Reviews

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith: Review

Oh boy. First the background on this read. I first picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies several years ago, probably around the time it came out. I very quickly put it back down again after reading only the first paragraph. If you’ve read some of my previous reviews then you may be aware that I am a huge Jane Austen fan and that Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books. So when I picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and found that the entire first paragraph was just the first paragraph of Austen’s original novel only reworded to be about zombies I was immediately exasperated, and a little bit angry, and returned the book to the library. The only reason I even gave the book another try was because of the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

A little bit about the movie. I went to see it with a couple of friends expecting to laugh at how bad it was, but I actually really liked it. The movie knew that it was ridiculous and worked that to its advantage so that you ended up with a really funny movie. It was interesting to watch because all the violence and zombies allowed a lot of the unstated tension and undercurrents of the novel to come out physically. I thought that was really interesting (and funny) and I wondered how much of that was just the movie and how much might be present in the book as well. I also figured that my literary taste has developed and widened significantly since the last time I tried to read the book, and now I might be able to appreciate it for what it is. Well, what I’ve learned after reading the book is that the movie was just the perfect balance of the violence and zombie ridiculousness from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and everything wonderful from the original book, whereas the actual book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is just… well, its just really bad. Fair warning, there are going to be a lot of spoilers in this post because I cannot fully express my feelings about this book without referencing a number of specific things. Lets get started.

Having done no research on the subject, if I had to guess about Seth Grahame-Smith’s method for writing this book I would say that he took the original Pride and Prejudice and read through it thinking “hey! I could put some zombies in this part!” and then, “Hmm, nope, this part doesn’t need zombies, let’s leave it as it is.” Literally the entire book is just Austen’s novel with certain passages rewritten to incorporate the zombie apocalypse. Now, I know what your thinking, or at least what I was thinking for the first few pages, which is that this could be really interesting if done well. But it wasn’t. Done well I mean. The problem is that Grahame-Smith didn’t seem to put a lot of thought into how his different zombie bits would fit together, rather focusing on how he could make it as gory and ridiculous as possible. There were a lot of inconsistency in the novel, even place names changed at times. And there were bigger things, like what a huge deal it was that Elizabeth Bennet’s training was supposed to be sub-par because she trained in China instead of in Japan like all of the classy people, and yet, for some reason, despite her pride in her Chinese masters and training, one of her favorite weapons is a katana. Which is, like, the quintessential Japanese weapon. What’s up with the Seth Grahame-Smith?

But it wasn’t even the little things and lack of consistency that made this novel a complete bust for me. The biggest thing was that Grahame-Smith completely corrupted Austen’s wonderful characters. In the movie I felt that they did a pretty good job of incorporating their zombie fighting and extensive training into Darcy and Elizabeth’s characters. In the books they’re pretty much just blood thirsty, brutal, violent, killers. I mean let me just sum it up this way. When Elizabeth Bennet killed a ninja (because, yes, their are ninjas in this book), punched her fist through its rib cage, ripped out its heart and then took a bite of it I was pretty much done. I mean I get that the novel was supposed to be ridiculous, but there are still limits, especially when you’re messing with such a well loved classic.

Now, to be fair, the movie did do some strange things with Wickham, the zombies, and the whole apocalypse angle that were really weird and that the book didn’t do at all, but I can still say with absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is one of those very rare instances of a movie being better than the book. Especially with Matt Smith playing Mr. Collins, he was perfect and whenever they do another real Pride and Prejudice remake I will be really disappointed if he isn’t cast as Mr. Collins again.

If it shocks you at this point that I only rate this book 1/5 then you really haven’t been paying attention, or you just skipped to the end. Anyway, my favorite part of reading this book was actually picking out all of the really bad stuff because I was excited to write about it in this review. There was probably once or twice where I got a little bit excited about the possibilities Grahame-Smith brought up with his zombies, but they never developed into anything worthwhile and I can’t now even remember what any of them are, so clearly they didn’t leave much of an impression. Read this book if you want to laugh at something completely ridiculous and then go read Pride and Prejudice again.

