Category Archives: fantasy
How much do you know about Circe? Only remember her as the one who turned men into pigs? Ever wondered what her backstory was? Circe was disgraced, cast out and forced to find a way to stand on her own two feet. She went from wishing anyone would see her, to hiding from the world to finding her place in the moral and immortal world.
I have stated in past reviews and posts that I adore mythology. Something about these past stories still speaking to us today pulls me in. I love learning about how ancient people tried to make sense of the world we live in. Take that love and give me a new way of seeing a character I have read about before and you have my undivided attention.
I know of Circe as the woman who turned men into pigs and that was all I knew about her. So when I saw this book popping up on blog after blog I had to give it a try and I adored it. I thought the way this book breathed new life into a character I knew next to nothing about and really didn’t care about, was fantastic.
I loved the progression of Circe’s character throughout the story. She starts off as someone who is left out. She is the unwanted child of Helios. She is not special, she is missing something. She does not stand out and no one sees her.
I thought it was really interesting how she fought to be seen when she was younger. She goes so far as to trying to get herself punished. She thinks if she does something everyone hates at least someone will know her. Someone will notice her. I found it really interesting how this is the place where she started.
Throughout the book we learn how she was able to find a way to be true to herself. She didn’t need anyone to see her because she saw herself. She found purpose in her own life, in her own talents and destiny. She found her feet and she stood proudly tall. Her evolution was inspiring and great to read.
The writing of this book was lyrical. I fell into the words and they kept me captured throughout the story. The comparisons made were unique. I felt like I have never read a book quite like this one before. I never found myself feeling like I have heard the metaphors or similes used before. It swept me onward and through the the story and I wanted to read it not only for the story but for the way the words sounded in my head.
I also found it really interesting how Odysseus was portrayed in this story. I know him as this larger than life hero. He stands high and he is noble. He does everything he can to get home and take care of his wife and son. I saw him as this perfect man and this book gives us a different angle of this man who we thought we knew.
I liked that this story made Odysseus more human. He is flawed and we see that shine bright in this story. He is a man who will fight for what he wants and he kills whenever necessary. We see that darker side of him in this book, we see that he is not perfect. Through his story we get a look at PTSD in a character as well. The fact that this was explored without really naming it was interesting.
I also really enjoyed how this book explored bigger ideas that connect to us today. A good book can remark on our world without having to be outright blatant about it. You don’t have to give a lecture on rape culture to get your message across. Miller does a great job at commenting on real life events in a non-heavy handed way.
My only issue with this book was how it ended. I loved the progression of Circe but I thought we were cheapened by the end. It felt a bit rushed. I wanted to see the way Circe took that last step into becoming who she was meant to be. Everything led up to that point and then it happened in a matter of pages.
We really only get a summary of the last part of her life. I wanted more. I wanted to feel that final connection her and how she ended up.
There was nothing that threw me out of this story. I enjoyed the character development, the plot lines and the writing.
I gave this book five stars on Goodreads. I was enthralled the whole way through and am eager to read her other book, The Song of Achilles.
“Beneath the smooth, familiar face of things is another that waits to tear the world in two.” (pg. 16)
“Sons were not punished.” (pg. 182)
“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep. ” (pg. 206)
April, Jalil, David and Christopher are trapped in a world that shouldn’t exist. Myths are supposed to stay on the page. Merlin shouldn’t be fighting dragons. Galahad is in storybooks. Not in Everworld, in Everworld all their wildest myths and stories are living and breathing. Question is can our group stay that way as well?
This book ventures into Merlin and King Author myth territory. I really like the idea of the Arthur myths. I think they intrigue me because they are myths that have a touch of reality to them. No one knows for sure if they are true or not. We know that Zesus was a myth and that Loki never played tricks on people. But the Arthurian legends could be based on real people.
I liked in this story though that Arthur is not our main focus. Galahad is our focus in this one, which is interesting. We get to see a different character than people generally see in similar retellings. Merlin is prominent but not in a connection to Arthur. I liked that aspect.
