Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I first heard of The Night Circus because of NaNoWriMo, and immediately added it to my TBR list for two reasons: 1) it sounded cool, and 2) it was originally a NaNo novel, and I feel a solemn duty to support those whose November scribblings got published.

Synopsis courtesy Goodreads:

the-night-circusThe circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

I liked Celia and Marco, for the most part, but their romance wasn’t as large a part of the story as I expected (or okay, hoped—I like romance!). Since Marco was required to stay in London while the circus traveled all over the world, he and Celia were separated for great swaths of the story. We see their relationship build from the different tents and areas they add to the circus, in addition to the few times they actually see each other.

By and large the book is about the mysteries of the circus, the mysteries of Celia’s and Marco’s teachers, and their competition. From the moment the story begins, Morgenstern gradually brings everything she needs, weaving together all the pieces that will come into play by the end of it.

The key word there, though, is “gradual.” The beginning of the book moves very slowly as we go through both Celia’s and Marco’s childhoods before the competition actually begins, and then occasionally jumping forward in time a bit to tell the story of Bailey, a young boy very intrigued by the circus. Because of this, the early sections of the book drag at times. However, about a third to halfway through the novel, the story hit its stride.

The language is absolutely beautiful, and probably the strongest part of the novel. The descriptions are so lush it feels as though you’ve been transported to the circus, and reading Morgenstern’s writing was a large part of what kept me going when the story itself was dragging.

Viewpoints swap between third-person present tense, telling the story of the competition between Celia and Marco and the circus’s inception, and then second person. This is one of the few stories I’ve read that does second person well, and that’s for two reasons.

One, it’s speaking as if you, the reader, are a visitor to the circus, which works very well within the story. And two, it doesn’t happen often. The second person sections aren’t very long, providing just a bit of a frame and some foreshadowing to the unfolding story. (This is good, because after If on a winter’s night a traveler, I’ve developed a twitch regarding stories in second person.)

Overall, I really enjoyed The Night Circus, I think in part because it felt like reading a fantasy disguised as a literary novel (or perhaps vice versa). It’s not on a “holy cow, you have to read this now” recommendation level for me, but it’s a lovely, beautifully written story.

Book Review: Goddess of the Rose by P.C. Cast

Goddess of the Rose by P.C. CastI was excited when I picked up Goddess of the Rose by P.C. Cast at the used bookstore when I did my binge buy over Labor Day weekend. A friend of mine had enjoyed the book, and I loved the dedication: “This book is for everyone who fell in love with the Beast, and then was truly disappointed when he turned into a handsome prince.”

Also, I was stoked to read about a heroine named Mikki (that’s my nickname).

It sounds pretty good, right?

Well, I should have reined my high hopes in a bit more. While there were good parts to the story, I had a number of problems that ultimately made it difficult for me to enjoy the book.

Synopsis, courtesy Amazon:

Empousai family roses have bloomed for centuries, thanks to the drops of blood their women sacrifice for their gardens. But Mikki would rather forget this family quirk and lead a normal life. Until she unwittingly performs a ritual, ending up in the strangely familiar Realm of the Rose. As its goddess Hecate reveals, Mikki is a priestess-and the Realm’s been waiting for her…

Long ago, an enraged Hecate cursed her guardian beast and the entire Realm with a slumber only a priestess can undo—and she’s counting on Mikki. The beast at first terrifies Mikki—but soon intrigues her more than any man ever has. But the only way he and the Realm can be saved is for Mikki to sacrifice her life-giving blood—and herself…

Now, I love Beauty and the Beast and I love the retellings of the story, so at first glance, this is right up my alley.

The Guardian was a great hero, a gentle giant who was utterly lonely. The people around him are either afraid of him or see him as little more than an animal. He just wants to be loved, truly loved, and it’s been withheld from him for his entire life. I spent most of the book just wanting to give him a big hug, and I would have loved to see more from his point of view.

It was also great to read a book that was, at least in part, set in Tulsa. It’s very, very rare that I find a book set in Oklahoma, so it was a nice change of pace to recognize the areas and places mentioned in our world.

