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Neil Gaiman
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The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon When I read the blurb for The Bone Season, I imagined it would be a dystopian, supernatural version of Inception, with possibly a hint of The Matrix.It was nothing like that.Sure, it's dystopian and supernatural, but in the end The Bone Season was a very dark version of [b:The Black Magician Trilogy|28250|The Novice (The Black Magician Trilogy, #2)|Trudi Canavan|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327357280s/28250.jpg|1293084] with a much more developed world, far better characters and oh-em-gee spirit combat.I loved every second of it.I love reading a book and genuinely not being able to guess what's going to happen. Predictability is one of the worst crimes a book can commit, and luckily The Bone Season had none of it - Except maybe for the whole Warden & Paige thing, but I'll let that slide.I also love that this was really not a YA book, it was most definitely adult and did not sugar coat a damn thing. Beautifully dark, violent and unashamed swearing. It's so refreshing to find an amazing paranormal novel intended adults!I loved all the characters; Paige was a fantastic heroine and I can't wait to see more. World-building was immense and the detail about the clairvoyants and spirit combat was off the charts. But I want more! Trouble is there is so much detail to Samantha Shannon's world but not enough of it has been explained! I want to know exactly what each of the clairvoyants do and how they connect to the aether. I want to know about the different types of spirits and how you become one. I want more on the history. More on the plot. More about Warden. And Paige. I just want more. NOW.I shouldn't have read this book the week it came out. I'll be torturing myself waiting for the next books to be released.It's like Harry Potter all over again. A seven book series published by Bloomsbury. Who, incidentally, took a chance on a 21-year-old debut author and gave her a six-figure publishing deal - and that's just for the first three books. There's a movie deal and everything. Samantha Shannon, I'd hate your guts if you weren't so damn talented. You deserve it all. The Bone Season was incredibly and had me hooked from the start. More people need to read this.DO IT!
All Our Yesterdays - Cristin Terrill All Our Yesterdays is one of those books I cannot believe more people don't know about. Okay, it has only been out for a few days, but I've been so excited about this for months. It feels like it should have exploded into a literary phenomenon by now. And with a premise such as this, I fully expect it to."You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. All Our Yesterdays was one of the rare books that I could not put down. I actually felt physical withdrawal symptoms when I was required to stop reading. I solved that problem by not stopping. I finally succumbed to sleep in the early hours of last night, but woke up the next day and read until I had finished. It was that good. And here is why.All Our Yesterdays is everything a dystopian time-travel story should be. It's dark, it's deep, filled with flawed characters, complex relationships and high stakes. It's cleverly written, with the narrative switching between the past and the present so that you're kept guessing until the end.Do I think there was room for improvement? Sure. It doesn't marr my five-star review, but I would have loved for it to be longer, with more details of the characters' journeys (the news that there will be a sequel greatly pleases me).I think Finn was a bit too perfect, in comparison to James and Marina who were fantastically flawed and realistic characters. Marina's whole "inner journey" did feel a bit out of place to me. While learning to love yourself is an important life lesson; you are trying to save the world (!) - your self-esteem issues should not have been such a massive side plot.I also hate love triangles, but I can't deny that this one really worked for the story.Concerning the timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly stuff (technical term), yes there were some instances where I could nitpick at the details. I am a highly advanced Whovian and I think I have earned that right. But when it comes to theories of time-travel, there is no correct answer. There are scientists out there of genius intellect still arguing over how it could work, if at all. The disagreements I had with this book's portrayal of time travel were so minute and didn't affect my enjoyment of the novel at all.In short, I loved this book. It had all of my favourite elements and had me hooked from the very start. One of the best books I have read all year, and a solid all-time favourite!
Tiger's Curse (Tiger Saga Book 1): A heart-pounding adventure...magical! - Colleen Houck Don't you hate it when your new pet tiger morphs into a sexy human man and tells you he's an Indian prince who has been cursed to live as a tiger, except for 24 convenient minutes each day when he can become human again? Furthermore, you've totally been tricked into following a strange 300-year-old man and a tiger into the middle of the god-damn Indian jungle where no one can hear you scream and you are a teenage girl. Welcome to Colleen Houck's epic crappy saga.This book was, to put it briefly, rather shit. I could end the review right there, but I read 500 pages of this nonsense, and I'm not going to settle for a short review. So buckle up kids; this ain't gonna be spoiler-free.Today's heroine is a girl called Kelsey (another shit name from the YA genre). Kelsey suffers from author-trying-to-be-cool syndrome. This is an unfortunate and not uncommon condition that affects protagonists of all ages. It is most common in the YA genre, along with diseases such as bland character syndrome and the regrettable wish-fulfilment-device disorder. Pick up a pamphlet it your local book store to learn how you can protect yourself against books of a grievous nature.Kelsey's symptoms are as follows: Author Colleen Houck found that she couldn't remember what it was like to be eighteen, which is fair enough seeing as she was in her forties when this book was published. She attempted to portray Kelsey in a way that reflected what she thought eighteen-year-olds these days are like. She came up with character traits such as incessant spewing of pop culture references, an overindulgent use of sarcasm and an all-consuming need to describe every single soul-crushingly dull detail of her day-to-day routine in excruciating length. Author-trying-to-be-cool syndrome is a true tragedy where authors try to be "down with the kids" and create what they believe to be relatable characters for teen readers, when in fact they are implying that said teen readers are as bird-brained and annoying as the protagonist.Colleen Houck - offensive to teenagers everywhere.So young Kelsey gets a summer job working at a circus; employed by an eccentric Italian ring leader who can't even speak his own language. This is yet another example of author-trying-to-be-cool syndrome. She clearly thought she'd gain points by using a lot of foreign words she can't properly conjugate, putting them in italics to make damn sure people knew how clever she is and just sitting back and watch as Italians everywhere shake their heads saying "we don't talk like that"; but probably while eating gelato and pizza, because in Colleen Houck's mind everyone conforms to stereotype.Colleen Houck has probably never left America, or met anyone of foreign persuasion. But more on that later.So Kelsey is employed to take care of the tiger, because it makes absolute sense to employ a teenager with the mental capacity of a cheese sandwich to undertake one of the most dangerous circus tasks with minimal training or supervision. Conveniently, Ren the tiger is a sweetheart and Kelsey has an instant connection with the him. She spends her days talking and reading Shakespeare to him, and he miraculously does't bite her head off for doing so (I would have). She doesn't know why, but she implicitly trusts this tiger and finds she has a beautiful connection to him. Which works out well seeing as he ends up being the love interest.One day a stranger shows up and informs Kelsey that his employer in India has bought Ren the tiger. However, he would like Kelsey to accompany him and the tiger on their trip to India to ensure that Ren is well looked after during the journey. He says he can pay for all of her expenses (as long as she comes alone) and can get everything sorted out for them in less than a week; including getting Kelsey a passport which you know, doesn't take three months at all.Bit weird, don't you think Kels? Do you feel maybe a hint of suspicion? A glimmer of doubt?Alrighty then.So Kelsey travels to India; and this is where we are treated to the extent of author Colleen Houck's research capabilities. I'll give her credit: she clearly spent some time researching Indian culture and mythology (and shoving a shit ton of it into the book, trying once again to show how clever she is and also beefing up the book considerably). That's all well and good, but for all the time you spent on your India research it kind of falls flat when you don't know that Muslims are not called "Islamics". Do you know where else you lose points? By having half the Indian characters we meet know only very basic English, despite the fact that most Indian people can speak English very well indeed. Not only that, but if your character speaks in incredibly annoying broken English using sentences like "Watch Phet. Follow. You Try." but then follows up with sentences like "Compose yourself and we converse", I'm left wondering what the hell you were thinking.Again, Colleen Houck has never met a foreigner. And that's probably a good thing as I'm not confident she would treat them very well.Once in India, it is soon revealed then tiger Ren is actually a 300-year-old Indian prince who has been cursed into eternal tiger form, except for some reason he can change back occasionally during the day. But only when Kelsey is around. Because the idiotic white teenager from the great old US of A turns out to be the Chosen One. Great.Remarkably, Kelsey gets on board with the whole my-pet-tiger-is-a-sexy-prince thing quite quickly, and I did too, but what I continued to have trouble with was the fact that Ren keeps his clothes when he transforms. Now Colleen Houck, this would be fine if you explained WHY. It doesn't have to be an excellent explaination, but you could have at least tried to come up with some sort of reason beyond "my book must remain PG-13". Kelsey and Ren actually have a short discussion about the fact that Ren keeps his pristine white clothes on when he changes back into a human. Neither of them felt the need to voice the fact that it was quite unusual. Did Kelsey ask him why? Nope, because Colleen Houck does whatever the fuck she wants.To cut a very long story short, Kelsey and Ren have to travel across India undertaking quests from an actual Goddess in order to break Ren's curse. Along the way there's a whole bunch of boring prose, Colleen Houck choosing not to embrace the show-not-tell philosophy (to her detriment) and oh hey, a love triangle.I speed-read for about the last half of the book, so I can't really comment on a lot of it. In fact the only reason I didn't give up on the book was to see if we would ever get any explanation about the clothes issue! Still haven't found it, and I don't fancy wading through another four books. Do I believe Colleen Houck was able to dream up an explanation? What do you think?
