Monday, 30 June 2008

On Phury and Cormia

'Cause my thoughts on the main couple of Lover Enshrined are a little too much for one review I'm posting them separately here. This is just my interpretation of the relationship based on my thoughts of the book. I am hoping that because Phury and Cormia are living in Rehv's house we'll get to see more of them in the next book because I'm not that keen on the ending of LEn, it kind of just wound down.

One thing that I don't think served any of the relationships in Lover Enshrined was the time lag between it and LU. I'm not sure why there had to be a gap of months between the books. Personally as a reader it meant that Phury's relationship with Cormia somehow remained in limbo even though it feels like it essentially picked up directly from the end of LU. And the attitudes of the Brothers to Phury feel overly harsh because we can't appreciate his decline. So time has moved on (quite a way) between the two books, but the action feels static. (Hope that makes sense.)


He was never one of my favourite Brothers, was always a pale reflection of Z - up until the moment he carved into his face and cut off his hair at the end of Lover Awakened. Considering this is his book, he's perhaps not best served by it. But the style of the series is changing and given his circumstances I'm not sure it could have gone down any other way.

Phury has an addictive personality which when focused postively allows him to achieve the impossible - finding his twin after Zsadist was lost for a century. But this also leaves him vulnerable when he loses that focus. This is one reason why he's actually an excellent choice for Primale. It's a responsibility that he will be more than able to cope with - now he's worked out a way to make it acceptable.

At the beginning of the book what Phury needs is another Phury, or maybe even a Darius figure. (Remember at the end of Lover Awakened it was JM who stopped him taking the heroin the first time). Instead Rhage, Butch and Vishous are notable only by their absence. Wrath doesn't seem to know how to handle the situation and Zsadist is far too messed up - if he tries to save Phury he risks being pulled under himself and he's got Bella and the baby to worry about. Essentially it appears that they wash their hands of him.


I would rank Cormia as equal to Bella in this series, only behind Beth and Mary. She sees through Phury.
Don't lie," she snapped...
She won't let him get away with lying to her. Him or anyone else. When JM slips up and confesses he's mute, she calls him on it.

If Butch and Marissa were an attraction of opposites then Phury and Cormia are soulmates. She could choose not to return to the other side when he takes another First Mate, but like Phury she's got the self-sacrifice and martyr thing down pat.

There is strength in her though, there is backbone, and if she can't admit her feelings to other people she at least has the courage to be honest with herself.
She did not want to be one of many.
Not with the Primale. Not to him.
And not to herself.

Four months is too long for someone who is this self-aware to have been hanging around the mansion not doing anything.

This is what Phury has lost, this is the part of himself he can't or won't face - the ability to look at yourself and not flinch at what you see.

Phury & Cormia

For most of this book when Phury says or does something, he's actually saying or doing something else. ( :) - remember this is my interpretation).

At the beginning of the story he's drawing Cormia, consciously he may be trying to draw Bella, but Cormia is fighting through - that's why he thinks the eyes and the hair are wrong, when in actual fact they're right.

When he talks about the Puccini lovesong he's talking about Cormia - his dream of Bella (his castle in the air) is replaced by hope (Cormia).

Whenever he says I can't do this...I'm a virgin...I've been with a prostitute. What he's really saying is - I'm a drug addict. And it's not until after he confesses his addiction to Cormia that they really make love for the first time. After that confession before he decides to take Cormia as his shellan, if he had chosen the traditional path of the Primale, the only Chosen he would ever have loved would have been Cormia.

The scene where he confesses his addiction to her and tells her he loves her is actually my favourite scene between the two of them, because it's honest, painful and beautiful. That's the moment that made their relationship work for me.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Lover Enshrined by J.R.Ward

There have been so many reviews of this book already. Is there room for one more?

I think if you haven't read the previous 5 books then you are going to struggle to follow the plot of this one because the worldbuilding and plot layering have become that complex.

Lover Enshrined picks up a few months after the end of Lover Unbound. Phury has slipped further into his addiction. Cormia pretty much seems to stay in her room. The whole Brotherhood is fed up with Phury but don't really know how to deal with him. The Omega hatches his secret plan - quite cleverly referenced at the end of Lover Revealed. The Lessers go on the offensive in a big way. We find out lots more about Rehv. And the new troika of Blay, Qhuinn and JM have perhaps the best plot/sub-plot in the book.

