Normally, a setting like the one of this book would be definitely not my cup of soup. It is essentially a battle royale-like, with factions, and featuring murderers, rapists, and torturers. A lot of senseless gore and violence. But for some reason I didn’t feel as turned off by all the gore as I would usually be. It was unexpectedly easy to read. It is possible that this book lacked some level of realism that would make all the unpleasant stand out more, but personally I find the balance it strikes helpful.
I also didn’t really expect this to be Jael spin-off, since I didn’t finish the Sirantha Jax series…
A perfectly okay light-boned-and-fun contemporary romance. This book is 70% food porn, 10% regular (in fun words) porn, 5% mother induced hangups and behavioural issues, 5% small town love, 5% drama, and 5% (thank god that only that) girlfriend annoyingness. Also featuring a must-have gay couple, beards and flannel shirts, U2, and vegetable-related sex jokes.
DNF. Long story short, this book is vile. And not as in that is my opinion because I didn’t like, but as in it is written to be so. From the very first chapter we are met with rape, violence, blood, vomit, and vile swearing, and everything about sex made horrid… It’s overboard. I just DNFed another book before this one where nasty and disturbing was written in for the coolness factor, and this book make that one seem almost chaste in comparison.
One could have thought that unpleasant details were there to keep true to the medieval setting, but then the writing/language of this clearly sometimes forgot where we were supposed to be. We are in the dark ages, but dialogue may go like this: ‘Awkward.’ ‘Whatever.’ or ‘Like hell.’ (said in a temple, none the less) Not to mention excessive use of swears words, including cnt, fgt, and other c**suckers, in entirely too modern manner, inmh. I’m not saying use Old English, but I do think some phrases and manners of speech are very modern inventions, and should be avoided in a historical world settings.
At first look, this book appeared like something I could love. Dark ages, werewolves, magic, and romance really sounded like a combination right up my alley. Unfortunately, I was completely turned off by the writing, and the excess of gore, and sexual violence. I didn’t even make it past the first part. At first I thought once the MC would get out of her nasty situation in the beginning at the book, it would all pick up. Especially since the short glimpse at Maeniel seemed promising. But then Lucilla made appearance (and started groping the main character) and I gave up. Excessively long and tedious beginning filled with senseless violence, rape, and swearing, and other disgusting details, for the sake of being disturbing, on a loop told me it was not worth wasting my time trying to get through it. Utterly tasteless.
(For future, when a book has multiple mentions of the fact that the author is related to another famous writer on it, and the picture in the back is not a portrait, as it usually is, but a picture of them together, it should probably be a warning enough that they are not trying to sell the book with its content…)
DNFed, for 2 reasons: 1) There’s something very un-likable about the main character from the first pages. Like she is trying to be cold and professional, but actually looks like she is trying to be nasty on purpose. 2) This whole book is like a string of predictable clichés one after another. And not even nice ones.
The whole book is soaked through with the feeling of “let me show you something vile, because I think it’s cool”. It’s everywhere: in the word choices (I find the whole ‘our boy’ talk about the killer distasteful and trying to hard, like children trying to play at ‘badasses’; and the distasteful sex talk everywhere), the victim choices (because of course prostitutes shot in face and genitalia, what else is ‘cool’?), the side characters (pompous sexist senator with gun obsession, flaunting beauty salon worker, … and other stereotypes that hardly require any imagination); dominance games; and so on and so forth. Also, the mind-hopping writing doesn’t do this book any favours. Then the “mysterious, tall, dark, handsome, and rich” couldn’t have been a bigger cliché if we all tried together. The expensive presents, the coffee mania, the insta-lust, the prostitutes,… every single thing about the part of this book I read felt like the most overused elements you can find stuck up your nose. With a constant unsavoury undertone to boot.
This book is trying to be a serious futuristic crime suspense…but it stops just there. At trying very hard.
This book has an interesting enough setting and idea, but it simply failed to grip me. I attribute it to the fact that writing was dry, and repetitive. Sometimes it almost seemed like every chapter was written separately for people who didn’t read the rest. Seriously though, while people with attention span of 30 seconds might appreciate it, it at times felt like readers were treated like idiots who aren’t able of remembering that main character is as a seer and what it means for longer than 3 pages. A pity, really, because it feels like I could’ve really like the characters and setting (and Stat Trek references) if the prose just didn’t feel like such a snooze fest…
Confusing writing. Annoying characters. Triggery content. Story elements that make very little sense. Featuring a woman who was raped and betrayed by everyone, than married and misunderstood by her new husband about her past in various ways for the duration of the whole book; super convenient magic dress; weird healing coma and weird woman who instructed the husband to rub medicine onto the whole body of an unconscious above-mentioned woman 3 times a day practically forcing him to rape her again; proud whores and assholes. On top of it all, disturbingly weak writing (the first battle left me grimacing at the ways details were presented and skipping through the text to get it over with) with So. Much. Head-hopping. Sometimes it felt like POV would change before 1 sentence even ended. How is this okay (enough to be published)?