Monument 14 - Emmy Laybourne I bloody love survivalist fiction, and I really don't read enough of it. I'm not talking about your generic post-apocalyptic/dystopian survival novels, I mean the full on we-are-trapped-in-this-situation-and-we-are-going-to-use-every-ingenious-method-at-our-disposal-to-survive kind of fiction.My love of survivalist novels started way back in the day when I would read [b:Kensuke's Kingdom|1033346|Kensuke's Kingdom|Michael Morpurgo|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337229972s/1033346.jpg|2453747] and watch Swiss Family Robinson on repeat. Other books soon followed; [b:Robinson Crusoe|2932|Robinson Crusoe|Daniel Defoe|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348668150s/2932.jpg|604666], [b:Life of Pi|4214|Life of Pi|Yann Martel|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320562005s/4214.jpg|1392700]...and then my interest kind of morphed into the oh-so-popular post-apocalyptic novels we see these days. These are sometimes referred to as survivalist novels, but they are not the true survivalist novels I so crave.Monument 14 brought back my love of everything survivalist. The fact that the story takes place during a bit of an apocalypse was almost irrelevant to me. It was the sheer concept of a group of kids being trapped in a supermarket and figuring out to stay alive...that's what I loved.It was fantastic to read about how the kids lived day-by-day, constructing make-shift beds, sourcing food, managing their energy resources. Some of the details were quite standard to anyone who has considered a zombie apocalypse/alien invasion survival strategy (check!), but some things Emmy Laybourne thought of were genius! Making individual bedrooms for everyone in the changing rooms, and being able to customise each one. Brilliant! I never would have thought of that! See, it's the little things I just love - it really makes you feel like you're right there and you can't help but imagine what you would do if you were in that exact situation.But if you're not a hardcore survivalist such as myself, this book may be less enjoyable for you. It's not hard to see where the book suffers.I couldn't relate to any of the characters. Whatsoever. It wasn't so much because of the lack of characterisation but oh dear God did they all have to be such shits?!. I know they're all kids but geez they were rubbish. I didn't like a single character, not even little Max who you could tell the author was trying to use as comic effect, but it just didn't work. Sorry Emmy Laybourne, but you're just not funny (and I mean that in the kindest possible way).There were other shortcomings, too. The writing was simplistic, which is putting it mildly, however I didn't really mind. There is not much call for epic prose when you're writing 1st person POV survivalist fiction. And the explanation for the tornado on the front cover? Did not buy that at all. I thought that was a very weak plot point and Laybourne had better come up with a semi-decent further explanation in the sequel(s).Speaking of, will I pick up the sequel? Well, I read this book ravenously and I enjoyed it a lot, but I know it was because the first book featured kids surviving in a convenience store. Having glanced at the blurb of the second book, I'm pretty sure it will be moving away from my beloved "survivalist" genre and into your generic "post-apocalyptic" category. Have you learned the difference yet?To sequel or not to sequel. That is the question.....
Silence - Becca Fitzpatrick Here's a sentence I never thought I'd say: I didn't hate this book.Yeah. I know. I'm confused too. For an author who took one English course in college and the professor threatened to fail her, Becca Fitzpatrick certainly surprised me.As I have said before with the Hush, Hush series, the overall plot isn't bad. Okay, [b:Crescendo|7791997|Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)|Becca Fitzpatrick|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1362408146s/7791997.jpg|6867038] was shit, but the first and third books in the series have a fair amount going for them in terms of plot. In fact, if Fitzpatrick invested some of her time in creating some likeable characters, she'd have a pretty decent book series on her hands.The downfall, as always, is our birdbrained heroine, Nora Grey.Without further ado, I present to you my review (including many a spoiler).Glossary for better understanding of thingsNephilim/Nephil: Children of fallen angels and humans. They can control people's thoughts and are immortal. Fallen angels can possess their bodies for a certain amount of time each year during a time called Cheshvan. But in order for a fallen angel to do this, the Nephil has to swear fealty, which they essentially do once a fallen angel has tortured them until they crack. The only way to kill a Nephil is by killing one of their female descendants.Fallen Angel: Angel banished from Heaven because of naughtiness. They are immortal, telepathic and can cross into people's dreams apparently.The Black Hand: Hank Millar. Nora's biological father and leader of a rebel group of Nephilim who want to rise up against the fallen angels and stop them from possessing their bodies during Cheshvan. Hank Millar is dating Nora's mum (again) and has another daughter called Marcie who is Nora's arch-nemesis.At the beginning of Silence, Nora Grey wakes up in a graveyard with no memory of the last six months. Promptly faints. Typical.It is established that she was kidnapped by forces unknown, so she sets about trying to find out for herself exactly what happened. Now I don't know about you, but when I've just been through a traumatic kidnapping experience I like to immediately sneak out of the house in the dead of night and return to the graveyard I was found in to see if I can find some clues. Nora Grey = reckless moron.She doesn't find any answers in the graveyard (shocking), but she does get a visit from good old Patch in her dream. Conveniently, in her dream she remembers everything because, you know, subconscious. He tells her that he can't be with her right now because he's trying to protect her. Curiously, Nora's most pressing issue is not determining what happened to her memory, but why oh why did Patch leave her??"That's why you haven't come looking for me. You know I can't remember you, and it lets you off the hook. I never thought you'd take the easy way out"For the last time. Patch decided not to murder you so that he could hold you, cuddle you and indulge in facenoms with you. Against all odds (and by that, I mean your personality) Patch loves you, you mindless, simpering, pathetic excuse for a main character.So Patch tries to stay away from Nora...until...Nora wanders off and gets attacked by a gang of fallen angels. They had been busy beating a Nephil to a pulp in order to possess him and Nora went and made herself a witness because of course she did. They decide that their only option is to kill her, but the day is saved by...........Jev.Who looks remarkably similar to Patch...Jev promptly introduces the attacker's vital organs to a rusty tire iron. That in itself can't kill a fallen angel of course, but it can slow one down long enough for Nora to get in the car with stranger Jev who just thrust a metal tool through a man's skin.Nora Grey = asking for it. srsly.Now it is blatantly obvious that Jev is Patch. Becca Fitzpatrick didn't even try to add some mystery to it; we know who he is straight away. If I was writing this book, I'd do my best to cover my tracks so the reader wouldn't find out who Jev really was until halfway through the novel. Actually, if I was writing this book...I would stop myself from writing this book. The entire series, in fact. But I digress.Nora still has amnesia so she doesn't recognize Patch at all. All she knows is that he's a dark and brooding stranger who casually just shoved a tire iron into a man, yet all she can think of to do is bat her eyelashes and wonder if she knows him; maybe they walked together once upon a dream. Yes, I quoted Sleeping Beauty.Patch, trying to protect his beloved, tells her that yes, they once knew each other. Once upon a time he tried to kill her. Much in the same way he tried to kill the guy with the tire iron not five minutes previously. Nora, jaw-dropping, leaps into action and runs immediately out of harm's way, straight to the police.Nah, just kidding.Nora. Just. Doesn't. Get. It. She shakes her empty head and says no, Patch Jev. I may have just witnessed you stabbing a man with a blunt object, and as far as I am aware right now I haven't got a clue who you are, but I simply do not believe you are a killer.Patch insists he has killed many people before, and done some quite terrible things, but Nora just places her pale, bony finger on Patch's mouth and says no, Jev. I have examined the evidence very closely; you are harmless. I trust you. Now take me home so I can sit down and have an in-depth think about the fragility of my human life and how I can learn to protect myself decide which scarf goes best with this outfit in order to make myself more attractive to you.Ladies and Gentlemen, NORA GREY! *fervent applause*Just so we are clear, I may have paraphrased just a tad. But that is essentially the gist of what went down in the book. I am not making this up just for the lulz.What happens next? Well Scott shows up again. Scott, Nephil and pointless secondary character, has heard that Nora has amnesia. He decides that the best way of jolting Nora's memory back into action is to plunge a knife through himself to prove that he's immortal and that angels and Nephilim do exist. Remember yet? No?Nora doesn't freak out over another crazed immortal stranger in her life. Because Becca Fitzpatrick clearly has trouble writing that kind of internal turmoil, she just has Nora go with the flow."I was going to go with the flow as much as I could. Focus on one thing at a time, I told myself. Scott is immortal. Okay, what's next?"Nora Grey = should really be dead by nowSo Nora and Scott spend the next 20 pages chatting and trying to figure out who kidnapped Nora. I don't know how, but they manage to figure it out while simultaneously missing it completely. Here is a re-enactment for you.Scott: "So Nora, here's something you don't remember. Right before you were kidnapped and lost your memory, we had established that there's this guy known as the Black Hand. We really don't like him; he's trying to overthrow the fallen angels, he killed your dad and is also your biological father."Nora: "Hank Millar? Are you sure?"Scott: "Absolutely. He admitted it to you face to face. Literally just before you were kidnapped."Nora: "Right. And who do you think kidnapped me?"Scott: "I don't know, but it would have to be someone who has the power to erase memories and play mind tricks on people."Nora: "Like Hank Millar?"Scott: "Exactly like Hank Millar."Nora: "..."Scott: "..."Nora: "Did I mention this guy called Jev..?"HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET?Okay kids, let's sum up what we've learned so far, shall we? Nora is a fucking dimwit and if her circumstances occurred in real life, she would have been murdered long ago back in book #1 and we would have saved ourselves a lot of misery. As it happens, she's still alive, plodding along, completely clueless of her own stupidity. Until...She suddenly becomes less stupid. Well, I'm not sure that's the correct term. I think at a certain point in the book there are less situations in which Nora Grey has the chance to react stupidly to. What's more shocking is that she actually does something....a bit heroic.The plot, as I said before, is semi-decent. We actually find out that Hank Millar has seen a prophecy foreseeing his death, and decides to inject Nora with a shit-ton of his blood so that she can become a full-blown Nephil. He wants Nora to, wait for it, lead the Nephilim rebel army against the fallen angels in his place. Yeah. The girl dating a fallen angel, and is on the fallen angels' side. He wants her to lead them. Stupidity clearly runs in the family.But Nora swears an oath to do it because Hank threatens her loved ones.She also then kills Hank in cold-blood.Can't say I saw that one coming.Now Nora is faced with the reality that she has a rebellion to organise. She quite bravely takes a stance and says that she won't be part of a war; she wants everyone to remain safe, fallen angels and Nephilim alike. But she swore an oath you see, and bad things happen if you don't keep your word.Now Nora and Patch have to face the reality that they are very much in love but fighting on opposite sides of the war.(*cough* unoriginal and predictable *cough**cough*)That's the book.If my brain could talk right now:I have given Becca Fitzpatrick one extra star for a plot that showed a marked improvement on all her other works. I feel like a primary school teacher, and the special needs kid sitting in the back has used something other than her own feces to draw me a picture today.As always, I leave you with some choice snippets from reviewers who five-starred this piece of crap. Enjoy"Wow, um, you have no idea how much that literally broke my heart. The beginning almost made me cry. It was just sooo....great!""I LOVED THIS BOOK, AND THE TRAILER IN WHERE THEY SAID THAT HE WOULD GIVE UP ANYTHING, DO ANYTHING TO PROTECT HER, EVEN EARESE HER MEMORIES OF HIM!!! IT WAS AN AMAZING BOOK!!!""Patch's and Nora's romance makes me want to die of happiness. It's so perfectly written, and whenever Patch says something sexual or suggestive, I feel this little rush of heat to places I shouldn't mention aloud (teehee).""A must read for every angle / romance fan.""THIS BOOK IS FREKIN BEST BOOK MADE IN THE UNVERSE OF BOOKS!!!!
