So these are masks that I decorated inspired by my Element characters, four sisters (they don't look alike though, at all. In fact they couldn't look more different from each other) each one representing one of Water, Fire, Earth and Air.
Sigh...another book falls under the weight of being that Awkward Middle Book, the one that doesn't really need to exist but does so that the author can release a trilogy, because heaven forbid anyone go against what's acceptable and write two books, or even one, because obviously it's trilogies people want and we mustgivethepeoplewhattheywant...breathe!!!!
I can sum this book up very simply. There was walking, and there was talking and not a lot else, unless you count that any strongish female character from the first book had all their strength leached from them as soon a they smelt a potential mate on the horizon! Relationships that help so much promise just withered, dried leaving naught but a formless husk. It's just so relentlessly vexing when female characters go against their personalities, doing stupid things for the sake of their men folk. If the character is weak to start with then fine, at least she's being true to her nature, but when they were once strong willed, it's galling, the brainless things they'll endure. Remaining a slave in an enemy camp because they can't bear the thought of leaving their husbands behind so they won't escape without them, is one example. I can't even tell you the two things that made this even more infuriating as they could be construed as plot spoilers, but both are very good reasons not to hang about being a slave. We were led to believe in the first book that this particular woman was intelligent, strong, pragmatic and yet she seems to forget all that as soon as her man is in trouble. Every page we have to hear her bemoan her fate, how difficult it is to see him suffer, blah, blah, blah. How it hurts her so blah, blah, blah. Easy solution there love, LEAVE WITHOUT HIM. That may seem harsh, but there is a reason for it but like I said, I don't want to give away any spoilers. The woman from the first book would have done what she needed to do to survive. It would have been difficult, but she would have done it regardless. It was so disappointing to see this simpering (slightly harsh but I can't think of a better word) woman taking her place.
Another example. Two characters get thrown together in book 1. Over the course of about three chapters, they start to develop feelings for each other, it's all very rushed and lazily done. In book 2, they go their separate ways, each with their own destiny to fulfil. Well Mr. Man, despite worrying about the lady every page, wanting to know if she's safe, lamenting his broken promises to keep her safe, the wonderings that perhaps his feelings go deeper than friendship, jumps into bed with two other women. Now like I said, they didn't really know each other that well, but because he thinks about her so much, we are led to believe he most likely loves her. So him bedding two other ladies is a bit of a surprise, especially considering he is quite honourable and loyal. It goes completely against his character then that he spares not one thought for this girl he spends a lot of pages mooning over. She doesn't even cross his mind. There's no hint of remorse. Granted they never had any kind of agreement as to their relationship, but Mr.Man knew the girls feelings from an outside source, knew that she probably loved him. Did he care? NOPE!!!! Oh he protested at first, but a pretty face and a bit of transparent flattery and he's on his back. Don't get me wrong, it's not the act that offends. Boys will be boys and I know this isn't the case with all, but a large number think mostly with their penises. It's the fact he didn't feel even slightly guilty with regards to his lady friend. That to me was a severe lack of character continuity and not in keeping with his personality at all. But that's not the worst part. While he's off dipping his wick, his lady is off doing her thing and not having a particularly nice time, all the while worrying that he's in trouble. Half way across the country, she gets a message, asking her to return. Bearing in mind she's had a pretty arduous journey, she does. She thinks he needs her, that he is in fact, in trouble. So at no small amount of pain and suffering to herself, she returns, only to find him reasonably comfortable. He needs her help certainly, but that's only to use her gifts for his own ends (can't say more...spoiler!!! It's not as dastardly as it sounds either. He has reasonably good intentions, the greater good and all that). Then she finds out about one of the women he slept with. He apologises, but in almost the same breath sticks up for the girl, saying she's been through a lot etc, saying this to a girl he knows almost certainly has feelings for him. In his infinite wisdom. He decides it's best not to mention his other dalliance, not out right lying, but that's still not exactly going to endear him to readers. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that she pretty much just takes it all. She grumbles a bit, moans, but ultimately helps him out, without even a bit of shouting or throwing things...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!! Since when did this character become such a fucking doormat. 'No, no, you bump uglies with whomever you like, keep secrets, while I sit here day after day working tirelessly to help you not look bad when in fact I've got other stuff I need to do and that by keeping from it is actually causing me pain.' It just made me so mad that she just accepted it with so little fuss.
All in all, there were few characters who I liked, mainly because they were generally badly written and inconsistent. That's not to say the writing was bad. The descriptive stuff was fine, a bit too much for my tastes (started skipping paragraphs towards the end I thought weren't integral to the story) it was just the author's characters and their ever changing personalties to suit the story. There was also a lot of repetition. A lot of conversations that seemed to happen more than once. I would read them thinking, 'didn't you guys already talk about this a few pages ago?' Like I mentioned earlier too, if a character had gone through some sort of trauma, we were reminded about it constantly. Now, in real life, yes, people will dwell on the past, especially the bad stuff, but you can't apply that to a book because is just gets boring. Sure, you can't have a character completely forget an event like it had never happened, that wouldn't be realistic, but a few reminders here and there is all you need. A few words, preferably different words so it makes it more readable. A quick, fleeting memory of the past triggered by something in the present. A moment of weakness where the past comes back to haunt. Not paragraphs of samey sounding recollection!!! It's a difficult balance to strike, but the great authors can do it in a way that feels effortless, natural. Everything the characters felt in this book seemed forced upon them.
