Continue below for the Top 5 Reasons to read the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'SNOWGLOBE' blog tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, DELACORTE PRESS/PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, and SOYOUNG PARK!
Publisher: Delacorte Press / Penguin Random House
Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 2024
Genre: Young Adult SciFi / Dystopian
In a world of constant winter, only the citizens of the climate-controlled city of Snowglobe can escape the bitter cold—but this perfect society is hiding dark and dangerous secrets within its frozen heart. A groundbreaking Korean novel translated into English for the first time!
“The Hunger Games meets Squid Game in Soyoung Park’s dystopian thriller Snowglobe” –Entertainment Weekly
Enclosed under a vast dome, Snowglobe is the last place on Earth that’s warm. Outside Snowglobe is a frozen wasteland, and every day, citizens face the icy world to get to their jobs at the power plant, where they produce the energy Snowglobe needs. Their only solace comes in the form of twenty-four-hour television programming streamed directly from the domed city.
The residents of Snowglobe have everything: fame, fortune, and above all, safety from the desolation outside their walls. In exchange, their lives are broadcast to the less fortunate outside, who watch eagerly, hoping for the chance to one day become actors themselves.
Chobahm lives for the time she spends watching the shows produced inside Snowglobe. Her favorite? Goh Around, starring Goh Haeri, Snowglobe’s biggest star—and, it turns out, the key to getting Chobahm her dream life.
Because Haeri is dead, and Chobahm has been chosen to take her place. Only, life inside Snowglobe is nothing like what you see on television. Reality is a lie, and truth seems to be forever out of reach.
Translated for the first time into English from the original Korean, Snowglobe is a groundbreaking exploration of personal identity, and the future of the world as we know it. It is the winner of the Changbi X Kakaopage Young Adult Novel Award.
Content Warning: torture, murder, forced work, socioeconomic inequality
Top 5 Reasons to Read 'Snowglobe'
1. Stories about reality show competitions with literal life and death stakes get your adrenaline pumping!
2. You're in your dystopian frozen wasteland era.
3. Gorgeous Korean storytelling is your vibe.
4. You've got a soft spot for underdogs.
5. You want more than a standalone, but prefer duologies to long series.
About the Author:
Soyoung Park majored in communication and media at university.
She is a winner of the Original Story Award and the Changbi X Kakaopage Young Adult Novel Award. She is the author of the Snowglobe duology.
AUTHOR LINKS: GOODREADS
Continue below to read the synopsis of the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'DISCIPLES OF CHAOS' blog tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, LITTLE BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, and M.K. LOBB!
Disciples of Chaos
Seven Faceless Saints
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 2024
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
In this thrilling sequel to Seven Faceless Saints, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kerri Maniscalco, Roz and Damian must face their destiny as the world crumbles around them.
Damian Venturi isn’t aware of it yet. But as small shifts start to crack the foundations of the Ombrazian power structure after the Rebellion’s attack, cracks are beginning to show in Damian’s own facade. Uncontrollable anger is bubbling to the surface and can’t always be pushed down. Can he keep everyone safe, even from himself?
Rossana Lacertosa should feel victorious. She accomplished everything she set out to do, and more. The Rebellion’s attack set countless prisoners free and brought attention to the unfairness in the Palazzo’s structure. And Damian is back by her side where he belongs. Yet the war with Brechaat rages on and government officials are hellbent on keeping the status quo.
Then an Ombrazian general arrives from the front lines, and orders dozens of arrests, shipping Roz and Damian’s friends up north. Determined to free those who matter most, Roz and Damian set their sights on Brechaat. But their journey is dogged by strange magic, and Damian shifts further from the boy he used to be.
The complications of love, magic, faith, and war will keep readers eagerly turning the pages as they head towards the gripping conclusion in the Seven Faceless Saints duology.
About the Author:
M. K. Lobb is a fantasy writer with a love of all things dark— be it literature, humour, or general aesthetic.
She grew up in small-town Ontario and studied political science at both the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa. She now lives by the lake with her partner and their cats.
