong girl who didn’t want to believe what was right in front of her eyes. We all do that, so why did it bother me so much to read about it?
What I did love were the parts when the MC decided to set things right and gave her stuffy brother a piece of her mind.
To sum up, I didn’t like this book because it felt too real. Lol
The best thing about all the books from this series — the ones that I have read so far — is that they don’t take themselves too seriously! They know they are silly and at times, you can even see the characters laughing at themselves or the silliness of the situation they are faced with. These books will make you laugh when you need a light-hearted read.
Another thing I like about these books is that while the male lead might do his best to be all caveman and overprotective, their female counterparts don’t let that stop them. In this book, the woman is a slayer and human, unlike the vampires she is hunting. The guy, a vampire, tries to order her away from her slaying, but she is having none of it. In the end, he tries to be there for her when she needs him. Smart guy!
Another one of my feel-good series. The Southern ladies in these books speak their mind and make their own choices. The series is more PNR than UF, but I don’t mind because it makes me laugh.
A quote from the book:
“Zombies eat brains, don’t they?”
“I’m a vegetarian.”
Oh, and I found a reference to THHGTTG in this one:
“Don’t panic and carry a towel.”
And several to Lord of the Rings since the male lead gives a ring that the woman he’s seeing can use to summon him. Lol
Okay, is it just me or is this a filler book? While it was full of the usual craziness that is a part of this series, I felt that the story hadn’t even kicked off when it ended!
Another issue I had with this instalment was with the main character’s love interest. She is an abuse survivor and the author is building their relationship gradually. The woman finds human contact difficult to bear, and John isn’t rushing her or pushing her in any way. I love that! But what I don’t like is that aside from this fact and that the woman is a badass — possibly insane too — we still don’t know much about her. Maybe develop her character a bit?
Nonetheless, books like these satisfy my craving for when I have recently given up on watching Supernatural for the 100th time. Or when I have finished the season of The Umbrella Academy — even after watching one episode a day to stretch it for as long as I could have — and can’t be bothered to find a new show to watch.
As you know, I have already railed about the many issues that I find in the books in this series. But I have to see it to the end, so I keep plodding on. I won’t be rehashing those problems because I believe if a reader finds a book problematic, they should just stop reading it. Reading the subsequent books in the same series and then whining about them doesn’t make sense.
That’s why I will confine my ramblings to this book — or try to. The thing with the protagonist is that she is supposed to be a god whose memories have been wiped. So, she doesn’t know how powerful she is or even what powers she has. Okay, sounds logical. What doesn’t make sense is that she spent the whole book claiming she is in over her head and not knowing if she could trust her husband — I’ll come back to this one later. But as soon as the bad guys arrive, she instinctively knows what to do? Not buy-able at all.
Her husband is Satan’s progeny in a very convoluted way. He has been paying child support for a kid that his wife knew nothing about. He is also one of the unholy trinity of demons, which means his wife is unsure how evil is in there in him. He won’t tell her where he is hiding their daughter, presumably for their safety. Yet she continues to trust him and his unhealthy obsession for her that he mistakenly calls love. I don’t get it!
Finally, and this one will go off-track because it is about the series and not just this book, the author keeps on tacking mystery after mystery and leaving us with cliffhangers. When does it stop and get simpler? Oh, after three more books? Okay, I can work with that.
The humor and Cookie were the real superstars, as usual.
This is the second book in this series that I began while doing Project Frankenstein. One of the quibbles that I complained about while I read the first one remains an issue in this one: Victor is everything bad. He was pals with Hitler and Stalin and such. But what exactly made him this way? It is hinted that when his first creation killed Victor’s wife, things started snowballing. But this deeply rooted hate of all things human couldn’t have sprung from that source. So far, the reason for Victor’s evil nature remains a mystery to me.
Maddison and Conor the two cops that we met in this last book are back in this one. They are funny and are slowly being fleshed out, so they look more human.
Some quotes that I marked while reading:
Like all utopians, he (Victor Frankenstein) preferred obedience to independent thought.
I mean wow, sum up all the dystopian novels in one sentence, why don’t ya!
