I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
My Rating: A, Loved it
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by the publisher
NOTE: This review will contain spoilers from the earlier parts of the book!
Part III opens with our band of travelers finding temporary refuge in a mining area while Cooper's leg is fixed and he heals from his boilerworm attack. However, the group quickly heads off to the Smuggler’s Den, where the majority of this part occurs. Having misunderstood what he saw in Zenobia’s letters, Ariq attempts to build walls around his heart and keep clear of Zenobia, just when she is finally ready to give herself to him. The focus of Part III is both the growing relationship between Ariq and Zenobia, but also securing safe passage to the Red City for Zenobia and Helene.
I have to say that Part III, The Kraken King and the Fox's Den, is by far my favorite section to date. The overall story continued to move forward, yet it was the nuances of the finer details which captured my heart and imagination. First, the visual imagery is fantastic as always. From how Zenobia describes the tension she observes between Cooper and Mara, to what Ariq thinks and feels about the twin sisters who govern the Fox’s Den.
I also enjoyed getting to know Ariq in more detail - to learn of his desires to save the oppressed. How he is fair but firm. How he wants to keep Zenobia out of his heart, but it’s too late. His loyalty to both his town and to those he cares about is such an admirable and swoon-worthy trait. I think my favorite moment was when he approached Mara and Cooper to talk about how best to protect Zenobia. His honesty is so touching and appealing.
And Zenobia is such the fantastic heroine. Her wit is simply sublime. But I adore that she loves her life - she is sheltered and it doesn't bother her. She enjoys the distance she keeps between herself and her friends. The only one she will allow to "barge in" is her brother. I admire that she will fight to keep her freedom and lifestyle and doesn’t feel the need to conform to society’s expectations.
The sexual tension between Ariq and Zenobia is outstanding. It is amplified by our capablity to see into both characters' minds and hearts. Ms. Brook does a fantastic job bringing the pair close and then pulling them apart. What I appreciate is that the issues and problems driving a wedge between the couple, while they are mostly misunderstandings, hold some basic truth behind the concerns. And the consequences of any wrong action could be the lives of the people closest to both. The conflict and hidden truths are well-established, so the back and forth nature does not feel contrived.
At this point, I freakin’ LOVE The Kraken King! Part III not only furthered the adventure, but Zenobia and Ariq’s relationship. We also get a deeper understanding of both characters. Just wonderful. And most of all… leaves me desperate to read more. I’m definitely hooked now and there is no going back.