I finished this book for two main reasons:
1. This book was kindly shared by the author on Goodreads for the purposes of review.
2. There were 4 star and 5 star ratings that made me a) feel like I was missing something and needed to stick it out & b) I really wanted to give it a chance and see for myself what prompted the high ratings.
I approach every new book with an interesting synopsis with the same level of anticipation and excitement, and avoid reviews so I remain unbiased. But 20% in, I had to take a peek, and found some very good reviews. But unfortunately, this book was simply, not for me. I struggled to get through this book. Overall, I could only see myself simply giving it a 2 star rating. Though I initially was going to give it a 1 star, I will acknowledge that the story itself was interesting, but the way it was presented made me lose my mind.
Why was I losing my mind?
1. The “show” ratio was at an all-time low – Please show, not tell! I understand that some information needs to be delivered in a ‘telling’ fashion, but not 90% of the book! Telling me the story doesn’t help me to empathize, connect, whatever you want to call it, with any character of this story.
2. Over dramatic interactions – ok… maybe I am being too technical, but I found myself rolling my eyes at all the exclamation marks and all the emphasizing of words. Most of the time they were not necessary. On the non-technical side, who actually meets four people for the first time in a dorm and recounts all their painful feelings and memories about their parent’s death, and repeats endlessly how agonizing and heartbreaking it all was? Maybe it’s just me here, but I just couldn’t relate. I don’t know many people that would be so willing to share so much, and so intensely to strangers right off the bat. And I don’t know if I want to get into the interactions between Maddie and her love interest, Rayn. I will leave it as “over the top”.
3. The Ever Changing POVs – I’ve read some books with lots of POV changes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, for me, it didn’t work at all. If the changes in POV had been more parallel to the time of the story, than maybe I would have overlooked this, but it drove me crazy. I was pretty sure that I was a couple of weeks’ time into the story with Maddie, after her rescue, then BAM I am back to pre-injured Maddie being chased in the woods, through psycho’s eyes. Man, was I confused. Then 3 pages in I realized, I was re-reading a scene that had already happened! How confusing! Would have worked better if they were, as I mentioned prior, more parallel to each other, so that the story flowed more fluently.
I will say this. I give anyone that writes a novel from start to finish a fist pump. And I will also acknowledge that some people saw something in this book that they really enjoyed. The way the story was told didn’t do it for me, but it was a good story. It was imaginative, and interesting. I was excited and eager to read it, and I made it through to the end even though I felt that it didn’t deliver for me. I wish the author, as I do all authors that put their works out there to be read, scrutinized, and enjoyed much success.
I was very excited to read this debut novel. The brief description of this story related to a genre that I enjoy reading. So I began this novel with a degree of excitement to see if it could deliver.
I was instantly caught up from the first page, when the story begins to Chela seeing her ill and comatose brother’s hand move. The following scenes of her ardent pleas to have that small movement acknowledged by her brother’s caregivers, and the resulting threat-like conversation with the physician, had me ready to be caught up in the story line that I was expecting and was promised. Instead the story seemed to go into a different focus.
I found myself in a constant state of mild confusion as I read through this story. As a visual reader, I had a really hard time connecting with this story, and couldn’t quite picture this world that was created by this author, which was really unfortunate.
There was a lack of information in regards to this Great War that was spoken about and ended up, essentially, the catalyst for the society that developed after the fact. There was a “Memory” triggered with Chela that hinted at what may have caused or been part of this great change, but nothing definitive. I did too much guess work on what happened previously to explain the type of world these characters were now living in. I wish the author had found a way to really paint a picture of what exactly occurred at that time.
The same lack of information didn’t help in establishing how exactly the Tainted and different hierarchies of angels intermingled with humans, and what exactly their ‘gifts’ or ‘talents’ were. I had a very difficult time following who was who/what in this book.
There was a wide range of characters that were not developed well enough for me to keep them straight. That was not the case with the main characters in this novel, and I was able to establish who and what they were, but once all the other characters became involved in scenes, I quickly became confused as to what team they were on, and how they related to the characters again.
The romantic relationship developed too quickly and unbelievably for me. I didn’t really understand what the exact connection was for these two characters. And because of that lack of connection, I couldn’t quite comprehend how deeply attached they were to each other. It felt kind of superficial.
There was plenty of action in this book, but these scenes seemed to miss a certain fluid quality that one would expect from action. These action sequences involving these characters just did not connect well together, and felt staggered.
There was not enough development in the quest to answer all the questions posed surrounding Micah’s fall, and the virus that is talked about in the description of the book. In fact, the virus is barely discussed AT ALL! And that, for me, was disappointing as I was pretty interested in that subject based on the description of the book.
