Wednesday, May 22, 2013

dead ever after

dead ever after
sookie stackhouse #13
charlaine harris
ace hardcover
published 2013

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart....

Sookie Stackhouse  finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…
The last Sookie Stackhouse book.  *sigh*
Let me tell you first off that this review will have spoilers because I can't talk about this without talking about it.  We do start off with a rant here, not necessarily about the book, but about the whiny naysayers out there.

After I finished the book I looked at some reviews on GoodReads and Shelfari and I was surprised to see so many one star reviews.  I mean, it wasn't the best book in the series, but shit got tied up and that's good enough for me.  Charlaine Harris isn't writing the Great American Novel.  She's written a tacky romance series with bad sex scenes and for some reason it's incredibly appealing.  So shut up already.  One of the most common complaints was that Sookie didn't end up with Eric and wasn't turned.  I'm sorry, but if you want to read a book where the 'heroine' ends up a vampire and married to a vampire go read Twilight.  This is a different story.

It's completely ridiculous the entitlement that readers have.  You did not write this series.  You did not create this world or give birth onto pages these characters.  Sure, you invested money into the books and fell in love with characters, but come on.  You don't get to say what happens to anyone and you shouldn't whine when it doesn't go the way you wanted it to.  I get being disappointed, truly I do, but seriously, get over it.  If you don't like it there's this thing called 'fan fiction' - go write some.  But I suppose like most, if you can't write, critique.

Oh, and to those people who said that the whole Sam thing was way out of left field?  You're idiots.  Plain and simple.  Since the first book I knew that someday Sookie would end up with Sam.  Good god people, Harris has been building that one up for YEARS.  If you didn't see that coming I don't know what to tell you.

And all that above is the reason why so many gave the book one star reviews.  Because they were being children who didn't get what they wanted.

That being said, the book was different.  We were taken out of Sookie's head for the first time ever as she touched upon different characters.  It was disconcerting and I truly didn't feel like I was reading a Sookie book until I was back with her.  It wasn't bad, it was just different.

There was too much going on.  I understand that she wanted to bring back as many characters as she could to tie up loose ends and to cement Sookie's life in place, but the whole devil/Copley thing was completely unnecessary.  Didn't need it, didn't add anything to the story as a whole and ended up being pretty anticlimactic.  And instead of having that business in there maybe she could've given more attention to the Eric/Sookie debacle.  I mean, it has been this huge thing that's driven the entire series so maybe spend a little more than a couple chapters on the demise of the relationship.  It was all so rushed.  We're introduced to a major new character (Karin) and then just kind of, 'well, see ya, bye.'

Everything did work out in the end and maybe that's what pissed people off?  But like I said, this stuff is fluff.  It was entertaining, but I don't need to sit and ponder about it.  It did what it should have done and entertained me for a couple of hours.

I can't say I'm sad it's over.  After probably the 5th book I was just kind of, 'meh'.  I was reading just because it was something to read.  But I'm glad there's an ending and I don't have to read about Bill anymore.

Monday, May 13, 2013

stopping time & old habits

stopping time
old habits
wicked lovely series between #2 & #3
melissa marr
harper collins
published 2010 & 2011

Leslie walked away from the Dark Court, determined to reclaim her life and live it on her own terms—even if it meant leaving behind the two faeries who love her. She knows Niall and Irial watch over her, and she would give almost anything to keep them from hurting. But she resists the pull to be with either one of them. Someone knows about Leslie's past, however, and is intent on using her to reach the fey. And he doesn't care who gets hurt.

Recently anointed king of the Dark Court, Niall struggles to forge a new relationship with his subjects—and with the former Dark King, Irial, his once-friend, once-enemy, and now possible-advisor. 

Of the fae, when a mortal touches Gancanagh they become obsessed and begin to wither away from want.  That's pretty much how I feel about the Wicked Lovely series.

In retrospect, these books were ridiculously unnecessary, but I loved them.  When I finished Ink Exchange I wasn't ready to be done with Leslie, Irial and Niall's story.  I thought more could be told and this was perfect.  I can see how both of these set up the next stories and it only makes me want to read them more!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

darkness falls

darkness falls
immortal beloved #2
cate tiernan
published 2012

Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite some drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave.

She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?

In between reading Immortal Beloved and Darkness Falls I decided that I must read her other books and I would start with the Sweep series.  I hated them.  The characters were annoying and over the top.  Not enjoyable at all.  Then I started wondering if maybe Immortal Beloved was a fluke and I would hate the next two books.  Thankfully, that wasn't the case.

Nastasya is getting better and better at River's Edge.  She's starting to accept that she can make a better life for herself and be a good person.  We get a lot of flash backs of the not-so-nice things she'd done in the past and we also get to see a bit of what River was like as a young immortal.

But things start to go awry and Nastasya begins to believe that she can't control the dark magick inside her so she decides to leave River's Edge to keep everyone else safe.  And then then the bad stuff really starts to happen.

A good follow up to a great book.  I think I'll have to jump right into Eternally Yours!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

the alchemyst

the alchemyst
the secrets of the immortal nicholas flamel #1
michael scott
published 2008

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

Michael Scott blends historical truth with superb fantasy in The Alchemyst.  The book starts off quickly, jumping right into the fray.  Sophie and her twin brother Josh seem to just be in the wrong place at the wrong time....Or were they?