Is this review even making sense?
So why three stars instead of two. Simple. Because for some bizarre reason I still needed to know what happened. There's a good story in here somewhere, a lot of it no overly original, but gripping enough to keep me reading. If the characters weren't so bad it would have got more.
Apologies for the hideous detail I go in to. It was just these things bugged me soooo much!!! Hopefully I was successful in avoiding spoilers. I honestly don't understand though how the quality has changed from the first book to this. I actually quite liked The Last Stormlord...
Annoyingly though, I will need to read the third book. I get the feeling it won't get better...
...sigh. Why do I do it to myself?
EDIT: I changed it to two stars. I'd given books I liked a lot more the same amount of stars. It didn't seem right
Finally!!! A decent fantasy series I can get my teeth into. There's plenty here for everyone one to find something they like, from the intriguing story to the wealth of characters and the promise of what is to come.
The reason this didn't get five stars is because one, despite being a brilliant storyteller; not getting lost in too much pointless description or overly flowery prose, her relationship building was a little slap dash. You know it's coming, the inevitable meeting, the wondering how their relationship will begin, will they hate each other first, be indifferent, shy?!! I'll admit, I was looking forward to it, hoping for something like the awesomeness that was Damin and Adrina from the Demon Child trilogy. Unfortunately it all happened a little to fast for my tastes. One minute they meet, the next they're noticing each other, sneaking glances, feelings start being felt, then BAM...it's love...or at least they think it is. I'm not that much into romance. I'm not a fan of being promised a good story and getting a sappy love fest instead, but I will admit, I do like a bit of romance on the side. Well built, the kind that makes you smile, makes you feel like you are sharing a good secret. The relationship between Terelle and Shale just felt rushed. I didn't have time to enjoy it, saviour it. But then again there's two more books, so plenty of time for that hopefully. So the second reason this didn't get five stars is that, as ever, I compare every fantasy I read to the aforementioned Demon Child trilogy (my favouritest EVER!!!) and while a really strong contender, this just didn't write make my blood pump, or stomach churn. But then, I don't think anything will. It came pretty darn close though.
Thank fuck though that the other two books are available, or that would've have been really annoying!!! Now bring on book 2!!!!
Ok, so against my better judgement (and quite possibly proving that I am insane), I am posting up a snippet, a sneak preview if you will, of the novelish thing that I am working on.
Now this is really important, so please read... This is a DRAFT!!!!! It is not in any way finished or polished. I am aware that there are grammar errors, that my punctuation looks like it has been done by a five year old etc. I am doing this only because a nice person asked me to!!!! I am NOT LOOKING FOR ANY KIND OF CRITIQUES AS YET as this is a DRAFT and any kind of critiquing would be POINTLESS!!!!!!!!! Equally, this isn't a tool to fish for compliments. I am not looking for praise (though if you insist on giving it, then that's fine. I won't stop you). Thank you for reading
Right, let's get this over and done with.
Characters featured are...(to see more artwork, visit my deviantart account.
Faith was not happy.
She was stuck, on
To be fair, Tahti was still with her, but being so small, she didn't really count. Besides, since Arashi's marvellous display of how-to-be-a-butt-holey-dick head, the sprite hadn't
stirred from her spot curled up on Faith's shoulder, gossamer wings tickling her skin in a way that would get irritating very quickly, akin to getting hair stuck up your nose, with no way of retrieving it. So it just sits there, and no matter how many times you forcefully blow air out your nose in hopes of dislodging it, it doesn't budge. Just buzzes against your skin with each breath, reminding you it's still there. With a sigh, Faith settled in for a long wait. She sat on her bed, a sturdy thing built of solid wood, covered in a quaint patchwork quilt. She drew her knees up to her chest, fighting to keep her eyes open. Sleep was thrusting at her lewdly, beckoning to her, but with Raen in the room, unfurled like a lounging cat on the opposite bed, there was no way she was going to close her eyes, especially not with that look on his face, a feigned innocence that wasn't fooling anybody A look he usually wore when he was plotting something of a devious and/or dastardly nature.
Luckily however, there were plenty of other
things poking at her brain, wanting attention, doing a marvellous job of distracting her from
wondering what misdeeds the faery was plotting, as well as successfully keeping sleep at bay.
In the muffled quiet, surrounded by creature comforts that reminded Faith of home and feeling at least a little safer than she had in a long time, the last week finally had
a chance to catch up with her, colliding with her conciousness like a steam train.