I liked Hecate’s realm, though I wish it had been more fleshed out. It felt a little thin, particularly for a place that’s supposed to be on the crossroads between the real world and the magical one.

And Mikki herself was a huge problem for me. She’s thrown into a crazy situation that, for the most part, she handles well, despite nobody really being around to guide her. On the other hand, she complains so much about some things that I wanted to reach into the book and slap her.

Firstly, there was a lot of man-hating. It’s a trope that crops up in romance, particularly contemporaries, on a regular basis, and it drives me up the wall.

Mikki’s complaining that all men were pigs and none of them were good enough for her made her seem bitchy and insecure. She has one terrible date that we see, but other than that, the level of “I hate men” seemed really disproportionate to the rest of the story.

When I see so much of that in a romance novel, my first thought is not “Yeah, men suck.” My first thought is, “The common denominator here is YOU, sweetie.”

I also had to wonder about the “romance novels are NOT trashy” rant near the beginning of the story. I was torn on it. On the one hand, I wanted to cheer for Mikki putting the guy in his place. On the other hand, it also seemed a little like the author was stepping in to defend her chosen genre. Which is all well and good, but I dislike it when writers use their characters as a soapbox.

Plus, Mikki spends a lot of time harping on the age difference between her and the previous Empousas. It switched between “I’m too old for this shit” and “Bah, they’re all babies. Get off my rose-covered lawn, childish nitwits, and let a real woman show you how it’s done!”

She’s been plunged into a completely new world and she’s trying to learn on the fly, and that aspect I totally understood. It was when she started the constant comparisons to the younger Empousas before her that made me roll my eyes. It added another layer of insecurity to what I already got from the man-hating.

There was also a scene with Mikki later in the book that was on par with the “don’t run up the stairs, run out the damn door!” scenes from horror movies. It’s rare that I actually yell OUT LOUD at a character for doing something stupid, but here I did. (And no, I don’t care that it was clearer later that she was under an external influence. I was already hacked off at her for being dumb.)

She had some good qualities, but she just came across as so abrasive for much of the story that I had a great deal of trouble relating to her.

Even so, I might have been able to tolerate that if the writing itself had been better, but it was just kind of meh overall. There were several instances of redundant or poorly worded phrases (my personal favorite being “spherically shaped circle”).

Plus, for some reason, the book went from having very clearly delineated viewpoint changes in the first third of the story to just cramming it all together in for the last two-thirds. (I HATE it when that happens. The rest of your story has to be AWESOME for me to tolerate it.)

Overall, I was really disappointed in the story, especially considering I had such high hopes in the first place. It had some bright points, but there just wasn’t enough to overcome all the problems I had with it.

Book Review: Moonglow by Kristen Callihan

Immediately after I finished Firelight, I put Moonglow on my to-read list. Despite the problems I had with Firelight, I loved Callihan’s writing style and the characters enough to continue reading.

I still enjoyed Moonglow, but not as much as I did Firelight. While some of the problems I had with the previous book were fixed here, others weren’t, and one particularly annoying choice of character names kept yanking me out of the story for the last half of the book.

Moonglow by Kristen CallihanSynopsis, courtesy Amazon:

Once the seeds of desire are sown . . .
Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy’s door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors . . .

Their growing passion knows no bounds . . .
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret, and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.

Ian spent most of his time in Firelight being a jerk, which made me a little concerned about how he’d be as the hero in Moonglow.

Fortunately, I didn’t need to worry. Ian really comes into his own throughout the story, and spending time in his head makes him a lot more sympathetic. He’s a wolf without a pack, and he’s been alone for quite some time. And as the story progresses, we realize just how completely isolated he is and how much he’s lost.

We spend more time in Ian’s head than we did in Archer’s, which I really liked. I loved seeing Ian’s struggle with his wolf, the balance he fights to keep every single day. And then he meets Daisy.

Daisy is quite possibly one of my favorite romance heroines. She’s so bubbly, vivacious, and sure of herself. She loves men and loves sex, but that part of her nature was shackled and beaten down while she was married. As her relationship progresses with Ian, she once again gets to truly be herself. I loved reading about a heroine like that, instead of a blushing virgin.