I can see why some people felt that the twins were annoying.  I liked Sophie, but Josh was kind of irritating thoughout.  However, I chalked it up to being a 15 year old kid faced with unbelievable circumstances.  I wonder how I would feel or react in his shoes and I doubt it would be much different.

I liked the combination of history and fiction.  It makes things much more fun and makes me want to learn more about the people that Scott writes about.  I found myself taking little breaks here and there so I could look something up!

It's a quick read with very little downtime.  The action is basically non stop!

Friday, May 10, 2013

ink exchange

ink exchange
wicked lovely #2
melissa marr
published 2009

Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .

Melissa Marr writes dark.  Drugs, suicide, murder, sex, lies, rape, nothing is hidden in the Wicked Lovely books.

At first I was disappointed to find that Aislinn, Seth, Keenan & Donia weren't the main characters.  In fact, we never even see Donia here.  She's just mentioned off-page!  But as I got to know Leslie it was okay.  Just like Aislinn, Leslie is a rich and powerful character.  She's strong without denying her fears & weaknesses.  She's no idiot, she's proud and determined to make things better for herself by herself.

She continuously surprised me with her actions.  She's not some namby-pamby female lead.  She was great.

Melissa Marr writes the dark fae well.  It's madness and addiction and fear, but she writes it drenched in reality.  It reminds me a little of Holly Blacks fae except where Marr is trying to portray a darker side to teenage life, Black just writes the dark to shock the reader, to be faux-edgy.

Marr ends Ink Exchange with a bit of a cliff hanger.  Kind of like what she did with Wicked Lovely.  Things were resolved, in a sense, but we were looking forward to the aftermath.  I wonder if she'll deliver that in the next book.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


delirium series #2.75
lauren oliver
harper collins
published 2013

As a teenager, Raven made the split-second decision to flee across the border to the Wilds, compelled to save an abandoned newborn—a baby girl left for dead and already blue from the cold. When she and the baby are taken in by a band of rebels, Raven finds herself an outsider within a tight-knit group. The only other newcomer is an untrustworthy boy known as the Thief until he finally earns himself a new name: Tack.

Now she and Tack are inseparable, committed to each other, the fledgling rebellion, and a future together. But as they both take center stage in the fight, Raven must decide whether the dangers of the revolution are worth risking her dreams of a peaceful life with Tack.

As her story hurtles back and forth between past and present, Raven transforms from a scared girl newly arrived in the Wilds to the tough leader who helps Lena save former Deliria-Free poster boy Julian Fineman from a death sentence. Whatever the original mission may have been, Raven abides by a conviction that she believes to her core: You always return for the people you love.

By turns surprising, revelatory, and poignant, Raven's story enriches the Delirium world and resonates with a voice that is as vulnerable as it is strong. 


This story absolutely broke my heart.  I loved Raven.  Just like Annabel I thought that Raven had so much more story in her than she was allotted in the main books.  Look at what she's done!  How she survived, who she's saved, who she's loved.  It's so much and she wasn't done justice in the books.

We see how she and Tack came to love each other and we get a glimpse at what home life was like for her before the Wilds.  It wasn't enough, but I'll take it.

But we all know what happened in Requiem so all of this is so bittersweet.  SO UNFAIR!

Friday, May 3, 2013

private berlin

private berlin
private #5
james patterson & mark sullivan
little brown & co.
published 2013

Chris Schneider is a superstar agent at Private Berlin, Germany headquarters for the world's most powerful investigation firm. He keeps his methods secret as he tackles Private's most high-profile cases-and when Chris suddenly disappears, he becomes Private Berlin's most dangerous investigation yet.

Mattie Engel is another top agent at Private Berlin, gorgeous and ruthlessly determined-and she's also Chris's ex. Mattie throws herself headfirst into finding Chris, following leads to the three people Chris was investigating when he vanished: a billionaire suspected of cheating on his wife, a soccer star accused of throwing games, and a nightclub owner with ties to the Russian mob. Any one of them would surely want Chris gone-and one of them is evil enough to want him dead.

Mattie's chase takes her into Berlin's most guarded, hidden, and treacherous places, revealing secrets from Chris's past that she'd never dreamed of in the time they were lovers. On the brink of a terrifying discovery, Mattie holds on to her belief in Chris-in the face of a horror that could force all of Europe to the edge of destruction and chaos.

Another new branch of Private and another set of characters to get to know.  I liked Mattie right off.  She's no nonsense & tough, but she wasn't afraid to be vulnerable or show her emotions.  Everyone was truly just background characters.  Jack Morgan makes an appearance, but his case was boring and completely unnecessary to the story despite the author trying to make it fit.

The one major thing I didn't like about the book is something that I noticed was kind of annoying and over-the-top in Private Games.  Makes sense since it was co-authored by the same author.  He writes these chapters here and there in the killer's voice.  1st person.  I suppose it's supposed to be creepy, but it's just annoying.  And I can't figure out how a person makes a clicking noise in their throat.

I read this one in a couple of hours so it's a definite quick read.  There's another part of this book that's a replica of Private Games, but I won't give it away since it would spoil the ending somewhat!  I guess on my list of James Patterson co-authors, Mark Sullivan's kind of low.

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