I am enjoying the way the group is able to go back to the real world and make sense of what they are encountering. In this book Galahad and Gawain had similar memories of looking for the Holy Grail. Neither knew why, they just accepted it. They find out it is because our stories have them both in that role. I liked that we see this connection to the myth characters. They are influenced by their connections to our modern world.
I do enjoy the fact that we don’t just focus on typical mythologies in this series. While Loki and Zeus do play a part we also see people like Galahad and I know later elves. The lesser myths got carried along in the wake of the larger myths which is interesting. We are given a broader world and a more full world this way. It is all our stories connecting into one world.
I know that we are going to be getting Jalil’s POV next and eventually Senna’s. I am really interested in both of their stories. I remember that April, David and Christopher’s were pretty simple and predictable but the other two are a bit more of wild cards. I am really interested to see how they play into the larger picture.
This book was told from April’s POV and I had a bit of an issue with her. She is someone who is all talk but little action. She talks about wanting to not be the damsel that gets saved but then can’t take care of herself. She needs saving all the time.
She is hard to understand because she is constantly wanting Galahad to save her but she also sees that as annoying as well. She knows she needs to stand up for herself more but also realizes that isn’t easiest for her. I like how self-aware she is but I also want to see her use that self-awareness to actually start making a change for herself.
I like these stories. I love the plot and the characters are great. I am having more and more of an issue with the writing itself though. Not only is is choppy it is very repetitive. The same words or phrases are used over and over again. Sometimes right after one another. I know this adds emphasis but it does get tiresome.
Also I think this series may be where I got the habit of using synonyms too much. I found that when I write I tend to write something like “It was a beautiful, gorgeous day outside.” There is no need for both of those words, they tell the same thing. I see that happen a lot in this book. I know this book stuck with me when I was a teenager and I think that idea or habit in writing crept into my style a bit.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I am enjoying the series still. I am just curious to see April grow a bit more and have to not focus on some aspects of the writing too much.
“He was a legend….We didn’t know him, but we knew what he represented. He was good standing up against evil. He was the strong man defending the weak. He was brave when the odds were against him.” (pg. 161)
The group has survived their encounter with the Vikings, even made friends with them. They are still on the run from Loki, though he is the least of their problems right now. A heart hungry god and blood thirsty Aztecs are staring them in the face. Can they survive? If they do can they ever get home?
(This is a review for the second book in the series. Naturally there will be spoilers for the first book at times).
I remember how much I loved Christopher in these books and I am glad to see that I still love his character. His is witty, he is funny and he is the one that I thought sounded most like a teenager. He doesn’t have a beyond-his-age view of life, like Jalil. He is your average guy just trying to make it through this adventure with his head and heart in one place.
I also found it interesting that Christopher has a good family. A lot of times the comedy relief character comes from a broken home. They use humor as a defense mechanism. This is different though. Christopher has a great family. His parents are still together and he has a brother he loves. He is just a funny guy who is trying to find his way. I liked this characterization because it makes me want to see how he progresses, since it is not a usual character type. I feel like I don’t know where his character will go.
I also found it interesting and a testament to the writing that in this book I was very annoyed by David. Reading about him from Christopher’s point of view made me want to shake him. In the last book I understood where David was coming from, I understood why he was obsessed with finding Senna and risking all their lives.
In this book I was right onboard with Christopher and just wanted him to get his crap together. I was annoyed that he was always putting them all in danger. I was irritated that he could not think beyond Senna. Applegate does a great job of making you feel the story from the P.O.V character. I thought it was really interesting how this changed in this book. I am eager to keep reading to see how I view Christopher from April or Jaili’s P.O.V.
