Book Review: Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins And Rapture By Lauren Kate, Narrated By Justine Eyre

Book: Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins

Published April 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Book For Young Readers|264 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Rebel Belle #3

Genre: YA Paranormal

Just as Harper Price starts coming to terms with her role as David Stark’s battle-ready Paladin, protector, and girlfriend—her world goes crazy all over again.

Overwhelmed by his Oracle powers, David flees Pine Grove and starts turning teenage girls into Paladins—and these young ladies seem to think that Harper is the enemy David needs protecting from.  Ordinarily, Harper would be able to fight off any Paladin who comes her way, but her powers have been dwindling since David left town…which means her life is on the line yet again.

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings the fun once again in the finale of this pitch-perfect romantic paranormal comedy series.

I didn’t like Lady Renegades as much as I thought.  I did like it, but it’s been so long since I first started this series that I had some trouble remembering what had happened, and how we got here.  I did re-read the first book a few months ago, and never got around to re-reading the second one, so I was a little bit confused about what was going on.

Thankfully, we do get just enough that I was able to figure out, but it didn’t stop me from wishing that I had re-read the series before reading this one.

I did feel for Harper, who had a lot to figure out.  She had some tough decisions to make, and I can’t imagine being put into the position that she would need to make those decisions.  She did it, though, and yet…things still worked out, though not in a way I expected.  Part of me wishes that we had a little more at the end, to see how things really worked out, but at the same time, I think knowing would have taken away from it a little bit.  Harper did change a lot, and from what I remember from the first book…let’s just say that Book 1 Harper would not have done the things that Book 3 Harper did.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I liked it, and I liked seeing the changes in Harper.  I don’t have much else to say about this book, but it wasn’t as action-packed as I thought, considering it’s both the final book in a trilogy and a book about Paladins.

Book: Rapture by Lauren Kate, Narrated by Justine Eyre

Published June 2012 by Listening Library|Length: 11 hours, 40 minutes

Where I Got It: I borrowed the audio book from the library

Series: Fallen #4

Genre: YA Paranormal

The sky is dark with wings…

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this — live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies…and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her — and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

Rapture is the astonishing conclusion to the Fallen series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Goodness, this book was a struggle to get through.  It took me weeks, because I’d listen to 15 or 20 minutes at a time, and then stop because I was bored out of my mind.  This was not a good book to do on audio.

For one thing, there was no action.  Everything moved at a snail’s pace, which is not what I want in a series finale.  It was boring, and absolutely nothing happened.  I feel like a lot of the series finales I’ve read recently have been really boring.

Everything’s coming to a conclusion, and even though the book took place over the course about 9 days, it felt like so much longer.  Everything was in excruciating detail, a lot of which was unnecessary.  Unfortunately, I had no option to speed it up or skim, because I went with the audio and had no option to adjust the speed.  I suppose that is what I get for going with a physical copy of the audio book.

While this wasn’t the choice content wise, the narrator was actually great.  I’ve listened to a few books narrated by Eyre before, and she’s a pretty good narrator.  I think that was one of the few things about this book that I actually liked.

I did like Dee, who I thought was a really cool and interesting character.  It’s too bad we also had her around for a little bit.

Other than Eyre’s narration and Dee, there’s not much I actually liked about Rapture.  I already talked about how slow the book is, but Luce is an idiot, and Daniel is a terrible angel.  I’d say person, normally, but that doesn’t really fit.  He seems like such an ass, and I don’t get Luce’s interest in him.  He’s too moody and angsty, and it was just annoying.  I had no interest in their relationship…and to be honest Cam (or maybe even Lucifer, if you want to take in some of what happens at the end) would be a better choice for Luce.  Or least, a choice that’s not annoying.

Luce, more often than not, does seem like she’s too stupid to live.  That’s not a phrase I use often (if at all), but it somehow seems appropriate.  There was a point with Dee that I thought was going to turn out very differently, and I was yelling at Luce to not go outside without an explanation.  It didn’t go the way I thought, but there were so many secrets that were being kept from her that I was really irritated.  With a lot of characters.

Not really Cam, because he did try to warn Luce, but no, that girl was blind in her determination to do whatever Daniel and everyone else wanted.  She didn’t question anything at all, and I really wanted her to be less passive.  She was a little proactive, I suppose, but not really.

You’d think, this being the 4th book and all, she would have changed at least a little.  But she’s still the same clueless Luce we saw in Fallen.  After everything she’s seen and remembered, I would have expected at least some sort of change from Luce.  But alas, nothing.

One interesting thing is that, in comparison to a lot of other books out there that are about angels, this one is somehow more…religious.  It’s not preachy or anything like that, but the mythology or theology (or whatever you want to call it) is very different than what I usually associate with angels.  It’s more biblical, I suppose, though it’s been ages and ages since I’ve gone to church.  So I could be wrong, but that’s what I was reminded of for most of this series.  I liked it enough, I suppose, though not enough to have wanted to see more of it.

