Profile for Georgiana89 > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Georgiana89
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,438
Helpful Votes: 571

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Georgiana89 (London)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-12
pixel
The Young Elites
The Young Elites
Price: £4.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Feels like an enjoyable copy of several good stories - until things move in a different direction, 14 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Young Elites (Kindle Edition)
If someone had told me there was a book that basically takes the plot and characters of the Grisha Trilogy, pops them in a Renaissance Italy fantasy world instead of an Imperial Russian one, adds in a healthy dose of Assassin's Creed 2, and throws Warner from Shatter Me in there too, I'd have had two thoughts - firstly, "that sounds horribly derivative," and secondly, "that sounds like the perfect YA novel, and I must read it right this second."

The Grisha is probably my favourite YA I've read since I've been too old for the genre, the Renaissance was my specialist subject at university, and Assassin's Creed is my favourite computer game of the last five years. (I've never actually read Shatter Me, so I may be wrong on that one, but enough people have recommended it to me because off my love of villainous love interests that I feel like I can speak with authority!)

No one had given that me description of the Young Elites, but for the first 80% of the book, for better or worse, that's what kept churning through my mind.

In this Renaissance Italy-esque world, a strange disease killed every adult that caught it, marked every survivor, and gave a selected few strange powers linked to elements and emotions. Our "heroine" (I'll get to those quotation marks in a moment) Adeline knows she was marked, but doesn't discover she also has particularly special (but dark) powers until the opening of the book, years after the fever. She joins the titular Young Elites, a group of similarly gifted youths, and along with them, plots to overthrow the Queen and put the Crown Prince on the throne.

Said Crown Prince leads the Young Elites, controls fire, is super hot, brooding and charming, and is the perfect mixture of a slightly more chilled out Darkling and a slightly edgier Ezio (and is even called Enzo). Apologies to anyone who doesn't get either of those references, but basically, if he feels a little cliched, he's also basically everything you want in a romantic hero. We also have Teren, the psychotic, sadistic and obsessive leader of the Inquisition, tasked with wiping out the Young Elites, despite secretly having powers himself. He's also super hot and super intense, but miraculously, somehow manages to avoid becoming one side of a love triangle. He starts out as the villain and remains the villain despite having nice eyes. Whether he'll manage to keep this feat up in subsequent volumes is anyone's guess!

For that first 80% of the book, I really enjoyed it as a fun but predictable read. Everything was well done, but nothing felt really new or unique and nothing that happened really surprised me. Now, unlike some people who get up in arms about it, I don't really mind books not being original - after all, no novel's been truly original in centuries. Give me "good" over "different" any day. On the other hand, I never felt it ever quite reached the heights of the stories it was clearly inspired by.

Halfway through, I'd almost have put money on where I thought the plot was going to go, so it was a pleasant surprise when, towards the end, there's a major plot development that sends things off in a different direction and turns this into quite a different sort of novel. This turn of events genuinely shocked me and made my take far more of an interest in the book. It also made some of the comparisons feel a little less fair. It's hard to explain without giving huge spoilers, but as it's basically the USP of the series, I think I can get away with saying that the take home message seems to be that the "heroine" of this novel is basically going to be the villain of further installments in the series - and not even through the influence of a man! I didn't actually see much evidence of real villainy here, and I really wish the author had a)moved things in this direction earlier, and b) ramped them up a bit, and I hope she really goes all out in the sequel. But there's nothing I love more than a good anti-heroine or even villain protagonist, so I'm excited to see where this goes.

It's worth a read if you like the sources I've mentioned (and according to other people, also X Men, which I know nothing about), but if you ever feel it's too much of a rip-off, keep plowing on, and hopefully the ending will change your mind. This book didn't quite hit the heights of greatness, but I did enjoy it, and it's left me really looking forward to the next installment now the world is set up and the unique factors are coming out of the inspirations.