When not reading or writing, she can be found at the gym or contemplating the harsh realities of existence.
Continue below to read the synopsis of the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'A VICIOUS GAME' blog tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, UNION SQUARE & CO, and MELISSA BLAIR!
A Vicious Game
The Halfling Saga
Publisher: Union Square & Co.
Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2024
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
“It seems fate has dealt me the same hand again. I know how to play it.”
A new king is on the throne and the rebellion lies in ruins. Keera spends her days drinking and her nights avoiding the strange dreams that have haunted her since she returned from the capital.
Keera’s family in Myrelinth won’t let her go without a fight. With new intelligence about the magical seals left behind by Keera’s ancient kin, the Light Fae, she rallies to face her demons and unleash the formidable powers she inherited from her people. But a shocking truth is hiding in plain sight, one with the power to unravel the entire rebellion…
The pivotal third installment in the Halfling Saga will upend everything Keera thought she knew about her enemies…and her allies.
About the Author:
Melissa (she/her/kwe) is an Anishinaabekwe of mixed ancestry living in Turtle Island. She splits her time between Treaty 9 in Northern Ontario and the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg in Ottawa, Canada.
She has a graduate degree in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies, loves movies, and hates spoons.
Melissa has a BookTok account where she discusses her favorite kinds of books including Indigenous and queer fiction, feminist literature, and non-fiction. A Broken Blade is her first novel.
Continue below to check out the rest of the stops for the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on 'THE COLLIDING WORLDS OF MINA LEE' blog tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, RANDOM HOUSE CHILDRENS, and ELLEN OH!
The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee
Publisher: Random House Children's
Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 2024
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
When a Korean American teenage artist gets sucked into the world of her own web comic, she must find a way out with the help of a cute boy all while facing off against a villainous corporation. Inspired by the A-ha’s “Take on Me” music video, this entertaining YA novel is a grounded speculative fiction adventure from the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books.
Mina has become the hero of her own story. Literally.
When Mina Lee woke up on Saturday morning for SAT prep, she did NOT expect to:
1. Nearly be fried by a superhero who turned out to be a supervillain.
2. Come face to face with Jin, the handsome boy of her dreams.
3. Discover a conspiracy involving the evil corporation Merco that she created.
And it’s all happening in her fictional world. Mina is trapped in the story she created. Now it’s up to her to save everyone. Even if it means losing Jin forever.
From the award-winning author of Finding Junie Kim and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, Ellen Oh. In the speculative fiction adventure Colliding Worlds, a teenage artist grapples with her first love, grief, and learning how to take charge of her own life.
About the Author:
Ellen Oh is a former adjunct college instructor and lawyer with an insatiable curiosity for ancient Asian history.
She loves K-pop, K-dramas, and eating good food that someone else cooks for her. She is fueled by Diet Coke and Krispy Kreme donuts are her kryptonite.
Ellen is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children’s literature. Originally from New York City, Ellen lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband, three children, two dogs, and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel.
'Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White (Song of the Last Kingdom #2)' by Amelie Wen Zhao - Book Tour Promotional Post
Continue below to read the synopsis of the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'DARK STAR BURNING, ASH FALLS WHITE' blog tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, DELACORTE PRESS/RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S, and AMELIE WEN ZHAO!
Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White
Song of the Last Kingdom #2
Amelie Wen Zhao
Publisher: Delacorte Press / Random House Children's
Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 2024
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
The epic sequel to the book Song of Silver, Flame Like Night, is a fast-paced, riveting YA fantasy inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.
Years ago, the Elantian colonizers invaded Lan’s homeland and killed her mother in their search to uncover the Last Kingdom’s greatest the location of its legendary four Demon Gods. Lan’s mother devoted her life to destroying the Demon Gods, and Lan is determined to finish her mission. Yet, there are others searching for the gods, too.
