Thursday, December 30, 2010

Short Reviews: End-of-the-Year-Catch-up

In an attempt to fit in all the books I've read this year, seeing as I've spent the last three months as a horrible blogging slacker, I'm mashing in three shorter reviews today. I won't include synopses of the books, so click on the book cover if you want to read more about the story! Makes my life a little easier!

The Distant Hours: A Novel Title: The Distant Hours

Author: Kate Morton

Pages: 672 (I have an ARC, so page numbers in finished copies might be different)

Source: Publisher for review

Rating: 10/10

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

My Two Cents:

I just love Kate Morton's work, and I'm sad I was so horrible at reviewing that I can't give this book it's own post.

Although I love all of Morton's characters for one reason or another, this whole cast of characters is by far my favorite as a whole. Edie is great as a narrator: She's likable and curious enough to pursue the family mystery, but loves her mother and her privacy enough that she doesn't openly pry too often. The three Blythe sisters are the perfect picture of old spinsters harboring dark secrets. Edie's mother, Meredith, is probably my favorite, though. She changes, at least in Edie's perception, from a slightly standoffish, rather typical British woman of her era to someone with a layered, emotional past.

Morton's writing is, as always, beautiful, but there's more here than in her other two novels. There's a much deeper mystery to unravel, and Morton's writing takes on a darker, more Gothic character. Sure, the book's kind of a slog at times (At over 600 pages, what book isn't?), but it's well worth it in the end.

Torment (Fallen)
Title: Torment (Fallen #2)

Author: Lauren Kate

Pages: 452

Source: Friend

Rating: 7/10

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

My Two Cents:

While not quite as enthralling as the first book (But really, what sequel is?), this is by far one of the better follow-ups in young adult literature this year. I was worried after a spate of really disappointing sequels (I'm looking at you, Burned, Spirit Bound, Linger and Crescendo) that this would be much the same. However, I was really pleasantly surprised in many ways.

The novel does lose some of its charm when Daniel is off doing his own thing and Luce turns into a whiny teenager. But, Luce's new friends and her attempts to figure out what the shadows are saying to her propel the novel through the slower times. And, it picks right back up once Daniel comes back into the picture.

The ending definitely leaves this series open for the next book, Passion, not due out until next summer. I really want to find out what happens!

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, Book 6)
Title: Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)

Author: Richelle Mead

Pages: 594

Source: Borrowed

Rating: 8/10

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

My Two Cents:

I'm a little mixed in my reaction to this one. For the most part, I loved it and thought it was a great way to wrap up the series. On the other hand, though, some things (Including the ending) seemed a little too neat and tidy for me.

The best part about this book, I think, is that we see very little of Rose and Lissa actually together. We see what Lissa's doing through Rose's eyes, but we don't actually see them together, and I think that really helps Lissa evolve a lot as a character. I only wish it had happened a little sooner in the series.

One of my big disappointments in this book, though, was Dimitri. We got a lot more face time with him than we did in Spirit Bound, which was nice, but he just wasn't as intriguing and engaging as he was in the previous books in the series. Of course, a lot of that has to do with his battling with the things he did as a Strigoi, but I just really, really missed the Dimitri of the first few books of the series.

All in all, though, this was a solid and satisfying ending to this series.


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