There was also a bit of call back to first book scenes in this book. In the first book David remembers hearing a coach berate a player, using some horrible terms and destroying this kid’s self-esteem. Then in this book there is a moment where the gym teacher is quite cruel to Christopher. You realize it is the same man. She makes sure to keep things in line and in order here. Someone is mentioned in one place they appear in another, there is no discontinuity which I appreciate.
I felt like all the action in this book appeared n the first half. They are fighting the Aztecs and trying to escape. Then they do and they are just wandering around for a bit. We meet some new players in the story, (Merlin and the Coo-Hatch), but it slowed down considerably in the last half. I think it would have been better to keep that momentum through to the end.
I am still eager to read the rest of the series but I didn’t race through the end like I did in the first book.
I am still enjoying my re-read. I haven’t come onto anything that feels out of sorts or thrown me out of the story. Even at almost 30 I can still relate to this story and am finding new aspects to it.
I gave this 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I am eager to see how the character progress I just wish the end was a bit more exciting.
“There was nothing human here. Man’s god and demons and monsters were always mostly human. Distorted in form or power, but mostly human.” (pg. 110) (I found this interesting because it is very true. We tend to make all our gods and demons close to us, creatures we can relate to in some fashion).
One minute four strangers are standing on the bank of a lake. They are all watching a girl they know by name, but don’t truly know. The next moment they are pulled along with her into another universe. A universe where gods rule, giant wolves chase you down and nothing is impossible. Now the search is one to find Senna and return to their real lives.
I was in love with this series when I was in high school. I read it over and over again. I loved the concept but I mostly remember loving the characters and the dialogue.
The dialogue was my main pull to this series. It was one of the first times I remember hearing characters that sounded real, like people I met every day.
I recently finished reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and I kept thinking of this series as I read it. I remembered this series uses all kinds of mythology and I found myself wanting to re-read these books again.
I was worried. Worried that the magic would disappear from these books. As someone who is almost 30 I thought I would not be able to relate to the characters. I thought I would feel like it was clunky or not well written. I wondered if this was a series I should just leave on my shelf for nostalgia purposes.
I am glad I began reading it again. In this first book I felt the same love I did when I was 16. I love the characters. They still feel real to me. They still talk like teenagers talk. There is no forced dialogue or weird sounding sentences. Too many times teenagers are written to sound like adults and that always annoys me. Here they use jargon, they makes stupid jokes and they all sound different.
I found myself liking David’s character more in this book too. I don’t remember liking him much before. Now I see his point of view better. He doesn’t want to live in a world that dictates every move. Much like myself he has serious problems with the pre-planned life that so many people seem to think you need to live by. He doesn’t want to do the path of graduate, job, marriage then kids. He wants something different and new.
I also noticed in this reading that there are much deeper storylines then I picked up on before. In this book were get hints of abuse in David’s life. I didn’t realize how dark this series was. I am curious to see how it progresses and how I pick up on how these elements shape him throughout the story.
I remember this series making use of a lot of different mythologies and legends. I am eager to see how they play together now that I know more about them. I like in this one that I understood the Norse mythology references. I think I will have a deeper appreciation for this world now that I have more knowledge about the source material.
The sentences in this book are quite short. Many of them are one or two words long. I am okay with the sometimes but I do feel like it may be overused here. It works when the character is in panic mode. But it isn’t necessary all the time. I think it slows things down a little bit too much.
I also noticed there are a lot of things mentioned that date this book. David talks about Blockbuster and Borders. It doesn’t harm the story at all. It just is interesting because I don’t feel like this is happening now. I know this was the past even if there is no date and time associated with the story. Just an interesting idea to think about the way things can date a story or change the timeline even if you don’t mean for them too.
As of this book I don’t have anything that is really throwing me out of the story. I still feel connected to the characters. I understand the world and I am still eager to continue on with this adventure even though I know how it ends.
I did take my rating down from 5 to 4 stars on Goodreads for this book. It is fun and exciting but I do think I am not as connected to it as I was when I was younger.