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Reviews

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Review

I got this book on the recommendation of a good friend who had read the first few chapter and suggested that I get it too so we could read it together as a kind of book club type deal. This resulted in a great bonding experience with my friend, and one of the most frustrating reading experiences of my life. You see my friend also happened to move to California with a new roommate, new job, everything. Which meant that she had very little time for reading. It typically doesn’t take me more than a few days to read a book because once I start I want to know how it ends, but it took me probably a month to read all the way through An Ember in the Ashes because I kept having to wait for my friend to catch up, but the fact that I was interested enough to keep reading the book over such an extended period is a strong indication that it’s a good book.

After some discussion my friend and I decided, based on some of the cultural elements as well as the lore and such that are relevant in the novel, that this book is set in a fictionalized and fantasized middle east. In that vein, there is a lot of interesting world building and history that goes into the story, particularly the magical elements and creatures. Basically the fictional land that the story takes place in was conquered a long time ago by the Martials, a type of warrior people who used their superior weaponry to defeat the Scholar people who were previously the ruling power. The Scholars ruled with knowledge, and, if I remember right, they had gotten their knowledge by tricking the Jinn (who are magical creatures) into sharing it with them and then using it against them so that they could rule the land. Now the Martials ruthlessly rule over the Scholars who are so down trodden that their is only a very small underground resistance. Enter our two heroes: Laia, the beautiful but haunted girl whose whole family has boon destroyed by the Martials, and Elias the Martial born boy who was raised by the wandering tribes until the Martials’ holy men chose him to attend the brutal Black Cliff military academy. Laia is a scared and broken girl on a desperate mission given to her by the resistance in hopes that they will help her rescue her brother, her only remaining family, from a Martial prison, and Elias is a vicious warrior with a soft heart who only wants to be free from is bloody destiny. Naturally the two meet, have instant chemistry, and both complicate each others lives and help each other, etc.

Okay, so right of the bat I was skeptical of this book because it’s one of those that switches back and forth between the perspectives of the main characters. Normally I can’t stand that because I always greatly prefer one of the characters and the other chapters end up just annoying me. Not so with Tahir’s book. Well it’s true that I did prefer Laia’s chapters and look forward to them most, I actually liked Elias and his chapters enough that I wasn’t just rushing to get through them. I think part of the reason why I liked the way Tahir did it was because the chapters weren’t entirely separate. A lot of times with books like this I find that the different perspectives are taking place half a world away from each other, but in this book Laia and Elias each feature centrally in each others chapters and the chapters sometimes even cover the same time period (fortunately not too often because that would have been really tiresome).

I really liked how this book kept me guessing. I mean, yes, there was some stuff that was fairly predictable, but for the most part I was never really sure what was going to happen next, and I must say that I particularly appreciated the ending of the book and how it set up the sequel. I really like both Laia and Elias, both of them grow a lot during the book, they have their flaws, but, ultimately, they now what they want and they fight for it which was really nice.

There are a lot of good things about An Ember in the Ashes, but, as always, there were flaws as well. Laia and Elais have both had really tough lives, and they aren’t getting any easier. Tahir seems to be one of those authors who isn’t happy if her characters aren’t suffering. Like a lot. I mean a lot. Like seriously. It was really excessive. Honestly it got to the point where I almost didn’t care about whatever they were going through because it got to be so much that it was just ridiculous. I felt like Tahir was trying to force me to sympathize with her characters by making them go through unimaginable physical, emotional, and psychological torment.

The other thing that I think bothered me most was that there seemed to me to be some inconsistency between what an amazing warrior Elias was, with all the rigorous physical and mental training he was supposed to have gone through, and what I saw actually taking place in the story. I mean yeah, he kicked a lot of butt, but there were times that I was like “okay, you just said that Elias is incredible at such and such like three chapter ago, but if he’s so amazing why did such and such just happen to him, or why wasn’t he able to do such and such?” You know what I mean? The last thing that I want to mention that I really didn’t like about this novel was the whole love triangle thing that Tahir has got going on. Two of them actually. Or maybe that would be classified as a love square? I’m not really sure. Anyway, there are four people all in love with each other, or not sure whether they love each other, or not sure who they should love, etc. Maybe this is a personal thing, but I just can’t stand love triangles. They annoy me right from the get go. Most of the time its completely obvious who the main character will end up with anyway so I’m not even sure what the point is. But I digress.