Zen knew his soul was forfeit the moment he made a deal with the Demon God known as the Black Tortoise, but he’s willing to lose himself if it means saving the Kingdom–and the girl–he loves. But to crush the colonizers who have invaded his land he needs more power than even a single Demon God can provide. He needs an army. And he knows exactly where he can find it–in the undead army his great grandfather lead decades ago.
The Elantians may have stolen their throne, but the battle for the Last Kingdom has only begun.
About the Author:
Amélie Wen Zhao（赵雯）was born in Paris and grew up in Beijing, where she spent her days reenacting tales of legendary heroes, ancient kingdoms, and lost magic at her grandmother’s courtyard house. She attended college in the United States and now resides in New York City, working as a finance professional by day and fantasy author by night. In her spare time, she loves to travel with her family in China, where she’s determined to walk the rivers and lakes of old just like the practitioners in her novels do.
Amélie is the New York Times bestselling author of the Song of Silver, Flame Like Night duology and the Blood Heir trilogy.
To Kill a Shadow
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 2023
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy / Fantasy Horror / Fantasy Romance
Britannia meets The Mist―with a touch of Evil Dead―in this illusory fantasy horror about a kingdom left to darkness…
Jude Maddox knows nothing of love or even light. He knows only his grim duty as the Hand of Death, to lead the Knights of the Eternal Star into a land filled with nightmares and certain demise. It’s only when he sees her―a young woman with wild, amber eyes who’s as fierce, defiant, and swift as the shadow beasts themselves―that he feels the warmth of life in his blood…
The other Knights may fear their lethal commander, with his hard, merciless demeanor. Outcast Kiara Frey sees only a leader, a man who knows how to survive. Someone like her. But wanting him is as treacherous as the shadows themselves…and just as seductive.
With a kingdom on the verge of collapse, the Knights must now venture into the darkest heart of the land and uncover the secrets of the misted shadows, where evil will prey upon their minds and feast on their flesh.
It will betray their senses.
It will surpass their nightmares.
Most of them will die.
But they have no other choice. Because the only way to fight the darkness…is to become it.
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'To Kill a Shadow' by Katherine Quinn is a split POV tale that follows the mingled paths of a Knight Commander named Jude Maddox and Kiara Frey, a young woman from a poor village, whose decision to protect her brother lands her in conscription.
Jude, also known as the Hand of Death, is a brutally scarred warrior who is said to belong to the King. Marked inside and out, he's suffered greatly at the hands of those who should have loved him.. as much or more than he has from the enemies he has encountered. He's considered cold, hard, and unreachable, considering himself as much monster as the beasts he has felled.
Kiara is an outcast in her village. Her connection with anyone left beyond her younger brother, is tenuous at best. Defiant, she's quick to anger and quick to fight, relishing the adrenaline of the challenge.. and that's exactly what puts her in peril.
Though there is an overarching plot and clearly intentions for more in a series, I felt most of the book centered on the characters themselves. Quinn seemed to focus largely on the development of Jude and Kiara.. both as individuals.. and on the story growing between them.
Pacing was moderate.. seemingly to allow time for things to expand between not only the main characters, but the cast of supporting characters as well. As is often the case, for me.. that meant it dragged just a little. Not enough that I ever wanted to stop reading, just enough that it felt like it took me a bit longer to read than it needed to. That's just my personal preference though and in no way does it reflect on the quality of the writing.
That being said, I did feel there were moments the writing felt a little clumsy, but they were mostly brief and really subject to the same things 90% of modern authors seem to struggle with. Transitional moments in relationships and natural dialogue have got to be two of the most common I see. While these emotional transitions were a little off-balance, the dialogue here is largely pretty good.
My only complaint is probably the actual statement that Kiara 'isn't like others.' I mean, we get it. We get tired of it.. but we get it. You don't have to say it. Again, that's personal taste. On that note, Quinn does have a habit of repeating things she doesn't want the reader to miss, which irks me because I pay attention. However, seeing as most readers seem to lose the plot easily, I can understand her choice to do so.
