K.J. Charles is without a doubt one of the most solid writers of historical m/m. I know there are others out there and I would like to say I enjoy them too, but the fact of the matter is, I don’t really. There is just more meat on the bones of a Charles book.
This is book two in the series that started with A Fashionable Affair and like that book it deals with a volatile period in British history when the common people started rebelling against the aristocracy. Where the first book dealt with someone elevated from the common class to the aristocracy, this one is about the affair between Dominic, an aristocrat who works at the home office, charged with bringing in the rebel rousers and Silas, one of the most wanted seditionists. That makes for a tense affair, for sure.
As good as this was, it wasn’t my favorite. Mostly because of the D/s relationship between Silas and Dominic, which just isn’t something that I find personally fascinating. Many people will feel differently, I know, and those people will probably have more interest in how that particular relationship develops. For me, the character I liked the best in this was Julius, who steals every scene he is in. So it won’t surprise you that I liked the previous book better. However, this was still a solid story set at an interesting time in history and well worth the read.
This book is quite deceptive in the way it lures you in with thinking there's just something in the past that is this tragic secret, bla bla omg, and the author just doesn't want you to know it yet to build tension, and that is going to be the only story line of note. Not that there aren't tragic secrets, there are tragic secrets galore, but as reader you go from 'yeah, yeah, just tell me already so we can move on' to 'what the fuck is going on here?'. And meanwhile, almost without realizing it, the tension builds and builds until in the last quarter it almost strangles you and there's no fucking way you're going to put this book down until it's done.
Taking off half a star for the ending that is a little too 'wait, what?' and the slow start, but this is really one of the best SF novels I've read in a while. I hope the Sad Puppies won't interfere with the awards next year, because woman author with black gay female protag wouldn't cut it for them and this deserves some recognition at least.
This whole series should have been called ‘Waiting for Kai-Ren’, because that is pretty much all that happens and in both Dark Space and Darker Space Kai-Ren doesn’t show up until almost the end. Not that he does a whole lot when he gets there, besides saying their names and running his claw down someone’s naked spine. That last thing happens – real or imagined- at least 5 times in this book and there we run into another problem: the book is so damned repetitive. From the repeated descriptions of Kai-Ren’s features, to the repeated statements of the superiority of the officer’s food, and the repeated observations of how much Cam loves ‘the black’, etc. Dark Space had similar issues in the middle, and the first 40% of this one are nothing but Brady having the same 4 thoughts over and over again:
I am just a lowly reffo kid
I must take care of Lucy
I got a bad attitude, but really everyone else is just an asshole
I don’t know why Cam would love me
Honestly, I don’t know either. But saintly Cameron Rushton is nothing but very pretty, very kind and endlessly, endlessly understanding (and therefore boring as hell). After 40% there is a little plot (too little, too late, as far as I am concerned) and, of course, there is Kai-Ren’s arrival finally at 80% or so, but it all feels very flimsy. I understand that this is more like a romance (not a whole lot happens in the relationship development between Brady and Cam, though, but it could be that I skimmed over that, like I skimmed most superfluous sex scenes) and not a hard boiled scifi novel, but does it have to be as flimsy as this?
Anyway, it looks like there will be another book after this one and with the ending setup as it is, Henry has created chance to do some serious world building. I hope she takes it, because this scifi-light stuff just doesn’t do it for me.
Pretty cover, though.
I am not sure what there is left to say about volume 7 that I haven't said before about volume 1 through 6 before. Except that these books are so effing good and Daron is so effing real and that is still just as true for volume 7, and that is really quite a feat. Most series I quit because they get boring and repetitive and they start feeling like fanservice (or like milking the fanbase) rather than that the author still has a story to tell. This is nothing like that.
So Daron and Ziggy are finally reunited in this book, something we've been waiting for since.... book 2, really. And it's intense. And it stays intense, because if there is one thing for sure, it's that these two will never end up in the complacent domesticity that passes for an HEA in most m/m romance. They've got too much shit to work out, for themselves and together, they are too different, they've got too much water under the bridge. But they're trying. Hard. And it's a beautiful thing to witness.
So rather than trying to dredge up more superlatives and repeating myself, I'm just going to leave you with more quotes.
“Mills is the one who wants to break up the band, not me.”
Ziggy’s spine straightened. “What did he tell you?”
“A load of crap so far as I’m concerned. What did he tell you?”
“That while I was in rehab you whored yourself out to a lot of other bands, looking for a new job, and in the end you re-joined Nomad.”
I should not have been defensive, but I was. “That’s called making a living.”
“Oh, so you did what you had to do? How’s that different from me?”
“For fuck’s sake, Ziggy, I’m a professional musician. So are you. You are not, however, a professional professional.” I couldn’t bring myself to use the word “whore” again, not even though–or maybe because–he’d just used it.
“I’m an entertainer,” he said.
“Fine. Entertainer, actor, celebrity, fine. That doesn’t mean you have to have sex with whoever’s in charge.”
“But I like the sex.”
