Sunday, October 31, 2010

Frostbitten (Women of the Otherworld #10) by Kelley Armstrong

Frostbitten (Women of the Otherworld #10) 
By Kelley Armstrong

This book is from Elena's perspective. It involves Elena and Clayton following the trail of an Australian mutt. They track the mutt to Alaska, which also lead Elena and Clay to face new threats and enemies of the Pack.

I was really disappointed with this Women of the Otherworld book. While it was nice to discover more about Elena and Clay, I felt this book was not as enthralling or thrilling as the other books in the series. And this book did not involve the other characters as much as the other books in the past had, which I think is key to making the series quite enjoyable reads. Also, it was way way too short for my liking. What the heck Kelley, I need a good long story about those awesome characters, like you did with your earlier books. 

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Spy Glass (Glass #3) by Maria V. Snyder

Spy Glass
by Maria V. Snyder

Overall, I felt this book did not at all deliver on the level that I anticipated with the other books in the glass series and study series. There were only a few redeeming sections of the book here and there.

I especially thought the whole middle part of the book was difficult to get through, since there was just not a lot of substance - nothing to keep me wanting to continue to read. I just did not find Opal's time in Fulgor exciting or enthralling at all.

I also did not like how Opal's character, who was once strong and what I thought was a good heroine, became listless, defeated, doubting and just a really meek character.

I also dislike who she winds up with by the end of the book. It was a total let down and had no support or substance to why Opal ends up with who she does.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Naamah's Curse (Kushiel's Legacy #8) by Jacqueline Carey

Naamah's Curse (Kushiel's Legacy #8)
by Jacqueline Carey

Far from the land of her birth, Moirin sets out across Tatar territory to find Bao, the proud and virile Ch'in fighter who holds the missing half of her diadh-anam, the divine soul-spark of her mother's people. After a long ordeal, she not only succeeds, but surrenders to a passion the likes of which she's never known. But the lovers' happiness is short lived, for Bao is entangled in a complication that soon leads to their betrayal.

I really really did not like the first half of this book. I  did not like reading about Moirin telling her "sins" and having them skewed by the priest character in such a way that all that she had accomplished in her life were evil deeds and sins. It made me upset and uncomfortable to read. The redeeming factor to the book was the last quarter of the book, where the pace and the storyline pick up and Bao is once again around. 

Rating: 2/5 Stars 

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Feet (Book 1)
by Carrie Ryan

** spoiler alert ** Life inside the village is the only life Mary knows. It's not as if she can go out of the village. It is fenced all around, constantly guarded, and for good reason. Outside the village, beyond the fences, lies the forest of hands and feet. Within the forest, danger and death lurk in the forest - the Unconsecrated. The Unconsecrated are zombies; things that were once human, somehow got infected from an Unconsecrated, dies and then comes back to life as an Unconsecrated themselves. And the Unconsecrated thirst for human flesh and blood.

At the start of the book, you get the sense that prior to this, things have been relatively "normal" in Mary's life and her experience within the village. She has now come of age in the village, and can be courted. Though she wishes Travis to begin courting her, his brother, Harry, instead begins to show her his interest in her - well, almost. With the lose of her mother to the Unconsecrated, life for Mary has become difficult, to say in the least. She is left with few options now that both her parents are gone, lost in the forest and Unconsecrated. Her options are: she can stay with her older brother and his wife, she can have a boy officially begin courting her, or she could stay with the Sisters in the Cathedral. Things do not go in Mary's favor - her brother blames her for allowing their mother to intentionally get infected, as well as dealing with his wife having a miscarriage, he banishes her from what used to be there family house but now was his house. And with no one coming to "claim" and court her, she is left with no choice but to live within the Cathedral and be prepped to become a Sister. Her visits with the injured Travis and the appearance of a girl from Outside of the village make Mary begin to question what's out there, beyond the forest, and why the Sisters are keeping so many secrets.

Not long later, the mysterious girl, Gabrielle, disappears from her room in the cathedral, but Mary spots her - on the other side of the fence, an Unconsecrated. Soon after, a massive hoard of Unconsecrated breach the fences and go after any villagers that they can get to - to bite them and eat them. Through quick thinking, Mary lead Harry, her now betrothed, and Jacob, a little boy Harry narrowly saved from the Unconsecrated to a gated path that Mary has discovered Gabrielle came from. The only others who have escaped and also have gotten to this fenced path are Travis and Cass, Mary's best friend, and her brother and his wife. Though she is driven by her mother's stories about the past and the existence of an ocean to find what's beyond the forest, Mary must decide whether to continue pursuing her goal of reaching the Ocean or find a way to survive in their new environment....