I liked this book. For me it was a vast improvement over Lover Unbound. As I think most aspects have been covered (probably better) elsewhere. I'm going to stick to a what worked for me and what didn't format for this review.

What I liked and what worked for me:-

Phury and Cormia - I'm actually going to post about them separately as I've got quite a few things to say. :) Yep, it might be a bit of an essay.

John Matthew - I freely admit to always reading his bits first. I could have a whole list here of his awesomeness. JM & Xhex. JM and Qhuinn, JM and Tohr, JM and Cormia.

The new troika - of Blay, Qhuinn and JM. By far the most interesting secondary plot, though I am biased. I liked the whole thing of Qhuinn becoming an ahstrux nohtrum. The two characters (for me) that go on the furthest journey in this book are Lash and Qhuinn. Plus Qhuinn without doubt had all the best lines.
How are you doing?
"I wish I were a smoker."...
No, you don't. You hate smoking.
"When I face the firing squad, I may rethink that hard line."
His whole meeting with Wrath is brilliantly written. Burning question - What did Qhuinn see in the Fade?

Omega and the Lessers - I think I'm in the minority of people who actually read all the Lesser bits. Mainly because you don't know when something important is going to be snuck in there. I like the insight we get into the Omega in this installment. There was also a nice tie-in to the Omega's comments to Butch at the end of Lover Revealed about how he should keep his family close.

The new leader of the Lessers is very happy to have taken out all but two of the heads of the founding families. Surely this has to be Rehv and Marissa - they are the heads of their families aren't they? And I think they'll actually be tougher to take out than the Lessers are anticipating.

Lash - It would have been so easy to make him completely evil. But I can't help feel sympathy for the character - in fact it's much easier to empathize with him in this book than it was in the previous books. I think what's going to be interesting over the upcoming books - especially as we have his POV - is how he's going to deal - is he going to accept that biology is everything and he has to be his father's son. Or is he going to be saved. And at this point I still think it's possible to save him. Burning question - why did Havers lie?


Lassiter - really not sure about him. Going to have to wait and see how he plays out in future books. I'm wary of mixing the Brother mythology with the Judeo/Christian.

Acronyms and Texting - For the most part this wasn't a problem, but there are a couple of acronyms I'd have to look up if I wanted to know what they meant. And if that sort of thing bothers you, it can interrupt the flow of the book whilst you google.

The timing of this story. This takes place a few months after the end of Lover Unbound, but really the only reason I can see for that happening is so Bella can give birth in this book. Which means Phury and Cormia's relationship stalled at the end of Lover Unbound and didn't start up again 'til we rejoin them.

What didn't work for me:-

Really I think except for the editing these are minor and in the case of Jane personal quibbles.

Jane - I have to restrain myself from putting my hands over my ears and going La La La I can't hear you whenever she enters a scene.

Product placement - why?

Editing - The number of typos and errors in this book wasn't good. I'm not going to list them here, they are mentioned on other blogs and other reviews but there were too many.

Why were the bodies left in the house? Why didn't someone remove them, if only for the hygiene problem if nothing else? And if Butch looked at the house, did his detective thing, why didn't he pick up on the clues that were waiting to be found?

How many people have to see Lash before somebody says something? Didn't any of them ever read Sherlock Holmes? Or see the movie?

Where do we go from here?

I can't help thinking Cormia (and her newfound architectural skills) might be of use to Rehv when he wants to build his new club. I'm very interested to see where the Lesser war will go from now. If the next book focuses on Rehv and the symphaths I hope it does focus on them. Unlike the vampires we know much less about their mythology and I wonder how well they'll stand up to the multi-plotlines.

Thoughts at the end. I liked the book a lot, and I think it's probably the first book after Lover Awakened that I will re-read parts of. J.R.Ward is a wonderful storyteller but even great storytelling needs a strong foundation.

I'm looking forward to Rehv's book though I haven't decided yet whether to go the hardcover route.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

A Hunger Like No Other - Kresley Cole

This is the first full length novel in the Immortals After Dark series. The short story The Warlord Wants Forever in the Playing Easy to Get anthology I think is technically first, though some of that story takes place at the same time as AHLNO. LOL - yes we will be referring to the books using acronyms.