Vicious
Vicious
by V. E. Schwab
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

3.0 out of 5 stars worth a look if you like superheroes or want something a bit different, 14 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vicious (Paperback)
I recently read the author's newer novel, A Darker Shade of Magic, and enjoyed it without being overwhelmed. I'm generally less interested in superheroes and villains than fantasy worlds, but I was intrigued to see what else she'd written, so decided to give this a go, and actually ended up preferring it. It offers two interesting main characters, both of whom are well developed and broadly believable, and both of whom tread a good line between hero and villain. It's also a clever and surprisingly realistic pseudo-scientific depiction of how people could gain superpowers and what living with them might be like. It has the intriguing idea that superpowers result from near-death experiences, and that the powers relate to what the person was thinking at the time they died/came back, which results in some interesting powers. It was fast moving, kept my guessing and had an well-executed dual timeline.
On the downside, there were some far too convenient plot devices (notably main characters coming across secondary characters with the exact right power at the exact right time) and while it toyed with the idea of there being a very fine line between hero and villain, it was very clear which of the two protagonists we were meant to cheer for.
Overall then, a fun and different read that's definitely worth a look, but that didn't blow me away. i'd give it 3.5 if that were possible.


Sky's End (Cassiel Winters Book 1)
Sky's End (Cassiel Winters Book 1)
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Appeals to both my geeky and my romantic side, 8 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book strikes a good balance between reasonably serious sci-fi and swoony romance, and as a result, did a good job of appealing to both my geeky and my romantic sides. That said, it's worth saying upfront that the romantic (and sexy) side of things does take centre stage for large portions of the book, so I'd avoid this if you're a)male or b)really not into that sort of thing.

The plot centres around Cassiel, a twenty-year old woman whose older brother is a top space soldier. When he disappears, she decides to train with his old regiment in an attempt to find out what happened to him. She's not the only woman on the space base - though females are vastly outnumbered and therefore subject to a lot of attention - but most of the others are dedicated military types, which she is emphatically not. As a result, despite giving training and testing her all, she's on the verge of being kicked when the book opens, and still has no idea what become of her brother.

I really liked Cassiel. I liked that she was far from naturally talented, but that she tried her absolute best all the same. And I liked the fact that though she got a bit better, she never magically becomes top of the class. As someone who is equal parts malcoordinated and determined (and who has an incredibly fit and well-coordinated brother!) this felt like a quite believable portrayal of being somewhere that's really unsuited to your skills and trying to make the best of it. I also find the dynamics between siblings to be fascinated, so I enjoyed the fact that worry about her brother was a major driver.

The plot really kicks into life when Cassiel, despite being subpar at fighting and survival, is sent to spy on a race of aliens called the Thell'eons. The defining characteristics of the male Thell'eons as a race are: being very attractive, being excellent fighters, and being pretty horny most of the time. The defining features of the women, on the other hand, are having no interest in sex or any ability to feel romantic or sexual attraction to the males. Perhaps you can see where this is going, particularly if I point out that Cassiel is a bit of a hottie, especially in her skin tight space suit. It did all sound a bit like some sort of seventies softcore porn scenario, only in space! And yes, there were plenty of scenes of C going "phroar, look at that muscly alien" or said alien going, "wow, a sexually interested and available woman" but though there were a few chapters were it felt like thing might go that way, it never descended into pure erotica. Things definitely got steamy, but there's lots of plot and adventure along the way.

The two key love interests are the leader of one branch of the Thell'eons, Or'ic, and Lt King, Cassiel's missing brother's best friend and only equal, and pretty much a straightforward all-American space marine. Yes, there's straight-up love triangle. I still quite enjoy this ubiquitous plot device, but if it's a pet hate, you might want to steer clear of this. If I have a complaint, it's that the two of them are a little too similar. They are both well-built tough guys who can kill their enemies with their bare hands and wield enormous amounts of power, and they are both basically decent people. I think it would have been more fun if they were a bit more differentiated. I was also hoping that the alien love interest was going to be more of a borderline villain, or that there'd be some reason for a bit more tension. I should add that I generally prefer smooth talking and slightly sinister pretty boys as my romantic heroes, but the quality of the writing and the description did get me swooning over these ultra-manly types, and the hot scenes really are very hot.

Towards the end of the book, the romance comes down a notch and the plot thickens and becomes more overtly sci-fi, with lots of talk of parallel universes and rifts and singularities, and lots of gun fights and spaceship battles. I loved this too, though there were moments when I felt like I was reading two different books that didn't quite mesh together. I guess I'd have liked some of this heavier duty plot little earlier in proceedings.