My final thought is that this is a solid book with plenty of adventure, romance, and lots of interesting magical and historical elements that I’m eager to see develop in the sequel. Definitely worth a read if you like fantasy novels. 4/5 stars.

Reviews

Persuasion by Jane Austen: Review

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote a review. I wish I had a good excuse, but I really don’t. What can I say, life just kept getting in the way. Which is why I’m only just getting around to writing this review for Persuasion even though it’s been weeks since I read it. It’s been long enough that I’m tempted to just skip this review and move on to some other books I’ve read since, but now that I’ve started reviewing Jane Austen’s novels I feel the need to finish, and so without further ado, we begin.

I’ll be honest, I was not enthusiastic about reading this particular Austen novel. From my memory of my first read through three years ago I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like it. That just goes to show how much a bad class can influence your perception of the subject. When I first started reading the Persuasion this time around I was enjoying it about as much as I though I would. I was frustrated constantly frustrated by Anne and her apparent lack of a spine, and I couldn’t bring myself to like Captain Wentworth that much because of how fickle he seemed, but, as usual, Austen drew me in.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Austen was a master of characterization. Her characters are so deceptively simple at first that it can take a while to realize just how intricate they are. Not to mention that Austen’s characters grow and develop a lot throughout the novels. There is almost always a lesson that they learn (or sometimes fail to learn) that causes the character to change or at the very least get to know themselves better. That’s the case in this novel. Although Anne Elliot starts out looking like this sweet and completely passive heroine, when the novel ends I feel that Anne has not only grown stronger, but that a lot of her growth comes from learning to trust herself and understand her own worth.

Although I ended up rooting for and liking Captain Wentworth and Anne by the end, and even though I’m a sucker for romance, I don’t know if I’d say that their relationship is my favorite part of the novel.  In all honesty, I think that the best part of this novel is probably Anne’s family. In typical Austen fashion our heroine’s family is a bit, umm, unique. In Pride and Prejudice you’ve got a perpetually improper and effusive mother, an eccentric father, and at least one completely uncontrollable sister. In Emma you’ve got her hypochondriac father and sister. And in Persuasion you have an undeservedly proud, ridiculously showy, and remarkably unfeeling father and sisters. The extent to which Anne’s family, especially her father and older sister, will go to maintain their image and importance is quite comical at times. The way that they are able to deceive themselves into almost anything so long as it boosts their ego is honestly hilarious at times. Even more so in the case of their cousin, Mr. Elliot. The way that those three go about scheming around each other, each convinced that they command the upmost respect from all around them, while meanwhile none of them really have any clue what’s going on is like the best soap opera I’ve ever seen (not that I’ve seen many).

I’m pretty sure I had a lot more I wanted to say about Persuasion when I finished it, but of course I can’t remember anymore. However, I can say that, as always, Austen did not let me down and this is a 5/5. This is one of Austen’s shorter novels so if you’re wanting a bit of a quicker read definitely give it a try, just remember that it can take a while to really get into it so once you start you’ve got to give it a fair shake. I’ve got a few other books to read before I get to them, but I’m hoping to finish my Austen read through by the end of the year, which means Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park reviews will be coming up in the next couple months. I’m hoping I have the same experience with them as I did with Persuasion and I end up liking them better the second time around.

 

Reviews

Emma by Jane Austen: Review

The first time I read Emma was a couple of years ago while I was doing a semester abroad in Ireland. I was overjoyed when I walked into the first day of class and learned that the major author I was going to spend the semester studying would be Jane Austen. My joy did not last long. That was one of the most disappointing classes I’ve ever taken because it was so incredibly poorly taught. The one thing that I can say in favor of that class is that it finally induced me to read all of Jane Austen’s novels whereas before I had only read Pride and Prejudice. For that reason alone I am grateful to the class.

Although that class familiarized me with all seven novels it did not teach me to like them all. I loved Pride and Prejudice already, and Northanger Abbey was lovable on first sight, but my relationship with some of the other novels started on rocky footing, and Emma is included in that. The professor for that class had some very strange ideas about Austen and her writing, and the way she ran her classes left no room for discussion or debate. So I dutifully trudged through each novel only half appreciating what I was reading because I was reading for stuff I could use to craft essays specifically suited to this professors taste (since she didn’t really leave room for writing any other kind of essay). With all that being as it was, I did not like Emma the first read through. I found the character shallow and unlikable, and I pretty much left the novel behind a quickly as I could. I don’t know if it was because it’s better on a second read through, or just because I’m not reading with that professors ideas looming over my head, but I really loved Emma this time around.