“Is that why you do it? Honestly? You just like it?” I had a sudden feeling of deja vu. Didn’t we have this conversation once before? Or had I imagined it? In the time we were apart there were so many things I wished we’d said I wondered if I were mixing fantasy with memory. “Let me be clear about this, Ziggy Ferias.” Yes, I was using last-name level vehemence. “I get jealous. I do. But I could live with you sleeping with whoever you wanted if that’s all it was about, freedom and being yourself and enjoying sex for the sake of sex. But when it’s this control-game bullshit? It makes me want to run far, far away. If you’re lovers with Richard Whatshisface, the director? Okay, fine. But you just told me he’s a closet case you control with his joystick.”
To which Ziggy had only three little words to say, in a very small voice. “You get jealous?”
And then I had one of those weird moments of clarity, as if the rules of a game had suddenly presented a loophole to me. I didn’t care so much whether it was “true” that he had, or had not, tried to kill himself. What I actually cared about was that he knew that I worried about it, and I wanted him to do something about it. Not to “tell me the truth” necessarily, but to acknowledge that I felt the way I did. And you know what would have to happen for that?
I would have to tell him how I felt. Fuck.
I let my own eyes close for a second while I drew a breath. When I opened them, he was looking right at me. Here goes. “I really worried you tried to kill yourself. And I really worried it was…” My throat got so tight I could barely choke out the last two words. “…my fault.”
Shit. Ziggy cracked like a second-rate aquarium and like that he was projectile crying. I don’t know which one of us had the bright idea to hug the other. Maybe it was spontaneous. We ended up pressed together, me cradling his head while he wept into my shirt and I dripped tears into his hair.
“Okay, hang on, if we’re going out I’m changing my clothes,” Ziggy said. “Five minutes.”
He ran up to my room. I resisted the urge to follow him and watch him undress because–come on, people–I’d just been listening to him sing for an hour. If you didn’t expect it to be like an hour of foreplay you haven’t been paying attention.
Her: I’m not saying don’t be upset. You have every right to be upset. But… but you’re getting paid for not lifting a finger.
Me: For my life’s work.
Her: Listen to yourself. You’re twenty-four years old–
Her: –Even worse. You’re only twenty-three and you’re calling two albums and an EP your life’s work?
Me: Okay, I misspoke. Life’s work is… I can’t explain it.
Her: I can. You wrapped a huge amount of your ego and your self-esteem and your identity in the band. Come on. Isn’t it obvious? You named the band after your persona. But maybe it’s time to stop mixing up the band and you.
Her: Daron? Are you there?
“I knew I could never do it alone. I knew I wanted to do rock and I’ve always known that would mean finding a singer.” I found myself sucking in a breath, then, pulling myself back from the edge of tears, feeling like this was turning into a breakup conversation before I gave it a chance. “When you find the one, you know.”
He got to his feet suddenly, and I watched him beat back his anger, stuff it back down inside himself so that he could tell me something instead of screaming it at me. “You know how you said I should have asked you about it before I signed the contract?”
“Maybe you should have said that sooner, too.”
“Label shmabel. It’s just another fucking hand of conformity trying to crush me, Sarah. Every time I think I’ve escaped it, wham, another one comes down!”
“Is that all it is? Rebelling against your suburban upbringing? Wow, that’s really fucking original. Not a cliche at all. You know what says angsty whiteboy pain better than anything else? Anthemic guitar solos. That’s so so much less of a cliche than a big Broadway number, oh yeah right.”
Oh shit I’m in trouble, I thought. I’m having a fight with a friend, like a serious, we’re-both-mad-and-upset kind of fight, and on top of that, fuck, if she’s right, and I think she is… something in the bedrock of my self-identity is crumbling away.
And that always sucks.
Even if it’s necessary.
Even though I was putting the brakes on in my brain, my mouth was still going, which goes to show how upset I was. “I don’t do those piece-of-shit anthem solos and you know it.”
“Tell yourself that if you need to, but I thought you were over lying to yourself. I think you’re saying all of that to justify what’s happened and the choices you made that led to it.”
“Oh yeah? I’m pretty sure you’re saying what you’re saying because you’re about to hit the road with a fifty-person entourage, wearing a rhinestone-studded bra.”
She slapped me. I deserved it.
“Remo, the guys, they all know about me.”
“And me?” Oh, the skeptical eyebrow.
“Remo knows. The rest have made guesses.”
He came out and said it: “They wouldn’t find the whole fucking-a-bandmate thing a taboo?”
I came right back. “We’re not bandmates anymore, Ziggy.”
He stopped dead in his tracks. His lips parted and his mouth opened slowly and I realized that was his jaw going slack.
I wanted to reach up caress that jaw. Instead I made my voice gentle. “We’re not, remember?”
So, Volume 6 of Daron's Guitar Chronicles is probably the oddest volume of any romance series ever, since it doesn't feature one half of the couple. At all. He is just not there (except for in the bonus bit). And it is still awesome. I wouldn't have believed it either, if I hadn't just reread it and confirmed it: this book is fantastic.