Overall though, if you're a romance fan whose willing to embrace your geeky side, or possibly vice versa, I'd recommend this, and I'm looking forward to the sequel.


Foxglove Summer (PC Peter Grant Book Book 5)
Foxglove Summer (PC Peter Grant Book Book 5)
Price: £5.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Rural fantasy as a change from the urban variety, 1 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After four books combining magical fantasy with hardboiled police procedural and extolling both the vices and the virtues of London, this fifth installment takes a slightly different approach by taking Peter Grant, wizard magician, outside of his urban comfort zone and into the wilds of Herefordshire. If the others feel a bit like a paranormal The Bill, this had more of the air of a paranormal Midsomer Murders - and as far as I was concerned, that was no bad thing.

Some people love London, and the author is clearly one of them, but despite or perhaps because of living there, it's never had much of a hold on my imagination. The English countryside, however, always feels magical to me, and I thought it was a great setting for this type of story. The plot is also a bit of a chance from the usual murders, and deals with perhaps the crime that holds the greatest sway on people's imaginations and gets the most frenzied press headlines - the disappearance of two young girls. In a terrifying blurring of ancient folklore, modern superstition and very real fears, it could be fairies, it could be UFOs or it could be pedophiles. It kept me guessing and it kept me worried, and after the interconnected mini-plots of the last few installments, it was refreshing to focus on one case in real detail. Also, there are evil carnivorous unicorns, and there's nothing to dislike about that!

The other big difference between this book and the others are that the key supporting cast are missing. Molly and Nightingale remain in London, as do the secondary police characters. And Leslie doesn't appear in person at all, although she and Peter do exchange cryptic text. For anyone dying to pick up that plot after the end of Broken Homes, this book resolutely fails to deliver, which was the one thing that really irritated me about it. On the plus side, Beverley Brook, relegated from main love interest in Book One to cameo appearances in the intervening books, is back to the fore here, and really gets a chance to shine. I missed the others a little - Nightingale is by far my favourite characters - but the book stood up well without them, and it was nice for Peter to get a chance to grow.

Although the overarching "faceless man" plot is put on the backburner, some of the wider backstory is elaborated on, when we finally meet another official wizard and old friend of Nightingale and get to hear some of what happened at Ettesburg and just how hardcore the head of the Folly really is!

In conclusion, this had a slightly odd feel to it, but it ended up being one of my favourite books of the series so far. I can see why it wouldn't gel with some people as well, but I think there's still something for all fans to enjoy here.


Broken Homes (Rivers of London 4)
Broken Homes (Rivers of London 4)
by Ben Aaronovitch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a promising series kicks into real excellence, 1 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you've read the earlier books in this series, you should know what to expect by now - an unusual blend of fantasy/paranormal with a serious crime drama and a healthy dose of humour. Ever since I read the first book, I've wanted to love the series and have only ever managed to like it. The premise is interesting, the writing witty and fluent, and I adore the characters. But in previous installments, the plots felt a little too "jumpy" and convoluted, and it always felt like there was something missing.

Nonethless, I've carried on picking these up whenever I've fancied a relatively relaxed read, and I'm glad I have, because finally, in Broken Homes, it all seemed to fall into place. The already strong characters and setting truly came to life, the mythos and backstory developed well, and what initially seemed like several unconnected mini-plots came together brilliantly. The main "Faceless Man" plot arc picked back up after being rather sidelined in Book Three and the key "plot of the book" - a brutalist tower block with magical properties - was well done too. And finally, it all ended with a genuinely unexpected and shocking twist that left my diving for Book Five.

I feel like this book has turned me into a genuine fan rather than casual admirer, so I'd definitely recommend it whether you already love the series or are debating whether to carry on. If you haven't read the others, start with Book One, Rivers of London, and enjoy.


A Darker Shade of Magic
A Darker Shade of Magic
by V. E. Schwab
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fun characters, a well-thought out world, and an action-packed plot - but ultimately nothing that made it special or memorable, 22 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book started with an interesting premise - there are three parallel Londons, which Ansari, a type of natural-born wizard, can walk between. The world building is strong, and you can well imagine the splendour of magical Red London, the terror of washed out, desperate and despotic White London, as well as Grey London, the one we know, but in the early nineteenth century.

