"THE LAST HOUR OF GANN.
(I can't figure out how to import or copy & paste my review from GoodReads, so this is it)
This is a weird one for me to rate because parts of this book I would rate really high and other parts I would rate really low, yet to split the difference and give a middling rate doesn't feel right.
I thought the world-building and complexity of the relationships/politics between characters was top-notch. I liked the slow build of the romance/relationship between the hero and heroine: from repulsion to a grudging sort of respect and reluctant fascination/friendship to giving into attraction, and eventually love--each stage was fully represented.
There was a section were they were learning each other’s language, which I thought was really well done and somewhat amusing for the reader. I appreciate that the author didn't go with the expected 'universal translator'.
The many unpredictable plot twists and turns of what is essentially an epic road romance, kept it exciting/engrossing with lots of runs-in with dangerous animals, bad guys and the daily grind of dealing with the inhospitable weather of the planet.
I LOVED the hero, Meoraq. Loved his steadfastness, his dedication to his religion, his fierceness and gentleness, his struggle for growth understanding. Also liked the fact that he truly was an alien, and not the usual blue-skinned drop-dead gorgeous human alpha hero alien with silky tresses down to his ass, or whatever. He's a bi-ped lizard man with a short snout of limited mobility and rows of articulated spines on his head/neck that he uses to express emotion. Like I said. Alien.
The heroine didn't have the same struggle with personal growth, but she was forced to change. Lastly the touches of humor were sly and fun. The larger arc of the story that ties into the hero's journey, and to a degree was part of the conflict between the hero and heroine, was pretty fascinating in terms of the world-building.
Based on all the above, this is a +5 star read for sure.
Where to start...
Length, I'm not sure how long this thing is, I read it on my kindle ap and can't be arse to check on amazon for page length, but it is HELLA LONG. I have the sneaking suspicion it's the amalgamation of a series of shorter books. I skipped--not skimmed, but actually, swapped ahead through many, many, many, many screens of story at a time and don't particularly feel I missed out on anything necessary to story/character development. I'll probably go back and read them at some point, but having said that, even of text that I did read, it could have been severely edited/tightened/cut down.
The heroine. *sigh* Amber was a hard-ass and her fellow humans didn't like her because she was being pragmatic about surviving on the planet and refused to wallow in the unrealistic hope of returning to earth. She was a strong chick, and I dig that. What I didn't dig was her lack of understanding/acceptance of how much these people did not like her and even hated her. I mean, d'uh already! There were attempts on her life and she was willing to turn the other cheek. This stubborn blindness on her part made me want to smack her upside the head time and again. There were a couple of hateful idiots in the group of humans that I just couldn't understand how they managed to survive for as long as they did in the story, not only did the heroine give them a pass on their offensive/dangerous behaviour, but other more villainous characters. Just didn't make sense to me (was quite aggravating) and felt more like a plot device decision. Also, there were a number of times she went and did some dumbass thing that put herself in danger and the hero who had to rescue her. And speaking of her brushes with death, there were too many of them. They lose emotional efficacy for the reader after a while.
All these issues and a few other nitpicks--like the heroine should have been literally scraped/chafed bloody both inside and out from intimate interactions with the hero given his scaly/rough reptilian skin--if weighed on their own, would make this book a 2 star read.
But overall, I really enjoyed this story and will re-read it. I've read HEAT by this author and enjoyed that very much, so she's an author I trust to deliver an unique, original, boundary breaking and entertaining story.
A definite recommend, keeping in mind the drawbacks noted.
Warning: if rape is a trigger for you, don't read this book"
It's time for Thursday Release and it's a feature many of you requested :-) Now when a given book doesn't fit any default status on your Shelf (Read, Planning to read, Currently reading) you can create your own exclusive book status.
How? You can create and organize your books with new statuses in several ways.
Go to your Shelf Page and create your new status with your name, e.g. Not finished. New status will be added and visible at once on your Shelf.
You can also create exclusive status directly in book pop up, select it and Save for a given title. The book will receive new status immediately.
If you want to reset previously given status (Read, Planning to read, Currently reading), click on it and Save. It should go white (inactive) and notion "On Shelf" will appear instead.