It also helps that Daisy isn’t a wilting flower, either. She goes off to do her own sleuthing and is an equal partner with Ian in that respect. They have a great banter when they’re together as well. Overall, I loved the development of their romance.

One of the things I liked the most about Moonglow was how Callihan really fleshed out her world, bringing in other supernaturals and even secret societies. It’s something that was hinted at in Firelight but we get to see a lot more of here.

Plus, Callihan’s biggest strengths from the previous book—her writing style and how well it fits with the story, plus the way she interweaves the romance and the mystery—are still on display here.

However, in the same way, the ending runs into some of the same problems that Firelight did. While I liked the end of the mystery in Moonglow, the ending of the romance felt hurried. There were some revelations I wish had been added earlier in the story. As it was, it went “Twist! Another twist! Resolution!” in the space of eight pages.

There had been a bit of foreshadowing as to what would happen, but the explanation of the problem and the resolution happened so quickly it made my head spin.

Then there was the second thing that bothered me about the book, but this one is completely personal preference and has to do with the names of the antagonists.

In Moonglow, the alpha lycan (essentially, werewolf) of the London pack is Conall. The beta is Lyall, and he’s older than most of the other wolves in the pack and has served at least one previous alpha.

In the Parasol Protectorate series (which you may recall me loving pretty much without reservation), the alpha wolf of the Woolsey pack (which is very near London) is Conall. His Beta is Professor Lyall, who is older than most of the wolves in the Woolsey pack and has served at least two previous Alphas.

Now, normally characters sharing names doesn’t bother me—otherwise I’d have to forgo all romance novels with heroines named Jessica—but it was the names combined with the fact that they shared supernatural status (werewolves) and pack status (alpha and beta).

Whenever I read the names in Moonglow, I couldn’t help but picture, just for an instant, Conall and Lyall from the Parasol Protectorate. I had to stop and remind myself that these were NOT the same characters each and every time. Particularly since the Conall and Lyall in Moonglow are…much less likeable.

Now, obviously, for somebody who hasn’t read the Parasol Protectorate, this isn’t an issue. But I had read it, and recently, and so that made the second half of the book difficult for me to get into when just seeing the names yanked me out of the story, however briefly.

Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed Moonglow. I loved Daisy and Ian, I loved the balance of the romance and the mystery, I loved the writing, and I loved that we got to see a wider supernatural world. It was well worth the read, and I’m looking forward to book three.

Book Review – Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer – DNF

I was actually looking forward to reading this book. A paranormal romance with an average of 4 stars on Amazon and more than 50 reviews? An absolutely gorgeous cover? All right, I’m sold. Let’s give this a go.

I went ahead and downloaded the entire thing because it was free. And thank God it was. I got three chapters in and the ONLY reason I would have kept reading would have been the same reason I kept watching Ultraviolet: to see how bad it would get.

(Side note: This is the same reason I kind of want to read Breaking Dawn. I know pretty much the entire story thanks to the Internet, but it sounds like there are a lot of delicious, delicious crazy moments that would be even more fun to actually read.)

Shadow of the Sun coverA summary, thanks to Goodreads:

Gabriella’s past is a mystery, but that never stopped her from achieving her goals. As a Supernatural Specialist, and far more intelligent than anyone her age, she was always ignored by her peers. Because of the isolation she has always felt, she put her life and soul into her job. Being a Supernatural Specialist hasn’t given her the divine intervention she always longed for, until one day a shipment arrives from Italy containing three dead bodies with an uncanny ability to regenerate. Gabriella is frightened and intrigued, but not as scared as she becomes when a dark creature attacks her.

As the bodies come back to life, the plot takes an unexpected twist that you won’t see coming. The supernatural world only begins to unfold before her as angels appear, her dreams start to haunt her, and the very past she has forgotten comes back with startling clarity. Romance blooms, escape plans are made, an assassin is out to kill her, and death is only around the corner. But what is more terrifying than all of it is the fact she is the chosen one, the Illuminator, the one who will save them all.