A deep ache rose from her toes, flashes searing her vision. An raging river of images that pressed behind her eyes, threatening to burst through and flood the room with truths Faith didn't know how to deal with. They came together in a great deluge, coalescing in waves of
pain, fear, guilt, until they became a turbulent mess of tattered
emotions. But where ever her thoughts drifted, they always, inevitably,
returned to the crossroads.
a shuddering breath, she wrapped her arms around her head. Pressing her eye
sockets into her knees, she willed herself to forget, hoping she could push the
memories out the back of her head, spraying the wall behind in her sludgy black memories.
Then came the
shame. The crushing guilt that at least she could escape. And worse, that she wanted to escape. Wanted to stop seeing the hordes of marching souls, trudging on with no knowing what lay ahead, where their next meal was coming from. How could she sit
there wishing it would go away, when those people were living that nightmare
every day? Who on that road wouldn't want to wish themselves to another place?
From her perch, Tahti
sensed Faith's darkening mood. Emerging from the nest of hair in which she had been
cocooned, she landed on the duvet cover by Faith's feet.
Faith lifted her
head, looking at the little faery. Tahiti's smile was small, and not just because
she herself was tiny little person. Faith wondered what the faery would say, if she could
From the opposite bed, Raen stretched his long limbs. "Aww, look," he drawled, "Isn't that
sweet. Your insect is trying to cheer you up."
threw a pillow at him. There had been no conscious thought to it. Just a need
to throw something. She only wished it had been something heavier.
Like a book, or a
It proved a pointless
endeavour anyway, Raen deftly catching it before it could hit him in the face, Still, he looked surprised and that was good enough.
he said with a frown of admonishment, “was uncalled for." He held the pillow out towards
her. "I'm going to be keeping this now as punishment." He placed it behind his head, getting
comfy whilst expertly shielding it should Faith try to reclaim it.
noise emanating from the pub downstairs began to swell, a dull, base rumble that
rudely pushed its way through the floorboards, both uninvited and unwelcome.
Raen huffed. "That's
going to make sleeping difficult." He stared huffily at the ceiling, hands behind
his head. Faith didn't mind it so much. After so long spent just the five of them in the wilderness, she found the feeling of being connected to other human souls a comfort.
Just at that moment, someone found a fiddle, deciding it would be a jolly good idea to start playing it, loudly, at a tempo that was bordering on manic. Raen
removed the pillow from behind his head and attempted to smother himself with
Faith felt inclined
to do the same, the wild sawing of a violin a little too much for her. She was thwarted however, by the fact that Raen was keeping her pillow captive. It wasn't that tune was being played particularly badly, more that it was far too jolly, not in tune with her sombre mood. It reminded her that there were people still capable of having fun, and one is feeling somewhat maudlin, that's just not very nice.
muffled something from beneath his pillow. With a curse, he
tore if from his face and threw it. It puffed against the door as the Faerie
shot to his feet.
insufferable. I will not sit here a moment longer when there is fun to be had
and drinks in need of quaffing."
Faith looked at him,
baffled, wondering what the hell he was on about. Straightened his
shirt, then adjusting a waistcoat that Faith was sure he hadn't been wearing a
moment ago, he stalked with purposeful strides towards the door.
Faith scrambled to
the edge of the bed. "Where are you going?" She cringed, her voice sounding shrill, pathetic and whiney even to her own ears.
Raen opened the
door, "To get a drink madam," he gestured to the buzz of activity
that bombarded them from below, "we are in a pub after all." He paused, absently stroking his chin. "Hmm, though drinking
alone would be preferable, far be it from me to stop you if you would like to join
me." He gave her a hard look, dark green eyes giving away none of the
thoughts hidden behind them. "I dare-say you could do with a long stiff one
yourself." His lips curled as he melted into his usual easy-going manner, as he amended, “I of course mean a drink.”
cast upon him a glare she hoped made clear that such lewd jokes were not appreciated. She looked past him to the open door, to the hallway that lay beyond. Sat on her knees, hands clenched at her sides, she
Tahti started barrelling
around the room in what Faith took to be encouragement, yet was probably more likely the opposite. Faith didn't bother to analyse it to closely. Temptation pulled her to
her feet, guiding her towards the door, but the wrath of the Tempest held her
us to wait here."
snorted derisively, "That he did, but I am not inclined to take orders from a man/dog hybrid who takes pleasure in licking his own balls. Besides," he could see her resolve weakening once she had removed that disturbing mental picture from her head. He smiled widely, “he's not here. It’s his own fault if he failed to
specify as to where 'here' actually is."
Going for the
final push, pouring on every ounce of charm, he whispered. “We won't be gone long. They'll
The wish to escape from reality and the distressful thoughts that hounded her rose like an itch demanding to be scratched, impossible to
ignore. She debated the sensibleness of going with him. It didn't take long.
Sure, it was
reckless. She'd only known him a short while, yet in that time he had tried to
slice her arm off, left her to drown and in general, been a bit of a prick.
Then there was that grin, smeared like grease across his jaw, reminding Faith of how little she should trust him. The fiddler downstairs changed his tune, a rampaging succession of notes that didn't seem to know what they were doing but were going to have a damn good time anyway.
