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Bows & Bullets Book Blog

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Beneath the Sugar Sky
Seanan McGuire
Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo
Dark Seraphine - KaSonndra Leigh Caleb Wood has always been able to see the Walkers. He doesn’t know what they are; he just knows that no one can see them except him. Then one decides to strike up a conversation with him and become corporeal and he can’t help but obsess over her. Then creepier Walkers start turning up and everything gets out of hand.

I feel like I have really missed something in this novel. My sister absolutely adored it and I have read several other reviews of people raving about its awesome-ness, but I just don’t see it. It took me a record amount of time to read this rather small book (almost a month) and the entire time I was forcing myself to go on and truly gearing up to write an overly insulting review and give the book a single star rating. I gave it 2 because right at the end (in the last 30 or so pages) the story truly got interesting. Reading this really made me consider starting a “did not finish” shelf because it was so fucking hard to get through.


The truth? I’m just too tired and frustrated to write a bitchy review. Yes, I want to warn people that this book has major issues and they might be better off staying away, but my usual fire is gone. I think this novel had many problems, the writing, the characters, the stop and go plot, the whole enchilada basically. I start with the characters because that’s what I ‘m best at.

First off, we have our main man, Caleb. The entire novel is told via his perspective and let me tell you that for the first time I would have rather it been in third person. Caleb’s personality fell beyond flat and his voice felt very much like a woman desperately trying to be masculine. This is not just because the lack of swear words or his overly censoring of his naughty thoughts (though it probably contributed just a bit), the way he processed things and the fact that he was always on the brink of tears just felt feminine to me. And seriously dude, learn to say fuck because “oh snap!” just doesn’t cut it. Seriously, those words were on every other goddamn page and it was about as believable as Zoey Redbird saying “bull-poop” all the time.

Then there were the female interests. Yep, I said interests, so love triangle land it is. Gia, the Walker/Angel/Whatever, so is all over the place that you can’t tell what the hell she wants. One minute she is saving Caleb and then next she is avoiding him, telling him that he needs to leave her alone. She makes me wanna sing Katy Perry ::sings:: ‘Cause your hot then your cold, you’re yes then you’re no::stops:: I hate Katy Perry. For being the main love interest, she sure was flaky as hell and I couldn’t bring myself to root for them at all. I honestly wanted Caleb to just forget about her and be happy with Erica, if for no other reason than so I could stop listening to his inner monologue of “why can’t I being with Gia? Why doesn’t Gia love me? Whine whine whine.” As you can guess, Erica is the other love interest. In the beginning, I really thought she was going to be the only one, but damn was I wrong. She’s that popular girl with a sweet side, you know the caring cheerleader. Her character was a bit to clingy, trying to force Caleb to like her when it was clear that he was hung up on someone else. I gotta give her props for being patient, but she would have been better off with someone else.

Almost all the rest of the characters felt one dimensional and didn’t really add much to the story. Caleb’s friends, the other Walkers, the bad guy, all feel very flat to me, so I’m not even going to bother with talking about them. The writing style in this was choppy and the plot was slow. I felt like none of it flowed well. You’ll get 200 pages of Caleb and Gia doing the whole on again off again dance that drove me absolutely bonkers, with Gia not revealing any real information about herself (so really, what is the attraction? Just because she’s hot? Dude, stop being so shallow) and Caleb panting after her, while keeping Erica waiting on the sidelines. Then after that, we get just a little bit of stop and go action and then it ends with your typical cliffhanger.

Okay, so maybe I got a little rantey, but really, it’s what I do. This novel was a big downer for me and I can’t say that I’ll recommend it to anyone. Those out there in interweb land, enter at your own risk. Maybe I missed something, but I really just didn’t enjoy this and I definitely won't be reading the sequel.