…You know, after rereading that summary, I should’ve been a bit more wary about hopping in with both feet.

Problem the First: The Prologue

I have no quarrel with prologues in and of themselves. They’re a great way to introduce aspects of a story that either happen outside of the regular timeline or are from the viewpoint of a non-major character.

However, I do NOT like the prologues where the author just grabbed a page from the climax of the book and slapped it at the beginning of the story. Books and TV shows alike do this, and I hate it every time. (I love Castle, but my God, when they did this at the beginning of season 3 I could’ve kicked the TV.)

It’s a gimmick, a way of artificially heightening tension. While that does kind of work with Castle, because we’re already familiar with Castle and Beckett and care about them, it doesn’t work so well with a novel where we have absolutely NO IDEA who any of the characters are.

That’s precisely how Shadow of the Sun starts out: with a page that looks like it’s straight out of the climax of a book. No names are mentioned, except for “Aiden,” and I haven’t the foggiest idea if Aiden’s a good guy or a bad guy. It’s confusing, and it makes me think it was added to the front of the book because the first chapter wasn’t exciting enough. And, as we learned earlier this year, there are numerous problems with that idea.

So I’m one page in, and already this book has a strike against it.

Problem the Second: The Main Character

I did not like Gabriella at all. I went from ambivalent to loathing faster than I’ve ever done for any fictional character ever, and yes, that includes Bella Swan.

Within five pages, all we see from Gabby is that she’s a bitch to her assistant, Sally. (Warning: long excerpt ahead)

“You know? Top secret experiments?” I whispered with a quizzical half smile, just to goad her a bit. I knew it was wrong, but it was so easy to get her riled up.

But she wasn’t hired to do scientific work; she was hired to assist me in other ways. Some days she just couldn’t grasp that concept, and I had to remind her. Like today, for example.

“Will you take this to the post office?” I pushed a blue and white cooler her direction…”This needs to be in New York City by tomorrow morning.” There it was—the reminder of what her job was.

I decided to press her a little. It was only fair; she did it to me every day with dirty comments whispered under her breath. “And could you pick up my dry cleaning? Same place.”

She froze mid-stride and turned around more slowly this time. “Again?” she grumbled through gritted teeth. “Can’t you pick up your own dry cleaning?”

Here comes the explosion….

I plastered a huge grin on my face, ready to put her in her place. I wasn’t a mean person, honestly. I’d just lost all of my patience because I was up all night dealing with things I couldn’t fathom telling someone as small-minded as Sally.

Keeping the mocking smile in place, I said, “Sally, you were hired as my assistant. If I need you to flush my toilet, you’ll flush it. But since I’m not a horrible monster, I’m not going to give you the shitty jobs.” … “If you can’t handle running one simple errand, then I’ll hire someone who can,” I added. “Is that clear?”

Here’s what’s going on: Gabriella TELLS us that Sally is petty and spiteful. What we’re SHOWN is that Sally is, at most, insubordinate (which could be for any number of reasons). Gabriella TELLS us that she’s not a mean person. But what we’re SHOWN is her deliberately provoking, demeaning, and threatening her assistant.

And even if Sally is petty and spiteful, as the boss and the main character, Gabriella ought to be taking the high road instead of being petty and spiteful right back. She acts more like a teenager instead of the 24-year-old research scientist she’s supposed to be.

I don’t care if she’s not that way normally. This is the very first time we meet the character. By the end of the first chapter, her actions have contradicted just about everything she’s said in her narration.

Unreliable narrators can work, yes, but I don’t think that’s what the author was going for here. By all accounts, we’re supposed to like and sympathize with Gabby. Instead, she comes across as a hypocrite.

And just FYI: If you have to tell us you are not a mean person, chances are you are very, very wrong.

Problem the Third: The First Chapter Structure

So we’ve given Sally a cooler to mail, asked her to pick up the dry cleaning, and threatened to fire her if she complains anymore. Now that Gabriella’s alone, it’s time to think about just what her job is (Supernatural Specialist!) and what this big discovery is that she’s been not-so-subtly hinting at for several pages.