Our protagonist is Kell, one of only two Ansari who remain in the world. He lives in Red London as an adopted son of the ruling family, and travels between the other two Londons on diplomatic missions - but can never quite resist the forbidden practice of collecting trinkets from other worlds and bringing them back to his own. Kell was likable and enjoyably powerful. The other main hero is Lila, a pickpocket in Grey London with big dreams, who ends up being Kell's travelling companion. Of all the characters, she was probably the most interesting, combining basic decency with an almost pathological love of stealing and stabbing, a habit of cross-dressing, and a dream of becoming a pirate. While I liked the other characters, they sometimes felt a bit stereotypical - she was that bit more interesting and unique.

We then have the main villains, the sadistic Dane Twins, brutal rulers of White London who bind people to their bill with magic and have subjects tortured for insufficiently enthusiastic bowing. I love a good villain, and though there was little to no nuance about them, they did make for entertaining - if disturbing - reading. There's also Holland, the other remaining Ansari and the Dane's main henchman.Again, he was gloriously sinister.

Kell's smuggling goes too far when he acquires a forbidden artifact from Black London, a place of strong magic that destroyed itself through its own power and was sealed off from the other Londons as a result. Cue magic, violence, scheming and people being possessed, as Kell and Lila embark on a suicidal quest to take the artifact back to Black London before it destroys everything.

So, we have fun characters wandering a well-thought out world, and an action-packed plot. It sounds like everything necessary for an excellent fantasy novel is present and correct. And there's no doubt that I enjoyed reading this and was keen to find out how it was all going to end. But somehow, it just didn't grip me, didn't get inside my head and make me truly care about the characters or dream about Red London.

In some ways, it felt like quite an old fashioned piece of fantasy. There were very clear cut goodies and baddies, and few hints of darkness in the former (with the possible exception of Lila) or redeeming features in the latter. I never had any doubts that the good guys would do the right thing and be successful, and I never felt that any remotely key character on the good side was in real danger. And ultimately, the convoluted, twisty plot was resolved in an extremely simple fashion. I don't want to overdo this criticism - there's something fun about truly heroic heroes and genuinely villainous villains and something satisfying about good being rewarded and evil punished. I'd just have liked to see something to give it a touch more bite. It felt like there was nothing I hadn't seen before, nothing that made this book really special or memorable or that made me want to rush out and recommend it to my fantasy-loving friends.

I would still recommend this on balance. I'm assuming that this is intended as the first installment in a series, and I would read a subsequent volume. At worst, I'd expect it to be another entertaining read, but I'd also hope that as the author got more used to the world, she can start to add in a little more edge and unpredictability.


Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Price: £9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas and a clever combination of autobiography, sociological study and manifesto for success, 28 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of those books that I've heard so much about I almost felt as though I'd already read it. But the idea that women need to stop holding themselves back really resonates with me, so I decided to actually read the original.

Two things need to be pointed out. Firstly, while the central argument is indeed "speak up in meetings, go for promotions, ask for raises" etc etc, it's more nuanced than lots of commentators seem to suggest, and far from blaming women for their own lack of advancement is fully aware of the unconscious bias that both men and women can show in the workplace, and suggests ways in which women may have to handle negotiations and applications differently to men to not fall foul of managers' assumptions.

Secondly, as most people know, the author is the COO of Facebook and previously held senior roles at both Google and the US Treasury. She also had kids. She makes a token effort to point out how the arguments of this book also apply to women who don't want kids/stay at home mothers/women working in more menial roles, but fundamentally, this is aimed at at focussed on women who want to get to the top of professional organisations and probably also have a family. There's nothing wrong with that, and that's exactly the position I'm in, but it's worth pointing out so that other demographics don't read this and feel cheated.

The book combines three elements - stories from her rise to the top, mixed with anecdotes about successes and set-backs amongst her friends, family and colleagues, sociological research and commentary on the experience of women in the workplace (impressively footnooted), and a sort of manifesto for how women can maximise their careers. It occasionally felt like an uneasy combination, but on the whole, it worked well.

It was a little repetitive in places, there was a bit of name-dropping and "humble-bragging" ("I won this top award at university, but I didn't tell anyone because I wanted them to like me"), and I sometimes got the impression that the author fundamentally felt that her way was the right way and other women were doing it wrong. Despite that, I came to rather like Sheryl and her outlook, and I definitely took away some useful things to think about.

