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Dragonfly in Amber

31 Dec

dragonflyin-amber(PICK IT)

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Fiction

First Published: 1992

Page Count: 947

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Note: Book 2 of the Outlander series

Significantly slower then its predecessor, Dragonfly in Amber is a great continuation of the story nevertheless.

__________________Positives__________________

*Epic Storyline

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Slow Beginning     *Violent/Graphic

“You are mine, always, if ye will it or no, if ye want me or nay. Mine, and I willna let ye go.” Having escaped the torture of Wentworth prison, Claire and Jaime seek asylum in France to hide Jamie from the price on his head in Scotland. But their time in the French court will not go to waste as they seek a way to stop bonnie Prince Charlie from making his campaign to take back his family’s throne a reality. Will Claire be able to stop the doomed war that will mean the end of the Highlanders and possibly the man she loves and the father of her child?

Though it takes awhile to get its groove, the second book is just as epic, maybe even more so, then the first. Readers get to jump between the future and the past to see more of Jamie and Claire’s adventures but also to see the fallout of Claire’s choices once she returns to Frank and the future. Another interesting twist to the story is having a majority of it take place in France. It means new characters and our favorite couple traversing through famous sites like Versailles in order to try to sway politics in their favor. But much to my relief, the author manages to weave in characters and plot lines from book one which are great additions to the story in terms of nostalgia.

This book took me two long months to finish, effectively destroying any chance of completing my 2016 Goodreads challenge I might add. A great deal of that had to do with how mind numbingly slow this book was. I would say it took a good five hundred out of the almost one thousand pages in this book until I felt really invested in the story. Whereas book one has the novelty of time travel and Claire’s struggle to adapt to the past to entertain and engage readers, book two doesn’t have that luxury. In fact, this book really sets the tone for how this series progresses from here. From this book on, it must rely solely on the power of Jamie and Claire’s story which will need to evolve in order to keep it interesting. Only after you get midway through the book does everything feel like it comes together and that the reader gets a sense of where the story is going and what the characters’ purpose is. Until that point, the jumble of new names and intrigues along with the occasional scenes of graphic violence make for a chaotic beginning that I did not feel very motivated to follow along with.

Because of how long it took me to get through this book, I wondered if this would be my last foray with the series. Five more books at around one thousand pages each seemed to ask a lot of me, and I could just stick with the TV show. In some ways, the graphic nature of the story and the constant sexual violence per book started to feel like a gimmick until this book hits its stride. Everything that book one and the beginning of book two had been building towards, the Jacobite rising, comes to a surprising and action packed head. With the war finally making an appearance and Claire back in the future (as indicated at the very start of the book so not a spoiler really!) I couldn’t see how the author could manage to keep this series interesting. That is, until you read the last two chapters of this book and Gabaldon has once again ensnared you into reading the next book. This is definitely not the end of Claire and Jamie Fraser from the looks of things!

*TV Adaptation: (Starring Caitriona Balfe 2016)

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Haunts of San Jose

6 Nov

hauntsofsanjose(SKIP IT)

Author: David Lee

Genre: Horror

First Published: 2008

Page Count: 171

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 2/5 Stars

A fun read for locals but not substantial enough to satisfy true haunting junkies.

__________________Positives__________________

*Great Pictures     *Fun for Locals

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Short Stories     *Grammatical Errors     *Questionable Material

“More than one million people live in the city of San Jose, and this city definitely has its share of ghosts.” Haunted hospitals, private residences preyed upon by ghostly visitors, or long dead citizens walking among the living in bars, hotels and more are recorded in David Lee’s book. Lee takes readers on a tour of San Jose’s many haunted locations including famous spots like the Winchester Mystery House. Whether the spots are merely rumored to be haunted, are the source of local urban legend, or are certified haunted locations, Lee covers them all in his book.

As a lifelong resident of San Jose, an avid reader of horror and true haunting stories, and someone with an interest in all things that go bump in the night, I was very excited when a book about hauntings in my hometown fell into my lap. It even caused me to break my cardinal rule of not starting another book while I’m currently reading another (sorry Diana Gabaldon). I would say I was familiar with about 90% of the locations which makes the stories all the more interesting. I also really liked that the author included pictures of a lot of the sites. Beyond that, he also included pictures showing supernatural activity from orbs to reflections of famous past residents. Photo proof always makes any paranormal book more intriguing and that was definitely the case here.