And I learned a few new words:
Another series that I had embroiled myself into came to a conclusion with this book. Here are some things I have loved about them both, i.e., the book and the series:
Elisa is a teenage character who doesn’t wait for the action to come to her. She doesn’t whine about being misunderstood or why her crush doesn’t love her — mostly because he does but that’s majorly due to who she is as a person and not because of how pretty she is. Their relationship is one built on mutual trust and respect, which was refreshing to see in a YA novel. She cares about the others and interacts in a positive way with other female characters. She evolves just like a real person would over the course of the trilogy. When she loses what made her special, i.e., the godstone, she realizes it wasn’t the jewel but her own strength that made everything possible. Therefore, she keeps on being her awesome self!
Now here is what I didn’t like:
The godtsone that Elisa was born with is why she is directly connected to god. It is also why wars are being fought and she remains a target in all three books. Yet the circumstances that led to the stone’s falling out were highly anticlimactic and even random. What was thatabout? Why design a whole series around a concept if it didn’t even matter in the end?
Another relatively minor quibble was the reason why her sister treated Elisa like shit all their lives wouldn’t stand up to close scrutiny. When viewed in its light, Elisa’s forgiveness didn’t really make sense either.
When certain series come to an end, they leave their readers unsatisfied or even disappointed. I feared it would be so with this one for several reasons. One, these books are actually a spin-off of the Weather Wardens series. I loved reading about Jo’s adventures and constantly going up against foes way bigger than she was and coming out bruised and beaten but a victor. Would I even like someone else playing the main part within the same universe? I hated her at first just as I was meant to. She was cold and inhuman. But good things or rather very bad things happened to her to change that.
Except for her love interest, David, we are taught to fear the Djinns in the prequel series. That brings me to the next reason for my misgivings: the protagonist in this one used to be a Djinn but was punished by the head honcho of Djinns when he turned her into a human before exiling her. But, the author takes three books to humanize the heroine’s character. It felt totally practical.
Thirdly, I would again have to say goodbye to the world of Weather Wardens when this series ended. And I did, but I also felt a sense of completion. So, that’s good!
About the last book itself, Ms. Caine doesn’t play shy when it comes to tragedies changing people forever. One of the main characters in this one was a little kid who was kidnapped and tortured by a power-hungry megalomaniac Djinn. When she is returned to her family, she isn’t shown to magically recover from all that has befallen her. She remains on the brink of becoming an unfeeling creature and her family keeps doing their best to bring her back. I liked the authenticity in that.
Finally, the ending was too and they lived happily ever after for me. While I wanted the characters to be happy, I didn’t want it to be so perfect. But mostly, the journey was a positive one. Can’t wait to see what Ms. Caine does next!
I am supposed to have read the original arc, which should make me hate this one. To many readers who had read it, this one seemed unnecessary to say the least. Luckily, I hadn’t and I liked the TV series of the same name. So, I find it okayish.
I’m reading the next volume to see where it all goes. Maybe it will impress me more? I hope so!
After I had done the yearly overview, I realized I had yet to review the books I read in December. Granted, not much reading was done, but here they are:
I really wanted to love this one. I’m even collecting all the books in the series. But with all the amazing UF novels that I’ve already read, this one paled in comparison. Even if there hadn’t been so many issues with the characters like the protagonist was supposed to be a witch. But all she did was mess up and whine. Then there was her partner, a vampire. She was supposed to be on a no-blood diet. However, every time the protag even breathed, the vamp would be on her throat. They were aided by a pixie whom they treated like dirt even when he regularly risked his life for them. Finally, a new character was introduced in a highly suspect manner who made the worst decision ever. But the protag just went and trusted him.
Aside from those issues, the plot wasn’t making much sense either. I will be reading the next one in the series to see if things get better though.
I’m still in the process of collecting all the books from this series. Just got this one last month and was going over it all excited. Suddenly, I found myself flipping its pages. Within no time, I had read the whole book! That is the magic of the Lemony Snicket books. They are funny but profound, and perfect reads for kids and adults alike.
I do have a kind of project in mind for this series. Let’s see when I can make it happen!