My Immortal - Tara Gilesbie Occasionally in life you will find things that not only make you laugh, but make you laugh so hard you struggle to breathe for subsequent minutes. This book is not one of those things for it cannot be described as a mere thing. It is a monument, nay, a milestone in everyone's lives. Everyone remembers the day they were introduced to what has been dubbed "the worst fanfic in the world". Much like Marmite, you will forever love it or hate it with a passion that burns brighter than the thousands of metaphorical copies of Harry Potter that Tara Gilesbie burned while butchering parodying the series.My Immortal was originally posted to FanFiction.net sometime in 2006, but was subsequently deleted by the staff after causing a severe drop in the site's collective IQ. In fact, the fanfic is so unbelievably bad that many refuse to accept that it's real, insisting that Tara was only trolling and that the story is really a parody. Regardless of the author's intent, My Immortal remains one of the most cringe-worthy, unintentionally hilarious, so-bad-it's-good pieces of literature the internet has ever shat out.I just found out that the fanfic is actually available as a self-published paperback. Not free; it's about £3.50 (which I'm not sure is legal), but in all seriousness there is no need to spend money on this. You can read the whole thing for free right here. And may I make a suggestion? Get some friends round, grab some drinks, laugh your socks off and spread the word. I'm going to tell you exactly why this fanfic is worth your time.My Immortal - A Gentleman's Review - But by a LadyAN: Special fangz (get it, coz Im goffik) 2 my gf (ew not in that way) raven, bloodytearz666 4 helpin me wif da story and spelling. U rok! Justin ur da luv of my deprzzing life u rok 2! MCR ROX!The above sample of word vomit is a direct quote from the fanfic. Before each chapter begins we are privy to a very special author's note from Tara herself. In these snippets she usually thanks her (few) fans for following her story, scolds the preps who are "flamin" her story and threatens to slit her wrists if better reviews don't show up. She also thanks her BFF Raven for spell checking the chapters.These little author notes are fantastic fun to read and are actually very helpful for live readings of the story. My Immortal is best enjoyed, I find, when performing in the style of an illiterate chav. The authors notes are all spelled out phonetically and helpfully placed at the start of each chapter so the reader can very easily get into character for each reading. Try reading the above selection out loud, and you'll understand what I mean. And if that wasn't enough, these notes enable us to read about what was going on in Tara's real life as she was writing the fanfic. At one point she and her BFF Raven fall out spectacularly and it is hilarious. But I shan't spoil it for you...In this exquisite interpretation of Harry Potter, we follow a young girl called Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way, a gorgeous Slytherin girl at Hogwarts. She hates "preps" and describes herself as "goffic", and this is reinforced by her extensive paragraphs illustrating exactly what clothes from Hot Topic she is wearing each day. All of your favourite Harry Potter characters make appearances in My Immortal. Draco Malfoy is the main love interest and appears in it the most, but we are treated to cameos from Dumblydore, Snap, Loopin, Vlodemort, Doris Rumbridge, Profesor McGoggle, Proffessor Trevolry, Hargrid, Tom Bombodil, Fug and da Mystery of Magic etc. Hermione even makes an appearance as B’loody Mary Smith and Harry's changed his name to Vampire and transfigured his scar into a pentagram. It's all very exciting.Ebony is a character to which we can all relate. She maturely deals with the fact that everybody wants to have sex with her, all of the preps who are ruining her life, and her responsibility for saving the world from the Bark Lord Voldemint. She is definitely a role-model for younger readers and older readers alike and her liberal use of the word 'fuck' and all of its alterations is evidence of her maturity. Her natural beauty, high sex drive and embodiment of goffickness are the kind of strong character traits every feminist strives to achieve, and we can all agree that it is a relief to finally know that you don't need a firm grasp on grammar in order to get laid.My Immortal is a rare example of a book that truly has something in it for everybody. The rich goffik culture is deeply explored in the fanfic and the reader gets to enjoy the story and receive an education at the same time. We learn important details such as what exact shade of black eye-liner works best with white foundation and what exactly Gerard Way meant when he sang "Welcome to the Black Parade".There are some scary chapters too, in case you're into horror. But don't worry if you spook easily; Tara supplies us with thoughtful disclaimers, so if you read the words - WARNING: SUM OF DIS CHAPTA IS XTREMLY SCRAY. VIOWER EXCRETION ADVISD - you'll know that there's some bone-chilling content up ahead, which usually involves Lord Volxemort attempting a Shakespearian monologue.“I hath telekinesis.”One thing that really should be mentioned is the romantic aspect of this fanfic. Tara Gilesbie healthily explores love and sex in many different forms and makes it clear that she does not judge those with different sexual preferences to her own. Love is love in Tara's eyes, and she is proud to display her views by featuring not only heterosexual couples and sex scenes, but also homosexual, paedophilic and non-consensual. My Immortal is proof that erotic fantasy novels can be good, as you can see by some of the choice snippets below."He put his spock in my you-know-what and passively we did it.""Then……………………… he put his trobbing you-know-what in my tool sexily.""Draco climbed on top of me and we started to make out keenly against a tree. He took of my top and I took of his clothes. I even took of my bra. Then he put his thingie into my you-know-what and we did it for the first time.“Oh! Oh! Oh! ” I screamed. I was beginning to get an orgasm. We started to kiss everywhere and my pale body became all warm. And then….“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!”It was…………………………Dumbledore!"As you can see by that last quote, Tara Gilesbie is a master of suspense. Chapters are quite short as it is, and we're usually getting to a fantastically written sex scene when................................................someone shows up!And we don't find out what happens until the next chapter!!I kind of wish I had discovered this when Tara was still writing this. I could have followed the blog and read each chapter as it was posted. Like so many, I would wait for years for the latest Harry Potter book to come out. It would have been like a tribute to my childhood if I had waited each week for Tara's latest chapter recounting just who was filming Ebony and Draco having sex this week.Although, while we're still on the subject of sex, it took me a while to figure it out but I don't think Tara Gilesbie has actually had sex before. It wasn't apparent at first, but if you claim you get an orgy the second a boy sexily pots his wetness in your u-know-what, I'm starting to doubt you know how it's done. Or is that just yet another part of what makes Enoby so fascinating? She comes at the slightest tender touch...All in all, My Immortal is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Nope, scratch that, it is an amazing read. I can only describe it as beautiful; a beautiful and epic fail that has brought so many glorious tears of laughter to my eyes. I truly believe that the author is a troll, but it's just so much more fun to think of Tara as being genuine. You definitely get the full package if you think of it that way.So have I sold this fanfic to you yet? Have you clicked off this review and gone to read it yet? No?! Did I mention Snape and Lupin have sex with Dobby watching? Did I tell you Snape has a Dark Mark tattooed on his penis? Why are you still here??
City of Bones - Cassandra Clare This book has been on my to-read list for quite a while. Then it was on offer at WHSmith, so I thought what the hell! I have to say, I was not expecting to like this book all that much. I love it when that happens.So what's the book about? In short, Clary (pronounced: Clah-rie) is our ginger protagonist who sees some disturbing magical shit go down in the first chapter. Then her mum goes missing and she has to work with the Shadowhunters to save her and learn about her magical past.Not only is City of Bones a lovely long and well-written book, it is faced paced with interesting characters and it is funny. Properly funny. And I love that.It got a lot of hate in the Goodreads reviews because of some (alleged) similarities to Harry Potter. Ok, so our author used to do Harry Potter fanfiction back in the day. Honestly, without looking it up I wouldn't have guessed. Are there some noticeable parallels? Yes. A couple (e.g. mundanes = muggles). But they are so minor I definitely don't have a problem with them. But some people have written some pretty scathing reviews that are really out of order.-- OMG Clary is ginger. That means she's Ginny!-- Jace has blond hair - he's totally Draco!-- There's a werewolf -- RIP OFF!!!!!!!!Grow up.The plot bares zero resemblance to any of the Harry Potter books. I can only speak for the first of The Mortal Instruments series, but still. Clary Frey sounds like Gallifrey but you don't see me crying wolf to the Time Lords.[b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358275334s/2767052.jpg|2792775] bears a massive resemblance to [b:Battle Royale|57891|Battle Royale|Koushun Takami|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331235272s/57891.jpg|2786327], but after all was said and done no one cares anymore because Suzanne Collins took the idea and did something completely different (and further developed) with it. That's what matters in the end. I've always said that there's no such thing as true originality anymore (but that's ok!) and if your only beef is that some of the characters in City of Bones look like some from HP, then you have really got to get off your high horse and take a look around.And FYI, Jace and Draco share a hair colour and that is where the similarities end. Jace is an arrogant, yet handsome and caring warrior. Draco is an evil, whimpering, daddy's boy with no real power. But maybe all you guys still picture quite a hunky Tom Felton when thinking of Draco Malfoy. Me, I just see the divine Lauren Lopez...Okay, enough on that subject. Getting back to the review...As I said, I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I love my books to be action packed and this one never seemed to stop! I really liked the characters from major to minor, so hats off to Cassandra Clare because I'm not easy to please. I managed to guess one big plot twist, but not the second one - and I love when I don't manage to guess something! It makes the reading experience so much more enjoyable!It looks like I'm at the beginning of a very enjoyable journey. I hate to say 'cash cow' but it seems like Cassandra Clare has milked the ever loving shit out of this series. But if they're all equally as entertaining, more power to her!So if you've been waiting to read this, just as I had, don't delay any longer!