During this read through of Emma I think I finally figured out what I love so much about Austen’s novels. If you’ve read some of my other reviews then you may have realized that few things bother me more in a novel than a good plot with underdeveloped characters. Characters make or break a novel, you can have the best plot in the world, but if you’re characters aren’t well developed and believable it’s not going to be worth reading. Austen’s characters are some of the best I’ve ever read and that’s what I love so much about her writing.

Austen’s novels take place in limited settings, with very little “action” as we would consider it. And yet they aren’t boring, in fact, they’re completely absorbing, and it’s because Austen’s characters are so good. I could go in depth into all of the different characters in all seven novels, but since this review is technically about Emma I’m going to try and restrain myself. I think Emma is actually a superb example, possibly the best, of what Austen does so brilliantly with her characters. What I found during this read through was that the characters were all vivid and alive, all so believable, that I actually felt like I knew them, and, in a way, I do. Austen’s characters are people, real people that we know. The best way I have to explain what I mean by that is that the characters are caricatures, but not just caricatures since that suggests a certain lack of depth and exaggeration, which definitely is not the case here.

It’s as if there are two layers to each character. The first layer is the base, the fundamental caricature of a certain type of person. Then the second layer is the the unique individual traits, background, and feelings that make each character unique. My favorite example is Miss Bates. The character is so simple and so beautifully done, I feel like I know her, like I understand her. Even more importantly, because her character seemed so familiar to me I was able to understand and relate to Emma’s feeling towards her. That’s the second thing that makes Austen’s writing and characters so wonderful. They’re emotions and actions are so believable and relatable that you feel like you know them and can sympathize with or understand their actions.

Those two things, or rather the one overarching thing, the characters, are what make Austen so brilliant and why I love her so much as an author. Her character Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice once has a conversation about how she loves to make a study of peoples’ characters, and I think that was a little bit of the authors personality slipping into her character. I think she must have enjoyed watching and studying people, finding their idiosyncrasies, their faults, their virtues, and working out how those things all fit together to make a person, and she used that. I also think she must have been very good at it, and that, in turn, made her a fantastic author.

I’ve gone on enough about the characters, but really that’s the best part of this novel. That being said the plot is also top notch, and quite funny as well. Without giving away to much the entire plot is basically made up of characters whose faults and failings cause them to get themselves into some unfortunate messes. Watching the characters dig themselves into holes and climb back out again is quite entertaining. Even if sometimes you do want to reach through the pages, grab Emma by the shoulders and shake her until she realizes how foolish she’s being.

I had a pretty good segue I wanted to use here, but, since using it would give away to much of the story, instead I’m just going to make this awkward transition into my last point. In my review of Northanger Abbey I’d said that I was still trying to decide between Henry Tilney (from Northanger) and George Knightly (from Emma) for my second and third favorite Austen hero (Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice is obviously my first favorite). Having now reread both novels I’ve decided that Henry Tilney wins out in the end. It was a tough decision. The problem with all the Austen heroes is that they are all so perfectly suited to the heroines that when you read each novel you think that that hero is the perfect guy because of how perfect he is for her, but when you read the next novel you think the same thing all over again. But Henry won in the end because, when I really thought about it, he’s the one I would rather know personally and who I think would be more fun to have a conversation with. Although, when it comes to which one has more merit as a person, I think George Knightly would be the winner.

5/5 in case you couldn’t tell. Also read it, read it, read it. It’s so good.

Reviews

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Review

I believe I’ve mentioned in some previous posts how fond I am of Jane Austen and her novels. So it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that I love this one. It’s only the second time that I’ve read it, but this read through confirmed for me that it’s worthy of being my second favorite Austen novel (Pride and Prejudice being the first, of course).

