A Caress of Twilight (Review)

Title: A Caress of Twilight

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton

Publication Year: 2002

Pages: 368

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

After eluding relentless assassination attempts by Prince Cel, her cousin and rival for the Faerie crown, Meredith Gentry, Los Angeles private eye, has a whole new set of problems. To become queen, she must bear a child before Cel can father one of his own. But havoc lies on the horizon: people are dying in mysterious, frightening ways, and suddenly the very existence of the place known as Faerie is at grave risk. So now, while she enjoys the greatest pleasures of her life attempting to conceive a baby with the warriors of her royal guard, she must fend off an ancient evil that could destroy the very fabric of reality. And that’s just her day job. . . .

(This is the second book in the Merry Gentry series, after A Kiss of Shadows.)

One thing that’s done really well in this book is the character development. We really get to know Meredith and her guards/lovers a lot better, particularly Rhys, Frost, and Doyle. I felt like it was getting into more of the meat of the story, rather than the last book that needed to include a lot more world-building.

Having said that, I feel like the “ancient evil” storyline wasn’t fleshed out very well. It kind of came up a bit late in the book, and then it was mostly ignored until the end. And even then, it just seemed like it was over a bit too quickly and easily. Most of the book dealt, instead, with faerie court intrigue and Meredith’s romances, which were interesting, but could have been interesting and interwoven with more details about the other subplot.

Overall, though, A Caress of Twilight was another good book in the series, and I’m really starting to get into the characters. If you liked the first book, you’ll definitely like this one as well.

Rating:

A Kiss of Shadows (Review)

Title: A Kiss of Shadows

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton

Publication Year: 2000

Pages: 480

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Erotica

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

Merry Gentry, princess of the high court of Faerie, is posing as a human in Los Angeles, working as a private investigator specializing in supernatural crime. But now the queen’s assassin has been dispatched to fetch her — whether she likes it or not. Suddenly Merry finds herself a pawn in her dreaded aunt’s plans. The job that awaits her: enjoy the constant company of the most beautiful immortal men in the world. The reward: the crown — and the opportunity to continue to live. The penalty for failure: death.

(This is the first book in the Merry Gentry series.)

I decided to read this series after going through all of the books in Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. I knew going into the series that this one would have more sex in it than the early Anita Blake books, and I’m going to reiterate that to anyone who reads this. This isn’t the series for you if you don’t like reading erotica Seriously.

A Kiss of Shadows lays out the premise for the rest of the series, and introduces the major characters. Some of them I like, some of them not so much, but I liked the world-building and the way that Hamilton incorporated the fey into the modern world. I also liked that the main focus of the series – at least in this book – is the Unseelie court, the dark fey, and that she doesn’t shy away from their more … violent … nature. Some of the scenes in the book are not for the faint of heart.

I’m looking forward to continuing to read the series after this one. It’s a good setup book: not too much downtime, lots of action and intrigue. Definitely worth a try.

Rating:

Fallen in Love (Review)

Title: Fallen in Love

Author: Lauren Kate

Publication Year: 2012

Pages: 256

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

Fallen in Love gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of Fallen characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: “Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles;” “Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland;” “Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane;” and “Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.”

(This is a collection of stories in the Fallen series, after Fallen, Torment, and Passion.)

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book, especially since it comes between the last two books of the series. I thought about skipping it until after I’d finished reading Rapture, but in the end, I decided to complete the series in the order it was published. I’m glad that I did.

Fallen in Love doesn’t really fit in the flow of the rest of the series, since it’s written from the perspectives of people other than Luce, but then it also sort of does fit. It’s about love stories, but not the same way that the rest of the books are. With the exception of the last story, all of them are about other characters in the series, and it’s fun to see them in their own contexts, to learn more about how they act and feel.

In particular, I enjoyed the story told from Arianne’s perspective. She’s such a stand-out personality in the other books that I knew her story would have to be unique, and it definitely was. It’s more about heartbreak (like Roland’s) and the struggle to remain loyal than anything else, and it’s intense. It also explains a lot of things, including her scars, in a way that I definitely wasn’t expecting.

While the stories aren’t completely necessary to understanding the plot in Rapture, it does definitely give depth and detail to some of the things that are hinted at. I quite liked Fallen in Love, and it was a quick and fascinating read.

Rating:

Torment (Review)

Title: Torment

Author: Lauren Kate

Publication Year: 2010

Pages: 464

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts — immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something — something dangerous.

What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

(This is the second book in the Fallen series, after Fallen.)

After the first book, I feel like this one was a big improvement. A lot of my issues with Fallen were addressed to some degree in Torment, though not necessarily in the way that I might’ve liked.

For one, the issue of Luce not really knowing anything about Daniel in this lifetime is finally brought up, at least in Luce’s mind. She struggles with herself on this one, feeling drawn to him but not really being able to justify why that is from her current perspective. To be completely honest, the interactions between Luce and Daniel in this book just left me frustrated and unsure why they were supposed to be together, but at least it seemed that Luce felt the same way.

Some of the other things are really good in this book, though. The move to a school that specializes in teaching angel offspring is kind of cool, especially since it allows Luce to begin to understand a bit more about the world she’s been thrust into. The addition of new characters – particularly Shelby and Miles – is also really great, as it allows for some interaction between Luce and someone who isn’t trying to manipulate her future.

Torment still isn’t the best romance I’ve ever read, but it was soooo much better than how I felt about Fallen. It’s given me enough hope to want to continue reading the rest of the series.

Rating:

Fallen (Review)

Title: Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate

Publication Year: 2009

Pages: 464

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce — and goes out of his way to make that very clear — she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

I heard a lot of good things about this series over the past few years, and I finally got around to reading it for myself. I didn’t really know what to expect, just that it was a teen romance and that it included fate and angels.

To be honest, I wasn’t as impressed by Fallen as I was expecting to be. The mysterious circumstances of Luce being sent to a reform school were intriguing, but never really addressed with any finality. And while the reader can tell from the beginning a bit of what’s happening between her and Daniel, there doesn’t seem to be any real connection between them aside from their supposed fate. They don’t seem to have anything in common, or to even have conversations that are about anything of substance. Rather, they just seem to stare at each other longingly and she seems to be drawn to him for no discernible reason whatsoever.

By the end of the book, some things are answered, but there are even more issues that had arisen and were left unclear. It was definitely getting more interesting, though – far more interesting than the first half of the novel felt for me. So I’m giving the series the benefit of the doubt and rating it up a bit, in the hopes that the next book will carry on in this way and that I’ll end up feeling more favourably towards the characters and their love story.

Rating:

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