Lockdown - Alexander Gordon Smith Shawshank Redemption meets [b:Maze Runner|6186357|The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)|James Dashner|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1308971563s/6186357.jpg|6366642] in this excellent futuristic series. It's on the young end of the young adult category (as made apparent by the mahoosive font) but still incredibly enjoyable.Our protagonist, Alex, is highly likeable. As are all of his friends. It's a great story about kids trying to escape prison and all of the terrifying things they discover there. Not joking - the wheezers are horrifying.Was impressed. Was entertained. Was scared sometimes. Will read the next one.
Captive in the Dark  - C.J. Roberts Wow. Just. Wow.I honestly didn't expect to like this book.I definitely didn't expect to like this book this much.I don't read a lot of dark, messed up shit. I generally don't like it, but this was something else. This book was incredible.As the blurb states, this is a book about a girl called Livvy who gets kidnapped and trained as a sex slave by a guy called Caleb. Over the course of the story we get to know Caleb's mind and motivations as well as suffer through Livvy's experiences over her three week hell as Caleb's "property".Anyone who has read my review of Hush, Hush will know that I have a serious problem with authors who "romanticize" abuse in anyway. I can see readers having that same problem with this book. But CJ Roberts doesn't portray the sex trade as anything less than horrifying. Even Caleb, who had understandable motives for what he's doing, is accurately represented as the monster he is. We do get a background on his character, and I did find myself sympathizing with his plight, but it was very clear that he made his choices. In his own words:“This isn't a romance. You're not a damsel in distress and I'm not the handsome prince come to save you.”I never saw him as the "love interest" and thankfully, neither did Livvy. Throughout the book she never gives up; she never stops trying to fight him. Yes, she suffers from Stockholm Syndrome and disturbing fantasies that she doesn't understand, but she always ends up at the same conclusion: she is a slave to a monster and she has to escape him.The inclusion of Livvy's sexual and romantic fantasies concerning Caleb are probably subject to some controversy. In CJ Roberts' own words:"I think people would be surprised by how many messages I receive from people who have suffered abuse, thanking me for writing this type of work. For some, it helps them explore deep-seeded fantasies they are too scared to admit to and explore. The sexual fantasies of former abuse victims is not something always understood by mainstream society."I agree with what she said. Fantasies involving an abuser are not a pleasant thought to entertain. Not for me, and certainly not for anyone who has been through something like that. But it's the truth. It's gritty and it's real and it's something I praise CJ Roberts for being brave enough to explore.At the end of the day it's not a fairy tale. This is not pure fiction, it is an honest account of the kind of thing that happens in this world that so many of us blissfully ignore. It is not always so black and white; abuse victims don't only suffer physical and psychological abuse from their captors but have to live with the feelings and memories for the rest of their lives. Feelings of confusion, feelings of guilt, feelings that they brought it on themselves. And yes, sometimes even disturbing fantasies that are brought on from the trauma. It is near impossible for an abuse victim to truly open up to someone about their feelings. How could it be? How could anyone understand their plight when they don't even understand it themselves? It doesn't make it any easier when there are so many cases of people saying "they asked for it by the way they dressed" or "if you have an orgasm during rape then it's not rape". Or how about that idiot Todd Akin and his whole "legitimate rape" theory?! (seriously, what a dick)I can't praise CJ Roberts highly enough for confidently writing about such a controversial and difficult subject and doing it so well. I now have high standards for the sequel and hope it doesn't disappoint.
Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick I heard that Becca Fitzpatrick had to re-write Crescendo from scratch after her editor hated the first version. So she went back to basics and ripped off Twilight again. This much is obvious, as the second book in the Hush, Hush series follows the same storyline as Twilight's second book, New Moon:- Patch and Nora break up for protection purposes.- Nora then gets all reckless.- Love triangle - yay!- Get back together.I'm ready to review this piece of crap with the help of numerous .gifs. Ready, Nostalgia Critic?We begin with a prologue flashback. Nora's dad Harrison meets with an old friend, and then the events of his death unfold. We immediately figure out that this friend he was meeting is Nora's real father. It is hinted that Patch is the one who killed Harrison, but Fitzpatrick makes it way too obvious, so I assumed from this point on that it wasn't Patch at all.Present day now and it's summer break! Nora is happy with her hot rapist/murderer of a boyfriend and is looking forward to summer school. The usual suspects are still around: annoying friend Vee, arch-enemy Marcie Miller and Patch's Irish friend Rixon (who says typically Irish phrases like "aye, now you're in trouble, lass").Patch's murderous past is now completely forgiven. Nora has no problem with the fact that Patch tried to kill her a few months ago. It's not even mentioned. Except that there's a vague reference when Patch refuses to tell Nora where he lives. Direct quote:"If you showed me, you'd have to kill me?"So we are quite happy to make jokes about this now?So we have a lovely scene where Nora and Patch are indulging in facenoms and they establish how truly in love they really are. Nora reminds us all that angels can't feel a damn thing, leading me to wonder how the hell Patch can kiss worth a damn. I mean think about it: the whole point of snogging is feeling and you can't do it properly unless you're feeling in the first place.Anyway. Within the first few chapters, everything suddenly goes mental. Nora makes a string of nonsensical and confusing decisions, showing what a true idiot she really is. Let's analyse.First of all Nora breaks up with Patch (best decision you've ever made, love). She has three reasons for this:Reason #1: She realizes that she can never grow old and have kids with Patch. Valid reason. Such a shame that she never acknowledges this reason ever again.Reason #2: Guardian angel/human relationships are forbidden, and Patch will go to hell if the Archangels find out. She wants to protect him from that. Valid reason, and this is used as the only reason for the rest of the book.Reason #3: Nora believes that Patch is not committed to this relationship as much as she is. He's being secretive and didn't reply when she told him she loved him. This is just plain fucking stupid. Let's have another quote, shall we?"You gave up becoming human for me, and this is what I get? A boyfriend who hangs out at Marcie's, but won't tell me why. A boyfriend who walks out at the first hint of a fight. Try this on for size: You're a jerk!"For the readers possessing at least half a brain, when we read this passage this is what it translates as:"My criminally dangerous boyfriend gave up the one thing he wanted most in the world: to kill me and take over my body. That means he loves me in the purest and most beautiful way a man can love a woman. But things aren't going my way at the moment. The man whose mystery is his main personality aspect, is still being mysterious. Life isn't fair. I'm breaking up with him."Fuck you, Nora Grey. Fuck you.So now we continue with this fascinating insight into Nora's fucked up mind.Nora breaks up with Patch. She then immediately regrets her decision. Immediately. She resolves to take him back the next day.Next day arrives. She doesn't see him all day. Awww. So sad. She misses him. Everything around her reminds her of him. She wants him so bad. But then...Fuck him! I'm not going to sit and cry over him! I'll show him! I'll go hang out with Scott: the hot new bad boy who is extremely dodgy that I just spent all afternoon stalking.Oh, it gets better.Patch shows up and informs her that this Scott guy is Nephilim! And we know from the first book that they are quite evil indeed! Patch strongly suggests Nora stays away from him. But Nora ain't having it. How dare he try to control her in this way?! It was utterly appalling for him to dictate who she could and could not hang out with! My psychotic ex-boyfriend has suddenly turned controlling! This in no way mirrors the time he wanted to murder me and control my body.What the fuck, Nora?Should I just let this whole "Patch-originally-wanted-to-kill-you" thing go? You certainly have! You know what? Somehow, I can't let it go. You see, there's a few little things that I am having a little trouble understanding...1) Patch tried to murder you. He does not have the mentality of other men. The intent and ability to kill is not hard-wired into everybody's brain. If your brain acts this way, you are dangerous and cannot be trusted. But hey, you love him and forgive him because for some reason he proved to you that all of his murderous intent is in the past.2) You break up with him for relatively valid reasons (apart from the commitment one). You break up with him. You break his heart, assuming he has one. Okay so maybe you then regretted your actions. You spoke in anger; you didn't fully mean it. You want to talk to him the next day, set things straight. But what happens. You don't see him, so everything is now his fault?! Has it occurred to you that he may want some space given that you just fucking dumped him?!3) Now you want to make him jealous by hanging out with another douchebag. And you get mad at him when he attempts to protect you. Are you fucking serious?So the rest of the book is split between all of the couple crap and the actual plot which is a) quite decent, despite the unnecessary complexities and b) more than can be said for New Moon.Nora is haunted with visions of her dad. She finally starts admitting that she suffered a lot when her dad died (where the hell was this in book 1??). She is also randomly kidnapped but manages to escape. When these things happen, she immediately forgets about them and moves on to the more important things in her life: is Patch going out with Marcie Miller??At one point Patch shows up in Nora's dream and they start having dream sex (at one point Nora's "heart flip-flops with desire", it's all very exciting). Then she touches his back where his wings are and sees a random memory (cuz yeah that happens). She sees Marcie kiss Patch and he lets her!So there's more chapters of bullshit. Nora gets a letter with a ring inside telling her someone called the Black Hand killed her dad. Nora steals Marcie's diary (seriously, it's like something out of The Babysitter's Club). Patch wants to run away with Nora. Nora kisses Scott. Patch beats Scott up.Now it gets dumb again.Scottish/Irish Rixon tells Nora that Patch is still her assigned guardian angel, despite all evidence to the contrary. She doesn't want a guardian angel (even though her life is in danger). Rixon tells her the only way to renounce her right to a guardian is to swear a blood oath (only a few pages after she was discussing blood oaths with Vee! Foreshadowing fail!). But then the question arises: what if the person out to get her is Patch? Huh. Good question! It's entirely possible, he's a criminal, we've covered this. But Nora decides that "suspecting Patch [is] ridiculous at this point", seeing as he didn't kill her when he had the chance to. Sweet kid.Then Rixon tells her that Patch is in fact the Black Hand! Nora doesn't want to believe it, but her logic is telling her that it makes sense. She confronts him and Patch doesn't deny it. She then proceeds to snivel at him, asking him how he could hold her and kiss her after what he did to her dad. No flying rage. No terror. The bitch just snivels at him until he leaves.There's some more plot points now, but I'm going to leave them to one side because they are brought up again at the end anyway. What is really important to cover is Nora's stupid brain again.Nora wants to stay away from Patch until she can find a way of letting the Archangels know that he killed her dad. She is ashamed that she fell in love with a killer (fucking finally). However there is some stuff that doesn't quite make sense. There is a chance Patch may be innocent, so she goes investigating.She gets information from Scott. She goes to what she thinks is Patch's flat and finds a whole bunch of rings that bear the mark of the Black Hand. So now there is no doubt in her mind. Patch is clearly the Black Hand. Then she finds a bomb in the flat and narrowly escapes death as it detonates.She then goes home and ponders some more about Patch being the Black Hand, as she still doesn't quite believe it despite having concluded only pages ago that Patch is the Black Hand.Wait, wait, wait. Back up.You found a bomb. You were in an explosion. You almost died. And you just go home and think about Patch?!Are you okay? Where's the fuzz? Isn't your hearing impaired? Are you shaken up at all? Did anyone in the building die? Do you even care?You know what? I don't even care any more. We've reached the big climax. The big reveal. Are you ready?Turns out the big bad guy is Rixon. He explains fucking everything to Nora because of course he does. Do you want to know? Fine.