“But being scared was one thing. That was normal. How you acted once you were scared – that’s what mattered.” (pg. 33)
“‘Maybe dreams aren’t in your head. Maybe dreams are memories of another universe.'” (pg. 144)
Last month the Harry Potter books came out with new covers for the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter books. I couldn’t afford the whole series but I did get the third book and the sixth book, my two favorites of the series. I recently re-read the third book so I decided to re-read the sixth book this time.
The reason the sixth book is my second favorite is because of the back story given to Voldemort. I am the kind of person who likes the villain of the story to have a story. I have a problem when the antagonist is just there to cause trouble but we never find out why. I believe a story gets stronger when we can understand why a person makes the choices they make.
The look into Voldemort’s past is fascinating to me. I loved seeing when he was as a child to the moment when he started figuring out how to become immortal. It is interesting because we see that he had several opportunities to turn around. We also got to see the resentment and anger that resided in him since he was a child.
When I first read the series I just saw him as this evil man who had no morals and no reason for doing what he was doing. In this book we got to see the reason. We got to see why he might have turned that direction. He was raised without any love or affection. He was forced to grow up quickly and take care of himself.
Now not every person who grows up parentless turns into a murderer (i.e. Harry) but this book gave us a way to understand the man behind the evil actions. Part of me felt bad for him. I remember reading the first time feeling upset that he was left with this route. But then you look at Harry and see what choices he could have made.
Harry grew up without parents too and yet he was the complete opposite of Voldemort. Which then raises the question of nature versus nurture. Harry’s parents died protecting him, Voldemort’s abandoned him. Does that change things? Some very fascinating questions are raised throughout this story.
One of my favorite scenes is in this book. After Harry and Dumbledore look at the memory about the Horcruxes we get a speech that is very significant for this series. Harry doesn’t understand how love can be the power he has that will win him the final battle. He can’t see past what the prophecy says. He is stuck until Dumbledore makes him understand.
This whole speech is so interesting and important, not only for this story. Seeing Harry come to realize that his heart is what he has that has kept him whole his entire life. His heart and his love for those around him is what matters. Voldemort never allowed himself the ability to love. He closed that door when he was a child. Harry never gave up trying to find that comfort and love. He didn’t turn to the darkness for comfort. Instead he allowed people in, allowed them to take care of him when he needed it. We see what happens when you don’t give up, no matter the darkness that seems to surround you.
This book was also the first time I read a book where a main character died. Sirius’s death was tragic for me because I loved his character, but Dumbledore’s death was traumatizing in a sense. He seemed so important, so significant that I thought there was no way he would die. I had never read a book where someone like that died. That didn’t happen in younger books.
Dumbledore dying was the moment you realized that anything can happen. No one is immune and anyone can be gone tomorrow. I already knew this but this book hit that point home. The end makes you realize how important it is to say what you need to say to those around you.
Lastly I loved the very end of this book where Harry is trying to convince Ron and Hermione to allow him to search for the Horcruxes alone. Hermione reminds him that when they were in their first year he gave them the chance to turn back, to leave him. They decided to stay. Throughout five years they stayed by his side and they were not going to abandon him now.
The true power of friendship shown through this book. You see in this moment that those people who have stood at your side for years, through it all, are not going to disappear at the tough moments. If they had chances to turn back in the past and didn’t, then trust them to be there throughout it all.
What lessons have you learned from you favorite books?
Jess and friends are in trouble. They are separated. There is a plan but what will be the cost of that plan? Can a small group take on the might of the Library? Who will survive and what will their world look like after?
(This is a review for the fourth book in a series, thus there will be spoilers for the previous 3 books).
All of the books of the Great Library series up until this point have been from Jess’s point of view. We have seen everything through his eyes so we get a limited look at what is going on around us. We get his opinion but we aren’t sure what everyone else is feeling. We have an idea but nothing concrete.
In this book we got multiple POV’s and I loved it. We got to see the story not only from Jess’s eyes but from Morgan, Wolfe and Khalila as well. (We also got a few moments from Thomas and Santi too). I loved this addition.