Quinn did do a fantastic job on settings, in my opinion. From the grittiness of the small village, to the opulent, oppressive nature of the Knights home.. and later.. within the mist.. where all manner of vile and carnivorous thing might dwell, her descriptions are visually lush.
I really loved Jude though and Kiara is a pretty good co-lead. I found her to be kind and funny.. and she managed not to annoy me.. which is really what I ask most in a 'strong, female character' design. I do hope Quinn continues the story as I am hooked enough that I want to see what Jude has planned.. and there's a villain I'm waiting to find out about in-depth.
While I will happily recommend a read, there is a fair bit of violence and gore, and some subjects certain readers might find uncomfortable.. as it is a horror fantasy.
The Witchwood Knot
Victorian Faerie Tales #1
Publisher: Starwatch Press
Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 2023
Genre: Historical Fantasy / Gothic Romance
The faeries of Witchwood Manor have stolen its young lord. His governess intends to steal him back.
Victorian governess Winifred Hall knows a con when she sees one. When her bratty young charge transforms overnight into a perfectly behaved block of wood, she soon realises that the real boy has been abducted by the Fair Folk. Unfortunately, the lord of Witchwood Manor is the only man in England who doesn’t believe in faeries—which leaves Winnie in the unenviable position of rescuing the young lord-to-be all by herself.
Witchwood Manor is bigger than its inhabitants realise, however, and full of otherworldly dangers. As Winnie delves deeper into the other side of the house, she enlists the aid of its dark and dubious faerie butler, Mr Quincy, who hides several awful secrets behind his charming smile. Winnie hopes to make her way to the centre of the Witchwood Knot through wit and cleverness… but when all of her usual tricks fail, who will she dare to trust?
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Certainly as many of you know, Olivia Atwater is one of my favorite modern day authors. So, of course I jumped at the opportunity to advance read her upcoming release, 'The Witchwood Knot.'
Taking place in the same world I've come to know and adore.. as the Regency Faerie Tales, Olivia has lead us on a new journey in this.. her Victorian Faerie Tales series. This one's just a little bit darker, with a lovely gothic fantasy setting full of both wonder and chills. Even the cover has a beautiful papercraft feel to the art style that really gives off delicate, antique vibes.
Our main character, Victorian governess Winifred Hall, is charming and relatable. One of the things I love about Olivia's characters is they always feel very natural.. from their flaws to their quirks. There's no over-the-top attempt to make them stand out, they simply do because they come across like very real people.
Winnie doesn't even particularly like children.. or people.. for that matter and she has good reasons for the way she feels. Her backstory is richly textured. She's kind, though not falsely friendly. She's warm with those who have earned her love and trust.
Another of my favorite things about Olivia's writing.. is every character in the book always has a fully-fleshed out personality and story of their own. We may get more or less of it based on their role in the story, but make no mistake.. they are each individuals with a very specific part of the tale to tell.
The character development is as lush as the story itself.
Mr. Quincy, who is an absolute delight in all of his persnickety interactions.. and the clear frontrunner for my favorite in the book, despite my fondness for Winnie. Robert is at first, rather decidedly obnoxious, but as I came to understand his situation.. I liked him very much too. There are plenty of other great characters too.. and the villains are indeed dark-natured, just in a palatable way. For the most part.
As Olivia's writing has such a whimsical ambience, she did surprise me a little with a very morbid reveal about two-thirds or so of the way through. She handles it with her usual grace and eloquence, but I was a bit stunned at the horror of what I came to realize.. and I loved that. In fact, I'm still talking about that one incident in the book, around home.
All in all, it was another wonderful story. She just never fails me as an author. I always know I can count on her for a new tale I'm going to obsess over. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, romance, historical fiction, or just all around great storytelling. I can see a potential trigger or two here for some people, so if you have any of those.. just dm me and ask.. or do your research first.