*Deep breath*Fallen angel Rixon wants to become human, just like Patch did. We know that in order for a fallen angel to become human, he must kill his Nephil vassal (a half-angel/half-human evil immortal who can be possessed by one angel for two weeks a year). The only way to kill a Nephil is to kill a female descendant. Rixon's vassal is Marcie Millar's dad Hank, who is also Nora's biological dad. So by killing Nora, Rixon can be human. Rixon killed Nora's adoptive dad Harrison because he got in the way. But he's not the Black Hand. We find out after that the Black Hand is actually Hank and he leads a big cult of Nephil who want to rise up against the angels who forcibly posses their bodies every year.Understand?*exhale*So Patch saves the day (we don't really know how because Nora pussies out and faints). Rixon is gone (to hell), as is Scott. I didn't bother to explain Scott's storyline because it ended up being a bit irrelevant. Patch has now gone rogue, and only has a matter of time before the Archangels catch him and send him to hell. So he wants to spend his remaining time with Nora. They start facenomming again but uh-oh! Hank appears, and he wants to know if Nora was the one who killed Chauncey in book one. Yeah, that's a plot point to, but it's clearly not relevant until the next book.REVIEW OVER!I leave you with a screenshot of the kind of person who enjoys shit like this, and the news that I will not be picking up the next book any time soon. Probably not ever.
Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick I should have learned by now to stay away from books that have a blurb that follows the following template:"Idiotic female teenager usually with a ridiculous name was just your average American girl trying to get through high school. But then the super intense hottie-hot-gorgeous hunk new guy at school makes eyes at her and only her and the shit gets real. Also, this book is told in the first person narrative, because the author thought that meant she didn't have to bother with that pesky little thing called characterisation for her main character."This book actually started out rather well. In fact, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the first half. Sure, I could see the obvious flaws; Hush, Hush is exactly the same as Twilight but Twilight was a guilty pleasure for me, and Hush, Hush began that way too. It has the same stereotypical characters we are all used to in YA fiction: bland, idiotic lead + smoking hot love interest + an annoying best friend. The writing style was passable; I'm not going to go into detail, but I've definitely read worse. I honestly think if the book had continued the way it started out, it would have earned a much higher rating from me. Here's why.The first half of the novel:Part One: What was shitNora Grey is our teenage, curly-haired protagonist. She doesn't have a stupid name, so I instantly like her more than many of the other YA protagonists. She also looks (and probably acts) like the author Becca Fitzpatrick - a fact that gives us a disturbing insight into said author's personal fantasies, seeing as Nora Grey is clearly an embodiment of the author's personal fantasies. Later, you'll understand why that's important.Nora doesn't have a lot of characterisation going for her. She suffers from "bland character syndrome"; a chronic condition that affects a lot of YA protagonists. We really don't know anything about her personality; the most interesting thing about her is that her dad was brutally murdered a year before the book's events begin. I thought that was interesting, and that it would surely deepen her character. Oh no, the death of her father apparently did not affect her or change her in the slightest. It is never even touched upon. Her father's death is mentioned about three times, each time in a very casual way. I would just love to rant about this stupid oversight, but there is a lengthy review ahead so I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.Nora's best (and only) friend is Vee Sky (ugh, that name!) who is ridiculously annoying, but she at least has more of a personality than Nora. Honestly the less said about Vee, the better.Then comes the love interest: Patch. Not his real name of course (he'll probably turn out to be the archangel Gabriel or something), but hey I kind of like the nickname. Now I never liked Patch. On first impressions he struck me as a cocky bastard, with his flirting mode constantly on, turning everything into an innuendo, being ridiculously invasive of Nora's personal space. I have never been into "bad boys" so it's kind of difficult for me to understand the people who do.There is one scene where he is asked by a teacher what qualities he would want in his "potential mate" (yeah, I know...). He says he wants 'em "attractive, intelligent and vulnerable". Yeah, that should have tipped me off right there.But the thing with Patch is I was convinced he'd get better and I began rooting for the couple. I have never been so wrong.Part One: What was actually pretty goodNo insta-love! Nora Grey's one redeeming factor is that she doesn't immediately swoon over Patch. She often tells him to back the fuck off, which is good except that she can't help but fall for him in the end anyway. I can't tell if she should get points for not starting out as an idiot, or if she should lose points for doing the wrong things despite her better judgement. Huh.Other things that were good: plot-wise and pacing, I liked. As I said before, the writing style could be better but I wasn't too fussed. As is common with YA fiction there is a lot of mindless "school and teenage bullshit", but I didn't mind it so much because there is actually a hell of a lot of interesting plot points that kept me intrigued. Nora essentially thinks she's going crazy because she keeps getting into very dangerous situations, but then turns around and is led to believe that they never happened. Like falling off a roller-coaster to her death, but then suddenly she's back in the train with her seatbelt secure. I thought that was cool, you see. It was an interesting hook that kept me guessing and I thought it was done in an original way. I was enjoying it. Guiltily, yes, but I was.Then it all went horribly, horribly wrong.Brace yourself...The Halfway Mark: Where it all spiralled into madness (Psst! Spoilers!)The more you read about Patch, the more you realize what a true psychopath he really is. We're no longer talking about your typical rebellious bad boy; Patch is criminally dangerous. I am not even joking.Nora has always suspected that there wasn't something quite right about Patch, but it's overshadowed by the fact that there's another bloke called Elliott who also makes her uneasy. She investigates this guy a lot more, realizing pretty early on that she was an idiot to trust Elliott, but never sees that she's even more of an idiot for trusting Patch in the end. She tries to stay away from him for a good long while. She thinks he's following her. She's pretty sure he is telepathic. She finally confronts him about this. He tells her fuck all, he just continues flirting, and not well I might add. So now that he's alluded to sex over 25 times, smiled creepily, and refused to tell Nora why he's such a creep, what does she do? Goes on a date with him.Wait...what?.I don't understand, Nora. When you first met him, you made it clear that you felt no attraction to him. Ever since then, he has acted like a dick. He is constantly bombarding you with flirtatious sexual innuendo when you have asked him to stop (that is sexual harassment). He also shows up wherever you are and you know he is stalking you. He has not denied it! You also suspect he has supernatural powers and that's a little bit freaky.How the fuck did we get here?What changed? What did he do that made him grow on you?!All that in the paragraph above, the way he is forcing himself on you and making you uncomfortable, that is not hot. That is not a turn on. That should not make you like him, and I judge you for it. I judge anyone who reads about characters like Patch and wishes they could have their own.It gets worse.This is around the time when it *ahem* "comes to light" that Patch could possibly be a fallen angel. The way it's done is laughable. The reader knows he's a fallen angel. It's on the fucking front cover. But there are a whole bunch of these ridiculous fake clues throughout the book. Patch calls Nora "Angel", she sniffs a perfume called "Dream Angel", she rides a roller-coaster called the fucking "Archangel", come on! That kind of teasing is only acceptable when the reader is not meant to know who he really is. The whole mystery is lost when it's fucking obvious. But then there's the big reveal! OMG, Patch is a fallen angel!So we now know for sure that Patch is evil because that's essentially what fallen angels are. There is then another confrontation scene where Patch admits that he has been planning to kill Nora all along. Yes. Kill her. He tells her especially about one occasion in her kitchen when he had a knife in plain view and was going to murder her. But instead he forced himself on her and tried to kiss her.He stalked her for a year, attempted to murder her more than once, went all rapey and actually fell in love with her.I have no idea why he fell in love with that cardboard cut out of a girl. I am even more clueless why Nora falls for him and completely trusts him from that point on.She really does."I've been planning on murdering you and possessing your body.""That's hot. Let's make out."...I. Understand. Nothing.NOTHING.What is wrong with this girl? What is wrong with this author?You are glorifying a potential rapist and murderer.There are kids and even adults out there who now fantasize about this shit.Just go onto the Hush, Hush Goodreads page, wade through the excellent one-star reviews, and then you will get to the five-star reviewers. Here are some snippets:"I fell in love with Patch instantly I mean what's not to love?""Patch Cipriano is just... wow. Definitely in my top 10 male characters of all time.""PATCH- O M G!! What a sinfully delicious character! His arrogance really worked his charm and you just can't help fall for the dreamy, sexy bad Angel!""Patch was now what I wanted him to be, dark, dangerous, mysterious, and his cockiness became as sexy as hell. I was loving his bad boy attitude and all black ensemble. I also knew that deep down he wasn't a bad person at all""The only down side to Patch is that his intensity can be a little overpowering, and sometimes even creepy. But I am willing to overlook this small issue."I can't go on.I just can't.This, all of this, is just wrong.I'm not going to tell you how this ends. You're not missing much and it is utterly predictable.All I have left to say is this: I didn't have nearly as many problems with Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey as I did with this. Yet I have an urge to read the next book. I have a masochistic need to find out what happens. I will undoubtedly regret my choice, but I want to do it. I want to review the next book.I refuse to pay a fiver for a copy of this. Buying this book would be endorsing a rape/murder fantasy that has sucked in a lot of foolish teenagers and maybe some adults. I have found a free copy online and I am going to see what happens. I am going to review the hell out of it. I hope I can warn some poor teenage girl before it's too late.My Predictions for the rest of the series:- There will be a break-up.- There will be a love-triangle.- Patch will continue to be a dick and the reader will be expected to find it lovable. We'll also find out his real name, which is probably the name of an actual angel. Gabriel or Raphael or something...- Patch murders Nora and lives happily ever after. - No, that's probably wishful thinking.- It's all going to get so much worse.