My Rating: 2 stars.  It was hard to listen to because it was moved very slow, and it was pretty boring.  I definitely lost interest by the end, and the last couple of hours of it ended up being background noise.

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Book Review: Torment by Lauren Kate And Passion By Lauren Kate

Book: Torment by Lauren Kate

Published: September 2010 by Delacorte Press|392 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Fallen #2

Genre: YA Paranormal

Hell on earth.

That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.

What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

For some reason, I decided to pick this book up even though it’s been ages since I’ve read the first book.

I did like seeing Luce at Shoreline, and seeing her fit into a world she didn’t know about.  There’s more to it than I thought, and I really liked seeing everything with the Shadows.  We learn a lot more about everything going on with Daniel, and what happened so long ago.

I did leave the book with more questions than answers, and I want to know more about Luce and why she can do what she can do.  I am absolutely convinced there is more to it, and I’m hoping we’ll get some answers.  I have the feeling the answers will be replaced with a million more questions, since there are a couple more books to go in the series.  But still, I would like some answers.  Especially with the Outcasts.  And the battle at the end of book.  It wasn’t completely explained and I’m hoping there are answers in the next book.

I didn’t particularly like Daniel.  He’s supposed to be the good guy, and the whole reason Luce is in this situation is because of Daniel.  And yet, it seems like she is an object for him to have.  Cam seems to care more about her safety than Daniel, and he seems much more willing to actually talk to her and explain things to her.

Daniel is really moody, and while I don’t expect him to be a saint, I expected something different from him.  It really seems like he loves the idea of Luce, and their epic history, but he’s shown no interest in wanting to get to know her.  Maybe he’s trying to protect himself after decades of finding her, only to lose.  It doesn’t make his behavior okay, because it’s not.  But I don’t get the sense that he really, truly cares about her and I’m having a hard time rooting for them.  It really feels like there’s no chemistry between Daniel and Luce.

Speaking of Luce, she was pretty whiny, but I don’t really blame her.  I think I would be too.  At least there were a few students who made things better for her while she was at Shoreline.  Hopefully she’ll continue to have some sort of group who makes things bearable.  I think it may be good for her, but we’ll see.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I liked it the same as Fallen (the first book) but I still want to keep reading.  I’m hoping Daniel will be different, but we’ll see.

Book: Passion by Lauren Kate

Published June 2011 by Delacorte Press|420 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Fallen #3

Genre: YA Paranormal/Angels

‘Every single lifetime, I’ll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever.’

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way…Luce is certain that something – or someone – in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime…going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel…and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames…forever.

I liked Passion, and it is very different than the previous two books in the series.  In this book, we see Daniel and Luce, over centuries and how they’ve found each other, time and time again.  I did like seeing how they found each other, and I certainly liked seeing how Luce reacted to her past.  However, Daniel’s chapters were really confusing, and, for me, didn’t add a whole lot to the book.  If they were a little more like Luce’s chapters, I don’t think I would have minded as much, and they did get less confusing as the book went on.  But for the most part, they didn’t work for me.

It was really slow, and there were times where I was pretty bored reading it.  Especially with the switch in narrators, and I’ve already talked about how Daniel’s chapters didn’t work for me.  It just made the book seem more confusing and also…we’re perfectly fine in Luce’s world, and then things change suddenly, and it made the book seem like a big, huge mess.  It made the book feel like Kate wasn’t sure what direction to go in with this book.

We do discover the reason for the time travel, but I feel like it took us a while to get there.  I get why Luce had to time travel, but it could have been a lot more interesting.  Maybe we just didn’t get enough time in each time period.

Unfortunately, Daniel didn’t get any better in this book, and while I didn’t like him before…I think I liked him even less in this book.  The tortured soul thing is bored and tired and downright irritating.  Luce, while entirely too trusting (cough *Bill* cough), was at least doing something.  Daniel, on the other hand, spent a lot of time moping around.

Oh, speaking of Bill…I liked him for a bit, but I wasn’t surprised by his story line.  At all.  Well, parts of it, anyway.  I thought other parts were…sorta lame.

Nothing was really explained, and and things seem to come of nowhere.  Like, we learned a little more about the relationship between Daniel and Cam, that too wasn’t explained well.  And it came out of nowhere.  I feel like that happened a lot in this.  Things come out of nowhere and aren’t really explained.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I’m wavering between 2 and 3 stars for this one, but I decided to go with 3 for this one.  I did like seeing Luce time travel and I did like seeing her reaction to her past selves.  Even though a lot of things didn’t make sense, for some reason, I did still like this book, though it’s my least favorite book in the series so far.