It is kind of odd to do something like this 4 books into a series but I think it really opened up the story. In this book specifically the group is split up for quite a while. If we only got Jess’s portion it would have seemed boring and a bit annoying. So much would have happened without our knowledge. It would have seemed forced and pushed.
I liked this addition not only because it helped make the story feel more connected but also because we got closer to some of the characters. I have always like Wolfe’s character. I think he is interesting because he has a past and a present that are so different. He has been tortured but still finds a way to move forward. He loves with his whole heart but still can hold grudges and anger. In this book we actually got to see his true depth and it made his character even better.
Khalila was always interesting to me but she never held my attention fully. I liked her but wasn’t attached. In this book I became attached to her. She is strong. She is no-nonsense. She is loyal and I want her to end up at the one who takes over. She is the perfect leader. I found myself actually caring about her in this book.
While this book did a lot set up again it did leave me anxious for the end of the series. I know there is going to be a serious fight. I just hope it all pays off like I want it to. I also hope we don’t lose too many of the characters.
I enjoy these books but one of the problems with them is the fact that I feel like they are always spinning their wheels. I understand why this book was full of set up, it had to be to get us to the end. Though I do think this one could have been combined with the last book.
I think this series would have been fine as a 3 book series. I think some of the going back and forth could have been cut and given us a bit more action. I think cutting some of the random wanderings would have upped the anticipation aspect of the story. We would have gotten a more urgent feel from this story.
The end of this book was so quick. There was a lot of lead up to the moment and it was all over very fast. Again I think if it was the half way point that lead into the finale I would have found it more satisfying. Instead I felt a bit let down and now I have to wait for the next book, losing all that momentum I had from that moment.
There is one point in the book where Morgan is doubting her love for Jess. She talks about how she know she loves him but doesn’t know if she is in love with him. I liked her hesitation at this point. I felt like it was going in an interesting direction. I thought we would see her struggling with the idea of loving someone but not being in love.
I thought maybe she was even aromantic in some manner. I thought it was interesting to see her discovering this part of herself but the end crushed that idea. She realizes she loves him, which is fine. This isn’t an insta-love scenario, it was developed over 4 books. I just thought it would be more interesting to see a character struggling with a bigger concept in the midst of the other battles they are dealing with.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I enjoyed it. I am anxious for the end. I just wished it was a bit tighter and left my heart racing a bit more.
“Power rotted from within.” – (pg. 18)
“Tyrants turned on their own, in the end; it was the only way to keep power.” (pg. 89)
“That denying knowledge to others was a tactic of war.” (pg. 191)
“Freedom doesn’t mean you have to leave. It means you choose. It isn’t done for you.” (pg. 246)
Rini lands in the pond at Elenor West’s Home for Wayward Children. She is looking for her mother, Sumi. Problem is that Sumi died a few years earlier. Rini, with the help from some of the wayward children sets out to fix the past so that she can exist in the future
This was probably my favorite book in this series so far. This one I think had the strongest and the most interesting plot. I love a good story about a paradox. I also loved that this was a journey to put someone back together.
I wasn’t sure how exactly this story was going to play out when I read the summary. I didn’t know if it was going to just be about Rini and her journey or if we were going to involve other characters. I loved that we got to see some of our favorites from the pervious book.
This book made me want to learn more about Christopher. I was only half interested in him from the other books. This book showed me that he has more to his story. I would love to have his book. I think he has a fascinating backstory and I want to know more about the world he was in.
I really enjoyed that the process of putting together Sumi involved more than just a simple spell or trick. Sumi was a complex person and putting her back together was a process. She needed all parts of her, not just her skeleton but her soul and her nonsense as well. This was a great look at how people are not just one thing, we all are complex human beings. If you lose one piece of yourself you are missing something vital. In the end Sumi needed the essential parts of herself to live again.