So what happens is that after the nail biting finale of volume 5, Ziggy goes to rehab for a month. Within that month horrible things are done to Moondog Three by the record company and things come to a head with Digger, Daron's dad and manager. And when Daron goes to pick Ziggy up from rehab before Digger gets there.... well, that'd be spoiling things.
The main part of the book features Daron dealing with these crises, while making a go of living with his boyfriend Jonathan. Safe and sane Jonathan, who has so much to offer that Daron needs in his life. The brilliance of this book lies in how Tan slowly, insidiously, tears their relationship apart until it all comes to a head. If you've ever been in a relationship where both of you really tried to make a go of it and it still just didn't work, you'll be cringing and nodding through big parts of this book. The reason this book is exciting and not totally depressing is that, besides a few overly domesticated Daron fans, nobody is actually rooting for Daron and Jonathan to make it. Because face it: we're totally team Ziggy. It's hard to hate Jonathan, though, so we feel so much for both of them. And that is how a book without Ziggy can still be one of the best, if not the best, in the series. Even though his absence is sorely missed.
By Daron too. This scene takes place towards the end of the book and is set in a karaoke bar in Japan, where Daron is on tour with another band.
I sorted through the catalog trying to find something I knew well enough to sing even if I was potentially too drunk to read the lyrics.
Hey. They had some Moondog Three in the listings. Candlelight, Wonderland, Why the Sky… What was Intensive Care doing on that list? Had it been released as a single here? It hadn’t been in the US, but maybe it had in Japan. We usually did it in our shows. Maybe it had gotten some college airplay and deep AOR…
What the hell. I decided to do it.
The first draft of the lyrics? I’d written them back when I still had that initial crush on Ziggy. Back when I felt so strongly about him, so intense it was painful. It was a love song, but it was about how much love hurts.
I wish I had remembered that before I picked it to sing. Not only did it remind me exactly how much it used to hurt, it reminded me of the exact size of the current Ziggy-shaped hole in my life. I swear I hallucinated him sitting in the audience and then disappearing before my eyes. When you wish hard enough for something, I think you can make yourself see it. But that doesn’t mean it’s there.
And the thing is, I wrote the song, but he’s the one who sings it, you know? I get to stand behind a guitar usually. What the hell did I think I was doing going out there with the microphone? There’s no going back, you know. No matter how embarrassing or ridiculous your performance is. Karaoke, standing there on the stage alone, demands commitment. Songs take on a life of their own.
I did not do something so dramatic as cry on stage. I can hold it together. That’s one of those things, though: when you feel like you’re being sliced up by knives in your chest, holding it all together only makes it hurt even more.
I might have made other people cry, though. I’m sort of ashamed to think I might have and so I’ve never found out for sure. I don’t remember anything else from that night other than learning the word Suntory. (Japanese for whiskey.)
Drunken Buddy Read with Kate.
Set up: We purchase what we hope will be a craptastic m/m book, choose our poison and start reading at the same time, while commenting on a sekrit goodreads thread.
The next day we correct typos.
Kate Um yeah. So more unhealthy living brought to you by Kate and Marleen.
Estimated start: 1900 hrs PDT LenaLena Do as we say, not as we do!
Stay tuned for a passionate commentary on Woobie And The 3 Werewolves (featuring mpreg)! Kate Okay, I drank half a glass of wine to get started. I think I'm going to need a head start with this *mutters*. Fucking mpreg shit.
On to page 1 Kate What are gammas? Is this something I should know about ABO that I don't? Kate Using "floor" when you mean "ground" is confusing. It's going to be a lonnnnggggg night.
*has another drink* LenaLena Whoa! Hold your horses! I am here. Just had to fix an issue withe the bluetooth keyboard. Starting..... now! LenaLena Maybe gammas are betas? Kate Gamma comes after beta in every Greek alphabet I've ever seen. Kate “As the wolves circled, and brought with them their familiar stench, Aden’s head echoed with his mother’s entreaties to run and his father’s pleas to the alpha to spare him. It had done no good, and if he’d known their blood would have been sacrificed to mark the start of the hunt, he would have done his best to stop them saying anything. At least he would have been spared the sight of the alpha and his gammas ripping their flesh as they were butchered.”
Poor woobie. But what luscious dramatic prose. My heart is palpitating. Hah. I even spelt that right. LenaLena You spelled that right. Ergo, you aren't drunk enough. Kate Clearly one can't be drunk enough to read this one. *refills glass* LenaLena Dizziness, pain AND hopelessness. Poor Woobie. Kate “His jet black hair fell over his smooth, tanned face, and he was huge, at least six foot five—hell the man’s body was nearly the width of the tree trunk he leaned against, his shirt material straining against his biceps as he casually crossed his arms.”