It was almost certainly
a stupid thing to do. There was a very good chance they'd get into unimaginable
amounts of trouble, her midnight run of a few nights ago springing to mind. But
after what she’d witnessed that day, the face that haunted her every time she
closed her eyes, all she wanted, what she craved more than anything, was a relief. A fire of rebellion ignited in her gut
and there was no stopping it now. Taking a step of unwavering resolve, Faith announced, "I want alcohol."
Raen swept a graceful
bow, "Right this way my lady."
Her unwavering revolve wasn't quite so unwavering as she thought. Though
her feet wanted to go, the fun spoiling part of her was reluctant to
budge. There was the door, open and inviting, but she just couldn't get herself to move.
journey is about change, she told
herself firmly, then amended, and all that other stuff about stopping the bad guys and saving the worlds, etc.
This was something
the old Faith would never have done. Which was why she put one foot in front
of the other, and walked out of the room. Quickly, before she could change her mind.
Behind her, the door closed
with a soft click, Raen’s hand still curled around the handle. Glancing back, the
sounds of tiny fists tapping on the wood were audible only to his sharp, Fae
Faith stood on a
cosy landing. A warm, slightly stained and worn carpet covered the floorboards,
a rich dark red tinted orange in places by the thick white candles that lined the walls. Split
levels sat to her left and right, a higgledy-piggledy jumble of ups and downs. Twisting from side to side, disorientated, Faith had a moment of confusion as she tried to recall in what direction the stairs lay. A particularly loud burst of laughter exploded
from the right. Following the raucous sounds of men slowly pickling their
insides, Faith eventually came upon the slightly worn looking staircase, leading to both the upper and lower floors. (not sure why this section has indented, but I can't seem to correct it)
Her foot, mere inches from the the first step, poised to descend, hovered in mid air as Faith noted her Tahti-less shoulder. She turned to Raen, hands clasped behind his back, affecting the air of someone who hadn't just done something he shouldn't.
"Who?" Faith closed her eyes, blowing air that could very well have been steam out of her nostrils. She repeated, "Where is she?" "Oh, you're referring to your pest, I mean pet. I
think it's best if she stays in the room, don't you?" His tone made Faith
feel like a highly volatile and unpredictable mental patient, capable of going bat-shit crazy at any moment.
shut her in."
"Yes, I did."
Raen saw her frown and hurried to convince her that it was for the best. After all, they didn't want to risk Tahti getting over excited and exposing them.
He could see her
thinking it through, weighing up the obvious wisdom of his words. She nodded her agreement, though she looked towards the door with a decidedly anguished expression. Facing away from the door, Tahti still hammering away, Faith resumed her descent, not seeing Raen rolling his eyes behind her. These mortals and their constant emotional struggles. How exhausting it must be to constantly question the merit of every single little thing you do, or say. Thank goodness I don't have that problem. But his scheme was working, and though very tempting, he resisted the urge to rub his
hands together with devilish glee. It seemed his boredom would soon be at an
entered the stifling warmth of the common room, the air swilling around them
like a thick, floating soup, chunks and all. Faith found it strangely welcoming, for all of five seconds, before she
started gagging, her lungs struggling to adapt to the unique
atmosphere of Portshore’s premier drinking establishment.
Raen ushered her to
a stool at the bar, all the while being careful not to risk any actual physical contact. It was widely known fact among the Fae that mortals carried at least twenty disgustingly icky diseases at any one time. Despite the fact that, not being mortal, faeries couldn't catch any of them, whether they be real or imagined, it always paid to be careful.
Faith slithered on to her seat, where she sat, hands squeezed between her knees, looking every bit as awkward and out-of-place as she was trying so very hard not to be, a task that was always going to be difficult in a room full of burly sailor types, all men and none of them appearing to be under thirty.
By contrast, Raen was in his element. Rolling up his
sleeves, he gestured to the innkeeper, ordering two of something Faith
didn't quite catch. The man, who must have had 'barman' stamped on his birth certificate, grabbed two glasses. They appeared clean, but spying Faith
watching, they were given an extra once over with a cloth for good measure. The cloth returned to his shoulder, where it hung like a badge of honour.
The Innkeeper then placed the extra squeaky clean glasses on the counter. With
a dubious glance at Faith, he grabbed a mysterious brown bottle, which could have
contained anything from orange juice to weasel spit, and poured a small measure
into each glass. Faith wondered vaguely if there was an age limit for
alcohol in Faerie, but as the Innkeeper slid the glass across the bar to her, slopping a bit in the process, now not-so-full of a strong
smelling amber liquid, she guessed not.
eyes positively sparkled as he regarded his own tiny glass of paradise.