This book also looked at how nonsense and logic can work together. Just became something seems crazy or out of sorts doesn’t mean there isn’t some rules. Rules don’t have to be insufferable or annoying, they can be helpful. Rules don’t have to make life not fun. I think this showed how complex this world is as well. We get to see the different directions that exist int his world and are getting a even more clear picture of how this place works.
Each one of these books is short and I think sometimes that hurts the story a little bit. We get glimpses of people but don’t get to truly dive into anyone. We get introduced to Cora and Nadya, but we don’t get too much about them. We know they are both from water worlds but that is about it. We do know that Cora struggled with her body but I wanted to know more about her and her past.
We get hints at these characters but none are fully developed right away. I guess it does help build up for sequels. I hope we get more about them in future stories just so we have full pictures of them and they aren’t just side characters meant to fill out the cast.
There was nothing in this book that bothered me or made me have to pause while reading. I was able to get absorbed in the book and fly through it.
I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads. It was a fun ride that showed us more about the world and the characters in it.
“We try to make things make sense, even when they’re never going to.” (pg. 32)
“Futures, pasts, it didn’t matter. Everything fell apart.” (pg. 34)
“We don’t go where we’re not meant to be, even if we sometimes get born the wrong place.” (pg. 61)
“The fact that they had survived different somethings didn’t change the fact that they would always be, in certain ways, the same.” (pg. 106)
“It took me years of saving a world that stopped wanting me when I changed my pronouns to figure it out.” (pg. 110)
“There is kindness in the world, if we know how to look for it. If we never start denying it the door.” (pg. 174)
We know how Jack and Jill’s story ends but how did it begin? Who were these girls before they found their doorway? What did coming to The Moors do for them and to them? How does life change when you are given the opportunity to explore a life that you were always denied?
This was a look at how Jack and Jill became the characters we meet in Every Heart a Doorway. I always love seeing the evolution of characters and how they get to the point they are at when we meet them. I was only half interested in both of these characters in the first book. By the end of this story I was much more attached to them.
Jack and Jill were raised as two very specific people. Jack was the princess her mother always wanted while Jill was raised as the boy her father never had. Both of them were never given the chance to explore who they were on their own. They were shoved into specific roles and punished for stepping outside of them. They had parents who only cared about the image they provided and not who they were as people.
I love that the whole concept of this series is that doors appear to people who need them. Jack and Jill needed somewhere to live out their lives and be who they truly wanted to be. They were provided with a chance to walk through a door and see the vast possibilities spread out before them. I love this exploration.
I love watching a character learn who they truly are as a person. I love watching them fight back the damage done by others around them. This had one of my favorite storylines, characters owning who they truly are.
I liked seeing the way both of the girls changed over time. Jill became darker. She became the more girly one but she also had a darker soul. We saw the lengths she is willing to go to keep what she holds dear.
While Jack became more of a tomboy but she also was softer. She had a more caring side to her. You saw it with her relationships with the people around her. I liked how the character types and personalities played against the usual assumptions. Each of these characters was very dynamic which was great to read.
I also really liked the tone of storytelling in this book. There was a sense of fairytale aspect to it. I liked this type of tone in the story and it helped push the message of the book home.
I felt like we concentrated on Jack a bit more than Jill. I felt like I was more connected to her character throughout the story. I would have liked a bit more from Jill. Jill is the one who becomes dark and I would have liked to understand that journey a bit more.
I think this book would have also benefitted from being longer. There was big jumps in time and I think we lost some development of the characters throughout those portions. We could have had a longer look at the change in the beginning. That was the time when things changed the most and I think we only hit the surface of the true story.
I loved these characters and I would love to know what happened when they returned to The Moors after Every Heart is a Doorway. I was hoping for a glimpse at that time in this book but we didn’t get any. I want to know how they change again. There has to be a big shift in their lives now and I would love to know more about that story.
