I enjoyed Leviathan and was excited to continue the series, hoping that eventually there might be less focus on all the battles and action and more focus on the human relationships. Well, there was still plenty of action, but with the next two books there were some more interpersonal interactions that I appreciated, especially in book 3. I felt that the series grew stronger with each book, which I feel is exactly the way a series should be. I enjoyed the new settings in Behemoth and I appreciated the character development I waited so long for to finally take place in Goliath. Goliath was a pretty strong ending too, and though for a moment I wondered if Alek was really making the right choices in the end from a practicality standpoint, I do think he was right about the fact that war changes so much. So ultimately, I decided it was a good way to go. And I’m ultimately glad that I randomly decided to read this series. I would also love to read a follow-up of the series that takes place after the war ends!
The Naturals (The Naturals #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
– I find Cassie relatable.
– I LOVE the psychology of it!
– Sloane is easily my favorite.
– I can’t stand Lia.
– What is up with this love triangle? When does Dean ever actually show interest in Cassie? They talked about it but I never saw it or believed it. And Michael’s just, eh… Just a guy who knows he’s hot. OK, he’s loyal, I give him props for that, but still, there are better fish in the sea than either of these guys, Cassie. Move on. (P.S. I know she won’t. I know this continues in book 2. I can only hope in book 3 she’ll change her mind but… unlikely.)
– I think all the relationships in this book were underdeveloped, which was a shame considering the epic psychology of it otherwise and with such a good mixture of personalities in the book. I don’t know if I can ever buy that Lia and Dean have a relationship like “brother and sister.” It doesn’t ring true at all in conjunction with how they act around one another, at least not for me.
– The witty dialogue and banter was definitely a plus.
– The twist! Wow!
– The usage of second person narration worked very well with the way profiling works. (BTW, in case you haven’t read it, the whole book is NOT second person, just little parts of it. I know that sounds weird but it’ll make sense when you read it, I promise.)
Echoes of Us (The Hybrid Chronicles #3) by Kat Zhang
I enjoyed the first two books of The Hybrid Chronicles pretty well, and I liked this book decently as well. But I have to say, when I finished reading I was thinking of the best way to describe my thoughts towards the book, and the best word I could come up with is: safe. I really like Kat Zhang; I’ve met her in person and interacted with her on Twitter, and I think she is a talented writer. But with the conclusion of the series she took no risks. There was one point where I thought she had, but nope, it worked out. After that, I wasn’t really afraid for anything else that happened. I’m not saying that I think the ending should have been tragic, but Addie/Eva lost NOTHING, and I don’t know how good that is for a character’s growth.
Think of other stories… In Mockingjay (highlight for spoilers), Katniss loses a lot of people she cares about, BUT Paneem is free and she is also finally able to love Peeta. In Ruin and Rising (highlight for spoilers), Alina loses her power BUT she gains a nice life with the person she wanted to share it with. In Allegiant, which I know has a super-controversial ending (highlight for spoilers), Tris loses her life in order to save those she loves, including Tobias, who struggles with the loss at first UNTIL he realizes that he can and must move on. In all these endings, the main character loses something. Though I don’t think loss always has to be a part of the ending, especially when you’re looking at a standalone story. I think of my favorite movie, Inception, (highlight for spoilers) where Dom loses his wife and essentially his kids over inception, but in the end he is able to be with his kids again (Or does he?! That dang top!).
At the end of Echoes of Us, there are some people Addie/Eva isn’t quite sure what happened to, but let’s be honest, she hasn’t really lost anything. She’s risked a lot, but it all worked out. She’s a different person, I guess, but it felt sort of hollow. And I hate that we don’t get much insight about how it’s going to be for hybrids and society in general. (Another mild spoiler here, I suppose…) How is it going to work out with Eva and Ryan and Addie and Jackson if they’re all still in one body with someone else? That was one of the main questions I had and it’s not even hinted at having an answer.
So this book was fine. Kat Zhang can write, but the emotions and the character growth really felt lacking in this final installment.
Let me know what you think of these books!