Faith lifted hers slightly more apprehensively, bringing it to her nose for a sniff. It
burned, singing her nostril hairs, the chemical concoction of fumes forcing her taking in great lungful’s
of air through her mouth.
her, leaning the casual lean of one who had frequented many a pub in his time, Raen tut-tutted. "Amateur," he
chided, swirling the drink in his hand, "everyone knows you never
smell before you sample. It ruins the surprise." With a nefarious gleam in
his green eyes, he knocked back the glass, consuming it in its entirety in a
matter of seconds. He thumped the now empty vessel on to the bar, making the face of one whom has suffered a slight and found it highly offensive. "My
goodness man, you call that your best? I've drunk goat milk with more alcoholic content than this swill. But," he thrust a finger under the man's nose. " I am willing to give you another chance, before I take myself and my considerable coin to another establishment of equally questionable hygiene
standards?" It was complete bollocks of course. Raen had no money at all, but a few leaves and a bit of mind-fuckery, and his pockets would be brimming with the gold stuff.
barman chuckled, eyes alight beneath bushy brows, the promise of a challenge to hard to resist. "Oh, I see" he mused, "am I to believe then, that the fine sir would like to sample our Very Best?" Faith, aware of the exchange only because it was happening right next to her, had always wondered
what it had when books claimed that characters, ‘pronounced the capitals.’
Now she knew.
sat himself down. Leaning back, arms folded he proclaimed, "I most
certainly would, my fine man."
There was no way that Raen thought this man was in any way fine, but if
he kept producing the alcohol, who was he to judge?
unbranded bottle appeared from under the counter. This time Faith could smell it's noxious wafts without having to put her nose anywhere near it.
measure was poured, the barman brimming with anticipation. His wife, the daft old trollop, had forbidden
him selling his own, very special, home-made concoctions. However, at that very moment, she visiting her sister two towns over, and therefore would be none the wiser. He regarded Raen over the bottle through eyes so squinty they looked shut, even when open.
Now here was a strange chap, in his fine clothes, with that fancy hairdo and posh accent. Not the sort to visiting a dive like Portshore. His companion, if anything was more odd, and couldn't have been more than twelve to his eyes, but out in the back-end-of-no-where, the rules weren't quite so rigid to the point where they were often twisted into some very interesting shapes. But he had been
longing to test the potency of his home brew for ages, as none of the
locals were stupid enough to try it, not after what happened to Dave, who had never been quite the same since.
handsome fellow sat at his bar didn't strike him being overly stupid, but was certainly
reckless. With a smug grin, the barman slid the drink over.
it in salute, Raen winked as he brought it to his lips. He looked over at Faith, her glass
as yet untouched her hand, frozen inches from her lips.
He gasped, a hand flying to his face, as he said, appalled, "You would let a lady drink on her own? You unforgivable rogue. Here." He reached over, nudging the glass to her mouth, "Come, come. Drink
up, there's a good girl."
She jerked away. Raen shrugged, "suit yourself." The glass sat in her hand, as Faith pondered, once again, the wisdom of her actions. Her rebellious was growing rather tired of her inability to make a decision and see it through.
Was it really worth it? No matter how bladdered she got, no matter how numbed she was to the world, it would all be waiting for her again when the effects wore off, accompanied by an almighty hangover to boot. Would one glass of alcohol stop her
from drowning in the overwhelming misery of a world that was choked with suffering?
Where little girls were murdered for the simple crime of being hungry? The short answer was no.
could see more convincing was needed. Faith was wearing her thoughtful/vague
expression which meant she was backing down, which wouldn't do at all. With was snide leer, followed closely by a sigh, he said, "it’s ok, don't worry about it." He took the glass from her hand, "It was stupid anyway, thinking that would risk getting in trouble with the big bad wolf. I only thought that perhaps you were tired of being afraid, but I forget that you're too much of a coward. Never mind."
Raen could tell instantly the moment his words hit home. With a rebellious set to her jaw, looking ready to start a fight with anyone stupid enough to get in her way, she snatched her drink out of his hand. Putting the beverage to her lips, she tipped the whole thing down her throat. It was like drinking liquid fire. As it travelled through her body it sucked up all the moisture, leaving burned out wasteland in it's wake.
Raen's whole body shook, pointing and laughing at her distress. Eyes tearing up, wheezing out coughs an
old man would be proud of, Faith thought she was dying. Within seconds her face was positively luminous.
Still chuckling, Raen downed his own drink in one, slamming the glass on
the wooden counter top. with a smile that was almost feral.
barman leaned over, eyes creased with worry as he watched Faith turn puce, great breathes rattling about her lungs. "Is she going to be all
think I'm dying," Faith sputtered.
be fine," Raen replied dismissively, "I however find myself with an empty glass," which
he waved under the barman’s nose, "If you would be so kind?"
of the same, sir?"
yes, I think that will do nicely. No, no," he said, as the barman went to
fill his glass, "just leave the bottle. There's a good chap."
barman’s eyebrows flew into his hairline, "Are you sure that's a good idea, sir?" "Hmm? Oh yes, quite sure. I plan on spending a very fine evening with my new friend," he clutched the bottle, shaking it at the barman, who shrugged. Wandering off, he muttered under his breath, "Very well, it's your funeral."