I’d investigated everything from a man covered in mostly scales to a “werewolf,” who was actually just a really—and I mean really—hairy man. Everything seemed silly, honestly…until last night.


I damn near threw my Kindle across the room when I saw that. Why the author didn’t start the book THERE instead of giving us half a chapter of bitchy dialogue and vague references to a major discovery? Why in God’s name would you relegate the inciting incident of your story—the discovery that launches the entire plot—to a FLASHBACK?

Plus, the section was so handled so poorly that it reminded me of a print version of a flashback scene from the MST3K episode Riding with Death.* I could practically see the fade-to-flashback and hear Mike and the bots saying, “And that’s when the acid kicked in.”

And as if that weren’t enough, the writing itself was amateurish and clumsy, with poor word choices (“screamed in bewilderment”) and strange structure (it takes us another four paragraphs to find out what ACTUALLY made her scream).

By the time I’d finished the first chapter, only morbid curiosity compelled me to read more. And by the time I finished chapter three, even that wasn’t enough.

I read one review that said Shadow of the Sun picks up considerably after the first hundred pages. Frankly, I don’t think I could make it that far unless Gabriella gets a personality transplant somewhere between chapter four and then. Not when I’ve got so many other, more interesting books to read.

Writing Lessons to Take Away

1) Does your prologue add something to the story, or is it a gimmick to increase tension? If the latter, take a look at your first chapter and fix it.
2) Does your main character say one thing and do another? Does what you tell us match what you show us? If it doesn’t, do you have a good reason why?
3) Have you started your book with the inciting incident? If you have not, is there a good reason why?

And now, for the bonus question:

4) Does any part of your first chapter call to mind Mystery Science Theater 3000? If so, is that the effect you’re going for?

*Seriously, if you haven’t seen Riding with Death, look it up online. It’s HILARIOUS, and one of my favorite MST3K episodes precisely because of all the random WTFery that goes on. Mike and the bots get in some brilliant lines.

Book Review – Changeless by Gail Carriger

I adored Soulless, but have just now gotten around to picking up book 2 in the Parasol Protectorate series, Changeless. Why now?

Partly because of the whole finishing-a-draft thing, and partly because I wanted to get at least ONE of the books in non-Kindle form. Why, you ask?

Changeless by Gail CarrigerWell, Ms. Carriger will be in Tulsa in October for the Nimrod Literary Conference, which means I get a chance to quietly fangirl in person.

Or, you know, just ask her nicely to sign my book. And then talk about tea. And parasols.


In Changeless, Alexia Tarabotti is now Lady Alexia Maccon, wife to Lord Conall Maccon and the Alpha female of the Woolsey werewolf pack. However, life is not all moonshine and roses for our intrepid heroine.

Something is triggering a plague of mass humanization, making vampires and werewolves temporarily mortal, which causes the supernatural population of London no end of consternation. Then, as if that weren’t enough, Conall vanishes northward to Scotland on noticeably vague “family business.”

Saddled with her best friend, Ivy, and her annoying sister, Felicity, and armed with tea and her trusty parasol, Alexia takes off to investigate the plague of humanization and track down her wayward husband.

As before, the tone of this book is phenomenal. There’s not a wasted word on the page, and Carriger has a way of twisting phrases just so to tickle your funny bone. (Or at least tickle mine.) More than once, my roommates asked, “What’s so funny?” because I started laughing out loud. Often, in public. Much as I enjoy the stories themselves, Carriger’s writing style is a big part of what makes them so delightful.

Lady Maccon sipped a freshly brewed cup in profound relief. All in all, it had been quite the trying evening thus far. With Ivy and hats in her future, it was only likely to get worse. Tea was a medicinal necessity at this juncture.

Tea is a medicinal necessity at any juncture, frankly.

Alexia continues to be a very fun character: strong, witty, capable, and a believer in a good cup of tea and a proper meal. She’s always ready with her trusty parasol and an arsenal of put-downs. She and Lord Maccon are just as fun in this book as they were previously, perhaps even more so now that they’re married.

Ivy is sometimes eyerolling, sometimes hilarious, but the whole “forbidden love” between her and Tunstell is sidesplitting. Also, Ivy gets (quite accidentally) drunk. On a flying dirigible. It goes about as well as you’d expect.