Posted without further comment. LenaLena Bow Chicka Wow Wow. There comes the Alpha! Kate Oh yes. The crushing disappointment of clothed humans. LenaLena It's crushing my very soul, don'chaknow. LenaLena Oh more crushing! Now it's hope. Kate Yes. Crushingly crushed Kate Oh noble woobie! LenaLena Don't be frightened, little woobie. Your big man is here! Kate More alphas. A gold and a silver one. Stately handsome ones. Not old gnarly icky ones. LenaLena Duh. Nobody writes books about old gnarly icky ones. Kate “Pack wolves couldn't howl. Howls from the pack were almost scratchy as if they'd lost their power.”
Srsly? This is what we're going with? Howl strength? Kate Lemon scented wolves no less. they must have been in the furniture polish again. Kate Sensuously licking blood off his paws? And it make Aden all shivery. :S LenaLena Such focus on the blood licking! No wonder he has wet his panties. LenaLena Crushed wrist! Kate Wolf licked it all better. But he can't stand up any more. All the pride that would let him do so has been crushed out of him.
Poor poor woobie. Kate Stripped, beaten and tortured for no reason. Just because. Woe, woe, woe. *haz sad for woobie* LenaLena Just because he's an omega that can't shift! Nasty racist werewolves. Kate Mean! Kate “Richard’s head rolled away from his body, his unseeing eyes staring heavenward, a fat pink tongue extending from his mouth, following the gasp he made as his life ended. The stench was incredible, as if the Alpha had died and rotted before he ever lost his life.”
OMG. This is too much. Shall we guess the age of the author. I'm saying no more than 16. LenaLena Wow. Immediate decomposition. Another Alpha power. Or is that only because they had scratchy howls? Oh you are wrong. I saw her author pic on Amazon. She is about our age. Kate No. way. Noway. LenaLena Way.
http://smile.amazon.com/Victoria-Sue/e/B00OSTTZ0K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1442081322&sr=1-2-ent LenaLena Well, we made it through chapter 1! Kate More lemon smells. LenaLena Must be California. Kate ZOMG. Naked man to be drooled over. Never mind we are beaten and starving, beautiful naked men come first. LenaLena Bacon or muscles. It's a hard choice when you're literally starving. Kate Oh no, surrounded by desolation and misery when the guy pulls his hand away from his face. The burning! The awful ache! Being an omega must truly suck. LenaLena Ridiculous tears! So lonely with only one beautiful naked man! Kate LenaLena wrote: "Bacon or muscles. It's a hard choice when you're literally starving."
I'm going with bacon, no contest.
My kindle says 5 more hours. I'm commenting too much and reading too slow. This could be an all nighter. Kate Oh God I looked at her photo. My faith in humanity is ruined. No adult should be this stupid. LenaLena Told ya!
Yeah, we are going to have to buck up and only comment on the most ridiculous stuff or we'll be here till morning. Kate I had to go to the kitchen for a refill. Some nameless man thinks walking back and forth to the booze will somehow limit my consumption so he appropriated the bottle. Stinker. LenaLena More sobbing!
Oops. Broke my own rule already. Kate It's all, ALL ridiculous stuff. And he's not even pregnant yet!!! LenaLena No, but he has altready met his mate. Moving along nicely *nods* Kate More sobbing. Woobie is an emotional wreck. Kate Blaze. Nice wolfy name. Sounds like a horse. LenaLena A horse with a harem of mates! Mares, mates, same thing. Kate Yeah really close. One little finger wiggle apart on the keyboard. LenaLena I actually typo'd it as mares first. Kate Oh hand-feeding. Check one of the "have to" D/s boxes. True submissives are always hand fed. LenaLena While being cradled against big rumbly chests. Kate Rumbly chests are the best. LenaLena My husband only has a rumbly chest when he has a cold. And he don't want me leaning on him then. *pout* Kate Now my kindle says 7 hours. This is known as going the wrong direction.
We could do some this weekend and some next. Just to drag the pain out as long as possible. LenaLena I only have 5 hr 45 min! Still too much. Let's see how far we get tonight. Kate Criticizing grammar and sentence construction seems like piling on, but this?
“Blaze helped him lower a soft pair of shorts down he hadn’t realized he was wearing, and sat him down.”
*shudder* LenaLena Are those like the blue shorts in I, Omega, you think? Kate Yes! Baby blue boy shorts! I'd forgotten those. LenaLena Oh, shame on you! How could you forget the humiliating shorts!?
Gotta get a refill.... Kate Oh noes the misery has returned. He has to bury his head (somewhere) and hide before this lovely respite in his awful life is ripped away. Kate The chest is rumbling again. LenaLena Must be a really bad cold. LenaLena More stunning menz! Kate Smooth ebony skin with silver hair. Hey lookee it's an IRR? Check another diversity box. LenaLena Conner's name should have been Meyer. So she could stop mentioning the lemon smell. Kate Oh no. Omega taking in and diffusing emotions trope. Not well intro'd. Kate Bad guy has green eyes. That's new. Green eyes are usually alpha. Author has an original thought.
But he has pock marks, so that tells us he's pretty evil. Cancel the original thingee. LenaLena Except Loki has green eyes too. He's pretty, though. LenaLena More tears cuz he already luvs Meyer! LenaLena How can anyone love pathetic ugly old me?!?! Kate I don't know ow ow wo wo.