It is hard to find a book, especially in this genre, that successfully documents and presents a lot of stories or events without feeling rushed or vague. Unfortunately the stories of these haunts are so short, in some cases two sentences long, that they lack punch because the reader is speeding through them so quickly. If some of them are that short, I wonder if they should have even been included. I also stumbled across a few grammatical errors, but that wasn’t what really put me off about the information in the book. I’ve delved quite a bit into the occult, true haunting, and paranormal literature to satisfy my interest in the macabre and a lot of the author’s terminology does not seem to align with how the community understands this area. For instance, the author refers to an entity in one story as both a ghost and a demon. The same is done in another story where he refers to a poltergeist as a ghost as well. In short, a ghost is the spirit of a being who was once living, a demon is a malevolent entity that has never been human, and while there is a lot of debate on what exactly a poltergeist is, most say it is a supernatural being that causes physical, prank like disturbances but might or might not be human in origin. A lot of the activity described in his stories which were labeled as ghost hauntings clearly looked like demonic activity which is a whole other ballgame. The fact that I severely question the author’s use of paranormal terminology and the fact that some of the accounts are probably mislabeled as just ghost activity makes me question the entire book and all the information in it.

If you are a resident of San Jose, this could be a fun, quick read to learn about the different urban legends and haunts of the area. However, anyone looking for a substantial summary of ghostly activity in San Jose might not be satisfied with this book. What worries me is that a lot of these cases could be demonic in origin and locals with a sudden interest in ghost hunting might get themselves in really sticky situations that are beyond their spiritual/mental/physical capability to handle. The paranormal realm is a grey area and many people have many different opinions on this area which makes it hard to say what is and isn’t real, dangerous, and who is right or wrong in their definitions of it. The stories are compelling but hopefully any person when dealing with the unknown whether its spiritual or not, takes extreme caution for the well-being of their family, loved ones, and most importantly themselves.

Uprooted

9 Oct

Uprooted(PICK IT)

Author: Naomi Novik

Genre: Fantasy YA

First Published: 2015

Page Count: 435

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 4/5 Stars

The storyline is completely unexpected but entertaining nevertheless.

__________________Positives__________________

*Epic Fantasy Tale     *Strong Female Lead

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Side Story Romance

“He wasn’t a person, he was a lord and a wizard, a strange creature on another plane entirely, as far removed as storms and pestilence.” Every ten years, a young woman is given to the Dragon to serve him until their ten-year sentence is over. The Dragon is a powerful wizard residing in a tower who protects nearby villages from the evil of the corrupted Wood which borders the kingdom. It is well-known that the beautiful and accomplished Kasia will probably be chosen as the Dragon’s next captive. Agnieszka is Kasia’s dear friend, and desperate to save her from her fate. However, it comes as quite a shock when the Dragon doesn’t make the obvious choice of picking Kasia.

The story in this book was completely different from what I expected, but I was not disappointed either. I had heard this was a Beauty and the Beast type story and expected a lot of romance but I didn’t see very much of either. What I did see was the tale of a young woman who had lived in the shadow of a beloved friend and becomes strong and beautiful in her own way when she learns about who she is and the power inside her. This book is completely driven by Agnieszka’s bravery, intelligence, and strength and this is one of the few books where it feels like a woman truly doesn’t need a man to make positive change. Aside from that, the evil of the Wood and its widespread corruption across the kingdom make the book feel like a very epic adventure story. There are politics, magic, war, and a coming of age story all in one book which keep the story moving because of all the elements presented in it.

Initially I had a hard time getting a handle on what type of story I was getting into. As described above, I expected a Beauty and the Beast type story where Agnieszka would be describing life as a sequestered prisoner in the Dragon’s tower. I was disappointed the story wasn’t going this direction and a bit of me still is even after finishing. However, I did thoroughly enjoy what the author gave us instead, but the romance was a complete afterthought in this book. There are literally two (maybe you could argue three) scenes that advance any relationship between the Dragon and Agnieszka. Because of this, I wish the romance would have been nixed completely or given more attention. The relationship between Agnieskza and the Dragon  feels more like two allies then two lovebirds. Therefore, it felt more natural to just leave any romance out of it. I thought any dance related to their feelings was distracting and the Dragon could have easily been more of a fatherly or brotherly mentor to Agnieszka then a love interest.

