It's a new month and our new Books of the Months are in!! Join us in reading them and then discussing in our Skype discussions!!
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Monday, October 3, 2011
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication: July 12th, 2011
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.
On the whole I think this was an excellent series that I highly recommend, but to me, Forever falls far short of its predecessors both as an individual story and especially as a series finale.
As this is the third and final book in the series, I'm loathe to give a synopsis because it would potentially contain spoilers for the books that come before it. Thus, this will have to do: Forever is about werewolves, but not your typical werewolves. I would hazard to guess that you've never seen werewolves like these before (unless of course you've read the first two books!). The story focuses on three particular werewolves and their various interpersonal relationships. Pretty lame, huh. Yeah, well, that's all you get, read the series!
Having read and reviewed the first two installments (my review of Shiver is here and of Linger is here), I don't have anything new to say about Maggie's writing mechanics. I will reiterate that she is a very good writer who does a masterful job of straddling the line between descriptive narrative and purple prose. Her style is both fluid and mature (which is great to see out of a YA author).
I will not get into a full discussion of the split narrative here as I spoke about it a little bit in my review of Shiver and at length in my review of Linger, but I will point to Forever, as a prime example of the style's inherent short comings.
Click here to view Spoiler:
Things that I have complained about in the other books are still present in this book. Not the least of which is gender confusion. I think, Maggie did a better job with this aspect in Linger than she did in Shiver, but it returns again in full measure her in Forever. Sam has consistantly been the girlie boy from the get go, but Cole is much more affected in this book than he was in the last. I am NOT going to cite specific examples at this time because I am plannning an essay which will focus on the difficulties of authors creating convincing characters of the opposing gender. This series of books will feature heavily in that piece.
If Forever is more of the same, why three stars instead of four? Well, to start, this one dragged a bit more than the others did. It seems to be a fairly common complaint, that this one was slow to get started, and I appear to be in the majority (for a change) in that I feel the same way.
Where I appear to be in the minority is that, I didn't feel that this book had the same emotional impact as the earlier ones did. Spoilers inbound!
Click to view Spoiler :
Another major flaw I had with Forever, was the ending. Potential ground work for a possible fourth book aside, what happens in the climax doesn't make alot of sense. Can't say more without spoilers, soooooo...
Click to view Spoiler:
In the end, the final event doesn't really resolve the major situation presented in this book, or the culmination of the series as a whole. Oh well, we at least get a relatively happy ending.
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Title: Halfway to the Grave
Series: Night Huntress
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publication: October 30th, 2007
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father--the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.
In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner--are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.
This was my first Jeaniene Frost book, and it certainly won't be my last. Original characters? Nope. Twisty turny plot line? Uh uh. High tension story telling? Your joking right? Beautiful prose? You can't see, but I'm smirking at you. Well then, what was so great about this book, Chris?!
I'll say this, it might be a bit early to make this comparison, having read only one of her books, but I think that Jeaniene may be the Nora Roberts of the PnR genre. I don't know if she intended to write camp here, or if it just worked out that way, but the ride from start to finish was a blast. This book was pure supernatural candy and I loved every minute of it. Alright, not EVERY minute of it, I didn't give it 5 stars, after all, but it was well worth my time.
Cat is a 22 year old vampire slayer. She's been knocking off the oversized mosquitoes, with her mother's blessing, since she was about 16. Then one day... errrr night... she runs into a little more than she can handle. Cat's life will never be the same, okay, well it won't be ALL THAT different. She'll still wack blood sucking vermin every chance she gets, she'll just do it with more pizazz.
As I said already, Jeaniene's characters are by no means original. Cat is your stereo typical, kick ass vampire slayer and Bones is your run of the mill bad boy love interest. Her brilliance in constructing them is how over the top she is about it. I know the comparison has been made about a thousand times, but think Buffy the Vampire Slayer and your pretty much there.
Thru much of this book Cat is tempered with a believable innocence that makes her seem nearly as vulnerable as she is lethal. This is a fantastic combination because it creates a necessary place in the story for her would be protector, Bones. He's not just tacked on as a cosmetic piece to make the ladies all hot and bothered. Don't get me wrong, Cat is all about girl power, but Bones gets to let his protective instincts out. Again, think Nora Roberts.
My major complaint in this one is really a fairly minor one. It is clear going in that Jeaneine intended to write a series, thus there are copious plot threads left dangling at the end of the book. That wasn't so much a problem for me. No, my major heartache is that things develope a bit to fast:
Click here to view Spoiler :
The danger of this kind of book is if you come in taking it too seriously based on all the positive reviews. This isn't a very serious book (not that I'm saying it's a comedy, it certainly isn't). As with all good camp, this book is somewhat tongue in cheek, without beating you over the head with goofiness. If you read it for what it is, I think you'll come away happier for the experience!
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