Meyer is a GREAT name. Kate Throbbing alpha power. @@ LenaLena Redudes me to a puddle of desperate need every time.
Can't be helped. Kate
True. There is no resisting it. Kate THREE beeyyoootiful mates. What omega could ask for more. LenaLena Four? He could ask for four beautiful mates? Or five. Or seventeen?
Really, why stop at three? Kate The throb makes his body pulse. Yin/Yang. What can you do? It's beyond his control. LenaLena Well, whaddayaknow. The evil wolf pack are homophobes.
So surprised. Kate Yeah, shocked. Not obvious or anything. They're bad guys, and in m/m bad guys are always homophobes. Or homophones which is what I typed first. Kate No, they didn't fall in insta-love with him because… He ISN'T actually an omega….he's a gay HUMAN with an inner wolf. Just what every shifter wolf wants.
Have I drunk too much already? This isn't making lots of sense to me. LenaLena I am still waiting for the explanation of how he isn't an omega, but still a wolf something.
I paid for an ABO godammit. If there are no omegas I want my money back! Kate No betas either. We wuz robbed! Kate Psi? Psi???!!! Are we just pulling random fucking letters out of the alphabet here? JHFC LenaLena And just telling me he is another random letter from the Greek alphabet is not going to do it for me! LenaLena $5 says Chapter 4 is going to be one big infodump. Kate No takers. Skimming Kate Yep. This is where we explain all the world building instead of actually, you know, world building. LenaLena We can skip it altogether and see if things still make sense? Kate “Legends go that if mankind turns its back on this final effort, humans will be wiped from the face of the earth.”
Aden opened his eyes wide. “That’s what you are doing?” He gulped.
You can turn your back on such portentous drama? LenaLena It'd be a sacrifice. But one I am willing to make for the sake of my blood alcohol level. LenaLena Shouldn't the godess's name be Siria? Kate No silly. Because Dog Star =/= Siria. She is trying to use actual fact stuff here, not made up stuff. We need to admire her research. LenaLena Obviously, the research didn't include a study of Latin. Kate Aha. An alpha triad can only form Orion's circle when they have the fourth. The fourth has to be super special. Unheard of. It is….ADEN.
Now we can go to the next chapter. We have the key piece of info!! LenaLena Yeah, like that was hard to deduce @.@ LenaLena Psi is uber-omega! But first we must boink to activate psi-powers! Kate Except that he is an omega, only not just an omega because psi's are stronger than omegas, and mating with the three alphas will make him a psi. so I guess at this point he's an omega cuz he hasn't mated. Except that Blaze said he wasn't one. *so damn confused. Need more drink* Kate I object to the abuse of the greek alphabet in this. Formal objection filed with the courts. LenaLena That, and the fucking up of Latin.
Oh noes! Poor Darric has been sexually abused! Kate Huh? Why bring in pedophiles? Kate Woobie alphas i guess.
All woobies. All of them. LenaLena Ok, we shoudl call it Woobie and the three Alpha Woobies (featuring Mpreg). Kate I'm pretty sure we've mentioned tomorrow's meeting with Jefferson pack before. For exactly the same reason--not shifting. This is bad enough without redundant redundancies.
And yes we can file objections for crappy Latin too.
Kate I have seen no hints of mpreg. I'm thinking false advertising.
No sex even. At least I, Omega had a sex scene that lasted most of the first quarter of the book. *cheated* With magic spunk that bound the omega to the alpha.
We need magic spunk. LenaLena I am not worthyyyyyyyy!!!!! This is stuck in self flagellation.
I, Omega had BUCKETS of magic spunk! *reminisces fondly* Kate Ahh. We will have Aden woobie's consent. Even though he is powerless to his attraction. I am not sure consent means what this author thinks it means. LenaLena Well. Apparently he has nine days to find a backbone. LenaLena He smells something delicious and it isn't a man. Harhar. Kate He made Darric cry and he hated, HATED that he did that so he cried too. LenaLena Many manly tears. Always a sign of quality literature. LenaLena Excuse you? You've cried at least three times already in the space of a day. What is this 'really long time since you last cried' you speak of? LenaLena Since when do closed eyes prevent crying, you crybaby? Kate Oh yeah! Multiple orgasms. Being a chick with a dick…er an omega-psi, I mean… is so awesome.
Is it me or is this sex scene a little luridly purple? LenaLena Whoa, you're getting ahead! Kate This is actually fricking boring. Starting Ch. 6 and nothing really has happened except woobie rescue and psi bonding. And crying.
