Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer

This is the third and final installment in the Mara Dyer trilogy and I am happy to say that I loved the way it ended.  Recently, so many book series have left me feeling like I want to throw the book across the room at the end (and I'm really not a violent person!).  Mockingjay and Allegiant were both endings to fabulous series but left me feeling angry.  I'm so glad I finished this trilogy feeling satisfied.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.  There is.
She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.  She should.
She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.  She will now.
Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived.

My Review:
This series is considered YA but it isn't in any way for the faint of heart.  It is dark, often depressing, and quite violent but it is also almost impossible to put down.  It has an element of fantasy to it in that the characters discover that they have "powers" but instead of glamorizing those powers, the author moves in a different direction.  Mara, the main character, can hurt or kill people just by thinking about their death. Noah, her boyfriend, can heal.  They are light and shadow.  All of the main characters in the book have mental issues and much of the story once they realize their abilities, consists of them trying to survive being victims of experimentation and figure out how they became what they are.

Mara's character was unforgettable.  She showed determination when most would have given up or given in.  Is her story a happy one?  Not really, but there was always that small sliver of hope that she would find what she was looking for and have her chance at a semi-normal future. The book is beautifully written and most of my questions from the second story were answered. There is quite a bit of blood and violence in this book as compared to the others and there were some parts that were downright depressing when you put yourself in the character's shoes.  I sometimes wondered how a few of the characters would be able to live with themselves after some of the horrible things that took place. My only complaint was that Noah wasn't present until about the last third of the book and then it seemed a bit rushed.  The quick, back and forth point of view once Mara and Noah were finally together wasn't a good choice in my opinion but it was a small detail as compared to the rest of the story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

If you are looking for a light paranormal romance, this is not the book for you. However, if you don't mind a more complex but intriguing story line that has a dark edge to it, this is a great trilogy with a decent wrap up that won't leave you disappointed.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Prince Lestat

I had waited years for a worthy follow up to the Vampire Chronicles.  I devoured Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat years ago and they are still to this day two of my all time favorite books.  I enjoyed Queen of the Damned and The Vampire Armand and even give kudos to The Tale of the Body Thief.  Most of the others, however, just fell flat for me so when I heard there was a new Anne Rice book continuing the Vampire Chronicles saga, I was both excited and wary.  

Synopsis from Amazon:
The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned…Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco. As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles-Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures-come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who-or what-the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why…
And, at the book's center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw--the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat…

My Review:
Well, I was right to be wary.  I think I knew in my heart that this book wouldn't hold a candle to the original.  Don't get me wrong, Lestat is still the Brat Prince of the Vampires and does not let the reader down, and it was wonderful to see Louis and Armand and other favorites.  The parts of the book that focused on Lestat and the other well known and well loved characters were engaging and at those moments, I was able to catch a glimpse of the old stories that I loved so much.  However, so much of this book focused on other, lesser known vampires that I wasn't as invested in.  Their stories were mildly interesting and they had purpose to the story but I felt like it was false advertising to call the book, "Prince Lestat" when Lestat was probably present in only about half of the book and he certainly wasn't causing the often jaw-dropping or laugh out loud trouble we are used to reading.  Louis, my favorite character, only barely made an appearance and then suddenly had the lead role in the last chapter, which I'm still not sure I understand.

I think the problem was that I was expecting something I didn't get.  My expectations were too high.  The book was well-written and the last quarter of the book was quite exciting once all of the different chapters/stories began to merge.  I still believe Anne Rice to be a stellar author but I am going back.  I'm going back to reread those first two books that kept me up until wee hours of the morning on the edge of my seat, reveling in the Vampire world and its colorful and unforgettable characters.  These are the stories I want to hold onto and remember forever.

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