Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Date: July 24th 2012
Genre: Romance- Erotica
From Goodreads: Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she’s sure it’ll be her breakout book…if it ever sees the light of day.
Zachary Easton holds Nora’s fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it’s no deal.
Nora’s grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him…or returning to his bed?
Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Date: August 7, 2012
Genre: YA- Fantasy
So I read the much anticipated Throne of Glass- which I read somewhere as being stupidly hailed as a teenage, chick-lit version of Game of Thrones. Now I can’t really attest to that, having only watched two episodes of Game of Thrones before deciding that there wasn’t anyone good looking enough on it to want to see them naked and hell, I live in the south so I see enough incest in real life as it is. So if it does live up to its description then oh gee boy. We may just have the new “If you like so and so then you’ll like this” book and there will be a whole new crop of knock off books that are all JUST ALIKE.
Celaena Sardothien has just been made an offer she can’t refuse. Serving out a life or “until” sentence in the King’s iron mines, is a lowly state for a mighty assassin such as herself to have fallen. The alternative, however, could just prove to be worse. The King is gathering warriors. He claims that he is in need of a champion to protect him from the wrath his bloody and vicious rule has earned him. Celaena isn’t a fool and she hasn’t survived a year in the mines (when most usually only last days) to fall for the idea that the king needs a hero. He needs a lackey, preferably a deadly one, to carry out deeds that even the cruelest of kings won’t admit to. Celaena is given the choice of killing for the man who ruined her life or spending what’s left of it toiling away in his mines. But the decision to serve him isn’t the hardest task that faces the young assassin. Before she can sell her soul in servitude to a man she truly loathes, she’ll have to fight for the privilege and she’ll have to fight to the death.
Several things irked me to no end about this story. First and foremost, the names. Since this is a fantasy novel, and most of its readers will most likely be fantasy buffs, they’ll understand when I refer them to the Random Fantasy Character Name Generator. There are several online. True story. You go and click a button and it gives you a random name to use in character creation. Since it’s randomized, it’s not uncommon to get a series of letters that make absolutely no sense or worse, when spoken aloud, make no recognizable sound. The names in this book were absolutely atrocious but did in fact make for a good time playing “guess what animal makes THIS sound!” with all their ridiculousness. All my feeble attempts at pronunciation did serve one very good purpose- they didn’t allow me any time to dwell on the fact that the storytelling is nails-down-chalk-board terrible, and I was able to focus on the parts of it I enjoyed enough to keep reading- the supernatural mystery taking place and the slow to bloom lurve.
The story was of course, entirely unbelievable, which is quite alright since this was a fantasy. I think a great chunk of my inability stemmed from the nearly nonexistent world building. Truly, the story could have taken place in a bottle and it would have made little difference since there really wasn’t a very defined setting to start with. The plot line and the characters reaction to it was just rather naive, bordering on hokey with decisions and actions that seemed nonsensical in regards to the circumstances. After the first fifty or so “Well why wouldn’t she just, or that makes absolutely no sense” I gave up trying to see reason and just shut my trap and enjoyed the story. She is an uber assassin, right, and she hates your king and people? Well hell yeah, let her run around freely, befriend royalty and feed her lots of candy!
And it WAS enjoyable. Even with the unpronounceable names, the killer prom queen (and she sure did think highly of herself) Bratz doll main character (dubbed Assassin Barbie by my book club- not only is she physically perfect but she comes with all kinds of pretty dresses and accessories!) and the inevitable love triangle. It was fast paced and entertaining and there were several really likeable characters- I’d tell you about them but I just can’t remember their names (OErUOERjo Aofuaowefu O#WU$#AU$EU# and Mike, I think). I eventually began to cheer for Celaena, (who started the story with her head so firmly up her own ass that she could have served as a human wheel) and she thankfully (AND THANK GOD) went through a great deal of believable, documented and recognized growth that finally had her in my favor.
So final verdict: I liked it despite its faults, but you have to read it with a grain of salt as it is REALLY poor quality- which doesn’t seem to stop me from liking a lot of today’s YA. I just tend to like the seedy side of YA…I mean hell, I LOVE the HoN series. It was a fun quick read with a supporting cast I quickly grew to adore. Team Chaol btw.
Author: Michelle Sagara
Publisher: DAW Books (Penguin)
Date: May 1, 2012
Series: The Queen of the Dead
Genre: YA- Paranormal Fantasy
Death has surrounded Emma for most of her relatively short existence. Having suffered the loss of a family member and her boyfriend, she is no stranger to the pain and loneliness that follows the death of a loved one. Every evening she seeks what little comfort and closeness the solitude of the cemetery can afford her. When her nightly visit is interrupted by the new boy from school and his elderly companion, Emma finds herself in the middle of a meeting she wasn’t meant to encounter. Something about the old woman isn’t quite right, as if she doesn’t really belong…as if she isn’t really there. Before Emma can even begin to imagine the danger she might have stumbled into, the old woman greets her with a frighteningly icy kiss.
From the start, this book pulled me in. You can’t resist the draw of that creepily gorgeous cover and the very first paragraph just sealed it further. I just knew I had stumbled upon something brilliant here.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT NIGHT.
The world changes, the shadows grow, there’s secrecy and privacy
in dark places. First kiss, at night, by the monkey bars and the old
swings that the children and their parents have vacated; second, longer,
kiss, by the bike stands, swirl of dust around feet in the dry summer air.
Awkward words, like secrets just waiting to be broken, the struggle to
find the right ones, the heady fear of exposure— what if, what if— the
joy when the words are returned. Love, in the parkette, while the moon
waxes and the clouds pass.