All of the above being said, I did enjoy this book enough to see it through. The main characters were well developed enough as individuals – that being Seth, Chela and Faris. As individuals, they were enjoyable and believable characters with well developed personalities, histories and experiences that allowed me to connect with them.
I found this story to be somewhat reminiscent of “The Hunger Games” for me, at least the first half of the book. It definitely has the potential to please many readers that enjoy this type of story. It was certainly very unique and imaginative, but most importantly, it was original. I just wish it had flowed a little better and maybe a little slower to really allow this world and the people in it to sink in.
KasSonndra Leigh did a commendable job for her first debut novel, and I am very confident that both this book and her next book will be well received. I plan on continuing the series, and hope that some of the questions that I was left with from this book, are answered in the next.
Very intelligent and intricate read. This was a well written futuristic novel about Nightwalker vampires, Daywalker vampires, and Sentinel races, and the aftermath resulting in their exposure to the human world, after millennia of walking around virtually undetected. This was also the emotional story of ‘Daywalker’ Nick and his struggles with his very human like relationships.
This book opens with a terrorist plot that goes wrong. It was effective, action packed, and had my attention from the first page. It introduces all the race players effectively, and some of the main characters of this novel.
The author did a really good job at world building, though the inner ‘governing’ structures of all the races did get to be confusing at times. All the houses and masters, and their individual titles were a lot to take in, but you quickly figure out the gist of it, and who the main players are. That being said, when minor characters were introduced or when all these players came together en masse, I was a little confused.
Frankly, what surprises me the most about this novel is how this author kept me so interested, even though most of the time I was trying to grasp the world he built. Maybe it was that the character development was so well done, that the inter-personal relationships and love triangles or (square as one other reader put it?) were so intriguing, gut wrenching and full of emotion, that I had a difficult time putting this book down, even though I struggled through some elements of this story.
In acknowledgment of the ‘elephant in the room’ - Though I am a very open minded, accepting individual of people’s sexual orientations, I have to, on a side note, acknowledge and commend the author for his eloquent writing and development of the gay relationships in this novel. Though I am heterosexual, and reading about male gay relationships may seem outside the comfort zone, I was not uncomfortable in any way. I was able to empathize with Nick’s emotions and upheavals; they were really no different than the emotional rollercoaster of feelings between men and women, so it did not distract from the plot line, and it wasn’t a point of focus for me in any sort of negative way. It was very contrary to that; I was very emotionally invested in the main character, because I could relate to his feelings, and understood them.
This was, however, outside of my comfort zone in terms of the “Sci-Fi” portion of the book. Though I was fine with the AI technology, I really don’t do well with many Sci-Fi books because I am a visual reader… and if I have a hard time visualizing parts of the book, I lose my ‘link’ to it. Some of the technologies were a little hard to visually grasp. I found the introduction of the space shuttles/ships and mentions of off Planet bases to not be relevant to the story line in this book, and left me confused… again… but it may serve its purpose in upcoming installments.
Very interesting novel, and I enjoyed it. I will definitely be keeping this author in mind, and very open to continue this series.
*This novel was generously shared by the author for the purposes of review* Thank you for the opportunity to read and review your novel!
Wow! What an awesome short read. This novella was generously shared by the author for a review, and I have to concede to the hype. This was hard to put down, and almost read same date, if I didn’t have to succumb to the very annoying need to sleep.
For anyone that enjoys the fairy tale stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, this will be a very entertaining and enjoyable novella. ‘The Curse Girl’ is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast story set in current times. A young high school girl, Beauty, is delivered to the ‘Beast’s’ house by her father, who is marked by the ‘curse’ after he makes a very bad decision. In order to save her family from the curse, Beauty walks away from her life as she knows it, as soon as she steps foot in the house that is surrounded by myths of legend. She becomes a prisoner of the house with the Beast, who is really just a boy close to her age, who is also trapped along with his sister and household staff in the enchanted home. Beauty, in her quest of finding a way to escape, assists Will, the so called Beast, with finding an answer to the riddle that would break the curse they are all under.
For YA fans, this story follows the enjoyable rules of girl meets boy, can’t stand boy, then finds herself attracted to said boy as they work together towards a common goal. There is no ‘Insta-love’ here, which was a relief as I have just been assaulted too much lately with YA novels that feature such an annoying trend.