The first time I came across this series was a long time ago. From the joke cracked in it about teenage vampires (can’t recall if they were of the sparkly variety or not), I was sold. While I am still collecting all the books in this series. I thought it was time that I started reading the ones I had managed to snag. This is the second book in the series and it didn’t disappoint. Fowl is still his serious precocious but brilliant self and you know my love for Flavia. Butler can still kick ass and will do anything to keep his charge safe. I am also becoming fond of the fairy characters, including the butt-flap-opening farting Mulch. Will keep devouring book after book now that I have begun!
I couldn’t make myself wait, so I started this one almost immediately. We begin to see changes in Fowl’s personality. The kid who has always been smarter than other kids his own age has spent his life being alienated. Now, he realizes the importance of friendship and connecting with others, even his parents!
Holly is a strong female character who doesn’t shy away from danger, speaking her mind, or doing the right thing.
I was sad when I thought Butler would be out of commission now that he had aged 15 years. But he isn’t going to give up without a fight, is he? Typical Butler!
Root and Foaly bicker all the time, but they are fun to read about.
P.S. I don’t think I can stop reading these books until I have read em all now.
Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on January 2, 2019.
Another year has come to an end. If you ask me, there is NO way that 2018 had 365 days. At least, that’s not how I felt! Even though time passed quickly, I did manage to read more than twice the books I had planned reading.
Okay, so this is how this review is going to go. I have separated this year’s books into several categories. Shall we?
Milkweed Triptych Series by Ian Tregillis
Walker Papers Series by C.E.Murphy
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Hidden Legacy Series by Ilona Andrews
These are books from series that have been consistently good to read for me. How are they different from Old Loves you ask? Even Old Loves had installments that were a hit and a miss. These series didn’t!
These were books from series that had previously left me unimpressed. I had even considered abandoning them but decided to give them one last try. Yaay! These series just got a whole lot better!
Shadows Linger by Glen Cook
So, I have included the books that I liked in this overview. There were some that obviously weren’t for me, but why dwell on those. Right? Here’s hoping the coming year would be even more fantabulous for all readers and non-readers alike!
Happy New Year!
Even though I read this book in October, I forgot to include it in that month’s wrap-up. So, reviewing it now. Cinder is the story of Cinderella but one who is half cyborg and works as a mechanic. All the elements you’d expect from such a story are there, i.e., an evil stepmom, a dead dad, and a prince who is smitten with the poor girl.
But the same goes for the issues that the original (read Disney) version and most YAs have. For instance, the forging of an instant connection between the prince and Cindy. She is considered expendable and is extremely poor at the beginning of the story. Yet soon she not only attracts royalty, but her blood also becomes the only source that can cure the virus plaguing the country. We also come across completely irredeemable and good-spirited characters, meaning everything is black and white.
All that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this modern twist on an old story because I did, which is why I will be reading the next one.
The story opens on a man, Johanne Cabal, the Necromancer, striding into hell and demanding to see Satan. Having sold his soul for necromancy, he now wants it back. The reason for that becomes clear only at the end of the book and that too only partially. Satan sets him to achieve a seemingly insurmountable task in return for Cabal’s soul.
As Johannes recruits, recreates, and alienates people during the journey, we meet many quirky characters. The best thing about the book is undoubtedly its sense of humor.
Take a look:
“I was cast down from the presence of God himself into this dark, sulphurous pit and condemned to spend eternity here—”
“Have you tried saying sorry?” interrupted Cabal.
“No, I haven’t! I was sent down for a sin of pride. It rather undermines my position if I say ‘sorry’!”
The quote above is an excerpt from the exchange between Cabal and the Devil. The one below is about a crow (one of Satan’s minion) that follows Johannes around when its master can’t spy on him:
It looked at them; first with one eye, then with the other. Then, to show it was a polymath among crows, it went back to the first eye.
Besides laughing out loud, I also learned a few new words. You can view them below:
All in all, I can’t wait to read the next one!
This wasn’t the first book of Ms. Valente that I read. And like that one, this book was a beautiful hot mess. Her prose is almost succulent enough that you can bite into it and yet, in the end, you will be left thinking, What did I just read?
