Showing posts with label josephine angelini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label josephine angelini. Show all posts

Monday, March 9, 2015

[Short Story Review] Starcrossed City (Starcrossed #0.5) - Josephine Angelini





In STARCROSSED CITY, a short story prequel to the Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini, we find out how Ajax and Daphne, "Helen's parents", meet for the first time.

What intrigued me: Having just finished the second novel of the trilogy DREAMLESS, I stumbled upon this gem and had to read it. I wasn't particularly a fan of Daphne's character in the novels, but I guess she's just written to be a very unlikeable character.

Entertaining voice and characters

In STARCROSSED CITY, Daphne is a senior in high school. The story is told from her point of view and describes her first day in a new school. The unique thing about this story is the character voice. She talks in short sentences, describing things without trying to sound fancy and just going straight to the point. I can't tell whether I should write this off as laziness on the author's side or simply count this as adding to the character of her narrator. Daphne is just as unlikeable as in the the main series, constantly thinking about how she's superior to everyone, hating everything and just being overall very overdramatic. It's equally entertaining as it is exhausting to listen to her.

However I can't deny that I really enjoyed being led through the story through Daphne's eyes. I can't really put my finger on it, but there's something cold, calculating and vulnerable in the way she talks and describes things. You can clearly recognize her in her younger self when reading this. The story itself isn't very interesting. It's your average start of a YA novel, new kid in a new school.

Over the Top?

Daphne goes through the day having to constantly tell off people that want to surround themselves with her. The effects of "The Face" seem to hit her way harder than they ever hit Helen, her daughter in the series. The way people are frantically trying to be close to Daphne just seems over the top. She makes an enemy within five seconds for absolutely no reason and I just rolled my eyes at that. Why would anyone try to physically harm a girl that they've just met?

The worst isn't even how two girls she JUST met try to physically assault her for NO REASON, the worst is her reaction and only objection:

"“Don’t, Harlow,” I plead, tears blurring my eyes. They don’t understand. Without my hair, I’ll have no way to hide my face. I’ll be exposed and it’ll just get worse."

Yes, Daphne, your face is so magical and beautiful that everyone will go completely nuts if you cut your bangs. Yup. I just.. I can't. I'm really glad that Angelini didn't decide to use Daphne as her protagonist in the series.

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I hoped that this story would be just about Ajax and Daphne, but it's more of a cute "and this is how I met your mom" story that doesn't lead anywhere.


Rating:

☆☆

The Series:

Starcrossed City (#0.5)
Dreamless (#2)
Goddess (#3)
- See more at: http://thebookavid.blogspot.de/2015/03/review-gottlich-verloren-ot-dreamless.html#sthash.DGWlrLkG.dpuf
Continue Reading...

[Short Story Review] Starcrossed City (Starcrossed #0.5) - Josephine Angelini





In STARCROSSED CITY, a short story prequel to the Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini, we find out how Ajax and Daphne, "Helen's parents", meet for the first time.

What intrigued me: Having just finished the second novel of the trilogy DREAMLESS, I stumbled upon this gem and had to read it. I wasn't particularly a fan of Daphne's character in the novels, but I guess she's just written to be a very unlikeable character.

Entertaining voice and characters

In STARCROSSED CITY, Daphne is a senior in high school. The story is told from her point of view and describes her first day in a new school. The unique thing about this story is the character voice. She talks in short sentences, describing things without trying to sound fancy and just going straight to the point. I can't tell whether I should write this off as laziness on the author's side or simply count this as adding to the character of her narrator. Daphne is just as unlikeable as in the the main series, constantly thinking about how she's superior to everyone, hating everything and just being overall very overdramatic. It's equally entertaining as it is exhausting to listen to her.

However I can't deny that I really enjoyed being led through the story through Daphne's eyes. I can't really put my finger on it, but there's something cold, calculating and vulnerable in the way she talks and describes things. You can clearly recognize her in her younger self when reading this. The story itself isn't very interesting. It's your average start of a YA novel, new kid in a new school.

Over the Top?

Daphne goes through the day having to constantly tell off people that want to surround themselves with her. The effects of "The Face" seem to hit her way harder than they ever hit Helen, her daughter in the series. The way people are frantically trying to be close to Daphne just seems over the top. She makes an enemy within five seconds for absolutely no reason and I just rolled my eyes at that. Why would anyone try to physically harm a girl that they've just met?

The worst isn't even how two girls she JUST met try to physically assault her for NO REASON, the worst is her reaction and only objection:

"“Don’t, Harlow,” I plead, tears blurring my eyes. They don’t understand. Without my hair, I’ll have no way to hide my face. I’ll be exposed and it’ll just get worse."

Yes, Daphne, your face is so magical and beautiful that everyone will go completely nuts if you cut your bangs. Yup. I just.. I can't. I'm really glad that Angelini didn't decide to use Daphne as her protagonist in the series.

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I hoped that this story would be just about Ajax and Daphne, but it's more of a cute "and this is how I met your mom" story that doesn't lead anywhere.


Rating:

☆☆

The Series:

Starcrossed City (#0.5)
Dreamless (#2)
Goddess (#3)
- See more at: http://thebookavid.blogspot.de/2015/03/review-gottlich-verloren-ot-dreamless.html#sthash.DGWlrLkG.dpuf
Continue Reading...

[Review] Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) - Josephine Angelini


In DREAMLESS, demi-god Helen has to use her ability to descend into the Underworld to kill the Furies in order to stop all different demi-god families from wanting to kill each other.
What intrigued me: I've read the first novel.

Logic, what is logic?

