I’m that person who clicks ‘buy’ on bunch of books without really checking too much details (because I also don’t like spoilers) while she is heaving an anxiety attack and needs to grab all the books, and then gets a surprise of 1) receiving a 70 page booky when she expected a full-length novel; 2) realizing that even though it says ‘Book 1 of ‘Grey Wolf’ series’) the ‘series’ have nothing but this 70 page booky released in 2015. … What can you do. … All I can say is ‘too bad’, because I would’ve actually enjoy reading a series with this character as the protagonist. This was a nice short story.
I have very mixed emotions on this. If I could tear away the last few pages of this book and forget they existed, I probably would have given this book 4-4.5 stars. The angsty hook/cliff hanger in the end deserves big minus points because a) no one likes them tricks that are designed to push you to get the next book; b) it spoils the taste of the whole book; c) it’s just a dirty move and it gave me entirely too many unnecessary negative emotions. Seriously though, what the point of ending your book on a note that makes the reader feel like shit? It threw me off so much I’m having hard time remembering anything good about the book itself, which is unfortunate, because I was pretty sure I was enjoying it. One positive thing I can say is that the writing style seemed to improve, and there was marginally less of ‘head-hopping’ that made me dizzy in the first book. Another unfortunate point is that I could help but feel like Ivy’s personality underwent a change to worse. Maybe my impression after the first book was erroneous, but in ‘Soulless’, Ivy read as an eccentric but an interesting character, even with some degree of understanding and thought, that would explain them being friends with the MC. In ‘Changless’, however, she was turned into a ‘annoying simpleton with the worst possible timing’. Also, entirely too many annoying females for one short book, inho.
Three books in and I’m still on about the same position on these series – there are elements, settings, and characters that appeal to me very strongly and pull me back in for more, but there are also a lot of elements I feel like I want to skip over or ignore to not spoil my experience. And I’m constantly afraid that in the every next one the things I love will be replaced and disappear entirely. If I was reading these series while they were still in the making I would chant ‘Less angsty politics and more wolfy humor!” Alas, the further in we get the more large-scale the angsty politics are threatening to get. And the relationship between the main characters is not as much slow-burn as it is barely smoking. Not that I mind that it took them 3 books to hold hands, I’m not reading this for the possible romance much, but some kind of tangible progress would be nice. Personally, I find it disappointing when the focus of the book turns completely away from characters’ interactions and into large-scale politics. It’s boring and impersonal, and we have enough of large-scale human stupidity, prejudice, and intolerance in our everyday life for it to be interesting or pleasant to read about. The only plus is that in these series the intolerable humans are very likely to get dead or at least mercilessly punished with hardly any delay.
Unusual style, unexpected turns, not everyone’s cup of tea.
First, I would like to say that I did enjoy this book, or at least 80-90% of it. It’s one of those reads that allowed me to get far enough away from my usual outside world. It has its own style, it has humor, it has some interesting characters, and a heroine that at least has some brains. I wanted to say that I enjoyed this book first, because I tend to focus on the elements that did bother me about it so much it might send the wrong impression. But there are some things that bothered me that I can’t really let go of: First and foremost, the ‘everfloating POV’ style. I think it’s also called ‘head-hopping’. When every next paragraph you have to wonder from whose perspective it’s going to be. Or feel like it’s trying to be from everyone’s perspective at the same time. I know that there are many debates on whether this should be considered acceptable or not, and I would not say I had placed myself firmly in either camp before (and had to made myself edit it out of my own writing a couple of times), but I must say that reading a whole book full of did nothing to persuade me in favor of it. It’s a bit too confusing, and feels ‘unprofessional’. I also found the beginning of this book to be rather misleading. It lulls you in this sense ‘oh, I’m going to read something light and flimsy, with some fun style’, and, while I don’t want to spoil much by saying in which ways this impression was wrong, I can say that I found some unexpected elements dumped on me hard and fast. Let’s just say that there’s enough angst in it to warn people before they mistakenly pick this book seeking to read something light and worry-free. Or ‘adult’ elements free. I’m not sure how I feel about the personality of the heroine yet. I just don’t really enjoy people who like to yell and act with their temper before thinking, or enjoy power. There were also a couple of points at the very end that I was not really a fan of. Such as the location and the way the very last ‘event’ took place in the Epilogue, and also the new ‘post’ (the professional one) of our heroine that I assume she will assume in the next book. While I am sure I’m going to read the next book in the series, I’m currently feeling very apprehensive about the possible amount of politics that might be involved. And politics just might be that something that will turn me away from these series.
I did enjoy this book more than the first one. Though the amount of chapters with POV of random characters (villains) did still bother me, it does feel like there were fewer of those than in the first one. Although, unfortunately, I still can’t shake the feeling that I would prefer these series without the whole ‘blood prophets’ concept a little bit more… which is maybe a strange thing to say, since it’s literally the central idea around the main character. It’s just the whole idea of girls kept as property, bred, raped, used, treated as things… doesn’t sit with me and I wish I didn’t have to read about it. I do, however, enjoy the world of terra indigene and the way they interact among each other and with humans quiet a lot. I feel like the next book has a potential to either go somewhere I will like a lot, or go some other completely unexpected place I won’t really want to follow it to… I sincerely hope it’s the former.
An interesting concept of an urban fantasy with a twist, yet unfocused.
I wanted to like this book a bit more. The thing is, I do like the world, the concept, and a lot of its characters. I just kind of feel that the focus was not in the right places for a lot of the story, especially the second half. I would have thought Meg (and hopefully Simon) were supposed to be the main character in this, but after the first initial chapters we don’t really get any substantial focus on the development of their relationships, just snippets here and there. I, personally, wish that the bit about Asia could have been left out altogether, and we could have had more time with Meg and Simon. A lot of their interactions get of ‘looking back’ treatment, when we don’t actually get to read about them happening, but get told that they had happened because one or another character was remembering them happen for a brief moment. It’s like the parts that were supposed to be more interesting were left out or breezed over, and boring insignificant parts about characters who didn’t even matter in slightest got a lot of focus and ‘screen time’. Regarding the world-building: While there probably could have been a better name than ‘Others’ (and why do we even need the word ‘Others’ if there is a proper name?), I sort of like the more savage concept for the ‘supernaturals’ that were something that have been around long before humans, and will always be more powerful than humans they can feed on. Can’t say if the concept had been really developed believably from all angles, but I think I just like it enough to kind of believe it without looking for holes much. The concept of blood prophets on the other hand… Definitely had more holes than substance, and was also left out of focus half-way through. I believe it will probably be revisited in one of the following books, but right now it feels more like just a convenient way to make the main character more special and let her predict things from time to time an be useful.
Returning to my very first point, (I just can’t really get over it) I feel that the most interesting parts were the interactions between Meg, Simon, Wolves, and some other supernaturals, but unfortunately they were too diluted by others and felt even more few and far between than they probably were. With the progression of the story, we got less and less insight into Meg and her actions, and it felt like we were getting farther and farther away from her. I think I’m still interested enough to read book 2, but if it will follow the same pattern – of focusing on insignificant side characters and not on the developments between the main characters – that probable will be ‘it’ for me.