Was it a commentary on the Russian Revolution? Was the book about Russian myths? Was it a coming of age story? Or, was it simply fantasy YA? I’d say there was a bit of everything in it!
A friend who exclusively reads middle-grade fantasy is crazy about this series. Since her taste in books and mine matches, I was excited to get started with this one.
It left me both underwhelmed and pleasantly surprised. The writing is crisp in a way that it immerses you in the scene playing before you. Consider the lines below on how the protag had been raised by her single mother:
Maura had decided sometime
before Blue’s birth that it was barbaric to order children about,
and so Blue had grown up surrounded by imperative question
I also loved the wry humor, which can be seen clearly in the example below:
Calla had once observed that Maura had no pets because her
principles took too much time to take care of.
What I wasn’t that crazy about was the mystery that the story is based on. I liked the characters and mostly enjoyed the book — even though I caught on to the twist pretty early. But the story failed to excite about the mystery. And there was a lot of random stuff going on. The tree that showed the future, for instance, why was it even there?
I’d like to continue with this trilogy though.
I always enjoy reading anything by Rachel Vincent. Even though this book is majorly YA-flawed, I still enjoyed it because I am used to her writing style. No, I don’t have anything against YA, but certain things like the heroine failing to see that her bf was the demonic drug supplier can only happen in YA books.
Anyway, this series has grown on me and I intend to see it through.
Another book set in hell. I had been looking for such books because I had landed on the square for it in book bingo. The Cabal book was enough for it but since I had already done the hard work researching them and because I had liked Fight Club, I went ahead with this one too.
Normally, it bugs me when a male author writes a female character who is annoyingly smart or just full of themselves. Like these lines below made me wanna smack the heroine:
Such vocabulary props served as my eye shadow, my breast implants, my physical coordination, my confidence. These words: erudite and insidious and obfuscate, served as my crutches.
And it happened many more times. Most of the time, though, the writing was good enough to rescue the book from abandonment. Consider this sample:
Trickling toenails threaten to become full-fledged avalanches which could bury us alive (alive?) in their talus of prickly keratin.
And this one:
That, I think, is the function of Hell: It’s a place of remembering. Beyond that, the purpose of Hell is not so much to forget the details of our lives as it is to forgive them.
I also learned some new words:
Okay, so I have no clue if the jejunum (part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients from already digested food particles) has its roots in the word, jejune, or not. But it would be cool if it did, right?
Go here for the books I read in August this year!
As fun as the cartoon had been!
I'm beginning to appreciate Tepper's writing I think. This book started the way most books based on a dichotomous society would start. The women were good for breeding and whoring. The men enlisted in the military and lorded over the women. But the twist at the end took me by surprise! Read my appreciation of her other book here.
While political strife forms the backdrop in this book, our focus is on one family trying to get through all the chaos in one piece. I loved every bit of this book! This was my first book by Adichie and I can't wait to try the others.
Irreverent as heck but laugh out loud funny is how I'd describe Moore's humor. In this book, a conman meets The Conman i.e. Coyote, the trickster god. Hilarity ensues!
Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on November 15, 2018.
This book surprised me and in a pleasant way. Having never read anything by Ms. Howard, I didn't really know what to expect. What I discovered was good UF with half decent world-building. It had shades of the movie Now You Can See Me — only the magic in the book wasn't an illusion.
We are introduced to the major players almost immediately. They each have their motivations and that was completely okay. The world-building should have been better because as far as I can see, this book is a standalone. Even if it is to be the first in a series, then it would need to be immersive enough for readers to continue with the sequel. I think it mostly does that.
Wow! I mean I tried reading The War of the Worlds and failed miserably. If you can make a novel about an alien conquest sound boring, then there isn't much hope that I'd ever like anything you'd write. While playing Book Bingo, I landed on a category that fit this book beautifully. So, I decided to give Mr. Wells another go.