Faith had no notion of how long they had
been sitting there in the bar. Or for that matter where she was, or even who she was. On some
part, she wasn't overly certain of what she was. Alarmed,
she pushed herself up from the counter upon which she had been laying, sprawled
out in a drunken stupor. After a thorough pat down, she was able to confirm
that she was still a human person in possession of all the correct limbs, all located in the right places. She sighed with relief, the bar tipped as she swayed. Her insides felt all fuzzy, which on the whole, wasn't all that
With visible effort, she lifted her head, now filled with bricks. Looking up through drink addled eyes, she saw Raen sitting
next to her.
she exclaimed loudly, with an embarrassing amount of slurring. The following sentence should have sounded something like, "what are you
doing here?" had it not resembled the sound of someone chewing their own tongue.
Where-as most would have struggled to convert Faith's noises into actual words, Raen just so happened to be adept at the learning and speaking of languages, drunk being one of them. A now almost empty bottle of the barman’s Very Best sat in front of him. "So, sleeping
not-so-beauty awakes at last." Other than the glass in his hand, there was
very little evidence of Raen’s alcoholic endeavours. No slurring marred his speech, his head
wasn't swaying, even his eyes were bright, if possible more so than they had
been when they first started their binge.
leaned closer, pointing a finger at him, or more accurately, at something
hovering over his left shoulder. Her limbs had noted her distracted state, and were in the process of acquiring a life of their own. She
tried to muster a serious demeanour, instead ending up wearing an impression-of-a-constipated-person
face. "I,” she started, “don't like you very much."
smiled around his glass, "And there I was under the impression that you
didn't like me at all. What a momentous day this is turning out to be." He drained the glass, gently placing it back on
the bar. Once it was full again, he turned, folding his arms, giving Faith his complete and
undivided attention. "Are you going to do me the courtesy of telling me why?"
blinked stupidly, "why what?"
sighed, whilst marvelling at the boundless depths of human stupidity. "You
quite rudely informed me that you didn't like me very much. I was enquiring as
to why that might be."
did her another slow blink, except this time one eye at a time. Raen
had used far too many words, some of them quite long and had successfully confused her.
some careful deciphering, she gave up, instead returning to the beginning of the conversation as if Raen hadn't spoken at all. " I don't like you," she said again, pausing for dramatic effect,
"do you want to know why?"
will admit I am beginning to lose interest." He was also wondering why
this had seemed like such a good idea at the time.
his answer for a yes, as he hadn't technically said no, she answered,
"because, you are, a dick head." Raen rolled his eyes as Faith descended into
giggles. She then snorted loudly, which made her laugh even harder, so much so that she fell off the stool. Her voice, breathy with laughter and slightly too high pitched, rose up
from the floor, "I
did, you clever girl," Raen indulged. He gave the barman a knowing look, 'women eh? Just can't hold their drink'.
barman replied with a look of his own, 'I know, tell me about it!' Out loud, he
asked, "Are you just going to leave her there?"
think that's for the best."
am I on the floor?"
is a very good question, my dear," Raen replied, though was far too busy
pouring himself another drink to actually answer it.
"It's sticky." "Is it?" "Ooo, a penny!" This was closely followed by a
thump and an "Ouchies," as in the excitement of finding the penny, Faith had tried to stand, subsequently colliding
with the underside of the counter.
was Raen’s turn to laugh, almost spraying his drink all over the bar.
much scraping and cursing, Faith was back on her feet, rubbing her sore brain. Her
eyes were decidedly bloodshot. Gripped the stool, she steadied herself, shaking as she did so. Then came the conundrum of trying to figure out how she was going
to get back on to it, which involved a lot of staring. Her mouth opened and closed as if she were speaking but no sound came out.
A few methods were attempted, all with varying degrees of success, until finally, she went with the hand spring and twist technique. Palms face down on the seat, she pushed
off the floor, twisting in the air before landing on
the stool. At least, that's how it was should have gone.
had been resolutely ignoring her and trying to convince the assembled patronage
that he didn't have a clue who she was. The ruse was thoroughly shattered when Faith ended up
sprawled across his lap, consumed by giggle-snorts.
she said in a silly voice, "fanshy sheeing you here." With that she
was off again, spiralling into mad giggles.
lip quirked in distaste, pushed her roughly on to her own seat, "yes, yes you are
many has she had?" the barman asked, walking over.
the one." Raen’s reply was punctuated by Faith thumping her head on the counter. She groaned.
head feels all squiffy and runny."
doubt that was the alcohol." Raen lifted the bottle, disappointed to see
that it was almost empty.
think my brain’s starting to pour out my nose."
sure your hand will be sufficient enough to catch it."
rolled her forehead over the counter to glare at him. "Meanie."
"Why thank you."
"Where you born an
arsehole," she had to pause, trying to remember what she had been going to
say, "or is it something you've perfected over the millions of years you've been alive?"
decided that aside from the constant giggling and clumsiness, Faith wasn't all that bad when she was sozzled. She still irritating, but she also made him smile and was certainly more interesting
than she was in her usual un-inebriated state; boring, nervous and insufferably
was a gift from the Gods," he replied. Faith’s head had swivelled round
again, a curtain of hair shielding her face from view. Through it, she mumbled,
"Then they're as crap at getting gifts as my aunt."