The answer is? More to drink! LenaLena How is he teasing a rock hard shaft to hardness? Wasn't it already hard? Kate You are over thinking this. LenaLena Either that, or someone's editor snoozed through the sex scene. Not that I blame them. Kate "opulent space" Must be billionaire alphas. Another box checked. Kate So why do they need Aden to channel emotions when empath lemon-Conner can? LenaLena I have spotted women! As servants, of course. Check another box? Kate Yes servant-y women are an m/m check mark. LenaLena Getting a little tired of all the cuddling. Kate And MOAR picking up and cuddling. Aden is sort of their snuggle pet. Although people who do that with pets drive me crazy. LenaLena Um. Didn't Meyer just explain he couldn't hear their thoughts yet because of an incomplte bond? And now he is talking in Woobie's head? Kate Ooh condescending bitch. Every m/m needs a bitchy female. Check. LenaLena UNATTRACTIVE bitchy female. Double check! Kate "scales heaved emptily for water" I have read that 3 tmes and it still doesn't make sense, fuck it. LenaLena She means gills. Move on, for god's sake, or we'll never finish this. Kate Oh bad guy gubmint military bitch bureaucrat. So much bad guy-ness in one place is hard to beat--author talent at its finest.
The coyotes are yipping outside. Even they are amused by this catastrophe of a book. Kate Self appointed werewolf council for all of north america. Self aggrandizing dictators, much? Kate Pshaw. They've been chsen by the goddess, you unbeliever! LenaLena American Werewolf ISIS is thoroughly benevolent! LenaLena Woobie is going to start a teen center! Yay, Woobie! Kate Day care! LenaLena Let's fill 'er up with babbies! LenaLena Jefferson has betas. Then who the fuck are the gammas? So confused! Kate Oh no. They are channeling Tony Stark. They invested in something immoral, but they fixed it by turning the ammunitions factory into a school!
Is there a sentimental, stupid trope she hasn't borrrowed yet? I'm sure we can find more.
Onward! LenaLena Leave my Tony out of this. Your sullying his name by association. Kate Awwww. Kidlets are so adorbs.
Barf. Kate Bored. boooorrrrrrred! Can we skim? Maybe read every other chapter or something??
*whiny Kate is whining* LenaLena Why do I always have the be the grown up in these endeavors and insist we read on? LenaLena 'Never argue with a female" Hello casual misogyny. Kate I saw that and did an eyeroll. Mostly because it is such an overused cliche.
Tony would take care of these so called werewolf leaders of NA in about one pass of Ironman's lasers. Maybe he would let Steve help. This would be a much better Stony fic than ABO werewolfs without BO fic. And they have no BO because lemons.
More wine. Kate LenaLena wrote: "Why do I always have the be the grown up in these endeavors and insist we read on?"
Because you are Coulson and I am Clint and I'm borrrrred. I have the attention span of a gnat and it gets shorter when I'm drinking. LenaLena Stop trying to turn this into a Stony fic! That is an insult to Stony fics.
Hey, look, they are 600 years old. That's interesting, right? Right? Kate 613 yo? Why? Why is that even necessary? LenaLena Oh joy. More lap sitting and cuddling. Kate Wait. Wait wait wait wait. Wait.
The werewolfies are supposed to wipe out humans if humans don't reconnect with the werewolf godhead or something. But now werewolves are responsible for protecting all of humanity and bringing them desperately needed balance. Because of al qaeda or whatever.
I am not following the logic trail here. LenaLena There is no logic trail! It's just foreplay for the next sex scene. Lust slamming through bodies and all that. Move on. Kate Thumbing away more tears. There are lots of tears here. Very cry-ful werewolves. LenaLena Have we filled a swimming pool yet? Kate Also more small desperate sounds in the back of his throat. He does that a lot too. LenaLena We can't fuck you hard, because you are still a healing woobie, Woobie. Kate Oh God. "Mine" How many checks for that? At least 3. LenaLena Yours
And consenting consent again. Triple. Kate 4.5 hours left in this book. Not gonna make it.
I only have 2 hours left. Did you accidentally buy the omnibus? Kate "The pain in his cock suddenly molded into something else."
Huh? Like play doh or something? Or a sound? Whoa. Maybe they're getting kinky. Kate Ah. Delirious need will overcome pain. Every time. Kate And a "baby" endearment. Check. LenaLena If we don't get double penetration at least once in this book I am asking my money back.
What's the point of having three mates if not for that? Kate No dp in this scene? I thought it was leading up to triple penetration, but I couldn't figure out the logistics of arranging 4 bodies. Kate Uh oh. Two fingers are hurty. This isn't going far. LenaLena Ah, the pain! A true deflowering of the virgin! Kate Yes! But it was beeootiful. Aden says so. LenaLena Aaaaaaand..... more cuddling. LenaLena With chesty rumbles. Kate Snuggling. Again! *disgusted* Kate Post coitus interruptus. Or maybe further-coitus interruptus. Or something like that. LenaLena Oh! Oh! The cute potbelly! I sense foreshadowing of the mpreg! Kate How sweet. Holding Aden's hand for reassurance. :/ LenaLena Oh god, dumbass omega goes out by himself. It's like he's never read I, Omega. Kate Or any other tstl book. Kate You are kidding me, right? This obvious plot device, so tired a cliche it ought to be permenantly retired, isn't where we are going here? LenaLena It isn't his fault, he was roofied! Poor Woobie! Kate Poor trusting woobie. Poor, poor, woobie. And poor, poor alphas. *pets them all* LenaLena Poor evil wolves too! So ignorant and unbelieving they can't help evilling! Kate Oh oh. Another meanie homophobe. Poor betrayed woobie. Kate Oh now orion's circle is going to save mankind. Wipe out, balance, save, all same same. Kate So they grabbed him so they could hunt him again? I'm missing a big chunk of something called reason here.
