Unraveled - Gena Showalter I don't really know what to say about this book. I kind of liked Intertwined, it wasn't great, but it was good enough for me to go out and pick up the sequel.

Reading this book has forever put me off reading the author's works, and I will never . . . ever . . . read Intertwined again.

Why?

Let me begin with one of my biggest peeves: the romance. Good grief, the romance. In the first book, yeah, the romance drove me crazy. I despise destined-to-be-together stories, it always feels like the characters involved are just hanging by puppet strings. And not like this, either, before you think it:

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(Looking at that makes me feel better, which just tells me that Showalter's book was nothing like it.)

Anyway. I'm not a fan of romance in the first place, but "soul mate" storylines always seem to ruin it for me. I'd really hoped that Aden and Victoria would break up, start fighting, maybe become arch-enemies or something. That would have brightened my day.

But no, instead I sat through roughly six hundred pages of first Aden/Victoria snuggling and professing their undying love, and then Mary Ann/Riley doing the exact same thing a page later.

This buried the book before it got started. The near-constant kissing scenes overwhelmed what meandering plot there was, and since the characters did almost nothing but embrace and whisper in each other's ears, there wasn't a whole lot of personality left to them. Although, I do think a couple times Mary Ann took a page or two to throw a three-year-old's temper tantrum, stamping her foot and sobbing all over Riley, etc.

Really endearing, Showalter. I just love your characters because they burst out into tears as their only non-romance-driven attribute.

A few other points about the book that I hated: they brought back a number of characters from the first book who should have been dead or exiled for all eternity. I hated every one of them, and I hated them worse in this book than in its predecessor.

It was too long. It was almost six hundred pages, and looking back on it now, I honestly don't know how on earth Showalter managed to take up so much space with so little material.

Aden can now use the souls' powers even if the souls aren't with him anymore. I thought it was a cool idea for him to slowly be growing weaker, losing their abilities as the storyline progressed and things got tougher. It makes no sense whatsoever for him to be able to time-travel and such without still having the souls in his head.

The plot-holes. This book is full of them. Things aren't explained when they happen, or things that were explained in the first book are immediately contradicted. The book is so riddled with inconsistencies that it makes Swiss cheese look solid.

And . . . the ending. The worst part of the entire book. What . . . the . . . heck . . . Showalter? The thing that really made me want to read this book, was Aden's vision of his own death in the first one! AND THIS IS WHAT I GET?!

Not only did they turn Aden into a stinking vampire - really original in today's literary world, eh? - but they put the souls in VICTORIA'S head. The thing that made Aden cool was the souls! I hate Victoria, she was boring and annoying and whiny even in the first book.

Okay. Take a breath. Begin again.

The "death" scene was so stupid. First off, the soul who predicted it predicts DEATH. Not almost-death. DEATH. That means that he saw Aden DIE, okay? And Showalter goes out of her way multiple times to point out that her vampires are not dead. They're living people, maybe more alive than humans - whatever kind of backward nonsense that makes. Since the empty alley was actually an illusion, and there were really about a hundred people surrounding Aden, and Victoria's method of saving him was to TURN HIM INTO A VAMPIRE, doesn't it mean that THE SOUL SHOULD NEVER HAVE SEEN HIS "DEATH" IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Also, since fate is apparently unchangeable, doesn't it mean that since Aden avoided death this time, he'll die even more horribly very soon to make up for it?

Did I mention that Victoria has the souls now, and her stupid "monster" thing is inside Aden?
Could Showalter have possibly ended this book on a worse note?

Argh. I can't talk about it anymore, it's giving me a headache...