Now I need a signed copy.. and hopefully a pretty special edition down the road. *cough* Kickstarter *cough* Fairyloot *cough*.. someone help me before I choke here..
Continue below to read the book synopsis and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'SINNER'S ISLE' blog tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, JOY REVOLUTION / RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S, and ANGELA MONTOYA!
Publisher: Joy Revolution / Random House Children's
Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2023
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
The fiery tale of a powerful witch who will do anything to escape the remote island she’s being held captive on, including blackmail an infamous, charming pirate who washes up on shore, from debut author Angela Montoya.
Rosalinda is trapped on Sinner’s Isle under the watchful eye of a power-hungry headmistress. And thanks to her vicious phantoms, Rosa is the most favored at this year’s Offering, where Majestics’ powers will be on full display so the wealthy may choose one to serve them for life.
For years, she has been kept under the watchful, calculating eye of Doña Lucia. Now eighteen, Rosa will be the prized commodity at this year’s Offering, a fiesta for the wealthy to engage in drink, damsels, and debauchery. That is why she must flee—before someone forces the vicious phantoms within her to destroy everything she touches.
Handsome, swashbuckling Mariano has long sailed the high seas as the Prince of Pirates. Then the king’s fleet attacks his father’s infamous ship, leaving him marooned on Sinner’s Isle with only an enchanted chain meant to lead him to his heart’s desire. Instead, he falls into the hands of a brazen (although) bewitching headache—Rosa.
Together they must outwit each other and their enemies before the Offering ends and it’s too late to escape the perils of Sinner’s Isle.
About the Author:
Angela Montoya lives in Northern California with her family. She is the granddaughter of the celebrated activist and poet laureate Jose Montoya.
When she isn’t with her partner, two children, goats, chickens, and dogs, you can find Angela co-hosting the podcast, Of the Publishing Persuasion. Sinner’s Isle was her debut novel.
Nectar of the Wicked
Deadly Divine Duet #1
Pub Date: July 12th, 2023
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
There is no escaping the middle lands, the gloomy buffer between the human kingdom and the faerie realms. When my guardian is killed by the Wild Hunt after waiting twenty years to trade me for her human daughter, I’m left with no choice but to try.
To find those who discarded me at birth, I must sneak into Faerie.
But my deceased guardian left more than scars upon my heart. Debts are owed to the madam at the Lair of Lust, and I’m forced to repay them.
My first client is a faerie king who offers to give me everything I’ve always wanted. The king will take me to Faerie if I make a blood vow to marry him. A collection of sweltering meetings fool me into believing his reasons for choosing me to be his queen—a changeling without so much as a name.
For upon my arrival in his kingdom, I receive the answers I’ve craved and the truth behind his motives.
My wonder and infatuation for the king and his wintry realm are snuffed by hatred and fear. Though loathing him is futile when venomous words and spiteful games only prove to excite him. Once again, I’m trapped. This time, with an enemy I cannot hide from. One with enough heat in his eyes to melt my resolve, and enough power at his frosted fingertips to accomplish his sinister goals.
To survive all I’ve discovered, not only will I need to unearth King Florian’s dead heart—I will need to guard my own before he tricks it, too.
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I honestly do not know where to begin with this book, but to say that I loved it. 'Nectar of the Wicked' by Ella Fields is both shockingly dark at times.. and a delicious romp at others.
This author is one to watch. She's adept at layers. Layers of emotion.. layers of deceit.. layers of conflict.. both internal and external.
While the main character is terribly naive throughout the story, she's depicted in a way that it makes sense. Rather than feeling she's just making dumb decisions and being annoyed by her.. I found myself genuinely sympathizing with her. Hurting for her in ways I did not expect.
Her betrothed.. the wicked fae.. is the darkest shade of morally grey. He's also probably the most seductive, domineering male character I've read in years. Even when he's being an outright beast, it's no wonder she struggles to defy him properly.