It was the first time he had heard Faith
mention her aunt. His thoughts took him back to the Other Place, to Faith’s house and the woman he had found
lying on the bed, seemingly dead but for the breath that still forced itself from
did not like your aunt I take it?" he enquired innocently, ready to store
any further information for later use.
Faith didn't respond, trying to sum up her opinions of Clara in just a few words. She
settled on, "She was like Hitler, without the moustache. Actually,"
she mused, "she did have a moustache."
turned her head to look at him. "You know who Hitler was!" "Was he the charming gentleman with the fine moustache?" "You really are an evil bastard." "When I can be bothered. So you were saying, about your aunt?" Faith lifted her chin so it was resting on her arm, staring straight ahead. "She was almost as evil as you are."
see. So, I guess she got what she deserved."
mood darkened, flicking from jovial to mournful with liquid ease. "How could you even say that? No
one deserves what I did."
Raen took his focus off his glass for a moment to look at her. Rich red hair pooled
over the bar, glowing in glossy waves that spilled over her slight shoulders. It was
a waste really, that hair, as the rest of her resembled something that had been chewed up, then
blue eye peeked out from between a few coppery strands, staring at him
unabashedly in a way Faith would never have done were it not for the one glass of alcohol.
was certainly a strange one.
surprisingly he found that he looked forward to seeing what this journey would
do her delicate nature. Would she flourish, rising to the challenges that faced her, or wither?
Sitting back, Raen's eyes locked on to a
clock, hanging from the wall
above the bar. A tempting array of bottles were perched on a shelf just below it, each
containing a sweet nectar that Raen wished he had the time to sample.
he pondered Faiths words, the seconds ticked away, reverberating through his skull, each one like a blow to the head. Oh how he hated the mortals with their accursed clocks, counting every second, measuring the passing of a time that
should never be.
sighed, suddenly irritated and wanting very much to be anywhere else. Standing, he leaned in close, speaking only a hairs breadth from Faith’s ear. His voice was like velvet, quiet but still retaining the joviality of
his earlier mood, which made it sound all the more malevolent. "I can say
that my dear, because I hate, loath and deteste mortals with every fibre of my
being. They are a plague on this world, one that I would very much like exterminated." He stood again, "I am also, not a very nice person."
didn't know which expression to display first. It flickered between complete shock and utter repulsion, the ring of truth clanging loudly in her ears. Her stomach chose that moment to lurch
violently. Whether brought on by alcohol or Raen’s statement, she couldn't
tell, but she needed to throw up.
needed to throw up. Like right now.
a word she leaped from the stool, hand over her mouth. It clattered to the floor as she fled the
room. Raen smiled. Turning back to the
bar, he hailed the Innkeeper, ordering one last drink.
So there it is. For better of worse, it's out there. Obviously this work belongs to me (not that anyone would want to steal it) but still, it is mine, so you can't have it, use it, change it in any way or I will make bad things happen to you (not that I think you'd do that, but still, there are some nasty people out there!!)
I hoped you liked it, or at least found it tolerable.
Hmmm, there's actually quite a lot isn't there. I apologise, I obviously have no concept as to what a 'snippet' actually is.
I don't even know where to start with how utterly consumed with bitter disappointment I am about this book.
It just took all the bad bits from the first book, but amplified them, with no amazing ending to cover them up.
So, let's begin. I don't like Tori, the MC of this novel. I found her cold, distant, hard to relate to and generally unlikeable. She just had this brash, rough manner about her that grated me up the wrong way. I'm guessing that was perhaps what the author intended, for her to be a hard, untrusting, serial liar that is at times, more than a little bland. You can get away with those kinds of characters when they're not carrying the story, but Tori's the Main Character. How are we supposed to engage with someone who just makes it so damned easy to not like them? Then, towards the end, just when I think she can't get any worse, she goes and does something so ridiculously annoying, I very nearly stopped reading right there. It's just a desperate attempt to get attention. The boy she likes found out her entire life is a live, he leaves, and Tori just so happens to pick a spot right near where this boy runs, at exactly the time he runs, to end it all. Then admits she did it a little bit on purpose, with absolutely no regard to how it's going to affect the other person, just guilt tripping him into liking her again, at least that's what it seemed like to me. Considering her personality up till that point, it was totally out of character. And like Alison from Ultraviolet (I'll get to her in a second), Tori spends an unbelievable amount of time talking about herself (which would be ok if she had anything interesting to say) or trying to hype up a threat that has no real presence, nor any real hint of danger, over and over again. Just a vague threat in the background, the only purpose it's serving is to give the illusion that there is some kind of plot going on here. Of which there isn't. The reason why she has to keep reminding us is the story is so blah, with nothing exciting going on, that it's easy to forget that there is any kind of threat.
Anyhoo I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the characters. Ok, so Tori's an irritating robot with barely any personality. Now on to the others. I'm not even going to bother with the equally bland, plus stupidly stereotypical Asian boy, whose strict parents want him to be a doctor when all he wants to do is teach kids PE. Did I mention he wears glasses?...