Unless it's just evilly evilness. That would explain things. LenaLena Yeah and then beat him and starve him again, because that worked so well for the first hunt. Kate And beat him until he can't stand, then blackmail him with the life of his friend and it's insta noble woobie again. But at this point how could he even move?
I hate things that make less than no sense. Negative sense. This is sucking brain cells out of my head. Kate Hey it's a tracker! Like the RC chip in I,Omega. Check! LenaLena Genital mutilation. That's new. LenaLena Like a true heartbroken woobie he is now refusing all food and drink. Kate No, no, no you stupid wolf. Draw it UP your arm. Can't you even kill yourself properly? LenaLena You are still at the first suicide attempt. Read faster! LenaLena Woobie crying again. LenaLena And again! LenaLena And again! Kate I'm sorry. I drifted off to the internet for a minute or two. I will catch up. Pwomise. Kate So Craig had betas? What? and why aren't his gammas dead. And I'm still confused about the evilly evil and what was the whole point.
But hurt/comfort! And damaged weenie! And tears! Blargh. LenaLena Hey! Guess what?!
It's awesome. Kate
>:( LenaLena And now.... Now we're crying in hysterical grief! LenaLena Woobie obviously had to tell the Alphas Three to stay out of his head, or else the author would not have been able to work in the miscommunication trope. And what is a romance novel without miscommunication? Huh? LenaLena Oooh, vomiting. He must be preggers already. Because that's always the first sign. Kate God. So much self pity. I'm drowning in it. Kate Oooo. Big ugly faced cry. We needed more tears. LenaLena Only a few paragraphs to the hysterical crying. Just fyi. LenaLena Oops. Sorry for the spoiler. My bad. Kate Did you notice that "dick" in the first scene where he got hard was replaced by cock and has been cock ever since.
I'm guessing it was a beta comment and it only got applied the first time the beta reader made it. LenaLena Wow. You must be way more sober and awake than me. I'm not functioning that level anymore. Kate Hey. I just got to the morning sickness part. Best thing? I now have only 20 min left. I can do it! LenaLena How come I still have 44 min? This book is fucking with the time space continuum! Kate So humans knew all about werewolves in 1917 but forgot about them by the 21st century. How would that work, exactly? LenaLena Beats me. I skimmed that shit. Way too deep for me at this point in the proceedings. Kate So the doctor is still alive for reasons of author-stupid and we are reading this because…why are we reading this? Are we masochists? This even hurts when I'm drunk. LenaLena Oh now the bitch is getting told off by a room full of men. Reader is supposed to rejoice. Awkwardly casual misoyny of m/m writers strikes again. Kate Exactly. The misogyny is worst among women writers, too. LenaLena Blablabla negotiations blblablabla. Zzzzzzzzz. Kate skimmity skim skim skim. this military yak yak blah blah is stupid. Kate He's all tired too. Def preggers. LenaLena Yes! Remember Texas Jory's narcolepsy? Kate Yes, you were insisting it was Texas Jory mpreg BUT IT DIDN'T EVER HAPPEN. So disappointing.
Also, Aden suddenly like bananas. We are being overwhelmed by teh clue here. LenaLena Shhhh. She's being very subtle. Don't spoil it! LenaLena Oh, I thought Aden had erectile dysfunction and that was the reason he was wallowing in despair. Apparently not. Kate Me too. I guess it's just the scars. LenaLena Must be magic dick healing. I swear he insinuated he had no more sensation 'down there'. Kate Insinuated nothing. He ran his hand over his dick and couldn't feel it. LenaLena Ok, insinuated he couldn't get it up, then. LenaLena Jesus, I only just got to the bananas. How did I fall behind again?! You filthy skimmer! LenaLena
Now there is a genetic experiment lab cloak and dagger Mengele subplot?!
*head hurts* Kate Registration for all wolf shifters. Aha! stolen from either the X-men mutant registration or the Civil War superhero registration. Another check. Kate More tears. Streaming tears. LenaLena Visions from the Goddess. Check. Kate Now a visit from the goddess. Why not. Everything else is in this shitty book. LenaLena Yeah. Divine do over. Always a winner. Kate Osiris? We're dragging in the Egyptians now?!!!! I give up. LenaLena Come one, we already had Greek and Latin, what's a little Egyptian among friends? LenaLena And woobie passes out again. That's twice in an hour. That can't be good for the baby. Kate I guess we had to work in the corporate greed angle. It was definitely a missing piece. *eyeroll* Kate Yay! Epilogue!! We're done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LenaLena Oh look! Woobie is pregnant! What a surprise! LenaLena Heyyyyyyy, another tear...