There is no doubt that this is a fantastic fantasy story and I wouldn’t mind a sequel or two provided we get the same quality writing. While the book was not what I expected, I wouldn’t change the story because it still was a great read. Fans of magic and fantasy should definitely check out this book but also be wary if you are also hoping for a strong romance plot line. I wouldn’t hesitate to check out Novik’s other work’s after seeing what she gave readers in Uprooted.

The One

5 Sep

TheOne(PICK IT)

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: Science Fiction YA

First Published: 2014

Page Count: 323

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Note: Book 3 of The Selection series

It might not close all its loose ends but it is a satisfying, action packed finale to America’s selection story.

__________________Positives__________________

*Thrilling Conclusion

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Slow Start     *Unfinished Business

“’Not wanting the crown means you’re probably the best person to have it.’” America and three other girls have come to the final hour of the Selection competition. Only one of them can be queen and win Prince Maxon’s heart. With the threat of death growing everyday from the restless rebels outside the palace walls and America’s indecisive feelings towards Prince Maxon and Aspen, the competition has never been more fierce or uncertain.

My feelings have been pretty lukewarm towards this series so I was surprised with how exciting this book was and how quickly it flew by. There are some great game changing events that pop up throughout the book, but what makes the story is the thrilling conclusion. Not only is there a lot of unexpected action at a point in the book when I thought everything was pretty much set in stone, but the author tied a lot of the story’s loose ends together with what resulted from the tumultuous ending. Everyone felt like they were where they should be and nothing felt forced which is what I worried about the most.

As with all of the books in this series, there were some dull, slow moments that usually occurred in the beginning of the book before the meat of the story got going. However, I felt that I didn’t have to wait as long before getting caught up in the drama. And although I really loved the conclusion, it didn’t tie up every loose end, especially where the Southern Rebels are concerned. I know there are two more books in this series which leaves the possibility of some kind of final confrontation between the rebels and the palace. However, the next books are not from America’s point of view and I would rather have had this addressed in this book.

I really enjoyed this book and it felt like a great conclusion to the series. The problem is it wasn’t the final chapter in The Selection series; it’s just the final part in America’s selection process. I don’t know if I’ll be rushing out to read the next two books since it isn’t from America’s point of view but I do eventually want to know if some of the loose ends in the first three books finally get addressed.

The Deep

28 Aug

TheDeep(PICK IT)

Author: Nick Cutter

Genre: Horror

First Published: 2015

Page Count: 394

Type: Hardcover

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 3/5 Stars

What starts out as a creepy deep-sea horror story quickly unravels into a crazed, hard to follow conclusion.

__________________Positives__________________

*Unique Setting     *Thrilling Pace

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Sloppy Ending     *Animal Violence

“There is a specific depth you’ll hit where the soul finds it impossible to harmonize with its surroundings.” Amidst a plague that is attacking humanity, Luke has been called on by the government to journey down into the depths of the Mariana Trench. A lab has been set up to study and harvest a newly discovered substance known as “ambrosia” that could be the key to stopping the plague. His brother, Clayton, is one of the scientists studying the new discovery, but Luke has no idea what awaits him in that isolated station at the bottom of the dark Pacific Ocean.

This was one of the first books recommended to me by Goodreads whose description actually jumped out at me. It seemed like a mysterious and utterly terrifying story that would be right up my alley. It almost felt like reading a Dan Brown novel. The chapters are short with cliff hanger endings so the pace of the story reads like a thriller. This book is more creepy than outright scary. The setting is very unique because it lends itself to a sense of isolation and darkness that could only be replicated in space. A lot of times the deep-sea lab felt like something out of the movie Alien or Prometheus because the outside environment is hostile to human life and the lab is not easily accessible. The deepest, darkest places in our oceans are still uncharted territory so it is easy to imagine horrible things happening to an isolated group of people so far beneath the sea which makes this book so appealing.