So, shockingly enough, Sebastian returns. Big surprise, yet in transit he seems to have gone through a personality transplant, as the person who appears is nothing like a Sebastian from Ultraviolet. The author has quite successfully rearranged him into weak, suspicious and cowardly husk, in no way resembling the charming, slightly awkward, but generally agreeable guy we got to know in the first book.
And then there's Alison. Oh. My. God. PEOPLE THAT ANNOYINGLY PATHETIC SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO EXIST. Even when she's not directly involved, when it's other characters talking about her, they make her sound so spineless, and just...WEAK!!! Not only that, but they ladle on the pity with a bucket. It's all 'oh, poor Alison', 'she's so brave', 'she's been through so much, more than any of us could ever imagine, yet she'd such a trooper,'. Look, I get she's been through stuff, and it's going to have an effect, but there are ways of getting people to sympathise with a character without making them so fragile that it's like they're made of glass and if someone so much as looks at them, they'd shatter. Then we hear from the girl herself, though it's through an email, or 'letter' as they insist on calling it. Jeez, the girl is 17 yet she sounds like an old person from some bygone era. Then she's digging for sympathy too, going on about how delicate she's feeling, how paranoid, how much pain she's in, but the way she says it makes me want to throw things at her. SPEAK LIKE A NORMAL PERSON FOR FUCKS SAKE. What teenager sends an email, sorry 'letter!!!!' to her friend saying, 'He held my gaze steadily as he said those words, and his voice didn't waver'. Who would say that?!! She just comes across as so pathetically tragic. Good grief, it's I wonder the girl can stand up, what with having no fucking spine!!!! I just couldn't sympathise because I was busy trying to control my rage.
So now on to the plot. I've already mentioned the author was trying to make something out of nothing. I felt no real threat of danger from either of the bad guys, no sense of urgency with what they were doing, because most of the time I didn't know, as the plot peppered with technical junk that I couldn't give two shits about. Basically there was no need to write a sequel, yet I imagine the publishers pushed her to do it so she had to come up with something, but ultimately missed the mark by miles. She basically seemed to have no idea where to go. It was quite messy in places too, jumping about all over the place, some parts poorly explained, at least to me. A lot of the time the characters appeared to be talking about stuff that they didn't feel inclined to fill me in on. There was also a lot of having to explain actions and motives, which were overly complicated, but without them, quite honestly, I wouldn't have got them otherwise, they were so tenuous and round-about.
Then we have the ending. Bare in mind, that I've been waiting for the same kind of gob-smacking, crazy, brilliant twist that there was at the end of Ultraviolet. So it's get towards the final chapters. Everyone's running around doing stuff. I'm not really sure what, or why because it's all jargon and words that may as well be written in a foreign language for all the sense they made, but they seem pretty panicked and nervous about the whole thing. Then lots of stupid things happen in rapid succession, one after another, each more outrageous and dumb than the last. But no matter how hyped the characters are, when you get down to it, it's an uninspiring and anti-climactic ending. A wet fart of an ending, if you like. Then it gets all cliched and B-movie-esque and I started skipping bits. Apparently though, all of the characters are able to forgive each other, even when they've been lied to, betrayed, used, ignored and been unbearably stupid/irritating. Woop-di-do what a nice neat little ribbon everything has been tied up with.
Oh, hell, I really wanted this to be good. But it's just not.
Didn't finish this, which is a shame as I've been waiting for this to be released in actual book form for ages. Yes, I was mostly drawn in by the cover (as I think a lot of people probably are) but the story sounded pretty interesting too.
The writing was pretty average and in some places quite amateurish, which I would expect from a self published ebook, but not from a book picked up by a big publisher, but I guess they just wanted a piece of the action and by action I mean money.
There was just no excitement. The plot just plodded along, dragging it's knuckles and grunting every now and then. I very rarely not finish a book, but I don't read that much any more, so my patience runs out so much faster when my attention isn't grabbed within the first few chapters. In fact I didn't just not finish, but I gave up halfway through a chapter, halfway through a page!!! That's just crazy!!!
Plus, I can't say I was overly fond of the characters. They were dull and blah really. The love interest was glaringly obvious. The author wasn't very good at subtlety. Gah!!!! I'm having real trouble with trying to get out what I mean, but the main character just came across as stupid because she kept questioning her motives, when it was obvious that at some point the revelation would come that actually, he's an enemy, but 'oh, how I love him so!!', blah, blah, blah...After they had teamed up, the first night they spent together, the angel dude actually gets up in the middle of the night and cuddles up next to her, which made no sense because they're ENEMIES!!!! No effort was put into building the relationship, it's like the author wanted to get to the lovey dovey stuff as quickly as possible.
And the mother?!!! WTF?!!! How was she not committed?!!
Yeah, so, not good I'm afraid. Which is a shame because the cover is very pretty. This then, is a lesson in that we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover!!! Or by it's Goodreads rating. I honestly don't understand why so many people love this.
Ok, my review is crap, but that's because it's poo and I just can't be arsed to write any more. However there are a truck load of 1 star reviews that explain PERFECTLY ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE WRONG WITH THIS BOOK!!! So go read them!!!