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Book Title: Le livre des ombres|
The author of the book: Cate Tiernan
Date of issue: August 15th 2010
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 784 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.3
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This review is really about the whole Sweep series, but I'm putting it with Book One because that's where people will go to find out whether all of them are worth reading. I started out really enjoying the series, then HATED WITH A PASSION what seemed to be going on, and then am left now feeling really sad and cheated. I've never started out liking a series and then turned around and felt so angry and disappointed and sad after it ended.
Firstly, I have to say that I really enjoyed books 1 - 6. Some are stronger than others, but overall they are well-written and packed with action, plus the whole wicca thing is well-researched and really interesting to read about. Morgan is also an interesting character who goes through a lot of personal growth and development, and her attraction to the new boy in town and her feelings about her friend Bree and her parents and her sister (et al) are completely relatable. I also liked books 8, 9, and 12, and would give these nine books 3.5-4 out of 5 stars.
Spoiler-free things I never cared for, right from the very beginning:
* the books are too short. They're literally half the size of a typical YA novel (way to drag out a series) and nearly every one ended on an abrupt cliffhanger. I kept clicking forward on my Kindle, thinking there was something glitchy going on with my e-reader, but it turns out the writing just...stopped. Annoying and unnecessary, since there is a way to both give closure to a volume and whet an appetite for the next novel without making your readers feel as if you've yanked the covers off them.
* the stories that did not relate directly to Morgan's narrative diluted the books. Some detail is enjoyable, but when so few characters really have anything to do at all (back to this later) and there is so much time spent re-hashing everyone's mundane dating details in every single book when it doesn't affect anything else, it gets really boring really fast. As such, I never really cared for the bit at the beginning of each chapter that was an "excerpt" from a journal entry or book on magick. The only time I felt it really added to the book were when you got a glimpse of what Hunter was feeling in towards the earlier part of the series. And yes, this means Alisa too--one of the least interesting secondary characters who shows up late and then suddenly got POV narrative and her own book. The more the series went on, the more time was spent with other characters, and the series was less strong as a result.
I did think narrating a book from Hunter's point of view was interesting, until his story went way far away from Morgan's. This might've been okay if the book had been longer and their relationship more fleshed out after he returns AND....
**SPOILER ALERT for the rest of this review*
* ....if he didn't freaking cheat on her while he's gone. (for just two weeks! in Canada!) This was such a slap in the face after everything that happened with Cal and drawing out their will they-won't they relationship for more than 10 books. I don't understand why this was put in at all, because there is nearly no time devoted to resolving how Morgan would really feel about this happening afterwards. There are literally maybe 5 short paragraphs contained over two books to deal with this, which is completely unrealistic for any girl, no matter what else was going on. And for someone like Morgan, who was already betrayed by his brother? Completely impossible that she would have gotten over it so quickly.
* By the time I finished Book 13, I was so ready for Morgan and Hunter to get things resolved already. Since I was already pretty much skimming through anything that wasn't Morgan or Hunter's narrative, I skipped Book 14 entirely and then I read about the HUGE thing that happens in the beginning of Book 15. After reading the sample chapter (read it, read it, it's linked on Amazon), I couldn't believe an author would invest so much of her readers' time and emotion only to kill off a main character like that for no apparent reason. I felt so angry and so cheated, and I swore I would never read anything by this author again. It was only after I read the spoiler-y reviews on Good Reads that I decided to read the rest of the book--and even after things were resolved, I still have very mixed emotions about the whole thing.
You barely spend any time with Morgan and Hunter in the beginning before things end (literally, maybe 15 pages in) and the whole thing just goes off-kilter from there. Morgan doesn't learn anything from Hunter's death and we have no time at all to mourn him ourselves until all the sudden she's married, had a child, and had her husband die on her. Everyone whose lives you heard so much about in the series is also pretty much dumped here, with just a couple mentions of what happened to Bree and Mary K. This is because they don't matter in the big scheme of things, and apparently they never did.