Northanger Abbey is the funniest Austin novel in my opinion. That’s not to say that it’s the laugh out loud kind of funny, but rather that it has a lot of clever jokes and hidden meanings that make it a delight to read because Northanger Abbey is a satire of the Gothic type novel that was very popular during Austen’s time. That being said you don’t have to be knowledgeable about Austen or Gothic novels to be able to enjoy the humor in this satire, yes, there would probably be some stuff that you miss if you’re completely unfamiliar with the genre, but you will absolutely still be able to enjoy the book. I would highly recommend reading the notes as you go though. Normally I’m not a fan of foot notes or end notes unless I’m reading a book for a class, because I feel like always checking the notes to get things explained is an unnecessary interruption, but, in this case, I definitely recommend reading the notes because they help you understand and enjoy a lot more of the humor in the book. For example, if you don’t know what Blaise Castle is, you’re missing out on a big part of the joke in that chapter.

If you’re thinking right now that you shouldn’t read Northanger Abbey because there’s no way you can be bothered to read the notes, I want to change your mind. Even without those extra insights it’s definitely still worth reading. Catherine, the heroine, is the most endearingly naive heroine I’ve ever read. Normally a character like Catherine might get on my nerves, but Austen wrote her so well, and she tries so hard, that I have to love her in the end. Not to mention Henry Tilney, the clever hero who always has something witty to say. He’s definitely in my top three for Austen heroes, and I just need to reread Emma so I can decide between him and George Knightly.

As much as I love the character’s in this novel, my favorite part is actually Austen herself. One might even call her a character in this novel because she breaks the fourth wall on several occasions. In a lot of books that wouldn’t work, but in this one it’s perfect. Northanger Abbey is completely self aware. It’s a satire and it knows that, and the author knows, and the reader knows. Pretty much the only ones who don’t know are the characters, and that’s a lot of what makes it so funny. I’m not going to spend to much time trying to convince you that this is a totally awesome aspect of the novel, because I could never do it justice, and you should just read it for yourself to find out how good it is. I will throw in that the last few pagers are actually my favorite, and the ending sentence is hilarious, specifically because of how Austen breaks the first wall, and sort of makes fun of her own novel and characters.

I could continue to go on at length about this novel, I could write an essay on it, in fact I think I did once. I could even go into my well rehearsed rant about how poorly this book was taught to me in school and how it’s still lovable anyway, but I think I’ve said enough. I give this a 5/5 of course, and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Normally I don’t include quotes in my reviews, but today I’m actually going to end with one because of how much I love it:

“we are all hastening together to perfect felicity”  Jane Austin, Northanger Abbey.

Reviews

The Host by Stephanie Meyer: Review

Right, so I’ve spent the last few weeks traveling to Israel on a mission trip with my church, sick, and starting a new job so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to read, but I finally finished this book so it’s review time! (there’s gonna be spoilers in this one)

This isn’t the first time I’ve read The Host, but when I got home from Israel and was spending a day lying around my house trying to get over jet lag I found the movie on Netflix, watched it, and, of course, felt a need to read the book again.

What can I say about The Host, it’s pretty typical Stephanie Meyer. I confess, I’ve read Twilight multiple times, it’s my guilty reading pleasure, not because it’s super good, but because you know that it’s all going to be warm and fuzzy in the end, and there’s something comforting about that to me. But this isn’t about Twilight, although I can’t help but point out that there are a lot of similarities between these two stories.

There’s a girl, she’s pretty ordinary, nothing special about her that anyone can see except that she just can’t seem to fit in anywhere and she doesn’t know why, she just doesn’t for some reason. But she’s special, no really, she’s just fascinating to the people around her, especially that one boy from another species who just can’t seem to not fall in love with her despite the fact that the entire rest of his species is telling him that it’ll never work out. Don’t worry, her inexplicable charm wins them all over in the end. Outside of this the plot consists entirely of situations that force the girl to be self sacrificing in order to save the people she love, which manages to result in her and everyone she loves getting everything they wanted. The end.

Okay, now which story did I just describe, The Host or Twilight? It literally could have been either. I mean, okay, there is some variation between the two, but at the core they are basically the same story. Like I said before, that’s what I like about Meyer’s stories, you always know that their going to have a happy ending. So yeah, I enjoy them despite their flaws. Like the totally dramatic form of love that exists in both stories. Seriously, in both stories emotions just seem completely overblown to me. I really think there is a lot to be said about subtlety when it comes to portraying emotions in writing. It has a lot to do with that old writing cliche “show don’t tell,” something that Meyer has yet to master. And as much as we all might want to believe in that completely overpowering love that she writes about, and as much as it might even exist, I think her very dramatized way of writing about it does not do it justice.

