I love YA novels. The innocence the characters is refreshing after the “gritty realism” of most of the adult novels.
This is no different. Even though the main character’s age is never revealed, you get the impression she is still young; at least young enough to want adventure and to be disappointed when her life seems boring. The plot moves quickly, moving from one reveal to another, never slowing down long enough for you to get distracted. There are just enough hints of the legend of Der fliegende Holländer mixed with subtle difference to make the story familiar and fresh at the same time.
It was a fun ride that ended too quickly.
My only complaint is that the story ended just before the real journey began. Where is Vist from? What happened to his people? So many questions unanswered.
I read the whole thing during lunch and was so wrapped up in the story I forgot to eat.
The opening is a little slow, but once everything gets moving, the Dark Circus doesn’t stop. The descriptions of the characters and settings are clean and simple, giving you just enough information without getting bogged down.
I’ll admit that very little surprised me in the plot; it reads more like an old friend than a untried stranger. But that friend has a new outfit.
If I have a complaint, it is that I wanted the story to keep going. I wanted to know more, about the main character, the people chasing her, the tavern. Perhaps we will see more some day.
I picked this up some time ago, intending to sit down and read it “as soon as I had time”. I wish I had found the time sooner.
I started reading during lunch and was quickly lost in a well-paced plot and some very enjoyable characters. I didn’t want to put the story down when lunch was over.
Once again, J.A. Marlow demonstrates a skill at giving the reader enough details to let your mind see the setting without bogging the story down with nit-picky details. The characters are so real you feel like you’ve met them at the local store.
If I had any complaints, it was the short chapters. But that’s only because I was reading it a chapter at time and only getting 3 or 4 pages wasn’t enough.
The best part is knowing that there is more to come. Because I want to know what is up with the lodge. And when will we get to see Nanuk again?
Alien Winter is an enjoyable read; however, I didn’t find it to be as good as its predecessor. It suffers from a common problem of a second story in a series, it is trying to bridge the introduction of the characters and main conflicts in the first story to the next major conflict in the third story by giving the reader some character information and small details that may be used later on. I’ve seen it happen numerous times.
The main conflict was too similar to the one in Night of the Aurora for my taste. I wasn’t at all surprised by the source or resolution.
Part of the secondary conflict didn’t get quite the attention I would have like to have seen. There were several hints at some things not being what they appear to be, which intrigues me, but they are just that – hints. With the teaser saying that “native legends come alive”, I was hoping to see a bit more. (Okay, I have a personal interest in seeing this one followed up on, Native Lore fascinates me.)
The new character, Amber, feels .. tacked on, not as well fleshed out as the others. I know she is there to add to the second conflict, but I found her distracting at this point. Also, There is a reference to a joke or something done to her that is never followed up on.
Was there anything I did like? Yes. The main characters continue to develop nicely. I loved seeing the human’s reaction to being the subjects instead of the observers. Watching all of the characters go through the steps of this intricate dance of what to say and how much to say is fun. The descriptions of the scenes are great and show the author’s familiarity with the area. And the hints given of things not seen have done exactly what they were meant to do, get me interested in reading book #3.
Overall, not the strongest work I have seen J.A. Marlow do, but still worth reading. ((See what happens when you set the bar so high?))