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Eighty Days Red
Eighty Days Red

3.0 out of 5 stars Fitting but a little underwhelming, October 20, 2012
This review is from: Eighty Days Red (Kindle Edition)
This was a fitting, but a little underwhelming conclusion to the trilogy.
What I liked was the perfect "ring composition" of the story; it all started in London, with a violin and music as the reasons why the two protagonists meet, and it all ends in London with the violin as the cause to their finding each other again, after a very long separation.
What did not work for me was the introduction of too many new characters, along with the old ones, and the fact the the author, actually authors, tried to follow their adventures along with the two main characters. To some extent it worked, as the sub-plots mingled with the main story, but it also had the effect of detracting attention from the main plot and characters. As the conclusion of the trilogy, it needed to focus more on Summer and Dominik's growing path, particularly considering how far they were from each other, and how much they had to work against their inner darkness. The unraveling of their story needed and deserved more attention.
All this, unfortunately, was diluted and lost in the various sub-plots and secondary characters. Consequently the ending, as much as it was touching and original, was also a bit rushed and lost in the jumble of events.
Pity because the authors had a potentially strong plot device, the story of the violin, which could have been a great catalyst for Summer and Dominik's growing path and reunification, but it was introduced too late in the book, and it too got lost in the midst of the numerous stories and characters.


Eighty Days Blue
Eighty Days Blue

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, October 17, 2012
This review is from: Eighty Days Blue (Kindle Edition)
The second book in the trilogy continues the story of Summer and Dominik. Their relationship evolves, or better, devolves, as these two very anti-conformist characters try to live as a couple. This turns out to be extremely problematic. Both main characters fit into the description of the "romantic hero literary archetype": they reject established norms and conventions, and have the "self" as the center of their own existence. Summer, in particular, is devoted to self-destruction; she is so dedicated to this purpose, that it is almost impossible not to be scared of her, but also admire her in a way. She is an hedonist and a perfectionist; she dives into her destructive pleasures as much as she gives all of herself to her violin and music. She really is a scary fascinating character.
Just like in the first book, in this second music and settings are a proper accompaniment to the events and characters' actions. The quiet classical music is in deep contrast with the tumultuous "selves", while the various chaotic locations are a perfect mirror.


Eighty Days Yellow (The Eighty Days Series)
Eighty Days Yellow (The Eighty Days Series)
by Vina Jackson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.47
61 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exploration of the human nature, October 13, 2012
This book is marketed after the "Fifty Shades" trilogy, which I read because how could you not read a series that is single-handedly changing the US literary market, actually also the European literary market, considering the trilogy has been translated in Italian too.
Anyway, this book and the infamous trilogy have very few aspects in common; "Eighty Days Yellow" is darker, and more than an anguished love story, is an exploration of the human nature through sex. What the two well rounded and developed protagonists find at the end of their journey, is how much murkiness they have inside, it scares them, and they momentarily pull themselves out, but they're still walking on the edge of a precipice, and the fall is still one small step away.
The atmospheres are an apt accompaniment to the characters' feelings: gloomy interiors and nights, and almost grotesque situations and side characters. Some of it reminded me of Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut".
The writing is polished and, at times, even elegant.


Law Man (The Dream Man Series Book 3)
Law Man (The Dream Man Series Book 3)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice reading, but I expected more, October 6, 2012
This was a nice reading and diversion, but it wasn't as compelling and emotionally gripping as the other books I read from this author; considering how much I liked the previous book in the series, "Wild Man", I must say I expected better.
What worked was the male protagonist, Mitch, and his way of dealing with Mara and her little cousins. What did not work was Mara, the female protagonist, and her character development. At the beginning her insecurities were kind of funny to read, but the author pushed it too far, and she became annoying; she found her courage in the end, but I needed it to happen earlier in the story, so as to enjoy more her changes. One moment she was shy, the next she was lusting after every male she happened to meet; I know the author did it to "promote" a male character from a previous book and a character from the next book in the series, but it did not help Mara's development, it made her just more awkward and not in a funny way.
Too bad, because this had the potential to be a very strong story, with a female protagonist growing path worth exploring more and better.


The Wicked Girls
The Wicked Girls
by Alex Marwood
Edition: Paperback
5 used & new from $28.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but good nonetheless, October 4, 2012
This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Paperback)
This book was not what I expected, but it was good nonetheless. I anticipated a thriller, and in a way it was what I got, because the story was about murders and murderers, and the mood was gloomy. Even so, the perspective and the tone the author chose to tell her tale were more oriented on making the reader think, than making the reader feel the thrill of a "detective story".
The author poses numerous and interesting questions: can kids be really evil; how much social backgrounds are responsible; can people change and improve their situations; does luck weight more than inner strenght?
Then, being the author also a journalist, she shows how powerful and dangerous sensationalism can be.
In the end, she doesn't really give answers to all those questions; the reader gets a closure to the main story but is left alone to search for the reponses to all the issues about society, mass media and human behaviors.


