Interview with the Vampire

Author: Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles, Book 1
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Star Rating: 3/5
Date Read: October 10th to 17th, 2013
Read Count: 1
Review:
I was fascinated by this book. Intrigued. I think those are the right words to describe my relationship with Interview with the Vampire. I thought it was different and kind of exciting and even thrilling in places. I thought Louis was an interesting character. He had typical vampire features and instincts and yet his deeper thoughts, so out of tune with his kind, managed to retain their humanity. His suffering was a little heart wrenching and even overwhelming. But the vampire I felt the most for was Claudia. Imagine being in her position, stuck in a child’s body long after your mind had outgrown it. She had every right to be furious with Lestat and Louis, too, who had he not been such a weasel even through his self-righteousness, could have prevented her turn.

As for the story itself, when it was going, it was really good. Unfortunately there were places where it lagged or my attention wandered. I wasn’t sure if I was going to read the rest of the books in the Chronicles but maybe, just maybe, the last page was enough to change my mind…

Advertisements

Storm

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elementals, Book 1
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Star Rating: 3.5/5
Date Read: November 26th to 28th, 2013
Read Count: 1
Review:
I’m giving this book 3.5 stars, leaning away from the 3 star rating, closer to the 4. I had a few issues with it but I was so intrigued by it that I’m going to buy the next book.

Becca, as a character, didn’t do much for me. I see her mainly as a catalyst but she’s not particularly useful although not overly stupid either. She’s not quite the strong female character I like to see in YA novels, but I did like her best when she stood up to the boys and slammed the door on them, etc. She has some potential. However, the Merrick brothers are fascinating and I’m enjoying the secret world building that’s been happening. I don’t care that they are ZOMGGG SO HOT (please shut up) and it frustrates me that this was the first thing mentioned about any of the main male characters, Hunter included. I want to know something more interesting than how good looking the boys are. Once we got past that, you could see the depth of character of the four brothers and their history was well developed. The author had clearly spent time on their characters, more time than on Becca or any other secondary characters, and I look forward to see how they develop over further books.

My issues arose, as mentioned before, with the wonderful hotness of all boys involved. I’m sick to death of boys being described that way like that’s all that is important, and also how girls (Becca was very guilty of this) just seem to lose control around them while boys keep their cool. It seems a very dominant thing and in this novel, Hunter particularly was very protective of Becca in an Edward sort of way. Boring and annoying. Let her do what she wants. And yet he let her go off with Drew, with whom she was in the most danger. Go figure.

This book also seems very ‘boys club’ – the four Merrick brothers, Tyler and Seth, Hunter. All the boys are special or different in some way, they have these Elemental ‘powers’ for lack of a better word – but where are the girls? The girls are dramatic, like Quinn, or bitches, like Lilah. Where are the girls with the cool powers? I only hope that this is something to be developed in further books, although I can see Becca getting jealous if any other girls show themselves to be like the brothers. I hope I’m wrong, but at the moment that’s what I’m predicting.

Still, I’m interested enough to want to go and buy the next book to see where it goes.

Find my review of Book 2 of this series, Spark, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Spirit, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series,
Secret, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series,
Sacrifice, here.

 

Spark

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elementals, Book 2
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Star Rating: 3.5/5
Date Read: November 29th, 2013
Read Count: 1
Review:
I’m giving Spark a 3.5 star rating, like I did with Storm, for pretty much the same reasons. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, but I’m still enjoying the world that’s been developed here. Maybe because it’s a secret, I’m not sure.

I was surprised, picking up this second book from the Elementals series, that this wouldn’t follow Becca and Chris. After Storm, I just expected it to. But then I settled into Gabriel’s shoes and read his story. His voice is completely different from Chris’ – as it should be. I’ve said before that I thought the Merrick brothers were very well developed characters. I stand by that. Gabriel is angry and rash, and Layne I thought was similar. They’re both closed off their real selves from the outside world, are very quick to jump on the defensive and make rapid judgments before they know what’s going on. I understand why Gabriel is so worked up all the time, but his attitude and quite frankly, his rudeness, hasn’t done him any favours. He needs a chill pill, for lack of a better expression.

I thought the storyline of the arson, the fires, was well done – I didn’t pick the culprit! This series is surprising me in little ways like that. The romance wasn’t my favourite and I’m worried these books are going to follow a formula. In this case it’s the Elemental boys meeting normal girls (except Becca wasn’t), but it feels like the formula is already decided – they get the girl in the end. Maybe I’ve been too quick to judge, after just two books. I hope I’m wrong. I’m intrigued enough to read on.

Still having a little trouble with the way girls are presented in these books. The girl who is the main focus is perfect, maybe with some little flaw or insecurity but nothing that can’t be fixed with a few kisses from WonderBoy – and all others are horrible. Please. The real world is not like that. Why did Layne’s best friend turn out to be a bitch? Why couldn’t she have been supportive, rather than use it as her elbow into the popular circles? The boys in this book, other than the Merrick boys and Hunter, have also been displayed in a similar light. Every other boy in the school, it seems, thinks its fine to force himself on a girl, video/photograph it and share it, while laughing at all her imperfections. While I did not go to school in America, I find it hard to believe that everyone’s like this. But I guess the ones that aren’t, aren’t worth mentioning for the purposes of this story. I’m finding it a little annoying but I guess Kemmerer doesn’t want to draw focus away from the main romance to introduce characters with a little compassion and no other motives.