After enduring over a century of being repeatedly burned to death and then being resurrected Lachlain MacRieve is perhaps not in the best frame of mind when he escapes to search for his destined mate. He is even more upset to learn his destined mate is the (half) vampire Emmaline, especially as it was the vampire Horde who chained him up in front of a column of eternal fire in the first place. So begins the (very) rocky road of their romance. And just when it seems they have sorted their problems out, Emmaline's past finally catches up with them.

I know some people have a problem with Lachlain, taken at face value, his actions don't show him in the best light. To begin your courtship of someone by sexually assaulting them (not just once), is perhaps not the best way to start. But I think this has to be placed in context.

  1. His attitudes are 150 years out of date. That's how long he's been standing in front of a pillar of eternal fire. Which brings me to...
  2. He has been tortured in a way that is hard for us to understand, repeatedly being burnt to death with no hope of reprieve - for over a century. (As an aside somewhere Furie is being repeatedly drowned, I'm trying to imagine how hardass she's gonna be when they finally get round to rescuing her).
  3. So at the beginning of the book he is not in his own mind. He's running on instinct and fury.
Is his behaviour acceptable - no. But I think put into context it's understandable. Plus, this is a man prepared to rip off his own leg to get to his mate.

Emmaline on the other hand is a little bit wimpy in the beginning. Half vampire/half valkyrie, she seems to have more of the weaknesses of the two races rather than their strengths. It is through her relationship with Lachlain that she finally begins to stand on her own two feet and ultimately takes her destiny into her own hands.
"You're going to drink, Emma!" he bellowed.
"Get bent, Lachlain!!" she screamed back at him...
This was how it had to be, Lachlain had to be with someone who would call him on his behaviour. Initially he sees and refers to her as 'vampire' and not Emma, as long as he does this, she's just a thing to him - one he can do anything to because she's a vampire not a person. So for a lot of the book there is this understandable distrust between them. Not helped by the fact that Lachlain decides what's in Emma's best interests for her to know or not know.
"...Now she believes I'm a liar. Probably because I lied to her."
And whilst most of their confusions could be sorted out if they'd only talk to each other - it's very difficult for either of them to take that first step.

This book basically sets up the world and mythology of the Lore. Besides Lachlain and Emma we're introduced to numerous characters - Nix, Kaderin, Daniela, Lucia, Bowen - who has some of the best lines during his short appearance in the story
"After tonight, I see you've a verra delicate sparrow on your hands. I'll be sure to loosen up my jaw for her in case she wants to backhand me."
- so glad he's got his own book, Gareth, Uilleam, Munro. But Kresley Cole manages to keep all of her balls in the air. At the same time teasing us with frustrating hints about who might be characters in future books.

Even in this first book (not counting the short story) the cutting wit and banter between the characters is already here. Each character is incredibly well drawn and whilst we might not always like the way in which they behave, it's possible to understand why they might choose to behave in that way.

In case you haven't guessed, I love this series. :) Reviews of books 3,4 and 5 coming soon.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

No Rest For The Wicked - Kresley Cole

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole (Hereafter known in this review as NRFTW)

This is the second full length novel and third story in the Immortals After Dark Series, published in 2006.

I'm not sure why this one got stuck on my TBR pile. I kind of stalled out on this series, kept on buying the books just not reading them. So expect something of an Immortals After Dark bookfest over the next couple of weeks. (Apologies that my Hunger Like No Other Review is appearing out of order but I had already read it, so it's not TBR).

So the story opens with Kaderin the Coldhearted (Valkyrie) coming to kill vampire Sebastian Wroth. The villagers below his castle are apparently terrified of him even though he's done nothing to provoke their fear. However, it quickly becomes apparent that she is his destined Bride, and rather than kill him, she flees, leaving a somewhat disgruntled vampire behind. Their meeting has two consequences - Sebastian's heart begins to beat, and Kaderin after centuries of being an unfeeling killing machine starts to feel emotion again.

Kaderin has more important things on her mind, however. She is about to take part in the Talisman's Hie, a kind of supernatural scavenger hunt, with the ultimate prize being a key that will allow the holder to travel backwards in time. Kaderin wants the key to be able to rescue her sisters who were slaughtered on a battlefield centuries earlier - the last time she showed mercy to a vampire. Deciding it's the only way to get close to her, Sebastian joins the Hie as well. But to gain the prize will require more than teamwork, it will take the ultimate sacrifice.

