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The Golden Darter

My Life Through Books


Middle School was a weird mix of classics and Star Wars. I was obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux to the point of the book falling apart. I also discovered that while I love Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters can go hang. As for Star Wars... I've read almost every meta-verse book that was published up until the New Order cannon. I can still go into detail and recite storylines of a few beloved books. Hence, my nerd life began.


High school was very paranormal, vampire, scifi, etc. I would literally go online and search for book series that concerned vampires and read everything on the list. We are talking Anita Blake, Charline Harris, Anne Rice, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tanya Huff, Steven King, etc. This was before they sparkled, ya'll. Early college was philosophical and political theory for school, and mainstream fiction in my personal time. Wicked, Life of Pi, Memoirs of a Geisha. These are the 3 books that pushed me into my next phase, mostly because of how ambiguous I felt about them, and their questionable endings.


Late-mid college I was introduced to LaVyrle Spencer by way of Hummingbird courtesy of a gripe session with my Mom about how depressing the books I had been reading lately were. I've never looked back and have been hooked on the romance genre ever since. I've read and loved a ton of LaVyrle Spencer (who is a little hit and miss), Judith McNaught (of the rapetastic 80s era of romance), and Georgette Heyer (who writes in the vein of Austen). More recently I've discovered the joys of contemporary authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips.


Lately I've been trying to read more non-fiction. I really do enjoy learning about subjects that interest me, but non-fiction can feel like work sometimes. So I fall back to romance. You just can't go wrong with knowing that there will almost always be a happy ending.

Currently reading

Playing Dirty
Jennifer Echols
Searching for Someday
Jennifer Probst
Mara TP
Ming Doyle
The Quest
Susan Kearney
Play by Play (Play Makers #1)
Kate Donovan
Mrs Ronnie The Society Hostess Who Collected Kings
Sian Evans
Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder OK... So I can't lie when I say that I really loved this book. Mostly. The world was a very different one, insofar that it was a sort of... Medieval Socialistic Fantasy? Something like that anyway. Very interesting elements. The court politics were fun to watch unravel, as was the different take on how magic works in this world. I liked that Yelena wasn't a total pushover but wasn't a "feisty heroine" either. She was a person struggling with some major drama in her past, all while being on the brink of death every day due to her "job". There was one particular plot device introduced near the beginning that I saw through, but the rest of the time I couldn't figure out what was going to happen next, which is always pleasant. The thing I didn't get however, was the "romance". It took me forever to even figure out that there was supposed to be one, and then I was just confused for the rest of the book with regards to that plotline. Valek was so freaking one-dimensional. We barely learn anything about him, and most of that is at the end when there still seems to be some confusion over how much exactly they know about each other (so, how can there be trust when you don't know the other person, let alone love???). The rest of the time, he is just her boss and acts like it, hence my confusion. The confession of love, when it does come at the end, was absolutely out of left field. I actually had to set the book down and come back to it after I had a moment to digest it. Did I miss something? Like... a lot of somethings? Because, while I appreciate a slow romantic buildup throughout a book... There wasn't even that. Or at least, not to my eyes. If anything, it felt like Yelena had Stockholm-syndrome. I have no idea what excuse I can give Valek. Mostly, it felt heavy handed of the author.Otherwise though, LOVED this story and plan on reading the other two books. I would start them right now (that's how much I want to continue this world) but I like to space out my series installments, so it'll be a few weeks at least.Addendum - Just had a thought that is leading me to making this 4 stars, not 5... I realized that I liked this book in spite of the characters. Meaning... Yelena was hard to get a grasp on and I never felt like I knew much about Valek on a personal level. This mostly has to do with the writing style, I believe. This is not a flowery book. The prose is pretty sparse and takes you where you need to go but no further. The plot, the world, the details that were fleshed out... These were what made the story for me, not the two mains. Not saying that Yelena wasn't sympathetic or that I didn't understand her baggage... I did. I connected with her on a certain level, but it was a level so shallow that sometimes she take an action or say something that left me surprised, thinking that it felt out of character. Valek, as I've said before, I just never felt like I knew. The few details given about him mean nothing compared to how he treats Yelena. They always seem to be co-workers (if you can even call them that considering his hold over Yelenas life), nothing more. Even when he seems upset about her possible defection to Star, when Yelena cannot figure out what has gotten him into such a pissy mood for a week , I took it as anger due to having to train another taster, not any real partiality on his part. Like I said, took me a while to realize there was a romance going on, and it was mostly clues from Yelenas attraction to Valek that tipped me off, not the other way around. Grr...