Damn pregnancy hormones! LenaLena OH Jesus Fuck. He STILL doesn't believe they want him? How fucking stupid can you GET?!? Kate He's not going to stay where he isn't valued. He's just going to leave and go off and cry in peace. They'll all be sorry then!
Fuck this book and this idiot. Sideways. At least 3 times. LenaLena OK, all this blithering idiocy, but only two real sex scenes and NO double penetration. What a waste. Kate Oh, see? Omegas have always been powerful same sex consorts. Throughout history even. LGBT for the win!
This is the lamest mpreg, ever. Ever, ever. LenaLena In the history of Ever.
Is the sequel out yet? Kate Broken Circle. You are on your own. LenaLena Oh, come on! How about next week?
(Not even if you paid me) LenaLena Goodnight dahlink. Sweet werewolf dreams! Kate You too, babe. This one was epically bad. Great choice! LenaLena I'm counting on Amazon togive me some good recs for the next one based on this purchase.!
Some of my favorite quotes from Daron's Guitar Chronicles, chronologically.
This app was made for all of us AO3 addicts who use their kindles to read fanfic. It creates a Dropbox folder (if you don't have dropbox yet, you can get it free) and all the mobis you save to this folder while downloading them from AO3 get automatically sent to your kindle.
I tried it. It works.
The world is just a little bit more beautiful today.
Question: do I get it NOW from smashwords or do I wait for the Amazon link and use my gift cards.....
A bit underwhelming. I liked it well enough, but it just didn't entertain me as much as the previous two did. It felt too much like a continuance of book two, without anything new thrown into the mix to justify its separate status. The grand finale was too sketchy to be more than mildly exciting.
All in all, I enjoyed it, but I will have forgotten it next month.
...because even though my dad started out well by buying us Pong when it first came out (but Pong is not in this book and since everything else that ever happened near a screen in the 80s is, I just have to wonder why the fuck not), my parents later flatout refused to buy us an Atari, even though my siblings and I did some epic whining about that. We had a Commodore 64, but maybe 3 games for that, most of which you had to reload from cassette tape (a 20 minute process at least), because we did not have a floppy drive for those disks that actually were quite floppy back then, every time you wanted to play and they usually took several tries to get through the loading process. An hour into the process you still hadn't started playing yet. So, I missed out on a bunch of those first video games, and it hampered my enjoyment of this book. I hope my mom and dad read this and feel all the guilt. I don't care if they're over 70 now: All. The. Guilt.
The first 20% of this book is boring as shit. Infodump after infodump until you start wondering who let the dude with the boner for the 80s anywhere near a word processor in the first place. If you make it through that you unlock the story achievement and the process of reading this becomes considerably less arduous. It still has its moments, though where you have to plow through several pages of technobabble about virtual reality rigs (complete with model numbers) that are fictional. Or pages of basic intstructions on how a MMORPG works. And always, always more 80s trivia. I have to wonder what this book is doing in the YA section of my library. Are there any teens out there who are not gagging at the overload of 80s minutiae? Who do not want the geezers to stfu already?
And if it is meant for the 40 something geeks, where is the depth in the story line, the characterization, the world building and surely, we do not need any MMORPG instructions? I guess I am not geeky enough, but if I had any nostalgia left about my teen years in the 80s, Cline incinerated it. Sure, I loved War Games and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but the prospect of watching the former over 3 dozen times and the latter 157 times makes me vaguely nauseous. And about that: If I start adding up all the hours Wade must have spent mastering all these vintage games and watching and rewatching all these shows and movies and memorizing Rush lyrics (yech, Rush) the guy must be in his mid thirties at least. Instead, he is barely 18, because obviously this story, like every fucking geek story, needs a teenage white male straight protagonist. Who wins Princess Peach at the end.
Did I mention that the romance part of the story sucked? Art3mis started out as a vaguely interesting character, but soon turned into to the token woman-as-a-motivational-tool-for-the-male-mc character. Going from kickass to oh-so-fragile about her minor disfiguration. Tell her that she is beautiful regardless, and she melts. Blargh. The other female character pretty much disappears after she's been revealed as female (which you can see coming a mile away). Cline needs to hire Felicia Day to write his females, or something.
Anyway, despite all this I was pretty invested in the story and it was mostly entertaining, so it wasn't a total wash. But I could not shake the feeling that this had been done before and done better. It felt like a mashup of a couple of Stephenson books and Williams' Otherland books all the way through, but dumbed down. I am glad it wasn't as long as those doorstops, but ultimately what I am going to remember about this book is less of the epic battles and more of the lingering irritation.
Seriously. If a book is worth translating, does that not mean it is worth translating in its entirety? What is the point of eviscerating a book by cutting the emotional heart out of it if you're planning to sell it in another part of the world?
I am currently reading this English translation of one of my favorite childhood books to my son and, just like Crusade in Jeans, it's been butchered. I want to strangle someone....