posted at Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 at 8:00 AM | Adult, Mini Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult
Series: Kitty Norville #1
Published by Grand Central on January 9, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
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Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station - and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it's Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?
Several years ago, I loved Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age, a superhero story with a ship, and I added this series to my to read list. She’s also had strong short stories in a couple of anthologies I’ve read. Her YA novel, Steel, wasn’t that great, but I had high hopes for her flagship series, Kitty Norville. I picked Kitty and the Midnight Hour up in a Kindle sale. Kitty and the Midnight Hour shows its age and also a little bit of promise, but it wasn’t enough to tempt me into continuing the series.
Elements of Kitty and the Midnight Hour, I really liked. The radio show, though initially unappealing, turned out to be pretty entertaining, and those segments featured the best banter of the book. The ship also has potential (despite the unfortunate fact that her love interest has a mustache); it’s awesome that her listeners ship them.
It’s also interesting theoretically that Kitty’s basically a beta werewolf in her pack. Generally, heroines are alphas, but Kitty’s the lowest-ranking member. Obviously, the series features her coming into her own and starting to move up from total subservience, but she doesn’t end the alpha of the pack either. However, pack dynamics are super creepy (as often happens in werewolf books). Kitty thinks of her Wolf as a separate entity, and it’s almost like Anastasia Steele communicating with her inner goddess, only the Wolf actually is super into submission. The pack alpha can have sex with anyone in the pack that he wants to, and it’s just so gross and creeptastic, even if that is how actual wolves work.
As a whole, this book was a mix of potential and unfortunate things (like the one gay character dying). I’m not sure if I would have continued reading even if I could get these from the library, but the only way I can continue reading is buying all the books and it’s definitely not good enough to merit that (at least based on the first installment). Best of lucky, Kitty, but I shan’t be advneturing with you.
Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl from Everywhere #2
Published by Greenwillow on February 28, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Time Travel
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The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.
Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?
Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. Includes black-and-white maps.
Heidi Heilig’s talent remains evident in The Ship Beyond Time. I admire the world she’s created so much. Admittedly, though, The Ship Beyond Time will work better for plot readers than character readers.
The plot ‘s cool certainly, even if I wasn’t especially invested. The Girl from Everywhere had a historical setting with some fantastical elements, but this time the setting is pure fantasy, something out of a fairy tale. The weaving of the time travel elements is masterfully done; I often struggle with time travel books, but Heilig makes it work. Nix’s consideration of whether the past can be changed is well done too. If you read for plot and world building more than character arcs, you will probably love this installment.
I wanted a bit more focus on character arcs. I wanted Kashmir and Nix to spend more time together than they did, and I’d have liked for them to work through their problems a bit more organically, rather than having conversations so honest and calm that they didn’t feel especially realistic (see also: the conversations with Blake that both of them have). Nix spends the whole book pushing Kash away because she’s afraid of losing him, which is one of my least favorite tropes. In fact, the whole plot happens because she’s trying to figure out how not to lose him, which made the whole plot feel sort of unnecessary. Kash also has significant and legitimate concerns that they love each other because she might have actually believed him into being as the perfect guy for her that just sort of get thrown to the side.
I adore Kash. He’s my favorite character in the series by far, probably because he’s the only one who can be counted on to quip. However, I wish he hadn’t had a POV. His voice is basically indistinguishable from Nix’s, and his POV didn’t really add a whole lot plot or character-wise imo. In fact, there were a few scenes that would have had more tension if you didn’t know what Kash was doing.
The Ship Beyond Time is a great book, but it was only an okay book for me sadly. I was invested in the start and the ending, but my attention waned for the plot portion in the center where the characters were mostly in stasis.
Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy: