Top critical review
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Annoying and disappointing
on 14 October 2010
Despite finishing Crescendo several days ago, I'm still not sure what I think of it. I loved Hush, Hush. I didn't think it was spectacular (characters a little flat, Patch too much of a bad-boy, Nora too willing to ignore it), but I loved it anyway, so of course I was looking forward to the sequel. I was particularly interested in the story of Nora's fathers death, and how it connected to the Nephilim. But I found myself quickly loosing enthusiasm while reading it. I found it predictable, and far too alike Hush, Hush in many respects. It wasn't hard to figure out where the danger was really coming from, or what had really happened to Nora's father.
I didn't love Nora in Hush, Hush, didn't even like her that much. She was too flat and far too willing to do whatever Patch wanted when she shouldn't have been near him. And she never told Vee, her obnoxious, insensitive 'best friend' to stop being such. And my opinion hasn't really changed. I kept waiting for some growth from her, but what there was minimal and didn't really seem to last, she kept going back to how she was before it seemed to me.
Patch. Stalker, bad-boy, seriously dangerous. He was in Hush, Hush, and despite knowing he was really too bad to be good, I kinda loved him. Possibly for the contrast he was to Nora, where she was a bit of a straight laced goody-two-shoes, he was the opposite. I wish I could say that carried over to this book, but it didn't. I kinda hated him a few times throughout this book, and (obnoxious about it or not) completely agreed with Vee when she said he was bad news and that Nora was better off without him.
There were a few times I would have liked to slap both Patch and Nora for their behaviour and stupidity. At least twice Patch was getting really mad at Nora for 'not letting him explain' and her just getting crazy. And I was thinking 'what the heck?!?' because a) he wasn't trying to explain, not once. And b) Nora had every reason to be furious at him for his behaviour and yet he expected her to accept it without explanation. Made no sense whatsoever. And neither did several of Nora's outbursts which came from nowhere (even if there was reason) and would die just as fast. Not to mention that I never really felt they 'fit' as a couple in this one. Not a healthy relationship in book one, but a steamy one that somehow worked anyway. But here...it just didn't for me. All their interaction was brief and it felt like there were chunks missing. Nothing was fleshed out the way it really needed to be to truly work.
The story itself, like I said, felt very alike Hush, Hush, in many ways, just a few minor details switched. I spent a fair bit of time reading it and thinking 'didn't I read this already?' I finished Hush, Hush in a day easily. It flowed at a fast pace and was an easy read. Crescendo I more or less finished in a day as well, but it took far more effort on my part. The first half really dragged for me. It picked up a bit past the halfway point, and the final 100 pages raced past. And I did actually enjoy the final 100 pages. I knew what was coming, how it would play out, but I'd finally gotten sucked in enough that it didn't matter, just like Hush, Hush. I was surprised just once reading this book, and that was the very final twist on the last page. That one I never saw coming and may be my biggest reason for wanting to read Tempest, book 3, when it's released rather than waiting for a cheap paperback copy.
So can I really have liked a book when it was so predictable and same-y? Can I really have not when I did still finish it in a day and enjoy (more or less) the final 100 pages (which is a quarter of the book)? I really don't know. It wasn't what I wanted from this second book. I wanted character development and a new story, and I didn't find that. There wasn't (bar the final one) any surprise because it was far to easy to see them coming chapters off, or simply because I could see the same patterns from Hush, Hush appearing. So overall, yes I was disappointed with this (and I realise I appear to be well in the minority here, please don't hate me for it). There was the odd moment I liked, and like I said the final 100 pages weren't bad, even if they were predictable (and I was rolling my eyes a bit through one particular 'tense' section). But Nora, gah, the girl drove me nuts!! And Patch felt flatter than he did in Hush, Hush, relying only on that mysterious/bad boy vibe to get him through and it didn't work for me. So...yeah, not a great read, and a disappointing sequel in my opinion, with some good moments.