Colorless by Rita Stradling

51dctryq5al-_sy346_Rating: 2.5 stars

Annabelle’s parents died. Then something bizarre happened. All of the color seeped out of her body, and she became invisible. Everyone she had ever known instantly forgot her. She wandered around unsure of what to do. Eventually there was one person who could see her. Magicians began snooping around. They couldn’t see Annabelle but somehow they knew she existed.

The idea for this was good. The story itself was not. It took me quite a few days to get through this, which if you know me is not common. I was bored once the magicians started stalking Annabelle. There was obviously a lot going on in the world with gods, magicians and iconoclasts. None of it was explained well. Annabelle was an iconoclast, but WTH does that mean? What did the magicians really do other than hunt down anyone that was a threat? The gods didn’t come into it until the end. Basically the world building sucked.

I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Annabelle was a stuck up bitch. She’d act down to Earth at times. Then she’d let loose and show her superiority because she was of a higher social class than the people she was interacting with. I sympathized with her at first. As the book went on I wished she would get over herself. She wasn’t horribly snobby but just enough to annoy me. Dylan the guy who could see her was alright. He was nice and helpful but not terribly interesting. The other main character was Annabelle’s cousin Anthony. Why the hell was he in the book? The story could have been altered slightly and would have been the same without him. At the very least he could have been in the story but didn’t deserve many chapters from his POV.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t waste your time on this one.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

25670396Rating: 2 stars

Jacqueline Carey’s books are hit or miss with me, and this one was definitely a miss. In some ways this reminded me of the things I hated about Kushiel’s Dart except this wasn’t as bad. The plots were completely different, but both books had a drab tone and dull, lifeless characters. The pacing was agonizingly slow. It took forever for the story to advance, and the end was anti-climatic. Since I have not read The Tempest, I had no idea how this would end. Knowing this was a retelling of Shakespeare’s work, I had expected the ending to be tragic or slightly more dramatic. The ending wasn’t a happy one, but maybe I wasn’t more affected because I didn’t care enough about the characters to feel their pain.

The book is told in two parts. In the first part Miranda is six and Caliban is several years older. The weird thing about her POV was that her inner thoughts sounded more like a mature adult in her thirties than a young child. It was really hard to believe she was a kid. She and Caliban grew close as children. Flash forward seven or so years to the second part, and their friendship had blossomed into love. The time jump made it feel like I missed out on something essential in the development of their relationship. This was not a romance, but their relationship was central to the plot. It was essential to grasp what they were feeling for the ending to have an impact.

Caliban was my favorite character. He stood up for what he believed in. Miranda was so disgustingly pathetic. Knowing right from wrong rarely caused her to act on it. All her father had to do was chastise her and she quickly cowed. She was practically blind to her father’s cruel and selfish ways, always determined to see the best in him. She seemed quite content to be ignorant. Her father openly admitted to keeping many things from her, and it was rarely questioned. Her father was evil. Absolutely nothing about him was good. The only other character Ariel wasn’t interesting. Knowing something of his background might have helped to make him more appealing.

The world building in regards to the magic needed more attention. Obviously Prospero was capable of magic, but were there limits to his abilities? Where did his power come from? Some stuff didn’t make sense. How come Miranda and Caliban each had a parent capable of powerful magic but neither of them had any? The story made sense, but considering the amount of time spent on a painstakingly slow plot, some of that time could have been invested in character development and further exploration of magic.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Gilded Cage by Vic James

30258320Rating: 1 star

Series: Dark Gifts #1

Started off with a bang: a tragic death of a helpless innocent by a cruel guy with magical powers. A young child was the cause of all this drama. There was a sharp contrast in abilities and personalities of the cruel guy and his two brothers. My hopes of this being good were so high, and then I kept reading.

The POV kept changing with each chapter. They were switched up so much that I didn’t care about any of them. The characters were in drastically different circumstances, social circles, and settings that for the longest time the stories barely seemed interconnected. Literally I was at the 50% mark and was wondering WTF the point of this book was. It was all so damn boring. So many storylines were going on at once, but not much was happening with any of them until the end. By then I would have rather gouged my eyes out than keep reading, so I didn’t care that it finally tied together.