I am so glad that I did! Suspense colors the atmosphere in the story and there is a stench of violence waiting to happen. Why don't scientists ever learn? I kept cringing every time the humans faced the monsters (Moreau could give Frankenstein a run for the money)! Some were near misses and some events just foreshadowed the darkness that was to come.
The edition I read also came with a summary of H. G. Wells' life history. He had been involved in the formation of League of Nations. Cool!
This book had issues similar to that I highlighted in the review of Kat Howard's book. Say, vampires do exist and they decide to come out. Won't there be a political upheaval to makes all other upheavals look silly? Nothing like that happened in this book.
Meritt caught my interest because she refused to be grateful for being turned into a bloodsucking parasite. She also clashed with the authorities regularly and I liked that she wasn't ready to give in to her attraction towards the head vampire just yet. Her troubled relationship with her gold-digger and nouveau riche parents cemented her authenticity as a person. As did her bonds with her bff and grandfather. What detracted from the believability factor was how she rebelled against her new life and yet gave up so easily on her old one. What of her dissertation? What about going back to school?
What did bug me was the identity of the person having humans killed by her minions. As far as twists go, this one was just all right.
Even so, I want to read the next one in the series before I decide if I will continue with the rest.
The humor in these books is always a winner. Consider the two quotes below:
But what I liked, even more, was that the series took a break from the disaster it had become. In case, you haven't yet read the last book — or my review of it — it was horrible. The author dropped a doozy of a deus ex machina on us. Then she left the readers with a huge cliffhanger that took us back to the prehistoric age (not literally)!
Guess what though? The last part did wonders for the book! I could reconnect with Charley without the usual over-the-top complications. The world was still about to end, but that wasn't going to happen just then. Charley did spend the whole book lusting after her husband even if she didn't know who he was. But that is typical behavior for her.
I also fell in love with Cookie all over again after reading this book. The woman has a life of her own, a daughter, and a husband. Yet she put everything on hold to come be with an amnesiac Charley. Even though she can't act worth a damn and kept slipping up and calling Charley by her real name. Cookie rocks!
Bring on the next book!
Another book that I wish had read a long time ago. Now, I don't appreciate it the way it is meant to be lauded. Firstly, since it is by a female author writing epic fantasy. Yaaaaay! Then because the protagonist isn't white and male, but colored and male. Okay, this deserves a smaller yaaay. Even so, it is still a win.
What I wasn't a fan of was the writing style. It felt stilted and kept me from devouring the book in my usual way. Of course, the fact that I have read my fill of epic fantasy might have something to do with it. Although, this book wasn't much concerned with the affairs of the world. It focused on a character's solo journey to get rid of the darkness that he had called from another world.
So, I'll reserve the final verdict until I have read the next book in the series.
I can never understand how a children's book can scare the pants off me when so many horror novels have failed to do that! Similarly, I survived watching Jessica Jones being mentally — and otherwise — raped by Killgrave repeatedly. And yet, I have to force myself to sit through one episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events!
The idea of kids being in control is a very scary one because they can be very cruel. At times, they won't even realize the extent of damage they are leaving on another kid's psyche. The good thing about kids managing their affairs is that they can take highly complicated concepts of morality and simplify them.
I had a great time reading this book for both those reasons. Can't wait to read the next one!
Have mostly given up on this series ever being anything but cheesy, if I ever thought so in the first place. This novella was a good surprise though. Instead of the swooning heroines, we were shown someone who could fight and hold her own. She was also the one who kept the vampires and their minions at bay while hubby went to ground.
Yeah, she was forced into the whole Carpathian mating for life ritual by her husband-to-be. And yes, she couldn't live without him as soon as he arrived at the scene. Little improvements, see?
The humor was on point, as usual. Look below for a crack or two:
The relationship between Harry and his brother is slowly developing. By that, I mean they talked to each other about real stuff, like Thomas being thirsty all the time.
Susan was awesome!
The rest was pretty much as it always is:
Harry was trying to save a woman's life.
Harry couldn't hit women, even ones bent on killing him.
Harry defeated a threat that he couldn't possibly defeat.
Harry saves an adorable character who learns how to stand up for themselves and others.
Harry is hit with threats from all directions and lives to tell the tale.