Promises, at night. Not first promises— those are so old they can’t be
remembered— but new promises, sharp and biting; they almost hurt to
say, but it’s a good hurt. Dreams, at night, before sleep, and dreams during
Everything, always, happens at night.
And we went along like this for nearly a quarter of the book. The graveyard scenes were wonderfully eery and Emma’s melancholy life just screamed for something great and sinister to enter into it. It was a go up until that point but then, quite suddenly, the tone of the story changed direction entirely. Instead of beautifully descriptive paragraphs graced with a subtle overlay of magic, I found myself wading through 95% dialogue in an effort to hold on to the slippery 5% of remaining story. It was an exercise in futility as at this point there really wasn’t much story left.
Some of it was just silly. I lost count of how many times Eric threatened to kill Chase (be it jokingly, half-jokingly or seriously). I was frustrated at the lack of explanation for Emma, her gifts, WHAT WAS GOING ON, and everyone’s blind acceptance of the circumstances. Say you suddenly see dead people, and you share this with everyone and they say “Hey! We see the dead people too!”….no one is questioning this? And Emma, dear girl, not every boy that threatens to kill you turns out to be an Ash. Sometimes he’s just a guy threatening to kill you.
I have a small sad because of this.
The underlying Nancy Drew factor is still rather intriguing and if we can thin out the dialogue a bit then we really have something to work with here. Liberating lingering spooks with necromancy could be an impressive twist if future installments of the series end up leaning more toward mystery. The whole gang loading up into the car to go hunt ghosts? So very Scooby Doo and everyone loves Scooby Doo.
*Quote taken from Miz Sagara’s website. Go and visit! You can read the first few chapters now! Thank you to DAW books for sending this one my way.
I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore (James Frey and Jobie Hughes)
Date: August 3rd 2010
Genre: YA- Paranormal Fantasy, Science Fiction
Source: I purchased with my own hard earned money.
I was scanning through the movies on Vudu the other night and I ran across a preview for I Am Number Four. There wasn’t a trailer available on Vudu (which is a horrid fail, btw) so I googled it, watched it and yeah, it looked pretty good. I was going to rent the movie but it turns out you can’t. You can only buy it and even if it was good, it wouldn’t be the kind of movie I’d spend twenty bucks on. You can already sense the negativity, can’t you?
So I bought the book.
In hindsight it wasn’t worth those ten bucks either.
Daniel John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith, is hot footing it out of town. About ever six months or so, he and his pseudo-father “Henri” load up the truck and move to a new town and change identities. It’s necessary, seriously necessary in fact because there’s an entire race of killer aliens after them. John is one of nine Super High-speed 4G Bluetooth hero children that escaped from the planet of Lorien in the midst of an attack by said killer aliens. As the last of his race, it’s crucial to his people’s survival that he and his kind stay hidden on earth until it’s safe to return to their home planet. The Mogadorians (killer aliens), having raped Loric for all its resources, have set their sights on the planet Earth and must destroy the nine super kids in order to carry out their evil, villainous plans. *Cue music*
The nine can only be killed in sequential order. Meaning, you can’t kill three before killing one or it JUST WILL NOT WORK. See instructions below:
(Sorry. This is just how my brain works.)
Three are dead. John is number four. Get it?
OK, now to get to the root of my pissiness. I liked this story. It was incredibly entertaining in a Saturday morning cartoon sort of way. The plot was great. The action was intense. All the super hero badassedness was badass. All that. I read it in two sittings because I really did care about what happened and I was into it. I was into it despite the fact that the writing was unforgivably atrocious and seemed, for lack of a better way to put it, to be written by a child…in crayon.
It read about like this:
I woke up. I walked to the refrigerator. I opened the refrigerator door. I took a moment to brood about how much it sucked that I might get killed by aliens. I really want to just be human and eat fruit loops. I can’t be human because I’m so badass. MAN AM I BADASS! I’m still going to eat fruit loops.
That was the reenactment. Here’s an actual quote:
“I go to the bathroom, enter an empty stall, and latch the door behind me. I open my hands. A slight glow in the right one. I close my eyes and sigh, focus on breathing slowly. A minute later the glow is still there. I shake my head. I didn’t think the Legacy would be that sensitive. I stay in the stall.”
It brought to mind a traffic jam, with cars lined up for miles and miles behind each other, moving at the speed of one bumper length every fifteen minutes. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Short, clipped little sentences written for the ADD afflicted in mind.
Still, all in all, it’s a great story, and I hope it made a better movie. If “Pittacus Lore” would like to send my back my ten bucks, I’ll throw in the other ten and watch it.
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive..
I’ll make this really quick and easy. I didn’t like this book. While it didn’t necessary qualify as something so awful it made bunnies cry, I could still hear the telltale whimper of a bunny who is on the verge of tears.
For starters, I was bored stupid for the first 2/3 of the book. Seriously, nothing happened other than Calla’s rampant personality disorder, moping around the Searcher’s hideout threatening to attack everybody one minute (not that she did by the way, she just threatened and glowered…ohhhhh you’re so bad ass), loving Shay, loving Ren, being a shameless cock tease and then spending the rest of the time WHINING. OH DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN MAKE HER STOP. Poor thing she was just SO torn over EVERYTHING that she was virtually ineffective at anything.
OK, I know that was harsh, but I’m allowed. I loved Nightshade, mainly because of the strength of the main character. In the sequel she was just so very weak. And not the kind of weak from which one learns and ultimately becomes more confident and assertive, just the plain ol’ wussy kind.
It got better towards the end, and by better I mean more action packed, a little bit of a twist and there was an unexpected turncoat in their midst. Oh and one perfectly well executed lurve scene.
Not happy at all but I’m still on board for the next book. I’ll give my girl one more chance, for the sake of our budding friendship in Nightshade.
Hate the new covers btw.