Sunday, August 28, 2016

Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine Book 1)- Lilith Saintcrow

So many good paranormal books out there I would not bother with this one if I were you.

It's OK. Interesting premise. Dante Valentine is the best Necromancer around town, she can raise the dead even after they have been reduced to ashes, which apparently is no easy feat. She's also a well renowned bounty hunter. So when Lucifer needs to track down an errant Demon called Santino, he knows who to call on.

Appealing initial idea; disappointing execution. First of all, it's set in some futuristic world with hover crafts, slick boards, synth-hash and billions of other trying too hard terms. Which is really unnecessary in a Paranormal Romance novel. This is not a Sci-Fi novel and the additional elements detract from the story.

Second of all, Dante is an extremely depressing woman. She gets flash backs every other chapter about:
a) Being tortured as a child in her boarding school
b) Her Boyfriend of 3 years walking out on her with no explanation
c) Witnessing her bestfriend/lover Doreen being murdered
Sheesh! Give us a break already!

Third of all, I did not buy the love story at all. I felt like Saintcrow succumbed to the traps of the typical trope. The enemies turned to lovers plot device. Which is cool, I enjoy this plot device usually, but in this book it didn't add up. You have a 1000 year old ancient being that's being bossed around and treated like a dog by a 20-something and he falls for her because, get this, "she was the first person to show him kindness".

The action was good at least and it was fast paced so not a total waste.

The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories

A collection of fantasy retellings with a dark twist. Featuring little red riding hood, beauty and beast, puss-in-boots and other fairytale/ mythical characters.

I did not enjoy this at all. I expected intriguing dark and twisted fantasy retellings but the focus was on Carter's morose prose rather than plot building or progression.

She does have a way with words in that her writing flows like poetry at times. Unfortunately, that was lost on me and just bored me to tears.

Boring and uninspired.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy)- Steig Larsson

A crime novel about a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who teams up with a mentally challenged genius to look into a 40 year old missing person case.

Not what I expected at all. I picked this up having found myself at the airport with no summer read in tow and a shitty selection of books to choose from. As a summer read, it was everything I hoped it would be, fast paced, intriguing and entertaining. However, it was nowhere near the literary genius that everyone makes it out to be.

First of all, the fact that it is a translated copy is already a point against it. Nothing wrong with translated books, Reg Keeland did a great job, but I find that they loose their essence in the process.

Second of all, while the mystery was interesting it wasn't an earth shattering, mind blowing, out of this world concept. It was a pretty standard crime thriller

Third of all, what was up with the characters?! Mikael has no personality to speak off. He could be anyone and do anything and I wouldn't question it since we really know nothing concrete about him or about the way he is. On the other hand, Steig tried really hard with Salamander's character (that's the only way I remember her name) by giving her the unnamed personality disorder. Whatever mental illness he had pictured her to have in his head, I didn't buy it. It's really tricky writing about mentally challenged characters, you really have to know your shit, otherwise this character won't be taken seriously. Throughout the novel, Salamander is shown as an anti-social genius who lacks empathy and right at the very end she behaves like a lovesick teenager. Completely at odds with the character we were exposed to.

I read that those books were purely written for Larsson's pleasure and he passed away before they were published, I guess he never got a chance to work with an editor and get a second opinion.

Harsh review aside, I did enjoy the book. If it wasn't hyped up so much and I didn't go into it expecting a life changing novel this review would have been much nicer. The book served it's purpose, it kept me entertained on the airplane and was a page turner. That's all anyone can ask for in a summer read.