After it has been revealed to our protagonist Helen that her love interest/ex-boyfriend is actually her cousin, they are both trying (and desperately failing) to keep a distance. Even though it's pretty obvious that she can't be the daughter of someone that died 19 years ago if she's 17, everybody rolls with it. Now here comes the actual problem: For the Delos family the quarrel isn't even that their son is heading for an incestuous relationship, but the actual problem is that if those two decide to have children, these children would cause the House of Theben and the House of Atreus to go extinct, because... the heir can only be claimed by one house.

It's very difficult to keep track of the different mythological objects and rules that Angelini brings into this. We have:
  • "The Face", which basically means looking like the steeped-in-legend Helen of Troy
  • "The Cestus of Aphrodite", which makes the wearer invincible
  • The concept of "blood guilt", which I don't fully understand until this day 
  • The "Twig of Aenas" which can only be used by a son of Aenas to descend into the Underworld without being a descender 
... and a bunch of other things that you have to keep in mind if you want to make sense of the story.
Angelini doesn't even bother to explain everything again in detail (which you always should in the second book if you've got so much complicated mythology!), which leaves you there pretty confused.
I was glad to have a little dictionary with characters and gods and all their traits at the end of the novel, which I really actively had to use to understand who's who and who's able to do what.


It's NOT a Twilight fan fiction anymore!

I had a hard time getting into DREAMLESS, especially because of the mythology. It's not easy to keep track of everything and you really have to think and remember everything that happens if you don't want to end up confused and angry. There's a lot of mythology that's not even accurate- or, let's say, different from the original lore. This does not mean that it's bad- Angelini just took a different spin on some of the things, which I encourage! I loved how she made Ares, the mighty God of War, a complete nutcase for example. Or Cerberus, who's usually a Dobermann or a Pitbull, a giant wolf.

I got the notion that in this one, the Starcrossed Series really stopped being just a Twilight fan fiction and started to become a story on its own. In the first novel the whole scion and blood shed issue just seemed like a bad excuse to justify the hot boy falling for the average shy girl. In the second, the characters grow and the plot lines start making sense in the bigger picture.
Even though I understood why Angelini made the decision to alternate between point-of-views, I would have loved some consistency. The main narrator still remains Helen, but there are sometimes random throw-ins from the POV of other characters. It all seems necessary and I fully understand why it makes sense to do it like this- still, either alternate consistently and go with multiple narrators from the start or make it a one-time-thing.

Rating:

★★★☆☆

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I had a rocky start with DREAMLESS and after about seventy pages I even contemplated giving up because I didn't understand what's going on anymore. Maybe it's different if you've read the first one right before, but for me it was a struggle to push through. After about hundred pages it hit me and I was diving deep into the story and needing to know what happens next.


Additional Info:



Published: Mai 2012 
Pages: 512
Genre: YA / Fantasy / Mythology / Greek Mythology
ISBN: 978-3-7915-2626-3

Synopsis:
"Can true love be forgotten?
As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.
Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out. A ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.
As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos."

Did you read the series and what did you think of it? 

Continue Reading...

Monday, September 15, 2014

[Review] Starcrossed (#1) - Josephine Angelini


In STARCROSSED, Lucas and Helen, descendants of the Greek Gods of Olympus, fall unconditionally and irrevocably in love. But they aren't only destined to be with each other by the gods, but also destined to kill each other.

Very sketchy world building

In the real world, scions (or descendants of the Gods) don't make any sense. If everyone who is even remotely related to them had special powers, you do realize that basically everyone would have special powers. Humanity has common ancestry if we go back 2000 years and there's no way that out of the 7 BILLION people we currently have living in the world, only about 1000 share those ancestors. It's not even direct ancestry that makes you a so-called scion, but it's just having your Grand-Grand-Grand-Grand-Grandfather having been with a 56th Cousin of a Scion one time, that makes you a Greek Superhero.

In general there isn't enough unique features about this that could have possibly made me like this. I didn't really like the main characters, I didn't quite get this whole scion plot and the writing just didn't work for me either. The idea is interesting, but just lacks in execution and that certain spark of uniqueness that usually makes me fall in love with novels.

Wait, I've Seen Those Characters Before

I really don't like comparing books to TWILIGHT because it's so overdone and mostly untrue, but with this one I couldn't help but notice significant parallels that aren't even trying to be disguised.
We have characters like:
  • The Seer
  • The Super Pretty Distant One That Isn't So Rude If You Get To Know Her
  • The Relative That Turns Out To Be a Traitor Because Why Not
  • The Super Strong and Weirdly Proud of it Guy
  • The Dad Who Reads 3257 Books A Day and Is Also Blond and Weirdly Attractive
  • The Mom Who Could Probably Kick Your Ass Even Though She Isn't That Powerful
  • The Creepy Shy Kid That's Also Really Close With The Seer
Of course all of them are super-attractive though. Comes with being descendants of Gods.

Anything sound familiar? They also happen to be the only family ever in the blood-lineage that doesn't get messed up in a massive kin-feud. Similar to the Volturi, the Hundred Cousins are their barbarian arch-enemies, even though they're basically relatives. Forced to flee from the tyranny that is their crazy family, Lucas & Co. go to Nantucket, a foggy, stormy little island in the middle of no-where. It's just not subtle at all.

Overall: Do I recommend?

I'm a sucker for mythology so I had fun trying to guess who was related to whom and what Angelini tried to make me believe. Towards the end I was struggling, I was annoyed and I felt betrayed of a nice mythology-related read. Can't see myself ever wanting to re-read this either.



Rating:

★★☆☆






Synopsis: 
Destiny brought them together. The gods will keep them apart.

When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton meets Lucas Delos for the first time, she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands.

An ancient curse means Lucas and Helen are destined to loathe one another.

But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can prevent what will happen next...





Have you read STARCROSSED?

Continue Reading...
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