I know I've said it before but I hate the no breathing thing for vampires. There said it, got it off my chest.

Of the two main characters I find myself slightly preferring Sebastian. Kaderin takes a little longer to warm to. But I think this is probably intended, as until this story she's been completely cold. It's heartwarming to read about her reawakened emotions and how they take a toll on her when she no longer sees the world in black and white.

Sebastian was turned into a vampire against his will. And he does seem to have spent a goodly amount of his immortality moping. However, this all changes when he meets Kaderin and he acknowledges that maybe everything does happen for a reason, as if he wasn't a vampire he would never have met her. I absolutely loved his reunion with his brother Nikolai - the vampire who turned him.

I will admit when I started reading I wasn't sure about the setting - the Talisman's Hie. But I really got into it. And the scene where they have to get the object from the minefield - very upsetting, as each competitor is prepared to sacrifice the others to win the box of Nagas. Knowing what the prize is you can see why the competitors are all prepared to fight so desperately for it. Kaderin wants to save her sisters, Bowen the werewolf wants to save his mate, Sebastian considers going back in time to save his family. When the stakes are that high you can understand the ruthlessness of their behaviour.

Things I love about Kresley Cole's books.

  • The banter between the characters, everyone is just so darn witty and NRFTW is no exception.
    "We've established that you can't kill me."
    She glared at him over her shoulder. "I ache to make those your last words."
    Which means you can be quite happily reading along, with a smile on your face. Then all of a sudden something terrible happens and it's all the more shocking.
  • The fact that I actually believe it when the characters say I love you. I think in all of her books the relationship feels organic. When they get to the 'I love yous' I believe they mean them.
  • The variety of her characters. Here we have demons, sirens, witches, vampires, gods, elves. Each species has its defining characteristics. But every single person we meet, no matter their species, is an individual. (Frustratingly this leaves you with a shedload of characters that you want to know more about - Regin, Aiden, Nix, Furie ( I SO want Furie to come back), Cindey - I could go on and on so I'll stop there.). Even the minor characters have intriguing hints dropped about their stories.
  • And I like how with each book we find out a little more about the Valkyries and other supernatural races. For example in this book we discover that valkyries often have a secret fear.

This leads me to my one niggle about the series, which is that sometimes it's like there are too many balls being juggled. And some of the intriguing hints feel a little half-finished, something that I just didn't quite get. The books are that good though, that I have a tendency to shrug my shoulders and assume that all will become clear in a few books time. These are things like:-

Why do Valkyries have to pay a tithe to get into their own house? What is up with Nix's hair? Either strange men are cutting it, or she's being told to cut it -I feel like I've missed something.

Already read A Hunger Like No Other and Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night. So expect their reviews soon. And I have the next two books bought and ready to go. This is probably one of the best PNR series around at the moment and I recommend it highly.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Following my TBR Wednesday review for May which was Poison Study I bought Magic Study the second in the trilogy. As an aside there are now about three different versions of these books. My copy of Poison Study was from Luna I think, Magic Study is from Mira and that means different covers. :(

Anyway, enough of my griping and on with the review.

Magic Study picks up very shortly after the end of Book 1. Yelena and her companions have journeyed to the land of Sitia, reuniting the stolen children with their parents. Yelena meets up with her own family - mother, father and brother (who unlike his parents is just not happy she's home), but this is an awkward reunion. She doesn't stay with them long before journeying on to the Magician's Keep where she must begin her training as a magician. Unfortunately it seems nothing in Yelena's life is fated to go smoothly. Once again, she needs to use her magical abilities to sort everything out and once again it's her own life that's on the line.

There's a lot going on in this story. Yelena's reunion with her family - the fact that her brother seems to despise her for some reason. Yelena enrolling in Magic School. A serial killer. A visit from the Ixian ambassador and her retinue. The exiled heir of Ixia turns up. So it's quite busy plotwise and Yelena is in the centre of it all. Which leads to the main reason I gave this one a C+.