The elites who ruled the world had magical powers although they varied in ability and power from person to person. Since they were superior, regular people had to serve as slaves for 10 years at some time of their choosing throughout their life. Luke and Abi’s family decided they would serve as slaves because they honestly believed they would be able to remain together in slavery. How stupid were they to believe this? It’s not like they never had the chance to speak to people who had been enslaved.

The main characters were all teenagers or in their early twenties. Of course the power to change the world whether good or bad resided in their hands, because that’s so fucking likely. Since Luke and Abi were no longer disillusioned with their situations, they decided to do what every YA does in a dystopian novel which is try to make the world a better place.

There wasn’t much romance although it might have spiced this story up a bit if there had been. Abi and Jenner were the only people who cared about each other romantically, but based on their situations it wasn’t meant to be. Despite Jenner being a nice guy, Abi was his slave. When her thoughts drifted to Jenner, it made their situation seem more appealing than it was.

Silyen was demented and self serving. There was definitely more than meets the eye with him, but he was too heartless for me to care about him. Gavar was an asshole. Just because he loved his daughter it didn’t make him a good guy. Jenner didn’t have the balls to stand up for what was right. Bouda was a power hungry bitch. Daisy was a love sick fool for Gavar. Abi didn’t have the best instincts when it came to people. Luke was nothing but a pawn. Doc Jackson was slick and secretive at first but seemed dumb by the end.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

51hilzuad1l-_sy346_Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: Fever #9

A few things were good, but most of it was incredibly disappointing. The first third was boring as hell and repetitive. Then it got interesting for a while. By the halfway mark I was annoyed and stayed that way for the rest of the book. The only reason I finished this so quickly is because I knew if I put it down I’d never pick it back up again.

I could have lived without the many chapters from the sinsar dubh. Yeah I got it quite early on that it was evil. I didn’t need to read over and over again about how it wanted to kill. I didn’t think Aoibheal’s POV was necessary either. I just didn’t care about what she was going through. Those chapters took up a lot of page time without revealing anything useful. The Dani backstory chapters were interesting but had absolutely no effect on the story whatsoever.

The Dani/Ryodan/Dancer love triangle was obnoxious. The way that played out really pissed me off. It was done in a way that would manage to appease everyone regardless of who they shipped. I hated the way it ended. I wanted Dani to make a definitive choice instead of waffling about who she preferred for the whole book. When she made that choice, I wanted it to be a happy one. Her reasons for doing what she did were based more on circumstance than her own wants and needs.So much angst and tension, just to be majorly let down.

Dani finally found a good balance between her new and old self. Aside from the love triangle bullshit I really liked her. Mac finally got her shit together. It would have been better if it could have happened earlier in the series. Things ended up for Mac the way I thought they would in regards to what she turned into. There had been hints about magic being drawn to her earlier in the series. It was unfortunate that she and Barrons weren’t more open with each other. They were still committed and trusted each other completely, but I wasn’t feeling the passion.

Cruce had an important role. A different side of him was seen in this. He was still a temperamental bastard but opened up a little with Mac. They had more heartfelt conversations than Mac did with Barrons, which seemed wrong for the final book. It was good that he and Mac came to an understanding. It was sad in a way. I really think he would have done anything for her. OTOH it was disappointing that Mac moved past her issues with him so easily. Obviously I didn’t want her to be permanently traumatized by what he did to her, but she brushed it off like it was nothing. It was bizarre that she put so much trust in him. It felt like an attempt to make Cruce into a good guy. Although I’ve always like Cruce, that ship sailed a long time ago.

Ryodan is a douchebag of epic proportions. I’ve never liked him. I can’t buy into his sudden shift into being a good guy. The guy is hundreds or possibly thousands of years old, and now he suddenly decides to change? Not fucking likely. It seemed like his character changed to make a potential Dani and Ryodan relationship more palatable.