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) - James Dashner The Maze Runner. Disappointing.It looked good. It looked really good.It wasn't. It really wasn't.Meet our protagonist: Thomas.Thomas has a nasty case of amnesia. Amnesia: defined in James Dashner's personal dictionary as "partial or total loss of memory combined with the complete loss of personality".Yeah.So Thomas arrives in a special section of a mysterious maze with a bunch of hormonal male teenagers like himself and completely blends in seeing as every single character is the same.What is worse is that they all use the same repetitive, annoying, shitty slang. I get why, okay. I understand that it's a YA book and the author wanted to have the characters swear liberally without actually putting profanity in the text. So he used a lot of "klunk" and "shuck" and it was just ridiculously irritating.The real let down here is the suspense. Now I like a good mystery. I like seeing if I can figure things out, and I like it even more when I'm taken by surprise. But James Dashner essentially just took the piss throughout the entire book.The reader knows nothing about Thomas.The reader knows nothing about the other Gladers.The reader knows nothing about the Maze, why these characters are in it, how to solve it...The reader knows nothing about the world and what happened to it.Then we are introduced to a female character, still quite early on in the book. She's unconscious and she has a note saying everything will change...The reader knows nothing about her. Why is she there? Why will everything change? Why is she unconscious? What the hell is her name...?Before we get ANY of these answers, Dashner piles on even more shit......WHY ON EARTH IS THIS COMATOSE GIRL SUDDENLY TELEPATHIC?!It's too much, Dashner. It wouldn't be so bad if new information was released little by little, but no. We don't get any answers until the last few chapters. Over 300 pages of very short chapters which all end on a cliffhanger, and many many occasions where the author teases us with a character who maaaaaaaaay divulge some information but...no...no we get fuck all!!It's always really pathetic excuses as well:"I know who you are but I won't say because I don't care anymore.""I think I have the answers everyone's been waiting for...but I need more proof before I tell them. Don't want them to laugh at me."There is a difference between "creating suspense" and "taking the piss".So what was good about the book? Well, the overall plot wasn't bad. Trouble is, The Maze Runner is the first book in a series and with Dashner being the overly suspenseful dickhead that he is, the first book doesn't really give any answers.I would like to mention the Grievers, these weird mechanical creatures that live in the Maze. Dashner really did well on the descriptions of the things - I was honestly terrified of them. I mean look at these things:I was very impressed with how Dashner described the Grievers. It's interesting to think that an author can describe a horrific nightmare beast and make it feel as real as anything, but can't characterise his protagonist worth a damn.I wonder what that says about him.I know what it says for me: I will not be continuing with the series.
Masquerade - Cambria Hebert Let me just state before the review begins that I'm at a weird stage in my life when it comes to books. As a 22 year old (23 next week!) I no longer fit in the YA target audience bracket. I do however still crave YA literature. I like the short books with a fast paced nature. I like the fantasy/paranormal genre, which (let’s face it) we don’t get enough of in the ‘adult’ category. But these days I am just left feeling unsatisfied when I read a YA novel. I can no longer relate to a 16-year-old protagonist. I groan at the unrealistic portrayals of men and romance. I am forever wishing that more is done with such excellent plot concepts, especially in the paranormal/fantasy genre, but it very rarely happens. It was easier to lap it up when I was younger, but now I yearn for more.I am not fully sold on adult books either. Despite having read a lot of adult books as a teen, at the moment I’m finding them difficult to enjoy. I tend to find them dull, as they are generally longer with more detail and less action. I love the mature psychological aspects of adult fiction, which is sorely lacking in YA fiction, but a lot of adult books just feel much more drawn out for no good reason other to add some thickness to the paperback.There aren’t that many books for people in their early twenties – in a sort of transitional period. So I’m left to potter around the YA and adult genres, fully aware that my mind doesn’t really belong to either at the moment. What I’m saying is: I think my review of 'Masquerade' may have been *slightly* less critical if I had read it several years ago.Now the disclaimer is out the way, let me tell why I wanted to throw this novel against a wall. And I would have done, had it not been on my precious kindle. Beware: spoilers ahead. I don’t even care.This is one of the worst books I have ever read and it stuns me that there are so many five-star reviews on Goodreads for this piece of shit. What’s worse is that a lot of these reviewers are adults and authors. I could have forgiven teenagers, but there are actual adults out there who gave this book a positive rating. There are published authors who enjoyed this crap and are probably out there writing their own novels filled with the same pathetic drivel.Let’s start right at the beginning, shall we? Before we even open this mess, there is the issue of the cover.THE HORROR. What have you done?! You have taken an Ellie Goulding look-a-like and ruined her face! What’s with the eyes? The ridiculous fake lashes? For God’s sake get that crap off her mouth! And you didn’t even bother with a decent font – just chuck some gold bubbles around it! Fancy! Is the stupid make-up even explained in the book? NOPE!This is a prime example of why you can judge a book by its cover. I should have ran for the hills when I saw it.Okay so we got past the terrible cover (quick, scroll down! Hide from the horror!!). What awaits us as we delve into the story? Well first of all we have to wade through 25% of trivial bullshit before anything happens at all.We are introduced to Heven (I kid you not; that is her actual name). She has scars on her face because of a terrible accident that she can’t remember. If you want to know more about what happened to her, you can pick up the book’s prequel called ‘Before’. There’s really no way to escape it. The prequel is referenced constantly in the book. Every time that word is used, it is capitalised and in italics. Shameless bit of self-promotion right there, but it probably worked so more power to you.So yes, Heven is disfigured and not happy about it. She basically wears hooded tops to cover her face and has lost a bit of her confidence. That’s it. We don’t get any more development on that matter. No deep prose about how her life has been affected, no crippling anxiety, no questions that torment her. The only hint I could find about what kind of girl she is was when the is described as “having to resist the urge to cry” when her boyfriend hasn’t called her. How fucking endearing. All we have is superficial nonsense from this girl. Heven spends the first quarter of the book going back and forth from school with her friend Kimber. And my god is it dull. That’s the next problem with this book: the tedious drivel that takes up an epic proportion of Masquerade. The writing is just…so…mind-numbingly…dull. It feels like half the book consists of one dimensional characters discussing clothes and boys. There are paragraphs and paragraphs describing what different characters are wearing. The dialogue between the characters is stale and lifeless because the characters have no personalities. Facebook statuses have more depth than this.Here are some choice lines from the book: “OMG, that dress is gorgeous!”“I shoved my hand in my pocket looking for my phone. It wasn’t there. Then I remembered I left it in the truck. I wondered where the truck was.”“He made the sound a pig makes and I laughed”Let’s move onto the love interest now, because I honestly can’t put my hatred of the writing style into words.Meet Sam. He is “tall, well-built without being bulky, and the back of his head held shaggy, dark blond hair”. As anyone can tell by that stunning description, he is ridiculously hot (of course the love interest has to be hot). As soon as Heven lays eyes on him, and he on her for that matter, they fall instantly and irreconcilably in love. Not like. Not attraction.It’s EPIC. UNIMAGINABLE. STUFF OF LEGENDS. LOVE.That’s great.So I imagine plenty of teens and tweens will squeal over Sam. Why? Well his only descriptors are that he is buff, blond and hot. This vague description lets readers instantly imagine their favourite actor who is in at the minute to play the part of Sam. There are probably more than a few Josh Hutchersons floating around in young girls’ minds when they read this. Sam's only personality trait is how in love with Heven he is and how beautiful he finds her, despite her disfiguring scars. That’s it. That’s his entire personality.Well, what are his hobbies? Stalking Heven, of course.Where does he work? He has a job as Heven’s full-time body guard, and occasionally he works in a gym.What does he like? Heven.What are his dislikes? People who hurt Heven.Well, who wouldn’t want that? A man who seemingly has no purpose in life other than to love me and compliment me and protect me (cuz bitches need protecting) and buy me presents, etc. That’s the dream right there. I’m swooning in my seat.I blame Disney and books like 'Masquerade' for a whole generation having unrealistic expectations of men. It is misandry, pure and simple.So yeah, Heven and Sam become a couple in the blink of an eye and they are head over heels in love with each other. We go through more chapters of dull bullshit, changing tenses, teenage angst. The narrative switches between four characters, which is a technique I usually don’t mind. It’s no surprise that the author doesn’t do it well in 'Masquerade'. I wouldn’t care so much, but we sometimes go through entire chapters in Heven’s POV and then read through the exact same chapter from Sam’s POV. And then again from ‘The Hate’s POV. Dude, just move on! I do wish there was more from the perspective of ‘The Hate’ and ‘The Hope’ as they were marginally more interesting, even though we never really find out who the hell they really are ('The Hate' was meant to be China, I think...)It’s not until the halfway mark that stuff really starts happening. Until then it’s all about school, friends, relationships. There’s some shady shit going on with Sam, but we don’t even have a clue what it’s about. There’s a couple of pages where he fights a monster. What is this beast? What does it look like. We don’t know. It’s just a monster. That’s fine; don’t bore us with the details – I want to see what Heven’s wearing now! Let’s have a look at what kind of details we are treated to in the time it takes for the plot to pick up.