I did miss Lord Akeldama (he’s here, though not as much as he was in book one). He’s still outrageous, still calling Alexia things like “buttercup,” and still speaking primarily in italics. The precious few scenes with him – especially him, Biffy, and Professor Lyall (Lord Maccon’s Beta) – are just great.

But, we have some new characters in this one, most particularly Madame Lefoux, a talented milliner/inventor who also (gasp!) dresses like a man. She’s a particularly fun addition to the cast, and makes a good foil for Alexia when Conall is not around.

Changeless also fleshes out the world a bit more. We learn more about the history of the werewolves, a little more about the vampires, and (most importantly) the history of Lord Maccon himself. I like the deeper dip into world’s mythology and how the society is set up.

Warning: you probably shouldn’t read this book unless you’ve already got book 3, Blameless, somewhere in easy grabbing distance. The cliffhanger at the end was one that had me going, “Wait, what? What? WHAT?” (Yes, I was doing my very best Tenth Doctor impersonation there.) (And yes, I’ve now got Blameless on my Kindle.)

And really, that ending scene was the only time I felt jarred. I laughed aloud at one line, only to realize two sentences later we had entered “serious business” territory. That was where part of the “wait, what?” reaction came from.

Obviously, Changeless was not only good enough for me to finish in 24 hours, but also good enough for me to buy book three the same week. I really hope the next three books are as good as the first two, because I am enjoying this series immensely.

Quickie Book Review: Oppression by Jessica Therrien

A momentary break from the Camp NaNo madness for a quick book review!

I won the Oppression ebook in a contest on Rebekah’s blog, by virtue of being the first name drawn who actually owned a Kindle. (Yay!)

I’m usually pretty hesitant about new authors unless I’ve heard really, really excellent things. Since Rebekah liked the book so much, I was stoked to win and excited to read it. (Plus, we’ve been over my feelings about Greek mythology and the gods. Yes, I am a fangirl.)

Oppression by Jessica Therrien - dadgum I do love this coverSo, how did I feel about Oppression once I’d read it?


Oppression started out strong, but ultimately just fell flat for me.

I think Therrien’s built up some interesting aspects of her world (particularly in regards to the powers based on the bloodlines), and I like how Elyse comes to understand more about her own powers and the struggles she faces, particularly in regards to Anna and being a part of the prophecy.

Kara was also a fascinating character (easily my favorite), and part of me wishes the book had been in third person so we could’ve gotten into her POV.

Unfortunately, though, the bad outweighed the good. Sometimes it seemed Elyse would get stalled on a train of thought and round and round (and round and round) we’d go. Pacing was way off at times. There were a couple of scenes that seemed like they should’ve lasted longer (or should’ve been more significant), but passed in the blink of an eye.

For example: the testing scene. It came out of absolutely nowhere, and then seemed to end before it had a chance to get started.

The world itself felt generic (The Institute? Really?), which is a shame because that’s usually one of the best parts of books like this: the peeling back of the layers of our own world to reveal something new and magical and amazing right under our noses. That didn’t happen here, and that aspect of the book could’ve used a lot more fleshing out. Plus, the main villain was one-note and underdeveloped, evil for the sake of being evil.

And I really, really didn’t like William. God help me, I could’ve cheerfully STRANGLED him when Elyse is trying to find out why she’s being chased and what’s going on, and his reaction is to say, “Nah, we’re going on a date first, and THEN I’ll tell you.” (Mind you, this is approximately three chapters into the story.)

Seriously dude? SERIOUSLY?

Plus, I have a low tolerance for the whole “we’re destined to be together“/”love at first sight” trope, but that’s personal preference. (For those who DO like that particular trope, I think Therrien’s got some interesting ideas with it. Plus, not everybody has a destined soul mate in this world, it’s just these two, and for a pretty good reason.)

There was more I didn’t like than stuff I liked, and I’m really not sure I’d read the rest of the series. I might give the next book a chance, but if it didn’t grab me quickly, I probably wouldn’t read any more.