I had a problem with this book and the name of that problem is Yelena. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the story because I did (though not as much as Poison Study). But somewhere in between Book 1 and Book 2, Yelena became a little too arrogant for me. When four master magicians don't know what to do but Yelena does and they're looking to her for help it annoyed me a little. Apart from this her character is still well drawn and you want to read about her and her adventures. It's just grating that she's always right.

I liked the fact that her family reunion wasn't a roaring success, that there is some distrust there - on both sides. And if I had a favourite new character from the book it would probably be Yelena's brother Leif, the first character who's reminded me of a flow diagram. (Flow Chart in Question) Honestly he seems to run his life according to this. I like the sibling relationship he and Yelena have towards the end of the book. You can tell that he isn't going to let her get away with anything and she needs someone saying to her "You're doing that wrong", even if she isn't. :)

There were plenty of other things I enjoyed about the story.

Yelena's time in the Magician's school. LOL - I'm a sucker for stuff like this, it's reading all those adventures set in boarding schools when I was young.

The visiting Ixian dignitaries because this means Valek, Janco and Ari are in town. Though Valek is not as present in this story as in Poison Study. Which makes sense and is realistic, this one really is more about Yelena, but it was great to have him turn up. And Maria V. Snyder maximizes the impact of his appearances.
Trouble love? Valek asked.
I need your immunity to magic.
I also liked the Ixian Ambassador. :)

And it still isn't clear who it is safe to trust. It quickly becomes apparent that Sitia is just as dangerous a place, if not more so, than Ixia, but in different ways.

There were a couple of things that made me shake my head.

At one point Yelena has to hold a pill the size of a robin's egg in her mouth and not bite down onto it. (For an American Robin that's 2cm by 3cm, for a European Robin that's 2cm by 1.5cm). So I spend five minutes not reading and trying to puzzle out if this is possible.

Even when events spiral beyond her control, things still have to be done Yelena's way, because she knows best. It's a positive thing that she's so independent, but you can't help thinking at certain points that if she had just stopped and asked for help the outcome may have been resolved differently.

I think I've said before that middle books in trilogies can be tricky. So I am left wondering how fair it is to grade this book on its own, without knowing how the third book goes. I am heartened by reading other reviews that consider this the weakest of the three, as hopefully that means Fire Study is a return to form. Once I've read Fire Study I'll grade the trilogy as a whole. Yes, I will be getting Fire Study but I don't have the desperate urge to immediately get it, that I did for Magic Study.

Monday, 9 June 2008

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host tells the story of Wanderer and Melanie, following the invasion of Earth by a race of parasitic aliens - think Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or the Goa'uld from Stargate SG1. Melanie is one of the few remaining free humans not taken over by a parasite. But the story opens with Wanderer being inserted into the back of her head. Yep - this story is told from the perspective of the parasitic alien. What follows is a coming to terms story. As Wanderer has to evaluate what her brothers and sisters have done in taking over the world. Unusually Melanie hasn't 'gone away' and Wanderer has to contend not only with the memories of her host but also the consciousness of her host itself. Compelled by Melanie, Wanderer sets out to find Jamie (Melanie's brother), putting both herself and Melanie in grave danger.

Without doubt this is my favourite book of the year so far. It makes you cry, makes you laugh and makes you think. And I don't think there's too much more you can ask from a book. I think it takes great skill to take a reader from sad, to happy, and back to sad and make it all feel real at the same time.

Very well written you understand both Melanie's perspective of violation and being taken away from her family too soon. But you also understand Wanderer's point of view and how the Souls must see us (humans) as disparate populations unable to get along with one another without violence, waste or misery. And I also found it pretty easy to follow who was talking and when..
Melanie was thinking sulfurous thoughts about the kind old man.

He was being nice. He's sincerely concerned about my welfare, I reminded her.

You're all very creepy, she told me acidly. Didn't anyone ever tell you not to talk to strangers?
This is largely being regarded as Stephenie Meyer's first adult book. Personally I'm not sure I see that, I always thought the end of the world would involve more swearing and more sex, and this book has none of either. So I think I regard that as more of a marketing ploy. I've also been reading some comparison between Twilight and The Host as first books in a series. I have read Twilight, and other than the fact it's about a vampire called Edward and a girl called Bella, couldn't tell you much else. The Host on the other hand is sticking in my brain. (Of course I'm going to read Twilight again after reading this :)).