Like many of the other readers here, I was fine with Moira but I really could have done without her and mostly just skimmed the book impatiently until Hunter shows up again. And while I'm happy they got a happy ending, I still feel drained and sad and upset over the whole thing. Poor Hunter is hugely diminished in this book, and you never really get a sense of how awful his island imprisonment was. You also don't get much emotional satisfaction once he comes back--so little time is spent on his homecoming and recovery, and as another reader pointed out, is he really going to stay in the guest bedroom once he (soul mate and father) comes home? There is no anguish, no comforting, no healing, no real emotional truth or connection. It all just felt completely unrealistic and sad.
I've never been so disappointed in a series that I liked. Because of the way everything was dragged on and on (these would have been better condensed into maybe 5 - 6 books, with a lot of things edited out) and because of the huge emotional battering that did NOT make me feel fulfilled and happy at the end, I would not recommend this series to anyone. I started out giving this series a 3 out of 5 stars, but as I wrote this review I realized a more accurate rating would be a 2. Because no matter how much I enjoyed some of the books, the others were not worth the time and money and emotional investment.
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Read information about the author"was born in New Orleans, LA, in 1961. New Orleans is one of the most interesting American cities, and it has an incredibly rich and exotic culture that had a profound influence on me. Kids in other cities have lemonade stands; we sold voodoo gris-gris and made wax dolls in the likenesses of our enemies. It's a very beautiful city, and the constant heat and humidity make gardens grow out of control. There's an air of lassitude there, a general acceptance of eccentic or flamboyant behavior--the heat simply makes people do crazy things.
I went to school in New York, and after school went back to New Orleans. Then I went back to New York (Manhattan) and got a job in publishing and started writing. My first book, a young, middle-grade chapter book, was published in 1990.
Living in Manhattan was incredible, even though I didn't have a lot of money. There was so much to do and see, and so many interesting people to watch. There was a lot of frenetic energy there, and sometimes that felt very wearing and hard to live with. After eight years I was ready for a change, and my husband and I moved back to New Orleans. (Are you seeing a pattern here?)
(While I was in NY, I helped edit "The Secret Circle" by L.J. Smith. I thought it was great.)
We stayed in New Orleans five years. By the time we had two small children we knew we had to find someplace safer to live. I was glad my children were born in New Orleans--I had been born there, and my father had, and his father had, and his father had and so on. There was something about the connection of generations of blood coming from one place that I found very primal and important.
Now I live in a cohousing community in Durham, NC. This is the most suburban place I've ever lived, and it's very different from living right in the middle of a city. For one thing, there aren't enough coffee shops. However, it's incredibly safe, and the community is very important to me. There are a lot of strong women here, and I find them inspiring.
Am I a witch? Well, no. Even Wicca is too organized a religion for me. I'm much more idiosyncratic and just need to do my own thing, which is kind of new-agey and pantheistic. It's not that I don't work or play well with others, but I need to decide for myself when I do a certain thing, and how I do it. However, I can really relate to Wicca, and I so appreciate its woman-centeredness and its essentially female identity. I love those aspects, among others.
I have several favorite writers. Barbara Hambly has been the biggest influence on how I describe magic. She's an incredibly imaginative and empathetic writer with a gift for creating a rich, sensual world. I love Barbara Pym, an English writer whose books came out mostly in the fifties. She was a master at describing the thousand tiny moments that make up a woman's day; how the seemingly small and inconsequential thing can suddenly take on a huge emotional importance. I greatly admire P.D. James. She's one of the very few writers who makes me actually look up words in the dictionary. She has a beautiful, precise, educated command of the language that leaves me in awe. I love Philip Larkin's poetry. I read a lot of nonfiction and also have some favorite romance writers. Before anyone groans, let me say that these women write really well about women trying to achieve emotional fulfillment, and that's kind of what we're all doing, right? I also just like reading about sex. Anyway, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and early Linda Howard are my faves.
And then of course there's my dark side, but more on that later.
Cate Tiernan is a pseudonym for Gabrielle Charbonnet
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