I was excited to read a YA book that was not about angels or vampires or werewolves, though I do love my share of them. The book is well written and the basis of the plot is very interesting, but I felt the need for more details - sudden events occur and then things continue on, and are only described in the briefest, most basic way. I also had issues connecting not only with Mary, but the other characters as well. You never really get a sense of any of them. Perhaps a bit more from Travis, but this is brief due to untimely events. By the end of the book, questions are still not answered. And I also did not like how impersonal and lack of feeling& detail deaths are. With the cliffhanger ending, the author is likely to continue with at least 2 more books. Will the unanswered questions be answered then? Or are we just going to get a whole new set of questions and problems ontop of the ones the end of the book leaves us with? I am undecided as to whether or not I will read the next book in the series.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

The Fallen: Volume 2 (Aerie & Reckoning) -- Review

  The Fallen: Volume 2 (Aerie & Reckoning) 
by Thomas E. Sniegoski

** spoiler alert ** Sniegoski's "The Fallen: Volume 2 - Aerie & Reckoning" is the sequel (actually the third and fourth book in The Fallen series) to Volume 1.

I think that Volume 2 of this series is well written, in the sense that it does a good job of wrapping up the storyline; however, I think that the dialogue and plot was just way over the top cliche. Aaron is finally coming to terms with his status as a Nephillim, more specifically his status as "the prophesized one" who has the ability to act as a messenger of God and has the power to forgive fallen angels, allowing them to return to Heaven. After Aaron, Gabriel and Camael's last encounter with Verchiel, the commanding angel of The Powers (who is adamant to follow through with his mission to eliminate all nephillims from Earth), they stumble upon Aerie. Aerie is a hidden, always moving location that is a haven for fallen angels and nephillim. Meanwhile, Verchiel continues to plot - capturing Lucifer and tracking down the Malakim, angels who are essentially extensions of God on Earth. Verchiel methodically tracks down and kill the Malakim in order to retrieve from them forbidden knowledge that God has entrusted with them. Verchiel has taken the strikes from God as signs of appeasement with Verchiel's work and goals. Instead of doing God's bidding, Verchiel is serving his own goals. And in this book, he turns his attention to undoing the word of God, and release Hell from it's imprisonment inside Lucifer. Thus, Aaron's new goal and duty as the savior of fallen angels and nephillim is to prevent Verchiel from releasing Hell on all of humanity.

I thought the attempt at character development for Velma was weak, and would have rather learned more about Camael or Lucifer's past and wanderings on Earth. Overall, while I was content with the story and how things wrapped up, I can't rate this book more than 2 stars because of it's oversimplified dialogue. 

Rating: 2/5 Stars

The Fallen: Volume 1 (The Fallen & Leviathan) -- Review

The Fallen: Volume 1 (The Fallen & Leviathan) 
by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Aaron Corbet has just had his eighteenth birthday. Things are going relatively normal at school on this day - well, except for this massive painful headache he has through out his school day and during his job at a vet clinic. As soon as Aaron's headache becomes unbearable, it all of a sudden is gone.

And that's when strange things start to happen. Aaron begins to understand and speak any and every language (even dog's language much to the chagrin of his faithful Laborador, Gabriel). His developing powers as a Nephilim are attracting a few fallen angels to help him, but also have but him on The Power's radar, who seek him out to destroy the abomination that are Nephilim. Oh, and not to put any pressure on Aaron, but he is believed to be and expected to be "the prophesied ONE," the Nephilim who will act as a messenger and bridge between fallen angels on earth and God's will/Heaven, and will have the ability to admonish fallen angels so that they may be forgiven and return to Heaven.

While I liked The Fallen (the first part of The Fallen:Volume 1), I did not like the second part, Leviathan. It was not as engaging nor as interesting to read as The Fallen, and almost acted like a filler story. The only redeeming part of Leviathan I believe was that we find out more about what has happened to Stevie, Aaron's little brother. 

Rating: 2/5 Stars
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