Worth a direct read - rather than a read of a comment piece attacking or supporting it - if you're either a woman trying to make it in the professional world, someone with an interest in the sociological aspects of woman and work, or if you just want an inspiring tale of a woman who's done fantastically well in a male dominated environment.


Bossypants
Bossypants
Price: £4.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing read with some surprisingly profound bits mixed in, 28 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bossypants (Kindle Edition)
Probably rather unusually for a reader of this book, I'e had very little exposure to Tina Fey beyond the ubiquitous Sarah Palin sketches that did the rounds a few years ago. I picked it up because I'd seen a few quotations from it that I found both clever and amusing - if you're debating whether this is for you, I'd suggest you take a look at some of them on Goodreads and see if they work for you.

"“Politics and prostitution have to be the only jobs where inexperience is considered a virtue. In what other profession would you brag about not knowing stuff? “I’m not one of those fancy Harvard heart surgeons. I’m just an unlicensed plumber with a dream and I’d like to cut your chest open.”"

or

“So, my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.”

The book is a mixture of autobiography and musings on life, particularly around comedy/acting and being a woman. It's all delivered with a healthy dose of humour, but parts of it end up being quite moving and profound too. I wouldn't say it either had me rolling around on the floor shaking with laughter or re-examining my life, but it's good fun and worth a read whether you're an existing fan or not.


The Book of Strange New Things
The Book of Strange New Things
Price: £8.54

4.0 out of 5 stars Clever mingling of sci-fi world-building and literary musings, but far too lacking in plot, 28 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
On the one hand, this book deals with big questions like the nature of faith and the importance of love. On the other, it introduces a race of aliens and creates a whole new culture, language and script for them, and describes a world where the atmosphere has texture and water is green. Yes, it's one of my absolute favourite things - a book that unashamedly combines the most highbrow literary sentiments with the most imaginative genre fiction, like the best bits of Margaret Atwood or David Mitchell.

The plot concerns Peter, a born-again Christian (and former alcoholic, drug-user and petty criminal) who leaves behind his beloved wife to carry out missionary work with humanoid aliens on another planet, which an earth-based corporation is trying to colonise and make habitable for humans. Half of the book focusses on the strangeness of life on this planet, both in the sterile, passionless base the corporation has developed (having screened all staff to select only the most stable and dull people) and out in the wild where the aliens live. This is half minutiae of daily life, half meanderings on Christianity as he preaches to the extremely receptive natives and extremely skeptical settler. A large focus of the books, however, is the electronic messages Peter exchanges with Bea, his wife, which quickly show three things: things are going fundamentally wrong on earth, with environmental and financial disasters and collapsing Governments, she's losing her trust in and love for Peter, and she's losing her faith in God.

Whatever is going on on earth actually seems a lot more interesting than what's going on in space, but we only get snippets, explained by an increasingly hysterical Bea. She wasn't allowed to accompany Peter due to not meeting the company's strict selection criteria around stability and self-reliance, so there's always a lingering suspicion that's she's over-reacting. Peter, on the other hand, underreacts to all the horrific news and his wife's evident distress in a way that's quite chilling. Is it just impossible for him to imagine things happening that far away, in the same way we always manage to block out thoughts of famine in Africa? Is the alien culture having some sort of strange effect on him? Or has there always been something wrong with him on an emotional level? Reading between the lines of their communications to establish both facts and feelings is a fun intellectual game, and the letters are always touching.

On the other hand, it's hard to get away from the fact that this book ultimately revolves around sermons, letters between a bickering couple, and the minutiae of life on a base that could as easily be in the antarctic or the desert as on an alien planet. There's almost no plot. If I say there's a former alcoholic, away from his wife, dealing with aliens who seem entirely friendly, there's three things you might expect to happen - a relapse, an affair, a shocking revelation about the aliens. But no. Everything is as it seems, and Peter gets methodically on with the task ahead of him. Sorry if that sounds like a spoiler, but it's not, because there is literally no storyline to spoil. I enjoyed all the description and world-building and philosophical pondering, but I don't think it makes me too much of a philistine to have craved just a little bit of action or twist mixed in with it all. Alternatively, I think could have been made quite a lot shorter without losing anything. Several scenes seemed to go back over the same old ground.