The story is heavily plot driven with plenty of context as to how and why everyone has found themselves at the point they're at in the tale. There is deep character development.. relationship development.. and not a moment of downtime. I did not want to stop reading this book, even when I had things I needed to do.
Not only does the author write great story, she also writes elaborate steamy scenes. Nothing is awkward in the dynamic between her characters that isn't plainly meant to be. It doesn't matter if the scene is days long or just a few minutes in story time, it never becomes boring. There is passion and connection.. for better or worse. There is visceral spice and moments of something suspiciously close to tenderness. Even her dialogue is great and that's probably the thing I complain about the most in modern writing.
One of my favorite things about Fields, is she's not afraid to go hard. There were times, one in particular, where I thought someone would be spared something terrible.. and they absolutely were not. In fact, the scene was detailed with exquisite slowness. I was both horrified and completely absorbed. I cannot say it enough.. I love an author who does not hold back.
That being said, you might want to check trigger warnings before picking this up if you are sensitive to violence, consent issues, etc.
Personally, I cannot wait for book two. There is a bit of a cliffhanger, but it's at a reasonable point and I went right to Amazon to order my copy. If you like steamy fantasy, intense enemies to lovers tropes, and twisty storytelling.. give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.
Den of Vipers
Pub Date: July 10th, 2020
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance
Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and Diesel—The Vipers.
They run this town and everyone in it. Their deals are as sordid as their business, and their reputation is enough to bring a grown man to his knees, forcing him to beg for mercy. They are not people you mess with, yet my dad did. The old man ran up a debt with them and then sold me to cover his losses.
Yes, sold me.
They own me now.
I’m theirs in every sense of the word. But I’ve never been meek and compliant. These men, they look at me with longing. Their scarred, blood-stained hands holding me tight. They want everything I am, everything I have to give, and won’t stop until they get just that. They can own my body, but they will never have my heart.
The Vipers? I’m going to make them regret the day they took me.
This girl? She bites too.
18+ Reverse Harem Romance. Warning this book contains scenes and references of abuse/assault that some readers may find triggering. Along with graphic sex scenes and violence. This is a dark book.
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Many things have been said about 'Den of Vipers' by K.A. Knight. Generally the consensus seems to be that it's the darkest smut people have read before.. and to that I say.. maybe it's time to up your game.
Honestly, while there are some edgy scenes surrounding the demise of people here and there, the more intimate content is not that bad. The author certainly toys with dark possibilities, but she pulls her punches quite a bit.. dispelling the illusion of any real danger often before things get started.
Diesel had a ton of potential, but it was largely wasted due to that sort of.. neutering of his character. Ironically, Ryder gets better and better as the book goes on. I will say, the author gives great backstories. If she were able to properly break into those on a psychological and emotional level, they could be extremely moving. But that's not the point of this book.. and while it's a drawback, it doesn't really affect my opinion of the writing.
Roxy was a disappointment to me. I feel like if she'd been allowed to be the kind of resilient, sarcastic person she was at the core.. instead of being turned into some Harley Quinn caricature , I could have really liked her. She was still okay, but it just could have been so much more than that.
The story is written in multiple POV, but the author lacks the ability to do this well. Her idea of separating her characters comes down to changing their terms of endearment. Unfortunately, they all have the same narrative voice.. with no real distinction whatsoever. Frankly, the book would have benefitted from single or at worst.. dual perspective. Also, not every character in a room has to be addressed in every moment, it just bogs down the progress of the story.
Heaviness. That was a real problem with this book. It's long for a dark romance, I suppose.. but it only feels long because there's so much excess. Just.. a lot of wasted words that make it take so much longer to push yourself through than should be the case.
All that out of the way, I did find it decent. I enjoyed a few of the intimate scenes.. again, giving special mention to Ryder.. who is the only one that really got to loosen up slightly by the end. D should have been my favorite, but both of his big scenes were held back.
I'm glad I got to experience the book that has gotten so much attention in the last couple of years, but now I'm ready for someone to do it right.