You can also create exclusive status on Table view of your shelf (the entrance is on Shelf page). It is also a place where you can re-arrange your books one by one:
or move several books at once:
You can still create thematic shelves which will be added to your Shelf on the left and organize them the same way in table view.
There are quite a few tutorials on how to change the layout of your BookLikes blog. I figured it's good to have them all in one post, and I'd like to thank all who put a lot of work into making them so others can enjoy BookLikes.
Let's start with the customization blogs posted by BookLikes:
Tutorials made by BookLikers for BookLikers:
Note: All links open in a new window and take you to the original posts and their creators. Leave comments, likes and reblog the hell out of them so others can see it too :)
Looks like I'm all set up here and ready to roll! I've already changed what I'm currently reading. Just going through one of those phases where nothing was holding my attention. Went back to one of my comfort read authors: Lynne Graham. I'm reading her Greek Tycoon, Inexperienced Mistress right now. don't bother, you can't shame me, I'm out and I'm proud. #lynnegraham4ever
This is going on my re-reads shelf. Really excellent characterization and some smoking hot sex/love scenes that clearly exemplified the emotional progression of the relationship.
Deceptively simple, initially, but really very clever, weird, and some sly black humor.
For some reason I keep getting a error message when I try to give this book a starred rating. I'd give it a 4 1/2. It's on my keeper shelf. :)
3.75. Almost a 4 but not quite.
Really liked the world-building and the relationship between the H/h. I'm a sucker for the uber obsessed/possessive Alpha hero, so loved that aspect. The sexxoring was hot & plentiful but not at the expense of plot/story. However there was a feeling of sameness with some of the lovescenes & even with scenes between the H/h compared to other characters hook ups.
This is a re-read from my keeper shelf. It holds up well with each reading- I never skim, and I just the the H/h and the various interactions with secondary characters. And I stilled snickered at all my favorite bits!
This is actually a DNF. Got about 2/3 in then skimmed the rest. The violence is extremely stomach churning, I just couldn't go on.
Liked this one a bit. It had heat and heart. Sweeter than you'd think and I liked the H/h. Pretty straight forward/quick read.
World building melted away about 1/3 in and the integrity of the main character turned into Swiss cheese. She went from being strong/intelligent heroine determined to make her own fate to a collection of clenching/tightening/aching:dripping body parts at the first nipple tweak.
And the premise of captured by the barbarian and surviving in the Outlands pretty much never happened until the last couple of pages, ie under developed & a disappointment.
The barbarian was underdeveloped basically a a big dick on a grunting slab of muscle.
I mean to put this on the suspense shelf and it sensual by mistake, but after reading a number of low starred reviews here on Goodreads, the main complaint being too much thinking/talking/doing sexxoring, I think I'll leave it on the sensual shelf. :D
This ia a harrowing tale and one can't help but admiring Mariatu's indomitable spirit to overcome & endure all that she has in her relatively short life.
But as for the actual writing/relating of the story..., I skimmed through some earlier reviews and noted two couple of comments that resonated with my experience reading this memoir.
1) Surprisingly, I didn't feel as emotionally engaged as I expected I would be. I think this was in part for me because there were chunks of time that were skipped over in a sentence or two.
2) While the begining of the book was told in a clear simple style, which worked well with the very young age she was at that time, as her experiences piled on, her world expanded, and she grew up, the 'voice' remained relatively young. There was very few moments more mature awareness or deepened perceptions or more sophisticated epiphanies. I ultimately felt there was a lot of glossing over things/events/emotions/opinions and spent a lot of time puzzling out those 'gaps' and the associated whys/hows instead of being caught up in the active narrative.
Just few more things I mulled over after reading that I found distracted from my total immersion in the book:
People who appeared or disappeared in with just a short sentence or two. In many cases they'd either been gone or had entered Mariatu's life weeks or month earlier.
Also felt that there was a disengagement on some levels in the telling of events, which was the crux of my own lack of emotional involvement. And a few places where there was heavy exposition that I wasn't sure were true discussions that acutally happened, or were info dumps for the reader's benefit.
Still this was a book that was eye-opening, distressing and absolutely worth the reading and I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so.
Disturbing, but the couple worked for me. I'll be reading the next book.