“I gasped. The thought of the bracelet being damaged was heartbreaking”At least spell your over-exaggerated adjective correctly. It’s two words or a hyphenate, and a broken bracelet is not the end of the world.“If I was a normal person I would be in a comma.”Who the fuck is your editor?“The only jewelry I wore was the whistle”Aaaaand another spelling error “His arms wrapped around me and towed me up against his chest. All the breath wooshed out of me and my heart thudded. “Hey beautiful,” he rasped.”I actually laughed out loud at this. I can't help imagine Bonnie Tyler playing the part of Sam when Heven describes his raspy voice.“He lifted me back off the ground and covered my mouth with his”Sounds romantic…“You’re mother called”I honestly think that you should have to pass an apostrophe usage exam to call yourself a writer. “I’m so sorry. You didn’t deserve this. But it was you or Heven. I won’t let this happen to her. So it had to be you.”This guy is a psychopath - why are you swooning??So then we finally find out Sam’s deal. Turns out he’s a hellhound werewolf whatsit. Heven is scared of him for a bit, sure. But do you know what happens right after that? When she’s only just found out what he is? It is a stunning turn of events, and it is still too soon for me to laugh about it.Heven’s ultra-religious mother believed Heven has been “marked by evil” because of her scars. She wants to send her away to church camp for a little while so that they can exorcise the evil out of her. Very calmly, without much of an explanation or without picking up a bag of any of her stuff, Heven just opens the back door and runs off with her hell demon boyfriend (who is waiting right there).A terrifying shape shifter makes her feel safer than being sent to church camp.Let's just say from here on out I speed-read through the rest of it.In a nutshell: Heven gets used to the idea of hellhounds and her impending death remarkably quickly. She is swiftly is murdered. The grim reaper lets Sam lay down his life to save her. Then she brings them both to life because Heven happens to be a 'supernatural treasure' with magic powers and Sam needs to protect her. They can now read each others' minds. Heven can now see auras. They find this ancient map - this incredible celestial map that was lost for centuries that Heven just happens to stumble upon. So now that opens the door for the sequels. Will I read them? Um....no. Nope. I am out of here.
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales - Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm, Brothers Grimm, Joseph Campbell, Josef Scharl, Margaret Raine Hunt, Padraic Colum, James Stern Things that Grimm's has taught me:- If you do not have a suitable insult for someone, "simpleton" will work in any situation. And "dandyprat" - it's amazing.- If your kid is a bit thick, nicknaming them "dummling" will really help their self-esteem.- No story is complete without a king showing up at some point.- Bitches be crazy.Grimm's was great, and you can really enjoy it if you take it with a pinch of salt. I'll admit it took me about half the book to stop going WTF at every other sentence, but once I did it became a lot more enjoyable. After fifteen stories or so, it no longer shocks you that someone can be brought back to life by a woman's tears, or simply "God's grace" on some occasions.This book made me think a lot about the art of fairy tales. There are many different ones from all over the world and I myself consumed stories from lots of different cultures as a child. When I first started reading Grimm's I was constantly asking myself why on earth kids are allowed to read these crazy things, even the massively censored fairy tales we get today. Aesop, not the brothers Grimm, was the one who wrote every story with a moral. Grimm's are, as the name would suggest, grim! They are full of murder, misogyny and just general what-the-fuck-ery. It is a hard task to decipher any sort of lesson to be learned from these tales, and a lot of the time the stories are so crazy it is difficult to enjoy them.I then had to ask myself why I liked fairy tales when I was a kid. I honestly still don't know the answer to that one.As I said, I consumed many fairy tales as a kid. Some were massively censored and completely different to the originals (Disney) and some were pretty much exactly the same as the originals. I don't think my parents realized what they had given me to read, because knowing them I don't think they would have let me read stories with that amount of murder. Do you know what my favourite fairy tales were? The depraved ones.Two of my favourite story books were Old Peter's Russian Tales and The Kingdom Under the Sea. To give you an idea of the kind of thing I'm talking about, one of the stories from Old Peter's Russian Tales was called The Silver Saucer and The Transparent Apple. In a nutshell, a young girl called Little Stupid (yes) used a silver saucer and a transparent apple to see the world. Her sisters are jealous, so they of course murder her in order to obtain these treasures. She is then brought back to life with water from the well of the Tsar and she forgives her sisters. Because, you know, if your sisters axe murder you, that's what you do. Sibling rivalry is a bitch.I loved that story. I loved all of them, no matter how insane or depraved. The only time I ever got upset with a fairy tale is when I discovered the original and found that it was completely different to my childhood favourite. Like when I read the original Little Mermaid, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Sleeping Beauty (the one before Grimm's). But I didn't mind if the original story I read had been disturbing...I guess I'm still trying to make sense of it all, but the way I see it is that kids don't mind if a story makes absolutely no sense. They don't care if a bunch of crows in a story can see the future and the main character can understand them and no explanation is ever offered. I think back to all of the Spike Milligan and Rudyard Kipling I enjoyed when I was a kid and I'm like yeah, kid's don't give a crap if the story makes no sense. And as for the murder-y type stuff, I'm still not quite sure. I was never bothered by the murders in my fairy stories as a kid. I never got upset, and certainly don't go around on regular killing sprees as a result. It's the whole video game violence debate all over again. Am I slightly desensitized to death? Maybe. But understanding and accepting that death is a part of life is not a bad thing. If that started with fairy tales, I don't think it's a reason for fairy tales to be censored. In conclusion, I would recommend Grimm's if you are keen to see the origins of fairy tales. However do keep the following in mind:- These stories will make no sense to an adult mind; they read like the Grimm brothers were permanently high.- If you don't already know about the original folk tales of your favourite Disney films, be prepared for Grimm's to rape your childhood. The go check out Hans Christen Anderson, he'll finish the job.- Just try to take it all with a pinch of salt.I leave you with my reactions as I read the stories...The Goose Girl- Wait...what?The Brother and Sister- Oh hey, middle aged king barging into my cottage. You want me to be your queen? Yeah sure, can I bring my brother? Sweet.Hansel and Grethel- Their father is definitely a simpleton.- "Who's eating my gingerbread roof?" "the wind" "oh right, carry on"- Grethel, why are you helping the witch cook your brother? She's already locked him up and said she's going to eat him, you just said you would rather die with your brother than have him die alone...just say no! What is the worst the witch can do at this point?- Oh now apparently you can ride a duck across a river. La di fucking da.Oh, if I could but shiver- What on earth is a parish sexton and why does he just wander into people's houses for a chinwag?- He's even acting like a sexual predator now.- "your balls are not quite round" -- said the actress to the bishop- Shivering. Was it worth it?Dummling and the Three Feathers- All hail king Dummling, lord of the frog folk!Snow White- Oh so it's her cheeks that are red as blood? Sounds off-putting...- Y U so picky about beds, Snow? So what if one is too long?- "Who has been meddling with my spoon??" BAHAHHAHAHAFred and Catherine- I don't know who's more annoying: the misogynist husband or the idiot wife.- Definitely the wife.- Who the hell drinks vinegar?- What was the point of that story?The Valiant Little Tailor- He ain't valiant. He's a prick with a death wish.Little Red Cap- "How loudly that lady snores! I must be a good Samaritan and wander into her house while she sleeps to make sure she's ok."- So they don't even get rescued?The Golden Goose- Ok, I'm taking a leaf out of this guy's book. If I ever get mugged, I'm going to hold my head up high and say "Give you all my money? No thank you, as there would be none left for me!"- Must be awful to be a princess. You laugh at one guy's joke and you're forced to marry him.Bearskin- Liked this one!Cinderella- UghFaithful John- You had one job, John. One.- I wish I had the guts to never explain anything. I can imagine a Grimm brother asking the other if they should offer some sort of explanation and the other saying "nah bruh, they'll get it". Only in German.The Water of Life- Dandyprat!!!Thumbling- "he screamed and his mother and father were aroused by it"Briar Rose- A fish that grants potency! "you get a kid! You get a kid. You call get kids!"The Six Swans- I remember this one! But...with nettles...- "they settled on the ground and began blowing one another"- Evil stepmothers. Every family has one.Rapunzel- Craving a salad so bad you may die. Can't say I can relate.Mother Holle- "Cinderella of the House". You mean slave, Grimm.The Frog Prince- So kissing him doesn't work, but throwing him against a wall does!The Travels of Tom Thumb- He's IN the cow! Get it now, simpleton?- I miss those days when it's all like "I'm going to make my fortune!". Now it's all "I'm off to uni to get plastered every night".- If you are writing in the past tense, are you allowed to say "presently"?Snow White and Rose Red- Now you're just recycling namesThe Three Little Men in The Wood- Yep, bitches be crazy.Rumplestiltskin- # They call me Caspar, they call me Melchior, thats not my name, that's not my name #Little one-eye, two-eyes and three-eyes- "What shall we call our daughter?" "Well she had 2 eyes like the rest of humanity. Let's call her two-eyes and beat the shit out of her for being normal"