Overall then, an impressive novel and a moving one, but not an entirely enjoyable one. But I do think authors always deserve credit for mixing genres and subverting people's ideas of what high and low brow fiction look like, and I would cautiously recommend this as a rather different read.


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1)
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1)
Price: £4.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Tarot, welsh mythology and posh boys - the perfect ingredients, but somehow it didn't quite grab my attention., 28 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had high hopes for this book, based on the fact that it contained three of my favourite things: tarot cards, welsh mythology, and posh boys. And on the whole, it did a good job on all three points,
It tells the story of Blue, who lives with her psychic mother and equally psychic extended family and family friends. I loved the family set up and thought the secondary characters were well established. It was nice to read something where the heroine had a happy home life and was genuinely close to her mum, and the combination of domesticity and magic at her house was well done.

Uniquely amongst her family members, Blue isn't psychic or otherwise magically talented, but she does have the ability to enhance other people's psychic and magical abilities simply by standing close to them. Blue was likable and well-developed, and I liked this balance between making her interesting, but actually having her less rather than more "special" than most of the supporting characters.

Ever since she was young, every psychic Blue has met (and she's met lots) has prophesied that she'll one day kill her true love with a kiss. She and her family just treat this as an established fact, and as a result, she's never risked kissing anyone. Her family also take part in an old tradition - that in certain places (which we later discover to be ley lines) on St Day, it's possible to see the ghosts of everyone within a certain distance who will die within the next twelve months. Unlike her mother et al, Blue can never see these ghosts, but goes along every year to enhance her mother's abilities. Until, when the book opens, she finally sees someone - the ghost of a boy from the local posh school, who she's never met in real life, but who introduces himself as Gansey. Blue's aunt explains that the fact she was able to see him means one of two things - either he's her true love or she is going to kill him. And considering the prophecy, she suspects it's going to be both. It certainly makes for a dramatic opening to the novel!

Now, a lesser book would have spent the next two hundred pages with Blue falling in love with Gansey and agonising over whether she can risk kissing him. And to be fair, there's a tiny bit of that. But mostly, the focus shifts to Gansey himself, specifically, his obsession with finding and waking an ancient welsh king who's meant to be buried under a leyline in Virginia. Now, on paper, Gansey should be pretty much my perfect character. "Posh, rich and strongly interested in mythology" is more or less what I'd write in the "looking for" box on a dating site if I was single. In practice, I quite liked Gansey, but he didn't quite gel with me. His "I feel empty being so rich so I must achieve something" spiel got a bit trying

We also spend a lot of time meeting Gansey's three friends who support him in his quest - Adam, a very intelligent and driven scholarship boy with an abusive family, Noah, who tends to be described as "smudgy" and not do much, and who there's ultimately a bit of a revelation about, and Ronan, an archetypal arrogant rich kid from an Irish family, who has gone completely off the rails since his father died in mysterious circumstances and who loves to fight. Those one line descriptions don't really do justice to the subtly drawn characters and the depth of their interactions with each other and eventually, with Blue. It was a great portrayal of male friendships and conflicts. I didn't entirely like any of these characters in isolation, but they worked well as a group. And interestingly, it's Adam - probably the most sympathetic of the four - that Blue has a romantic interest in in this book. Gansey is fairly fundamentally not her type, but it's clear there's something there. I can only assume we're gearing up for a love triangle in subsequent books, but on the evidence of this, I suspect the author will handle it sensibly.

So lots of interesting and well-drawn characters combined with an interesting premise. But somehow, while I enjoyed this, it just didn't grab me. Part of the problem was that over the course of a fairly long book, very little really happened. And when something dramatic finally does occur towards the end, nothing much seems to come of it. And while I appreciated the way the romance wasn't front and centre, it could have done with a little more punch. Some of the book also just felt very weird, almost dreamlike.

Part of me is intrigued about where this is going to go, part of me isn't sure I have the energy for three more books if they are all this slow burn. But apparently the sequel focuses on Ronan, who probably ended up being my favourite of the group of four, so while I won't be rushing to pick it up, I'll probably give it a go at some point.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-12