“Good story, love to see a strong story with a male/male pairing.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Rating: 1.5 stars
“This book is gay. Just giving you a heads up. Oh, no, not in the derogatory and politically incorrect "it sucks" context, but in the main-characters-have-this-whole-elaborate-more-than-a-bromance-thing-going-on way, something the back cover on the copy of the book I read failed to mention completely despite the fact that for all intents and purposes, this is the gay version of Twilight. Lucky for me, the friend who lent me the book warned me about it beforehand. The romance is central to the novel and as descriptive, if not more, than most romantic YA books out there. So if same-sex couples make you uncomfortable, you should probably pass on this.
Romance aside, let me just say that the writing itself was horrible. I found myself picking up grammatical mistakes and being distracted by completely redundant phrases that the author may have put in for emphasis, though I'm not sure why the fact that everything outside was wet and soaked and drenched from a bad bit of rain was so important. The narration also rambled on quite a bit. Descriptions were pretty lengthy, though not overly flowery. But what bugged me the most were the point of view switches. The book is written in third person, which is fine, and the author wanted to show different point of views, which was fine as well and really added to the story. What was not fine was the way it was carried out. One paragraph might focus on Michael and his thoughts and feelings and then switch to Ronan for the next paragraph with absolutely no warning, which got to be extremely confusing due to the many he's floating around and the fact that the switches were often during the same scene. They were often very abrupt, though towards the middle of the book the author began linking them more coherently so the reader could better keep up. Another pet peeve I had was that often with these changes, the author didn't follow the old "show, don't tell" rule. The characters sometimes had thoughts and recollections of things they would never have realistically had if the reader didn't need that information, which was awkward and distracting. But a lot of books make that mistake too, so I'll let it slide. And after learning that the author is used to writing scripts, his style makes a lot more sense. Truly, the book reads like a descriptive script in sentence form, which isn't necessarily a bad thing once this context is understood.
I'm done ranting about the writing. I know I have no room, but this book had a professional editor. And I'm done now. Ahem.
So, despite the mess the writing sort of was, once I adapted it wasn't too bad at all. The plot was pretty interesting, though also pretty predictable, and I surprisingly found myself getting into the romance. This is the first book I've ever read with romance between gay characters, and I didn't feel nearly as uncomfortable as I thought I would. It was really cheesy and flowery in a good way, which helped. The book also has a theme of prejudice and acceptance for who you are running through it, of course, so that helped as well.
If you're looking for another vampire series and don't care what sort of romance it is as long as it's strong, this is a pretty good read (as long as you're not too critical about writing *grumblegrumble*). But if gay couples really make you feel weird, it's going to be an awkward read. ”
“Good story, love to see a strong story with a male/male pairing.”Onmykindle wrote this review Saturday, October 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Michael Howard and Ronan Glynn-Rowley meet at Archangel Academy, an all-boys school in Eden, a rural town in north western England. Both are outcasts and decried as unnatural, Michael because he's gay, and Ronan because he's a hybrid vampire. But when Ronan, afraid to reveal his true self to Michael, turns him into a vampire against his will, both become drawn into a dangerous new world, where traditional vampires plot to destroy hybrids, and where fellow students, teachers, even their own families have unexpected secrets...”Todd Rushing wrote this review Saturday, March 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A fun read, from start to finish. Michael and Ronan are a couple worth routing for! The story gave a fun new twist to vampire fiction (and no, not because the lead characters are gay). A page turner! ”Doug C wrote this review Friday, February 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Rating: 1.5 stars
Interesting premise but it was so wordy, the world building was hardly there, but I did enjoy the romance between the main couple Michael and Ronan. Reading the second book as part of a book tour. ”
“I have to admit, I judged this book by it’s cover, which looks awesome, and didn’t enjoy it. What I wish I’d known about Michael Griffo’s Unnatural was that Michael had a different sexual orientation, and that there was so much sex in it. The blurb on the back of the book wasn’t very specific about that. I might not have minded the unconventional romance if there hadn’t have been so much sex. For someone who enjoys relatively clean books that was what made it hard to read, but I did try to give it a chance. The characters did have well developed and realistic emotions. I found I was able to sympathize with many of them, from Michael’s feelings of not belonging anywhere and hurt that his mother ignored him, to pitying Nakano when Ronan left him. I enjoyed reading in third person omniscient and hearing what the characters thought during the dialogue. I never thought it was annoying switching from character to character’s inner thoughts because it helped me understand the conversations and made me chuckle a few times. The storyline was incredibly fast paced and filled with lots of twists and turns and evil plots. Another thing I liked was that while one thing was happening, another was happening at the same time. The entire chapter would switch between the two events every couple paragraphs with a common action or words. The approach to vampires was very original as well, which I could appreciate. Although I didn’t enjoy it and wouldn’t recommend it, it was well written.”Lyddz wrote this review Sunday, May 8, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Sort of like the House of Night series, but with a twist. ”Lori B wrote this review Friday, April 1, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
This book is not just about vampires but some hybrid ones who have to drink from a magic pool to become a hybrid once they are bitten by a regular ordinary run of the mill vampire. Whew…add Michael…who is not quite sure of his sexuality and lives in some remote town in Nebraska somewhere with his mom and his grandparents and of course has daily issues with a school bully and the fact that he has no friends, is different and unsure of his sexuality.
Long story short…Michael’s mother dies…his long lost English father steps in and takes him to London to the countryside…of course to a private academy where unbeknownst…I think…to Michael’s father…lots of eerie unearthly students attend class regularly. Needless to say there are tons of secrets and of course a mysterious fog and students begin to either disappear or become a weird sort of vampire. Amid all of this…Michael tries to deal with his sexuality. There was even a school dance!!! And unearthly spirits…ones who tried to protect Michael from the love of his life who also has a terrible secret and just happens to be very sure of his sexuality…
Not sure if I loved this book but it definitely was interesting.
“In the town of Eden in northwestern England stands the exclusive boarding school known as Archangel Academy. Ancient and imposing, it's a place filled with secrets. Just like its students. . . For Michael Howard, being plucked from his Nebraska hometown and sent thousands of miles away is as close as he's ever come to a miracle. In Weeping Water, he felt trapped, alone. At Archangel Academy, Michael belongs. And in Ciaran, Penry, and especially Ciaran's enigmatic half-brother Ronan, Michael finds friendship deeper than he's ever known. But Michael's only beginning to understand what makes the Academy so special. Ronan is a vampire--part of a hybrid clan who are outcasts even among other vampires. Within the Academy's confines exists a ruthless world of deadly rivalries and shifting alliances, of clandestine love and forbidden temptations. And soon Michael will confront the destiny that brought him here--and a danger more powerful than he can imagine. .”Nisareen - So Much To Read So Little Time wrote this review Friday, February 11, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No