Divergent - Veronica Roth 3.5 starsI can see why so many people like this book. It has probably filled a void that was left when the Hunger Games ended. A few years ago now, but this appears to be the hottest dystopian fiction to hit the shelves since then.After John Green recommended this book, I had high hopes. Hopes that were not quite met, but the book ended better than it started. After only a few chapters in, I thought that getting through this book would be tough and that I really wouldn't like it. I found the writing style to be average, the main character was rubbish, and that the whole setup of the five different factions to be ludicrous.The first part of a book is the toughest to write. It's very difficult to entice the reader in. All of the world-building and characterisation that needs to be done in the first few chapters usually takes away from the action. It's a very difficult thing to balance. Veronica Roth decided to dispense with the world-building altogether to add some action, which only made me concentrate more on the flaws! Seriously, a world where everyone lives according to five specific "virtues"? I have to quote a fellow goodreads reviewer on this because it's just too brilliantly phrased:"Because by their very existence, structure, and way of living the factions promote things like segregation, discrimination, inequality, oppression, and competing belief systems. Sound familiar? They should. They are after all the leading causes of discord & war among human civilizations throughout history. What a way to shoot yourself in the foot while simultaneously getting butted in the face by your gun's recoil. Bravo!" -- review hereLuckily this whole thing is explored in the book, but honestly I don't have any idea how Chicago got into such a state in the first place! And what about the rest of the world outside Chicago? Do they still exist? No society would ever....ugh. Let's just hope that this is explained in the rest of the trilogy...Still I muddled on through the book, but it wasn't until near the halfway point that it began to grow on me.The story is never dull. There is just the right mix of action and reflection. There aren't so many secondary characters that you lose sight of who's who, and they each have enough characterisation that you can picture them well in your mind.Tris never fully grew on me and I still don't like her that much, though I don't hate her Tobias grew on me a bit more, though I still resent the ridiculous nickname of 'Four'. I was kind of hoping we would be wowed with an ingenious explanation for his terrible nickname, but it was predictably lame. Also predictable were the definition of a Divergent and Tobias's identity. Saw those two coming a mile off.I did end up being gripped by the story, and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would after a rocky start. I am going to read the second book now, and I hope that I get some decent world-building that is sorely needed. I also hope that Tris and Tobias develop into more likeable characters. They are not quite there yet.P.S. Veronica Roth has clearly never gotten a tattoo.
Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days, #1) - Susan Ee Holy Mother of an unspecified God.I just spent the first 5 hours of 2013 reading this entire book.I...I don't think I have the words to describe the awesome.What am I talking about? Of course I do.It's just going to take a lot of them.Brace yourselves...I wanted my first book of 2013 to be a good one, which is why I was saving Angelfall until now. I had heard nothing but rave reviews about the book and I knew it was going to be just my cup of tea. Boy, I love it when I'm right. Not only is it a book that I could not put down, but it is a rare example of a self-published book that isn't rubbish! Don't you just love that? Makes me want to do this: Let me try and get through this review as spoiler-less as possible while trying to convey the sheer awesome that you must read right now.Angelfall is narrated from the perspective of 17-year-old Penryn, named after an interstate exit (unusual name and I happen to love it). Six weeks ago, the Angels of the Apocalypse descended upon Earth to destroy the world as we know it. The narrative picks up with Penryn having quickly adapted to life in dystopia trying to take care of her disabled sister Paige and wildly schizophrenic mother.When attempting to reach a safer area to stay in for a while, the small family witness a gang of angels attack a snowy-winged angel and cut off his wings. Penryn is then helpless as one of the angels kidnaps her 7-year-old sister, flying off into the distance with her and presumably cackling menacingly for effect. Penryn's only hope of rescuing Paige lies with the attacked angel who is dying in the middle of the street.It is the pinnacle of dystopia and Susan Ee does not scrimp on the gruesome, terrifying and simultaneously heart wrenching details. The plot and concept are brilliant, the characters are excellent, and the best part is that Susan Ee does not sacrifice plot to make more room for romance! When it comes to characters I can be quite hard to please, but I have to say I was definitely not disappointed with Penryn. The characterization is brilliant in Angelfall (sure, the first person narrative does help...), and I got really attached to the girl. Oh yeah, she is also AWESOME. She is a fantastic kick-ass heroine who I would happily worship. Her difficult and unusual life prepared her in a way for the apocalypse. Her ordeals with her family, predominantly her schizophrenic mother, have made her grow up faster and be exposed to a lot of insane situations that most people never see in a whole lifetime, let alone when they are children. She took self-defense classes from a young age to protect herself against her mother of all people!! No wonder she can adapt so well in the apocalypse! This girl has a head on her shoulders and has the very real motivation of protecting and saving her family, as opposed to 'saving the world'. She can pick locks,knows martial arts and - hell yes I am using this word - the girl has gumption! She is not saved by her knight in shining armor - she is her own knight in shining armor. She fights her own battles and can do things her celestial angel friend cannot. She may be infatuated with Raffe, but she is not afraid of him, nor does she ever do as she tells him. She is her own person, and in many ways she is his equal. Yes. Just....YES! Archangel Raphael, or Raffa, el angel caliente, has a lot less characterization going on for him. But this is mainly because he hardly talks to Penryn at all. Strong silent type, much? Raffa is brilliant. He's a cocky, arrogant twat that comes from him being a superior celestial being and seeing humans only as monkeys. He's tall, dark and handsome (and topless for a good portion of the novel) and essentially informs Penryn that she fancies him even before she knows it herself. Because come on, who wouldn't fancy the pants of a hunky celestial being with the arrogance of God himself? I do hope Raffa gets a bit more characterization going for him in the sequel, but for now he was still likable as a love interest, and definitely a realistic and believable character. Though I didn't really swoon over they guy (nope, Jancis, he doesn't make the list), I do still think he shows a lot of potential.The last character I'd like to mention here is Penryn's schizophrenic mother. Dealing with the whole "mental health issue" is a tricky one, and I'm glad Susan Ee didn't sugarcoat it. She portrayed it all so brilliantly. It's still unclear if Penryn's mum is going to have more of a part in the sequel, or if her being schizophrenic will really be a major plot point. So far the only purpose her schizophrenia has serves is to help Penryn adapt to crazy situations and to provide a bit of horror and suspense in the story. I really hope her schizophrenia ends up being a major plot point...Speaking of the plot....I mentioned before that the love story is only a second thought, and the plot is everything. Good move! Penryn never even contemplates that Raffe may like her. As far as she's concerned, they are enemies. As much as she may fancy the adonis archangel, she knows that nothing will ever happen between them. So she doesn't spent pages and pages contemplating possibilities that will never be. Thank God.The plot is fast paced, suspenseful and fantastically gruesome as all dystopian novels should be. Not a single page is wasted; it is a fantastic story. I would have liked a little more back story about the day of the apocalypse, but hopefully that will crop up in the next installment. And on the subject of the next installment...There will potentially be four new books. Huzzah!The next one won't be out until autumn... Yeah, that was my reaction too, Dan.But in a way I'm glad. I haven't been this excited about a book series since Harry Potter. Like most, a big part of my childhood involved marking the release day of the new HP book on my calendar, pre-ordering, and then devouring the book in a day. And then waiting a few years until the story could continue.As much as I'd love to devour the Penryn and the End of Days series this week, I know the wait will make it worth it. Going back to the Harry Potter-type days feels exciting. I've got something big to look forward to.To conclude, I only have two remarks, that aren't huge complaints, but I'm throwing them in anyway. They certainly don't mar my 5 star review.#1) I would have liked a little more Raffe characterisation and backstory about the apocalypse.#2) Penryn got a fraction less kick-ass as the story went on. At the beginning she is pretty much ready to torture Raffe for information. But as the story went on and her infatuation deepened, she was obviously affected by him. I would have liked to see her try harder to get some information out of him, or take charge of the situation a bit more, rather than just follow him. All she ends up doing in the end is speaking out of place and going off on her own. Still great, especially as her going off on her own leads to her discovering things that Raffe doesn't, but I expected more out of her. Still, on the flip side, she's only 17 and it's her first crush, so her being affected by him in that way is definitely believable. Let's see how she fairs in the next books :)Angelfall is perfect for people who love a good dystopian novel. I recommend it for people looking for a Hunger Games replacement - and for Twilight fans who should see what a real forbidden romance is all about.Seriously. Read this book. It's immense.