There was nothing in this book that threw me out of the story. It was a great look at the development of the characters. While it would have benefited from being longer that didn’t necessarily hurt the story.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. It was a great tale that could have just been a bit longer.
“It can be easy, when standing on the lofty shores of adulthood, not to remember that every adult was once a child, with ideas and ambitions of their own.” (pg. 13)
“She had tried to make sure they knew that there was a hundred, a thousand, a million different ways to be a girl, and that all of them were valid, and that neither of them was doing anything wrong.” (pg. 34)
“Each of them wanted people to see them, not an idea of them that someone else had come up with.” (pg. 38)
“Every choice feed every choice that comes after, whether we want those choices or no.” (pg. 63)
“Children have preferences. The danger comes when they, as with any human, are denied those preferences for too long.” (pg. 107)
Children disappear and go to wondrous lands. Lands where they can belong and find their true potential. Then those children have to come back to our world. Adapting to life in the mundane world can be difficult which is where Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children comes in. It is a place to learn how to thrive in their new situation.
Nancy is back in the land of the living and she isn’t sure what she thinks about her new situation. She feels lost but quickly finds out she isn’t the only one. Just as she begins to find her place in her new school, people start turning up dead. Who is killing people? And will they lose their only safe place in this harsh and difficult world?
I have heard great things about this series for a long time. I have not seen one negative review concerning this book or the series as a whole. I have had it on my shelf for a while and finally decided to take it down. I am so glad I did. I ripped through this book with a fervor. It was entrancing and full of magic and wonder.
This is very much a character driven story. The characters are what make this book. I will say that the plot isn’t all that exciting, it is the characters that made me want to keep flipping pages.
Each child at this home has found a door to a new and strange world. I loved that the doors appeared to kids who felt as if they did not belong. They were presented with a new world where they could find their place and their purpose. I loved this interpretation of this whole magical world idea.
Often characters are just thrown into magical worlds without much thought. They are there to disrupt things most of the time. In this story the doors are there as a guide. I thought it was interesting how they were given this opportunity to find a new place for themselves. I also thought it was interesting that they were then responsible for enabling themselves to fit into their new world.
Every character in this story was unique. They all held attributes of the world’s where they grew up. I loved how you could feel where they came from by the way they talked and acted. None of them felt like they fell into any character archetype. They were all uniquely themselves.
I thought this was a great way of showing who each character was and where they came from without going into their backstories fully. You got a great sense of all the worlds right away by just the way each of them spoke and acted. It was a great use of showing and not telling.
I also really liked the way the different type of worlds were described. McGuire used directions to give you an idea of how this universe worked. The four main directions being Virtue, Wicked, Nonsense and Logic. You then filled in sub directions from there. I instantly could visualize and understand how this world was laid out. I thought that was clever way of describing the world.
This also had a great diverse cast of characters. We had a transgender character. We have characters of different nationalities. We had characters that did not follow gender roles or stereotypes. We had a asexual character. I loved how different they all were yet were all connected by their desire to return to their magical lives.
The plot, as I mentioned above, is not very strong. The plot itself its pretty basic. There are people being killed, they investigate and figure it all out. There is no real surprise to anything and really not too much happens until the end.
It was the characters that made this story. I wasn’t too upset about the lack of complex plot because I was just captured by the characters and their personalities. I think making it a little longer might have fleshed out pieces of the plot.
The end did feel rushed but again it wasn’t something I found myself upset over. I do think adding another 50 pages or so might have made the process of finding the killer a bit more detailed but it didn’t really hurt the story over all.
There was nothing that threw me out of the story. I did find myself wanting to know more about everyone in the home. Thankfully the sequels all tell different stories about different characters. That being a fact made me not feel like I was missing out on anything.
I have this a 5 star rating on Goodreads. I adored the characters and am eager to learn more about some of them throughout the rest of the books.