Onto the characters, I don't think there is one character that isn't well written. Wanderer is a fascinating, and considering the aliens have taken over the world, she remains remarkably true to her pacifist nature.

Melanie on the other hand is much more kick ass if a little naive. When she and Wanderer manage to join some free humans, she is somewhat shocked at their attitude to her. Of course they don't realize Melanie is there, they only see the silver in her eyes - indicative of possession by an alien.

Wanderer after a lot of hard work, manages to forge a place for herself among the humans, and become friends with Melanie. But even as she does so, she comes to question what she and her entire race have done. And comes to realize that she has some difficult sacrifices to make.

If I'm being picky at one point Wanderer says the cryotanks were built of no element that existed on this planet. I'm not sure about that - at a certain point on the periodic table elements become unstable and I'd stick my neck out and say that's probably true on any planet.

At the very end of the book we meet Burns Living Flowers, and I so want to know his story. I hope that The Host is the first in a new series, and I'll definitely be getting book 2 whether it's marketed as Adult, Young Adult or anything else. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Personal Demons by Stacia Kane

So following on from The Devil Inside and Personal Demon (no 's' and written by Kelley Armstrong) we have another of 2008's demon books - Personal Demons by Stacia Kane.

Megan Chase has just started work at her new radio phone-in show, where she offers to slay her listeners personal demons. Unbeknownst to her, however, personal demons actually exist (everyone in the world has one except Megan for some reason) and they take her vow to eradicate them slightly personally (excuse the pun).

This one was on my wishlist for a while until I read a review that repiqued my interest in it - on Scoopers blog? I think it's the first urban fantasy I've read which is written in third (allbeit a very tight third) person. It was a book of two parts for me. I found the beginning quite slow, a lot of build up whilst you're waiting for something to happen. It's one of those books where you just have to bear with the beginning whilst it settles into itself. (A rollercoaster (slow build up followed by an exhilarating ride) rather than a roman candle (a brilliant explosion of light but at the end all you've got is a damp squib)).

Having said that, once something does happen and Malleus, Maleficarum and Spud (the cockney demons) turn up on page 89, suddenly the story takes off with a blast. So if you're reading this and want to give up, don't until page 106, when you'll have read a chapter of M,M&S. And if someone could explain to me what's so funny about Mr.Brown I'd appreciate it - feeling a bit of a dunce here for not getting that.

So first person - no, gutsy female protagonist with a mysterious past - yes, sexy demon with an ulterior motive - check. Until M,M&S turn up, it was Greyson Dante the aforementioned sexy demon that kept me reading.
...Do you want to talk or not?"
He sighed. "No. Well, I did, but now I don't. You lied to me."
And from later in the story.
"This is the surprise? Being shot at for trespassing?"
"That would be fun, but no."
It's almost like Dante said to Stacia Kane, I'll be in your story, but I have to have all the best lines.

Megan is perhaps not the most instantly engaging urban fantasy heroine I've ever read. She's not as interesting a protagonist when Dante or M,M&S aren't there for her to spar with. But by the end of the book she'd grown on me. She does have some psychic ability which allows her to hear peoples thoughts and is how she gives herself an advantage over other therapists. And rather than sitting back and letting Dante protect her she does take some proactive steps including receiving some training in how to focus her powers from a somewhat snarky witch - Tera. Admittedly some of her proactiveness stems from her refusal to believe Dante is a demon, but once she's seen his spinelets she changes her tune. (LOL)

Dante on the other hand is sexy, sneaky and as well as keeping tabs on Megan is manipulating the situation to his advantage. He is an anti-hero. This is one of the big plusses of the book for me. He is a demon and Stacia Kane doesn't try to make him something that he isn't. Whilst we're on the subject of demons, what is it with them and the whipping. To be fair in this book it's used as a punishment rather than as an erotic device, but still. It is an intense and disturbing scene, you can feel the pressure that Megan is under.

Favourite quote of the book -
...We're not sending you off to Mordor just yet."
"You read Lord of the Rings?"
"All demons read Lord of the Rings. It's the perfect example of what not to do..."
Quibbles - in a couple of places I felt like we skipped stuff so we could get to the action and that Megan didn't always listen to what people were trying to tell her. But other than that I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Book #2 Demon Inside January 2009.