For the small size of this book, the author was great at character building. A lot of attention was paid not just to the two main characters of the story, but to everyone involved. Ya, of course Beauty and Will have the most focus for obvious reasons. But I did enjoy the attention to characters such as Housekeeper, Liam (before the predictable reveal towards the end), and of course the mean villainous witch, Marian. So the end result is, you care about them or despise them, and you can relate to them all in some way or another.
The ending was quickly wrapped up, and that was probably the only negative thing about this book. It just felt like it could have been a much longer story. But the negative is a positive. Obviously I was enjoying the heck out of this novel to be upset by how quickly it all wrapped up. But some of the wrap ups were a little too convenient, or without resolution (ie, her family moving away so no confrontation with father dearest who was so willing to give her up, and it ends pretty much once the curse is lifted – and yes I realize that may be a spoiler, but we all know the story of Beauty and the Beast, so get over it.)
I have to say I am impressed with the writing skill for a first published novel by this author. Kate Avery Ellison writes like a pro and reeled me in like one. I definitely have her next works on my ‘to read’ list for the future
This book really reminded me of a movie I recently watched with Justin Timberlake called 'In Time' (2011). This movie is set in a futuristic age where people live to the age of 25, then a clock on their wrist activates and counts down a year. Time is actually the currency of this world, and you work to get more time, you use time to buy the things you need, etc. It was actually really really good so I recommend you check it out.
The reason why I am bringing this up is that in this movie, there is a 'system'. The 'system' is what makes the world revolve. This 'system' is what dictates the ways of life, how it categorizes people, how it controls people. And in 'The Water Thief', such a 'system' exists.
People are brainwashed to believe certain things. They are pawns in a game that only the ones holding the power can win. In some cases, the ruthless will rise to hold some of that power. It is a cut throat, dog-eat-dog world. But there are a select group of people that know the truth, and want to rebel or beat the system. They gather in dark corners, 'off the grid', and plan on how it can be done, and prepare for it. They infiltrate the enemy to gather as much information as possible, lying patiently in wait for that moment... that moment when the plan is activated and they can be free of the 'system' and open the eyes of the world. Are they completely over their heads? Is it hopeless? Is it a suicide mission? Can it really be done?
Ahhhhh won't be telling you here. You will have to find out for yourself and pick up this novel.
I was not wowed by 'The Water Thief'. There was enough action to keep my interest. But my biggest problem with this novel was how preachy it felt. There was a lot of discussion, especially in the last third of this novel, about the evils of their society (or the system) that felt very repetitive. It was somewhat beneficial to understand the system that governed this society... but it went on and on for a while. I am an action girl. Long speeches make me yawn and go for a nap!
Without a doubt, this was a well written, and thought provoking dystopian novel, which for the most part, I did enjoy. The action scenes were fluent, believable and definitely elevated my heart rate. It was a world that struck a fearful chord... it was not a pleasant place.
The character development was excellent! I was very emotionally invested in some characters, while really disliking others... which by the way, is a big factor in why I am so conflicted with the ending. That is all that I can say about the ending without having to enter big spoilers... just... was conflicted.
It is definitely worth a look and I would recommend it to readers that are into dystopian novels.
*I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*
Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven blog.
This story was kick ass. I really liked it. So far, I have been very lucky with fairy tale re-tellings, with or without the zombie factor.
Cinderella was definitely NOT a pushover in this story. She was a hard fighter from the very beginning. When the kingdom is under threat, she doesn't shy away from doing what she needs to do to help save it. She was even slightly arrogant about it, which made me laugh. Even the Prince was beneath her, at least in the beginning when her perception of him was that he was cowardly. But that if far from the truth. He is brave, if a little reckless. His so-called weakness is his father, King Richard, who isn't willing to have his son killed, or worse, as he needs his heir. If anything, the King is the simpering fool and I had an urge to reach into the book and slap him a few times.
I thought the whole idea of the poisonous effect of vegetables on the zombies to be really original, and at times comical. That pumpkin carriage scene was fabulous.
This story was full of action, comedic moments, and great characters. I can't believe it was only 73 pages! It felt like it was such a full story. Highly recommend this one. It was incredibly fun.
*I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*
Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven
This is a sweet, beautiful short story of a princess that learns about her true worth the hard way. In fairy tales, that is usually through magical and unconventional means.
I enjoyed the premise of the story. Princess thinks she is plain and wants true love. But because she doesn't believe that she is beautiful, she doesn't think that she will ever meet someone that will want to marry her because they truly care for her. In her mind, they won't see past her plain looks. It takes a magical entrapment at the bottom of a pond before this story fully realizes itself, and our princess finally realizes that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and that it resides within oneself.
Another reviewer stated that this tale would do well as a children's illustrated fairy tale, and I have to completely 100% agree.