Everything was going great in terms of how much I was enjoying the book until the end. Most of the book consists of unexplained occurrences and chilling bumps in the darkness that progressively increases the tension as all horror stories should. However, the conclusion unleashes a whole can of crazy that I couldn’t wrap my head around. Is Luke seeing things? Is this another dream sequence that will amount to nothing when he wakes up? Or are his dreams and visions real and he only thinks he is seeing things or dreaming?  It was hard to keep track and I felt like I was going just as crazy as Luke. Add on top of that the gory, sad stuff that happens to animals throughout this book, and I just could not handle how the story panned out. I’m not convinced Cutter was including the animal scenes just for cheap thrills since the animals had a part to play, but I’m just not one of those people who can handle that kind of story.

I was entertained throughout the entire book and I’d much rather read an exciting story then something that bores me. However, the way I felt coming away from the book was disappointed. The twists and turns of the story are so wild and insane that by the end of the book the story felt way overblown for me to accept that conclusion. And then of course, if you can’t handle any violence involving animals don’t even try this book. It hasn’t deterred me from wanting to pick up Cutter’s other books. I’m just hoping for a horror story that I feel more satisfied with at the end of the day.

Throne of Glass

23 Aug

ThroneofGlass(PICK IT)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy YA

First Published: 2012

Page Count: 404

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Note: Book 1 of the Throne of Glass series

While the main storyline can be less than thrilling at certain points, it is the characters and their journey together that make this story worth reading.

__________________Positives__________________

*Engaging Characters

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Dull Competition

“Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters.” Celaena Sardothien, one of the kingdom’s greatest assassins, has been summoned from her prison to compete against other thieves, criminals, and warriors to win the job to become the King’s Champion. If she wins it could mean her freedom, but if she loses, she will return to serve out her life sentence in prison. However, Celaena soon has more to worry about then the competition with the attentions of her sponsor, Dorian the crown prince, to fend off, the intense training from Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, a friendship to foster with a visiting foreign princess, and the fear of death that creeps up as more and more competitors end up murdered.

I am in love with the A Court of Thorns and Roses series so the next logical step, especially while waiting for book 3 in the series, was to look into the first book Maas wrote. Initially, I didn’t click with Celaena because she was this rough, scarred (inside and out) individual who somehow also liked to wear pretty things and be feminine. She is complex and it took awhile to get used to who she is. Every single character is interesting from the dark and scheming king and Duke Perrington, to the handsome yet lonely prince Dorian. And who can forget the mysterious princess Nehemia or the no-nonsense Captain of the Guard, Chaol? I wanted to know what their backstories were and where they were going, but the most engaging part of the book were any interactions between Celaena, Chaol, or Dorian. I have to give props to Maas for how she made those two characters so important to Celaena right under our noses.

Celaena’s story revolves around her competing to become the King’s Champion, but that was the piece of the book that I found least interesting. A lot of times it felt like the author was just glossing over each test they had to compete in. Sometimes she would give it a little description and others, Maas would merely mention that a few tests had already gone by. The reader really only sees any action in the first, one of the middle tests, and the last test. In truth, I wasn’t too upset to skip over the tests because I was more interested in the politics and relationships outside of the competition, but if this was the whole point of the book I thought it could’ve used a little more attention.

While this book wasn’t nearly as exciting as any in her other series that I mentioned above, it was definitely a good read. I don’t know what is in store for Celaena that is epic enough to fill the pages of the next five books that currently exist, but I am very motivated to find out where the characters go in their relationships. Looks like I have a date with Amazon Prime later tonight…

Digital Fortress

2 Aug

DigitalFortress(PICK IT)

Author: Dan Brown

Genre: Thriller

First Published: 1998

Page Count: 430

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating:  3/5 Stars

It’s an entertaining thriller but doesn’t hold a candle to other books in Dan Brown’s roundhouse.

__________________Positives__________________

*Unexpected Twists

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Lacks Charm     *Less Action

“Who will guard the guards?” Susan Fletcher, head cryptographer at the NSA, is called into work when the company’s invincible code-breaking machine fails to break a code. It turns out this same code could change the world and end the NSA if anyone were to find out about it. Not only must Susan try to save the agency, but the fate of the man she loves also relies on her breaking a seemingly unbreakable code.

