I will start this review by saying that if you read only one book this entire year, please make it this one.
Victoria Schwab is an absolute powerhouse author who has built some pretty damn incredible worlds in her novels. It is by the grace of the gods that she is amazingly prolific, so there isn’t a lot of wait between devourings of her words.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, however, is nothing short of her masterwork. This is a book whose end actually brought me to tears twice (I had to go back and read Part VII again), and I couldn’t be happier for it.
The long and the short of it is that The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a Faustian tale of a girl who makes a diabolical deal in order to be her own person. The side effect of said deal makes her totally unmemorable to those she comes in contact with, as soon as that contact is broken. Oh, here’s the kicker: she’s also immortal.
Addie spends a lot of time jumping back and forth through the timeline honing in on defining Addie’s personality, her voracious appetite for knowledge, and a slow build of strategy that the reader starts to uncover.
Then comes Henry.
This book is as much about Henry as is it about Addie, but I’m not really going to say much about him other than he works in a book store and he remembers who Addie is. That’s right, the forgettable girl finds someone who remembers.
Then there is Luc — the dark god who doled out Addie’s curse — and his lithe and infuriating interaction with Addie. Luc is a classic tormentor who slithers into the scene to trip up Addie just when she is starting to get into the swing of navigating her life. Like Henry, I just don’t want to say too much about Luc.
At the end of the day The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a story about the human condition, navigating the impossibilities of life, and about knowing just who you are to yourself. Like I said at the beginning, this is a book that should absolutely be picked up and never put down: a book to both be savored and devoured. Yes, it’s absolutely that good.
If you are on my Christmas list, chances are, I’ll be giving you a copy shortly.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley in return for a fair review
So this one fell in my lap, and it sounded like a very interesting premise. I had no idea it was book 7 in a series, or I would not have requested it. I absolutely hate jumping into a series mid-stream, but I went ahead anyway.
By a seventh book, it is implied that there is going to be a lot of lore and backstory in a series, and this was different. I quite enjoyed the summary device at the beginning, but felt like there was going to be a lot I was going to miss. Oh well, now I have a new series to pick up.
Ms. Cogman does a remarkable job of character development, but, for me, the worldbuilding was a tad scattered. While Irene Winters is definitely the central character of this book, I felt that there were a variety of sub-stories that were not formed fully enough to my liking.
The Dark Archive was a quick read, but not the most satisfying of reads. I would have very much liked to see Vale’s story fleshed out a bit more in this book, and the antagonists did not seem to occupy a lot of the primary focus.
My thoughts may change after I read the other books in the series, but I can’t really recommend this particular tome as a standalone.
OK, first things first. If you have not read Peace Talks (Dresden Files #16), then stop reading right here and go read that. Slight spoilers are absolutely inevitable.
OK, on to Battle Ground.
I love this book, and I hate this book. On top of that, I love that I hate it, and hate that I love it. Additionally, I hate Mr. Butcher for writing this book, and I’m terrified where we go from here.
I actually finished the novel about a week ago, and I’ve been wrapping my head around how I wanted to approach a review. Not the easiest task.
Battle Ground is really the biggest pressure release valve that the series has seen, and it’s pretty much 418 pages of non-stop crazy action. With the entire grimoire of supernaturals jumping in to take on the Last Titan, and, incidentally, the Fomor, I would have subtitled this book “Harry Dresden and the Battle for Chicago.”
Shit got crazy, and it got crazy very fast. We’ve seen Harry deal with all manner of threat and challenge in all the previous novels, but this one seriously takes the cake. Throughout my read, I constantly wondered if this was the one where Mr. Butcher was throwing in the towel and wrapping up the Dresden Files for good. I can’t imagine he is, after all we learn towards the conclusion of the story, but it would not have surprised me.
One thing that sets this particular novel apart from many of the other ones in the series is the emotion. We see sides of a lot of core characters that we have never seen before, and some of it is downright frightening.
I’m super curious to hear what other fans of the series thought about this one.
Oh, the bonus “Christmas Eve” story tacked on to the end of this book was a delightful palette cleanser and a pretty darn good little tale. Do not skip it.