The Demon Lover: A Novel (Fairwick Trilogy Book 1)
The Demon Lover: A Novel (Fairwick Trilogy Book 1)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, evocative and sensual., September 26, 2012
Also published as "Incubus" by Carol Goodman, this fantasy novel can be considered a compendium of themes the author loved in her previous "realistic" books. There is the heroine in search of her identity, there are houses which aren't just places, but are living entities, that groan and hide secrets. There are characters that live and meet in the present time, but are connected by a common past, or by intermingling ancestries. The atmospheres recall the Gothic novels and, in my opinion, a bit of the German Expressionist films; in this novel in particular, where the shadows are treated as living things.
The main difference with her previous books is the fact that here fairy tales aren't just a reference and an inspiration, but they are real.
Lastly, just like in her previous works, the writing is elegant, evocative and sensual.


Incubus (Fairwick Chronicles)
Incubus (Fairwick Chronicles)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, evocative and sensual., September 26, 2012
Also published as "The Demon Lover" by Juliet Dark, this fantasy novel can be considered a compendium of themes the author loved in her previous "realistic" books. There is the heroine in search of her identity, there are houses which aren't just places, but are living entities, that groan and hide secrets. There are characters that live and meet in the present time, but are connected by a common past, or by intermingling ancestries. The atmospheres recall the Gothic novels and, in my opinion, a bit of the German Expressionist films; in this novel in particular, where the shadows are treated as living things.
The main difference with her previous books is the fact that here fairy tales aren't just a reference and an inspiration, but they are real.
Lastly, just like in her previous works, the writing is elegant, evocative and sensual.


Breathe (Colorado Mountain Series Book 4)
Breathe (Colorado Mountain Series Book 4)

4.0 out of 5 stars So sweet, September 24, 2012
This was a very sweet story. Compared to other books I read from this author, it had a gentler feel to it. I usually prefer stories where both the main characters growing paths are also their healing journeys, as it happens in "Heaven and Hell", "Wild Man" and "Creed"; even so, reading "Breathe" was a nice pleasure and diversion.


Creed (The Unfinished Heroes Series Book 2)
Creed (The Unfinished Heroes Series Book 2)
Price: $3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fierce and tragic, with a good dose of irony, September 19, 2012
"Creed" is the second installment (the first is "Knight") in the "Unfinished Heroes" series. Among the various series written by this is author, this is the newest and, in my opinion, the most interesting. That is because anti-heroes are very intriguing characters to read about; just like in these books, they are an explosive cauldron of flaws and very disputable life choices, but at the same time they are loyal and strong. Sylvie and Creed, the two protagonists, are fierce, tragic and sweet all at once. Their growing path is engaging, tragic, but never unbearably anguished, because the author gave them a healthy dose of irony, which is something I love in characters I read about.
This is not an elegant and lyrical kind of book, but the intriguing plot and characters certainly make up for the lack of formality and technique.


Wild Man (The Dream Man Series Book 2)
Wild Man (The Dream Man Series Book 2)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Addictive, with some imperfections., September 16, 2012
This is the third book I read from this author, and just as in "Knight" and "Heaven and Hell", the writing is rough, imperfect, but absolutely addictive; it fits perfectly the honesty and harshness of the author's stories and characters. Her protagonists are all damaged, but they all manage to grow and heal themselves and each other.
As in the previous books I read, the secondary characters are well depicted and they all end up being positive mentors and supporters. Unfortunately, while in those previous novels all the secondary characters, including the antagonists, were well shaped, in "Wild Man", there were a few flat, superficial, childish secondary characters, whose role in the story was, and still remains, uncertain to me. Those few characters (Martha, Elvira and company), were depicted as judgmental, superficial, and silly. At first I thought they could play the role of what, in story-editing, is called "Shadow Characters": they show what would happen to the main character if she didn't change; in this specific case, she would become sad, lonely and bitter. But their story arc was not developed enough for them to have such a role. Then, I supposed they were introduced to be used as "comic relief", but few testy comments do not good comedy make: in the best "buddy comedies", the sidekicks are as well developed as the main characters, because the most natural and funniest of comedies need to be well thought and well constructed in order to work, otherwise the dialogues just seem silly.
So, considering how good the other secondary characters were both in this story and the others I had the pleasure to read, those few side characters were an unpleasant surprise, but the main story and characters were strong enough to grab my attention and make me forget about those imperfections.


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