Many of the side characters’ storylines were essentially dropped. WTH was going on with Daegeus? Or Kat? What was the significance of the Shazaam subplot? It had no bearing on anything. Virtually nothing happened with Christian. WTF are the nine? Why wasn’t that explained in the last book? It should have been.

Honestly IDK why I continued to read this series. It went downhill after the fifth book. Scratch that. Downhill is too light of a term to describe what happened. This series got so bad so quickly it’s like it plunged off a cliff. There are too many useless POV. The books drag and are mostly filler. Things didn’t end the way I hoped they would, but I still felt the need to know how it ended after investing so much time in the series.

 

All Darling Children by Katrina Monroe

51aeqrqibilRating: 2.5 stars

Defining the genre for this was difficult. There was a YA vibe to it, but it was interspersed with moments of sex, violence, and swears. The sex and violence was glossed over, so it wasn’t graphic. It was dark enough that it kind of like horror, but OTOH it wasn’t gory or terrifying in any way. So dark fantasy may define it better than horror, but at the same time the dark parts were only mild. It was fantasy for sure but all other labels are debatable.

The beginning was interesting. Wendy Darling turned into a bitter bitch in her old age and treated her granddaughter who she took care of like shit. Wendy was heartless enough that I didn’t really care how she became the way she was. It doesn’t matter how unfair life has been because it doesn’t give someone the right to treat someone else like crap for things that are out of their control. The more I learned about Wendy the less I liked her.

Wendy’s granddaughter Madge (I hate that name) was the MC. I liked her at first. Life wasn’t easy for her with a drunk uncle and cruel grandmother. Her character lacked depth. Some screwed up things happened but strong emotional reactions weren’t there. Peter Pan was a psycho. It was clear from the start that he was selfish and cruel. I didn’t give a shit about him. He wasn’t intriguing at all.

All of the characters were so one dimensional. Some of the world building was interesting. I never read the original Peter Pan, so IDK how much the world building deviated from it. It was obvious Pan needed to be taken down since he was a murderous bastard, but the ending was anticlimactic. I wish more details had been included about what happened to some of the Darlings. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but why was Madge’s last name Darling? Her mom never married, but her name wouldn’t have been Darling either since Wendy had been married. Chances are her husband didn’t have the name Darling as well. Back them women didn’t keep their last names. I did get bored about half way through. I don’t regret reading it, but chances are I’ll barely remember this a month from now.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Operator by Kim Harrison

31572148Rating: 2 stars

Series: The Peri Reed Chronicles #2

I tried to like this. Kim Harrison wrote one of the best UF series ever, so I had to give this series a chance. The Drafter was okay. I was hoping this would be better. It was more disappointing. It felt aimless and repetitive. It’s amazing that a book with lots of action can be so boring. Halfway through I realized I just don’t care about anything. The plot, the characters, none of it interests me.

Peri Reed is a character who is hard to relate to. Her mind has been so damaged from drafting that she has no idea what has happened to her. She doesn’t even know what she likes or what responses of hers are genuine or manufactured by her anchors. It’s hard to root for her. She’s not a bad person, but she’s done enough bad things that she’s not good either. Her desire to be her own person is admirable but constant self doubt makes her convictions less convincing. The biggest problem with Peri is that she’s a tool. She didn’t let others manipulate her as easily as she did in The Drafter, but when backed into a corner (which happens a lot) she reacts exactly how the enemy expects her to. She tends to be impulsive and gets stuck in one bad situation after another. The worst part is most of the time she is completely aware the situation is bad and walks right into it anyway.

Silas is the only character I like and the only one who isn’t heartless. Most of the other side characters are self serving and bad. There are no fascinating shades of gray to their personalities. Silas’s page time was minimal although his relationship with Peri was stronger. Peri’s relationship with Jack is aggravating. The way she feels about him reminds me of a woman in an abusive relationship because he’s done awful things to her and she tries to justify his actions since she still cares about him.

I won’t be reading anymore books in this series. There was some character development, but Peri’s situation didn’t change much from the beginning of the book. These books are too long to get through when the plot barely advances.

Thanks to Netgalley for giving me this in exchange for an honest review.