This book was not what I expected. Especially the beginning. The way it begun you would’ve thought it was some kind of modern thriller or heavy-crime-shit drama, instead of a romance. There’s a lot of heavy and nasty themes here, and if people pick it up thinking they’re getting some light time with a contemporary romance they might be disappointed.
I didn’t like everything about it. The writing is a bit too heavy on reflection and looong paragraphs of over-explaining and thinking back on things that already happened. Also, weird time skips, just to spend half of the chapter to recount what happened during the time that was skipped (two-steps-forward-one-step-back style). It also is very heavy on bad language and swearing. I personally never been anywhere even close (as in on the same continent) as Colorado Mountains, so I don’t know how natural the speech in this book is, but it bothered from time to time. As in Chase’s manner of speaking did tend to get annoying. I couldn’t tell how much of it seemed too condescending because he was too condescending, and how much of it was just his speech manner.
Even with the points above and some other issues, I’m still going to give this book 5 stars, because it has some very good things going for it. The main relationship is about things that are very right. There are a lot of right things said, and the characters are written very well. You don’t need to like a character to know that they are written thoroughly and consistently. This book also got better and better towards the end. Since this is a romance, the beginning actually of the book makes you expect more of the ‘gory real-world-crime-shit’ that there actually is. Not to say that there still isn’t enough of it, some of it quite dark and gory. There isn’t too much, and it does take a background role. I also probably have a talent to imagining worse developments. What I really appreciated about this book is how multiple characters got to ‘set the record straight’ by explaining to other people how things should be and what is right, and it actually got through. It’s not often that I find a book where I can not only breathe happily when people make logical arguments at length, but also don’t have to get all annoyed because no one listens to them anyway. Also, humour. And geek humour, none the less.
Not what I expected from this book when I got it, but a good lengthy read that will go on my ‘favourites’ shelf.
This series maintains its high level and doesn’t disappoint. I do have one complaint, however, and that it that sometimes it does feel a bit ‘too much’. …But it is possible that I feel so because I read to fast, and when you read this book within 2 days (while doing full-time work in between) all the angst, gore, sex, and the emotions that do run thick in these books come in a doze that is too concentrated to feel good. (It affected my sleep, and I didn’t enjoy that>.) But otherwise, this is a great, very well written and unique series.
You know those days when you just need something fun, fluffy, ridiculous, and with a bonus sprinkle of justice? This is a perfect book for one of those days. This is not an explicit romance. The romance is the driving force veiled with humour. There are games, designer clothes, Christmas presents, and some very bad people getting what they deserve.
A very slice-of-life kind of book. So few authors actually bother to continue the story of a pair after the initial ‘get together’ book, that this already deserves kudos based only on this point. Though, to be honest, I didn’t think I would be able to give this book more than 3 stars for the 99.5% of it. There is a couple of points. 1) Reading books where female characters are portrayed as hysteric idiots, and make you wish you were unrelated to the gender, is getting a little tiring (that’s polite speak for ‘effing annoying). Mimi is difficult to stomach, but at least there was very little of her. But the whole Sophia/Nill episode? Was there really a need for women to act so idiotic? It’s not even a problem of if cheating occurred or not. It’s a problem of the necessity of all the hysterics, theatrics, property damage (car-keys-in-toilet-flushing), and inability to communicate like human being with a person you were supposed to be in a committed relationship with. Dislike. 2) Main character’s thought processes were repetitive and loopy. She went on and on about the same things. Then the whole drama of her telling herself how she should be feeling about things instead of actually thinking about things. It was boring and annoying at the same time. It was the fact that the resolution finally involved sitting down and actually talking to each other calmly and honestly, even though it came at the last possible moment, that I was able to add the 4th star to my review. 3) Speaking of boring and annoying, personally, the balance of things on which attention was spent in this book didn’t really agree with me. It was very disappointing to see the holidays get ‘brief digest’ treatment. I would prefer to actually read about holidays and meeting parents, instead of reading same things about work and sex over and over again.
Good things about this book include fun prose and light, easy to sink into, atmosphere and setting. It will probably make a lot of people envious. With regards to both the partner and the house. If not for the annoying female shenanigans, would be a great comfort book.
This book is a weird mix of some okay-ish sci-fi plot ideas, fiction written by a grade school-er, and adult (sexual) content.
At the beginning, I actually though it started with a decent idea and world setting. Characters seemed interesting, some details seemed promising… But then, unfortunately, without much of a warning, the story turned into a high-school drama. Almost as if the author had simply forgotten what book she was writing. Suddenly, the big, scary, hundreds-of-years-old-demon-aliens became ‘boys’ and ‘guys’, and the main character, who supposedly spent last 200 years in slavery and torture (and also was supposed to have some super abilities), works as a waitress, goes clubbing, gets interested in high-heeled shoes and mini skirts (yes, we are still talking space ship on a mission),… Any sense that might have been there in the beginning of this book went down the drain and took writing quality with it. It is really quite abysmal in places. Grammar-less sentences aside, by the time I reached the scene where the ‘demon alien ship captain’ (!) was wearing swimming shorts (!) in a swimming pool (!) (on his merchant ship) to give the main character (who also wears a bikini, of course) private swimming lessons, I was ready to brain myself on the nearest hard surface. (insert a ‘facedesk’ GIF here)
Then, of course, the ‘destined mates’. Where would we be without these 2 words in a romance book? And the increasingly disappointing ‘reveal’ of the main character’s true identity (because that’s who you have to be, to be fantasy romance heroine). Also, everyone must want you.