Now, on to other things. It is an interesting concept. Alien and human, living together in one body, coming to know and understand each other. Not entirely original, humans being possessed by little alien creatures that attach to the brain stems and cause their eyes to glow has been done before (e.g. Stargate SG-1), but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still room to explore with the concept. The idea of the aliens as invaders and conquerors, but also gentle and, in many ways, mundane was pretty interesting to me. I think the alien’s version of human society was one of the more interesting things in the book, and I have a lot of questions about it that weren’t answered during the course of the novel. There are also some things that we do learn about it in the book that don’t make a lot of sense to me. For example, if the souls justify their occupation of a planet by saying that they’ll take care of it better etc. then why are they all still chowing down on plastic wrapped junk foods and driving cars that are going to wreck the environment and stuff like that? I mean if their whole deal is that they make a planet better then why haven’t they used their superior technology to fix all the problems in human society? Yes, they “come to experience, not to change” but in order to stick with their own propaganda they would need to change some thing, and that doesn’t seem to have happened in Meyer’s world. The devil is in the detail.

What else is their to say? There is a lot that I can criticize in this book, but I don’t see the point in going into more of the flaws because this isn’t, in my opinion, the kind of book that you read in order to get a really good literary experience. It’s the kind of story you read when you want to read something dramatic and happy with a love story that you know has to work out in the end.

I’ll rate this a 3/5 with points knocked of for all of the stuff that I’ve just written a whole review about and am not going to reiterate here, but I have to give it the 3 because I enjoy reading this book every time I pick it up. Mind you, I can’t read it that often or the drama of it starts to get on my nerves, but once every few years I’ll probably give it a read.

 

Reviews

Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die series book 3): Review

(Spoiler warning, but nothing too serious)

First off, I have to say that I’m pretty upset. I thought this series was only a trilogy, not sure why. I mean there were three book on the shelf at the store, I bought the three books, and I expected that to be the end of it. Anyway, this has definitely happened to me before, and I should really learn to start googling these things before I start a series, but I never learn. The point though, is that I’m pretty mad the series isn’t over yet.

If you’ve read my reviews of the first two books in the series you know that my feelings have been mixed. This book pretty much had all of the same problems as the previous two. I’m not going to rehash all of it, but basically the ideas and plot behind the story are interesting and have a lot of potential, but the execution of the story comes across really shallow. On the bright side, sitting here at the end of book three I feel like some of the main characters are finally starting to feel more genuine to me. Of course, it shouldn’t have taken three books for me to start feeling this way. If I were to compare this series to a movie I’d say it’s one of those action thrillers that has a plot, and it follows the plot, but you can tell that it was written specifically to allow for as many explosions, car chases, and gory fight scenes as possible, all at the expense of character development and cohesiveness.

So one reason why I’m upset that this series didn’t end with the third book is because it definitely could have. In fact, it very nearly did. The original aim of the series was pretty much completed in this book, but, surprise, something new happened, a new bad guy made himself known, and now the series goes on. This is something that often bothers me. I don’t like it when a story drags on after its natural conclusion. I mean, yes, I am totally fine with heroes facing more than one villain, and with multiple story arches, and things like that. But there’s a good way to do that, and there’s deciding to throw a new bad guy in at the end just to keep the series going. This series definitely seems like the latter to me. Possibly I would feel differently if I had known that the series went on past the third book, but I don’t think so. The series was set up with a very clear goal, an obvious conclusion, and I really think it should have ended there instead being dragged out.

On the other hand, things are getting really interesting over in OZ. That actually just makes me more angry because I really want to be finished with this series but now I’m to invested and really want to know what happens next. I guess that’s a positive though.

Alright, this third book in the series earns a grudging 3.5/5 from me. The plot is definitely getting interesting at this point, but mostly I’m just glad that the characters are starting to come into their own. This series is worth it if you’re willing to stick it out through all of the shallow characterization and plot devices to get to the interesting stuff.