“Narrate the impossible things, turn them into a story, and they can be controlled.” (pg. 1)
“Hope hurts.” (pg. 30)
“You shouldn’t close a door just because you don’t like what’s on the other side.” (pg. 56)
“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.” (pg. 59) (Talk about a powerful quote!)
“Their love wanted to fix her, and refused to see that she wasn’t broken.” (pg. 83)
Chet has just gotten out of jail. He is determined to turn his life around. He finds his wife Trish and runs away with her. He runs to his grandmother’s house. A grandmother he thinks will protect him and help them all start fresh.
What Chet doesn’t know is that his kindly grandmother is actually a demon. She is hell-bent on capturing their unborn child and using its soul to rejuvenate herself. She kills Chet and sends him to purgatory. Chet finds himself in a hell-scape that is under attack. He must survive to find a key to get him home before Trish and his unborn child meet him in this underworld.
I liked the setting of this book. It was interesting because it took place in purgatory. I have read very few books that take place in purgatory. Usually it is either Heaven or Hell, rarely is it in the space in-between. It was interesting to explore this world and see how it operates. It was much different setting than I have seen before.
I also thought it interesting that almost all the characters were expendable. Some times you get into a story and realize that no one is in any real danger. Everyone is protected because they are main characters. In this book Chet was the only one that I thought was always going to get revived. Some of the characters I thought were going to be big players throughout the story died early. I liked that because it keeps you on your toes and guessing.
I also thought the idea of the old gods and “One Gods,” was great. I liked hearing about this separation and how there were these two time periods of gods. I thought it was an interesting addition to the story. I love stories that explore the idea of gods and religion and putting all them into one was a good addition. I just wish that they had been the focus of the story and not Chet.
I felt like this was one of those stories that just ran from obstacle to obstacle. Chet would get himself into one issues, someone would save him and he would then be onto the next one. It felt very formulaic to me.
I wanted to see the problems grow on one another. I wanted to see him building up something and not just running around in circles. He would get captured, freed and captured again. It was a constant back and forth with the same idea. I wanted the plot to have a bit more substance to it.
I also thought the idea of how the gods could get revived by Ka was used way too much. As soon as we were introduced to the idea it was used every other chapter to heal someone. The idea I liked earlier of characters being expendable faded when this new healing aspect showed up. Suddenly everyone was savable.
The old gods we meet get taken down so many time to be revived over and over again. It was almost as if these parts were there to expand the page count and plot line a bit longer. We had about three different fight scenes where they all go seriously injured, looked like they were defeated and then were saved. We could have done one, two at the most. It got very repetitive.
This story focused on Chet and his desire to get home to save his family. That was fine but that wasn’t what held my interest in the story. I actually didn’t really like Chet or Trish. It thought they were very flat and didn’t strike me as appealing in any way. They could have done with more fleshing out.
What held my interest and the real reason I finished this book was the fight between the old gods and the Green coats and the “One Gods” part in it all. I loved the idea and I think the book could have been so much better had it focused on that fight instead.
That part of the story was how the old gods are fading because no one believes in them or prays to them. They were banished to purgatory by the “One Gods” or the gods of all the major religions of today, Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus etc. They are fighting to stay alive in this new world.
The Green coats are souls who want to get rid of the gods and rule with demons and Lucifer. This was fascinating to me. I wanted to see how this played out. I wanted more about the old gods and how they ruled when they were on Earth. I wanted their full back story. I wanted to see them fight for their land and way of life. I wanted to see them encounter the “One Gods” and figure out how to co-exist.
Instead we got Chet running around and bits and pieces of the other story. I feel like there was a missed opportunity to tell the real fascinating story.
I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads. I only finished it because I wanted to see if we got anymore from the god storyline.
“Death is madness and chaos – a hundred gods fighting over the dead.” (pg. 93)
“Soon, very soon, souls will no longer kneel to the gods.” (pg. 150)
“A god, a true god, gives man meaning to their existence….” (pg. 280).
“Peace comes from knowing you helped those that you could.” (pg. 379)