By the time we finally run out of all the ‘silly girly romance cliches’ that hardly fit with the world and character settings, we seemed to remember that there was supposed to be some plot in here too… but then it didn’t really improve the situation. Hardly anything in characters’ behaviour reflects presented settings (being alive for 500 years, or being tortured for 200 years, or running a crew on a merchant ship in space …)
I believe this may say all you need to know to understand what to expect from this book:
‘Five hundred years old demons and space elvesFaieara have a surprise birthday party and go club-dancing (on a merchant space ship). ‘
Also, demons who speak “Demonish” language. Sorry, sounds like something a 10yo would write.
What I really don’t understand is why this series is called ‘Neighbour form Hell’, when clearly ‘Dudes with Inhuman Food Obsession’ (eating disorder, bottomless stomachs, etc) would be a much more appropriate title..
If the first book at least had a “fun fluff” section in the middle of its “ridiculous hang-ups” parts, this one is all only about the ridiculous hang-ups. Also much more numerous boring monotonous reflection parts and abrupt time lapses. Where the fist book was more about weirdness for comedy, here it feels more like an actual mental instability weirdness. Overall, while the quality of the first book was nowhere near perfect, it actually went down a few levels in this one.
He: Self-centred, hardly ever governed by conscience, wants to marry a ‘perfect on paper’ woman, once he finds one to fit his criteria, believes himself above being attracted to women who don’t fit into that criteria, judgemental, forceful, unhealthily obsessed with food… Generally, an unapologetic asshole from all sides.
She: No self-esteem, eating disorder and body image issues that make her starve herself, unhealthy obsession with ‘cute’ things, tendency to be both blind and deaf to people around her.
Both have three wagons of relationship and sefl-image issues, and are permanent residents of the land of DeNial. They don’t know what they want and feel like ridiculous, pretty, empty-headed characters. As in, no evidence of using brain mass to think can be found. And the more you think about actual content of this book the weirder it seems. These characters don’t really read as actual human beings…
Honestly, I only finished this book because I was in this weird mood and wanted to reach a happy ending.
This book is built from a couple of parts I don’t really believe fit seamlessly together. First comes a strange and bumpy beginning, where the antagonistic feelings (and circumstances causing them) between the two were so over-emphasised that the rapid transition to friendship felt very far from natural. (Would you invite a neighbour you hated for months (at least, I don’t remember) with no manners, who just physically fought with you to rip out your poor flowers to shreds, to your home, shower, and feed him pizza? Just like that?)
Then comes a fun middle part, filled with all kinds of shojo-manga and fanfiction favourite cliches (food talents and obsessions, comparisons to other bitchy females, carnivals, sleep-buddies who can’t sleep without each other, comic relief family vs. assholes-only family, etc.) It’s fun, it’s mostly lighthearted, with hardly any seriousness in there at all.
Then comes a weird ‘drama’ part, with identical idiotic pissy fits from both sides. This part especially drives in the point that colours all of this book – everything about the main characters and their behaviour paints them as teenagers at most, not at all as 30yo adults as they were supposed to be. (I had an urge to mostly skip through this part as it made very little sense, if any. I feel like there could have been better topic choices to fill this ‘required drama space’ in the plot, and that it wasn’t done very well.)
The book overall isn’t bad, just…requires a non-questioning mind set and an agreement to enjoy the fun childish part as it is and not look too closely at the rest.
I’ve expected from the very beginning to have to treat this book as ‘something push through in order to continue reading the rest of the series.’ That would be because, unfortunately, I haven’t liked Prisca since book 1. She is a spoiled brat. There is a difference between having an opinion and believing your opinion to be above everyone else’s. She sticks her nose in everyone’s business, thinks she has a right to manipulate everyone’s lives, and doesn’t care to listen to anyone but herself. The whole situation where she ‘loved’ him, but chose to believe the worst about him and leave him a note cursing him to hell, when she actually made a promise to elope…doesn’t do anything to improve my opinion of her either. She doesn’t listen and think, she stops her foot and screams that everything must be as she wants it. A very annoying lead female character. In fact, it’s like she was on purpose written in a way to annoy readers to hell.
Then the “love rival”‘s behaviour didn’t help this book’s impression either… I really don’t enjoy reading books where all you want to do is smack a character on the head hard and long enough until you can shake some brains into there.
The only thing I actually really liked about this book is that the characters of the previous books, all family members, were present and active participants of the story.