I have finally nearly finished reading every Dan Brown book he’s written. I’ve been saving this one because it was Brown’s first book so I figured it should be pretty great if it put him on the map. I thought I had the story figured out. Susan has to keep the unbreakable code a secret and also figure out how to break it. Meanwhile her fiance, David, must find a key piece of the puzzle that will help solve the code. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the twists at the end of the book. Nothing was as it seemed and it was a relief that the story wasn’t as simple as it started out to be.

Maybe Brown was just finding his groove with this book, but compared to his other thrillers this one would land low on my list of favorites. Most of the action surrounds David trying to find a ring, but this is the weakest part of the book because the most important scenes are back in the NSA building. It almost felt like David and his scenes were just to add a bit more spice to the book so we aren’t stuck looking over Susan’s shoulder while she does her decoding work. Because this book is so heavily focused on technology it also doesn’t have the same charm as his other books that mix history with modern-day thrill stories.

On its own, this is a satisfying thriller, but when you look at the author’s work as a whole this book doesn’t stand up to the rest. I even wonder how memorable this book will be over time although the topic is very relevant right now. If you love Dan Brown’s books I’d say check it out because he only has so many books. However, if you’re looking for his best work, I’d try the Robert Langdon series.

The Elite

17 Jul

The_Elite(PICK IT)

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: Science Fiction YA

First Published: 2013

Page Count: 323

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Note: Book 2 of The Selection series

While the second book in the series ups the stakes in terms of action, it spends too much time revisiting and rehashing much of what was established in book one instead of building from it.

__________________Positives__________________

*Increased Action

___________________Negatives_____________________

* Repetitive     *Slow Start     *Unbelievable Love Triangle

“Love is beautiful fear.” America has made it through the selection into the group known as the Elite. There are only six girls left competing for Prince Maxon’s heart and the crown. However, America is still struggling to decide whether she wants to start a new life as Maxon’s queen or take the safe path and return home to be with her first love Aspen.

I immediately bought this book after finishing The Selection because I was curious to see how the author would build on where we left off. The raids on the castle are more intense, but it is also the battle between the final Elite that brings a lot of the books action. The book takes a bit of a darker turn as the competition gets more serious and makes the first half of the selection in book one look like a fun night on Family Feud.Without these interesting twists in the plot, which mostly come near the second part of this book, I doubt I’d be able to continue on with this series.

There was an expectation that book two would be much different then book one because you don’t want to read a carbon copy of the previous book. However, the beginning of the book is very slow for just that reason. The reader is dulled into reading about the monotony of the daily lives of the remaining girls (get up, eat breakfast, go to the Women’s Room, maybe see Maxon, eat dinner, go to bed, etc). And even the relationship between Maxon and America and America and Aspen that was so well established in the first book is destroyed in this one with her constant floundering between the two. Some days Maxon is the only man who has ever made her feel this way and other days it’s so clear to America that she will never love Maxon as much as she loves Aspen. It’s exhausting and unrealistic to imagine a girl, even a teenage girl, going from one extreme end of the spectrum to another with these guys.

Amazon told me that for $8 I can have book three in the series at the house by the end of the day. But, unlike when I finished book one, I’m not feeling as strong a desire to jump into book three right away. If we had been given a better look at what’s going on in the world outside of the competition and more of an idea about who America wants to be with I might be more inclined to move onto book three without a break between books like I’m considering now. I’ll continue with the series but I have a lukewarm appreciation of it at this point.

Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church

14 Jul

 

Spotlight(PICK IT)

Author: The Investigative Staff at The Boston Globe

Genre: Memoir

First Published: 2015

Page Count: 220

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*

Rating: 4/5 Stars

A difficult subject to read, but an even harder book to put down.

__________________Positives__________________

*Thorough Investigation     *Never Repetitive

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Graphic

That betrayal may not be a chargeable offense in a court of law. But there is no statute of limitations on its impact. And there should be no forgetting.” Before 2001 the Catholic Church was a highly revered religious organization that was a pillar for many in society. That is, until a team of investigative journalists at The Boston Globe begin looking into allegations of sexual abuse within the church. What they would unearth was not only an unprecedented amount of sexual abuse cases against minors but one of the biggest cover up attempts that extended up the hierarchy of the church. This discovery, their reports on the subject, and the fallout changed the church and its members and is explored in this book.

