Sunday, 23 December 2012

Musings on Disappearing into the Aether

Hey all,

Hope everybody is well. This is probably going to be my last post for 2012. I'm gearing up for a bit of heavy reading and a lot of writing over the Christmas and New Year holidays so I won't be spending time on posting. I'll still be lurking and reading your blogs though.
       Given that it's the holidays and a time to be with friends and family, I'm not surprised that I've been hit with a small case of melancholy. At least that's what I think it is. Maybe it's really just me being overly sentimental. Whatever it is, it has got me thinking about internet friendships and how truly amazing but also fraught with potential heartache they can be.
       I will see my physical friends this holiday season. I call them physical friends instead of real life friends because the more I think about it, the less I can find a distinction between those friends I can meet up with in a physical location and those friends who are the click of a button away. My physical friends are those people I went to school/university with. Some are people I work with and others I can't even remember where I collected them from. Even if I don't see them for a while, I'll get updates about them from other friends and if worse comes to worse, they're a short drive away. What I'm getting as it that they are accessible.
       What's been on my mind lately, is the ease at which my blogger/email friends can disappear never to be heard of again. I've been a blogger/book reviewer for less than two years but I've luckily managed to make some wonderful friends. I've also lost some in that time. I'm not begrudging these lost friends their busy lives or their choices not to blog anymore. I guess this post is more an ode to the lasting affect they've had and continue to have in my life. Sometimes I think it's my obsessive compulsive disorder causing me to be unable to release those ties even after a year of not hearing from a person.
       It's really hard to put what I'm trying to convey into words. That doesn't bode well for a would be writer does it? All jokes aside, and to put it very plainly, my biggest fear is that someone will drop dead and the only way I will know about it is when the blogging/emailing stops. Morbid I know. But it's also the crux of my problem. I don't know any of my blogging/emailing friends through any other medium. No one will know to notify me should something unexpected happen. Lord knows no one I know would think of writing one last post should anything terrible happen to me. It all makes me very sad.
       This is becoming a thoroughly depressing post and that's not how I intended it at all! I guess what I really want to say is a big thank you to all the friend I've made through this blog. You may not realise it but you've made a lasting impression on me and if you leave for whatever reason, I will miss you.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.Looking forward to another year spent in your company.

xoxo Lan

Monday, 10 December 2012

Review: Fury by Rebecca Lim

Heartbreak. Vengeance. Fury.

Mercy is an exiled angel cast down to earth and forced to live out thousands of different lives for her own protection. Betrayed by her eternal love, Luc, Mercy burns with fury. The time of reckoning is here and now she must wage open war with Luc and his demons. Ryan’s love for Mercy is more powerful than ever, but loving an angel is mortally dangerous. As their two worlds collide, Mercy approaches her ultimate breathtaking choice. Hell hath no fury like Mercy ...

 I've been reading a fair few angel books lately because my NaNo novel is about angels and it always gets me curious to know how a writer resolves the angel/human love equation. Unfortunately, I was severely disappointed with the way this book ended and it's a testament to Rebecca Lim's extraordinary way with words that I managed to finish reading this one at all.

The Plot:
I don't think I'm the only reader who has mentioned the anti climatic way Fury ended and how upset it made them after the incredible first three books in this series. I was three quarters of the way through when I finally realised what was bugging me so much. It was the phenomenon of a lot of doing but not much actually happening. In my opinion too much time was spent on the minor details, to the point where everything became mundane. Lim does an incredible job of building up the suspense but when it came down to the actual nitty gritty, I felt like the easy way out was taken and it all pitched on a word or a choice to be made rather than anything proactive on the part of the characters. I've always maintained that Lim is the only author I've read so far who has been able to convey the magnitude of what's at stake when angels are involved. To have so much build up only to have the ending fizzle out in a page felt like an insult.

The Characters:
This for me was by far the most disappointing aspect of Fury. Where I found Mercy to be a gritty, gutsy heroine in previous books, in Fury she came off as selfish and I'm so sad to say, a bit of a Mary-Sue. For all intents, she wasn't exactly blameless in her own exile and yet she and the other angels treated the situation like she was the one who was completely wronged. Almost all the other angels were her close friends or people who cared about her so much that they would give their lives for her. I counted at least three other angels who were in love with her for no reason that I could discern. She certainly was never described as being particularly beautiful, nice or caring. She of course had super special powers that the other angels couldn't fathom and was able to save everyone with a single word. 

Then we come to Ryan. I so adored him in Mercy. He was a bit unbelievable but still charming in Exile and in Muse I was anxious for him to catch up to Mercy so that I could get a glimpse of what their relationship would be like when the two were finally able to spend more than a few minutes together. Now I wish their love was a tragic one that could never come to pass. There was a real disconnect between the Ryan that we were introduced to in the first book as opposed to the Ryan that surface in Fury. On the one hand, Lim did an amazing job of getting across how utterly useless humans are in the celestial fight between the warring angels. On the other, it thoroughly irritated me that despite not contributing in any meaningful way, Ryan became a whiny little girl intent on dragging at Mercy's coat tails until she gave in and risked many lives to allow him to follow her. The romance between the two verged on nauseating yet still managed to be essentially shallow.

The Final Verdict:
 I know it doesn't sound like I enjoyed this book much and for the most part I did have to put it down and pick it back up again several times. The thing that saved it for me was the writing. Even though this wasn't my favourite book of all time I am going to miss the beautiful writing. If only the rest of the book was of similar quality.