My issues aside (as I always have issues), I’m on to the next one! Curious to see where it goes.

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, Storm, here.
Find my review of Book 3 of this series,
Spirit, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series, Secret, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series, Sacrifice, here.

Spirit

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elementals, Book 3
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Star Rating: 3/5
Date Read: November 29th to December 1st, 2013
Read Count: 1
Review:
Ahhh I was hoping for another Merrick boy story! Spirit is Hunter’s story. He’s not like the Merrick brothers. He’s a Fifth. He is supposed to erase the full Elementals, like the Merricks. He hasn’t.

Hunter is on rocky terms with the Merrick brothers and Becca. Nobody trusts him and they’re not even really sure what side he’s on. That’s when he meets Kate – and the poor guy gets even more confused.

As a Fifth, people are drawn to him and he to them. It’s in his nature to want to help people. This is why I don’t understand why the Fifths (or Guides, they are called as they get older) have to eliminate the Elementals. It seems like a waste of ability and potential. The Elementals control over the elements can be potentially dangerous, yes. I agree. But there’s better ways to go about it. Why don’t the Guides teach them to control what they can do? Use it for good? You could still get a story out of that – just considering the character profiles of Fifths, it doesn’t make sense. To be fair, maybe they’ve realised it (a little late) and thats the reason for the ‘rebellion’ (if you could call it that).

I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that goes down in this novel that could have been avoided if the characters weren’t stupid. Hunter’s switching sides and constantly not knowing what he was doing was irritating. I also couldn’t stand his need to 1. storm off in a huff and 2. not explain why he was storming off in a huff, as if everyone should always know why he was grumpy at the world. It’s not all about you, Hunter, and you could make life a lot easier for yourself but you choose not to. I also found the week-long whirlwind romance with Kate strange and a little unbelievable. But this author has guts! I respect that.

That being said, I am still (shocking, right?) enjoying the storyline. I like the action and the secret world of the Elementals. Looking forward to book four, not sure if it will be Nick or Michael (Nick, please!)

Also, Author?
PLEASE stop telling me how good looking everyone in these books is! I honestly couldn’t care less, tell me something real.

Find my review of Book 1 of this series, Storm, here.
Find my review of Book 2 of this series,
Spark, here.
Find my review of Book 4 of this series, Secret, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series, Sacrifice, here.

Secret

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elementals, Book 4
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Star Rating: 3.5/5
Date Read: February 8th to 10th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
*Warning, this review contains spoilers!*

I didn’t realise I was anticipating the next Elementals book until I heard it had been released and I rushed down to Dymocks to get myself a copy. These books have a weird hold on me, maybe because I feel they have so much potential and could at any moment get better and live up to my high standards – and I don’t want to miss that!

Secret is Nick’s story, one I have been looking forward to, and includes the novella Breathless which is such important and crucial reading to understanding the events of Secret that I don’t understand why it wasn’t worked into the main novel. In this book we see a different side to Nick, having only seen him as his brothers and Hunter see him. Some of his behaviour seemed out of character for him – I would never have expected Nick to be so aggressive and violent, particularly towards people he cared about. He also was very rash and for someone who has never judged anyone else, I found his expectation that his brothers would judge him harshly for his choices not particularly fair towards them and again out of character for him. Also, it really lets me down when I see students letting things like relationships affect their studies – I would have thought he knew better. At the same time, the emotional turmoil he was going through really changed him and it was heartbreaking to watch Nick at war with himself as he struggled to accept who he was. Of course this is going to impact on all aspects of your life. And yet we never see him working to make up his bad marks. This disappoints me so much! Maybe instead of hanging out with Adam you actually do your physics homework, Nick! His judgment of situations since he recognised himself as gay and started seeing Adam was really oversensitive of him – Gabriel thought it was ‘creepy’ that Adam was hitting on him because he thought Nick had a girlfriend and wasn’t interested and so that behaviour was inappropriate. But Nick jumped up and down and freaked out. CALM DOWN NICK. You’re supposed to be good at reading situations, now you’re just getting crazy. I wish he had put some more trust into his brothers. They’re his only family, and you can see how much they all care for each other.

As for Quinn – her home life is not ideal and she should not have to live with that. However her little routine of ‘poor me nobody loves me but if they try to help I should tell them to get lost and/or offer them sex and then act offended when they just want to help me and why doesn’t Becca care about me anymore’ – holy crap that got old really quick! If you don’t tell anyone other than creepy kind of stalker guy Tyler Morgan what’s going on, nobody is going to know and then nobody will ask you or help you. Sometimes if you have to put away your pride and get help, and if you don’t want to do that don’t complain! She frustrated me so much. And I don’t understand why she got so mad at Becca for not telling her what she was – Becca’s whole world has turned upside down and Quinn didn’t even care, only that she didn’t know. And I still don’t get why Nick told her. The whole town is going to know at this rate!

I don’t particularly like Tyler, but I think his revelation as a full Elemental is interesting. This is the part of the story I enjoy the most and what keeps me reading, the Elemental part. I’m intrigued as to what it will all come down to in the last book. I’m predicting a full out war and some amazing action scenes, hopefully not too much romance because I’m sick of the girls in these books. That being said, I did enjoy this book and I think it stands out above the other three books in the series.

Find my review for Book 1 of this series, Storm, here.
Find my review for Book 2 of this series,
Spark, here.
Find my review for Book 3 of this series,
Spirit, here.
Find my review of Book 5 of this series, Sacrifice, here.