The movie Spotlight was fantastic, but after reading the book that it is based on, you realize the film just scratches the surface of the topic. I feel that I got a very well-rounded look at the issues raised by The Boston Globe and the immediate impact that their reports had on the church and its communities. The reader sees into the minds of the accused priests, the point of view of the victims, and how the institution itself handled the charges made against it. The data never felt repetitive; on the contrary, I constantly felt floored as claim after claim are revealed by The Boston Globe. As a Catholic who had a vague awareness about these accusations (I was only eleven at the time), reading this book really put into perspective why it was such a big deal. I knew there were accusations that priests were abusing children, but I had no idea just how many cases actually existed, for how long this had gone on, and how blatantly it was ignored and covered up by the church.

Readers going into this book know the subject matter is going to be difficult to read. However, the book does not hold back in its coverage of the topic. I had anticipated vague references to what had occurred to the children, but, in reality, the readers are exposed to extremely graphic descriptions of nearly exactly what happened. Not only that, but we are given a lot more than a handful of these case descriptions to endure. It is not for the faint of heart, and makes for an incredibly dark reading experience. Even though it is hard to read, the shock value that results from these descriptions effectively hammers home the importance of the topic.

This is such an important book, such an important topic, and such a tragic series of events that will continue to shape the Catholic Church for years to come. If you can handle how personal the stories get I would suggest everyone read this book. Like the Holocaust, this is a horrific event that human beings allowed to happen until someone stood up and said enough. History will repeat itself unless we all have an understanding of the past and how to avoid past mistakes. It is of even greater importance if you consider yourself Catholic, like myself. In order to be more vigilant in the future and have a clear understanding about the history of our church, we cannot blind ourselves from the atrocity that The Boston Globe heroically brought to light.

* Film Adaptation: (Starring Michael Keaton 2015)

 

The Siren

9 Jul

TheSiren(SKIP IT)

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: Fantasy YA

First Published: 2009

Page Count: 327

Type: Hardcover

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Like it’s title, the appearance of the beautiful book will draw you in only to kill you with its dull story.

__________________Positives__________________

*Gorgeous Cover

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Dull, Simple Plot     *Unrealistic Love Story

“We were stars. We were music. We were time.” Kahlen and her sisters belong to the sea. As sirens, their job is to draw humans to their death with their voices in order to feed the ocean’s never-ending hunger for souls. When they are not singing, it is imperative they never let humans hear their voices or suspect what they are. But what happens when Kahlen meets Akinli, the boy who will make her want to forget what she is to be a part of his world?

The first time I laid eyes on this book, I was pretty sure it had the most beautiful book cover I’d ever seen. And I naively thought it was about a mermaid/ sirenish girl in medieval times. Well, it was not about mermaids in the least and did not take place in medieval times so that was my first disappointment. The second disappointment was that the story the book actually was about wasn’t that interesting either. So really the only thing I loved about this book was the cover.

After I got over my anger that this book took place in modern times, I felt that I could accept the setting and still find a good story to entertain me. Unfortunately the plot is extremely slow-moving and simple to the point where reading it gets really boring. Kahlen’s life as a siren is redundant in that she has to follow all these rules and sometimes she kills people. The one thing that could shake up this story would be the addition of Akinli and their love story. Alas, that only makes things worse. Kahlen falls in love with him instantly after one pretty lukewarm date and a couple friendly text messages. I just couldn’t buy their love story and failed to feel any of the passion that was apparently between them.

Don’t be like me; don’t buy this book because the cover is hypnotizing. Ok, I know that kind of warning will fall on deaf ears because I’ve definitely defied poor average review ratings and purchased a pretty looking book anyway. I wonder if I should even keep such a bad book just because I still love the way it looks. But I, maybe like you, have been on a quest for a great mermaid/ siren book and this is not it. Kiera Cass books have notoriously charming covers, but don’t be seduced by this one. Keep questing friends!