Saturday, February 11, 2012

Week-End's Minis: Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks

It's finally the week-end!! Yay! Hope it'll be a good one for everyone! The week has gone by so quickly (although the days have not), but if there was a way to make the week-end stretched, it'd be awesome LOL. Especially when we're having nice weather. A girl can dream right? :P

So I'd like to introduce the newest feature on my blog: Week-End's Minis. Earlier this week, I mentioned in the Monthly Reads post that I was toying with the idea of having weekly recaps, simply because my Monthly Reads posts were becoming overwhelming to write. However, the idea just lost its appeal the more I thought about it. My reasoning is I have difficulty being on time with a monthly recap which is, technically, once a month. Now, I'm going to have 4 posts at fixed dates? Sure, they'll be shorter... but I think it'll be more pressure as well ^_^; Plus my reading week vary a lot from one another and a weekly recap is just not me LOL. Instead, I tried to come up with something in-between and I think I did: the Week-End's Minis :)

Basically, the Week-End's Minis will be a weekly post with one to two mini-reviews :) It won't be a weekly recap and it won't be necessarily books that I've read during the week. It'll just be mini-reviews of books I've read and wasn't planning to write a full review for. If I can stick to having a weekly mini-reviews post, then when it'll come to the Monthly Reads post, many of the books will already be reviewed and therefore, the post itself will be shorter and less daunting to write :) And to make things a bit more fun for everyone, I thought I'd let you decide what should be reviewed! :) The plan is that I'll put a poll up on the sidebar of books that I'm considering writing mini-reviews for and you let me know which mini-review you want to read :) The poll will run from Saturday to Wednesday and on the next Saturday, the post will go up. What do you think?

Oh by the way, mini-reviews. You've seen my Monthly Reads posts and you've seen that my "mini" reviews aren't that "mini" LOL. Well it's something I want to work on. The goal of these mini-reviews is really to let you know what worked and what didn't. I have a tendency in my full reviews to go through the characters, the settings, the romance, the storyline, etc. Hopefully, here, it'll all be more concise and focused... but I'm not sure yet how I'm going to do that LOL. So please be patient with me :) And if you have any suggestion, please feel free!!

This week, I didn't have time to make a poll and I really wanted to get started LOL, so I chose the mini-review. But you can start voting for next week! :) Hopefully, this new feature will be an enjoyable one for everyone :)

Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks
published by Berkley in January 2012
She came to him when he needed her the most

She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She's the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he'll never return to his family. With her help, he's able to escape. But he isn't truly free, because now she's disappeared and he's left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he'd once needed hers?

Now he rushes to save her before it's too late

Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who'd already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn't have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He'll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?
Genre: Romantic suspense, psychics
Series: KGI, Book #4

What do you need to know about the storyline? The blurb is pretty spot on, the only thing they didn't mention - and wow, they did a great job at writing an accurate blurb and leaving this big detail out - is that the heroine is psychic. From what I've heard, this is the first book in this series that has paranormal elements in it. All the previous books have been straight romantic suspense.

Why this book? This is the first book in the series I've read and it just called to me. It sounded like something I would enjoy :)

So, my thoughts? I'll start with the most obvious for me. I don't mind psychic characters. Actually, I love them when it's well-done... Unfortunately, it wasn't in Whispers in the Dark. Perhaps it's because I've been spoiled with the FBI SCU series by Kay Hooper, but the psychic aspect here just didn't work for me. First, I don't like the idea of manufacturing psychics for military purposes. There is so much we don't know about psychics, the abilities and where it comes from... How can you "breed" psychics? Then, the psychic element was just too unbelievable ^_^; Yes, I know ^_^; When it comes to psychics, I think readers always have to suspend their disbelief a little to enjoy the story and I've done it with no problems in the past. But the thing is, you still want the psychic element to be realistic and it simply wasn't in Whispers in the Dark. I mean, a trans-Atlantic connection? If Shea and Nathan's connection was established prior, then perhaps I've had bought it... but Shea just happened to grasp on Nathan's mind while she was in the US and Nathan, in Afghanistan? In that case, what stops her from hearing any voices in the whole big world? Also, healing someone without touching? That's already stretching it, but healing someone through someone's else connection without any physical anchor? Yeah, no. You just lost me there.

Aside from the psychic element, there was also the romance that went too fast for me. Okay, yes, Shea and Nathan have a connection, but they don't really know each other. Shea calls Nathan for help, he runs to save her and hours after they've met face-to-face for the first time, they're all over each other and having sex. I can buy having feelings for each other, I can buy being protective and possessive... but the sex was pushing it for me. We're not talking one-night stand here, but real, committed sex... and I just felt it was too fast.

So basically, Ms Banks lost me pretty early in the book because of the psychic element... and I ended up skimming through most of the book. Nothing in this book - the story, the romance, the characters or the suspense - was able to grab me and while reading, I just wanted Whispers in the Dark to be done and over. That's not usually a good feeling when you're reading a book. Someone on Goodreads mentioned that the book was boring and too corny and I have to agree wholeheartedly. The only scenes I really enjoyed were the Kelly brothers ribbing each other and even then, I thought it was sometime not with a good timing.

My Grade? E.

All right, it still winded up a bit long LOL. But hey, it's my first attempt! :) What do you think? Does this format work?


  1. I do NOT like psychics in my books. I don't know why MB changed this series like this. Ah well. I won't read this one. Thanks for the heads up. :)

    And I really like the idea of weekend minis!! You said enough in this review to convey your feelings and I think it's a good length for you. Good job.

  2. I've voted :-) What happens if there's a tie??

    I've been toying with the idea of weekly recaps too, but knowing me, they would start becoming fortnightly recaps, then monthly, then...

    But yes, I like your idea!


  3. Ames - Yeah, the psychic aspect was unexpected, because the series has been straight RS so far and it wasn't explicitly told in the blurb. I don't think the next one with have a psychic... but don't take my word for it, because Shea's sister is still missing...

    I'm glad you like the idea of the minis :) I do too LOL. I think it was a bit long, but shorter than my usual review... so I'm getting somewhere LOL. Practice makes it perfect right?

    Li - If there's a tie, I review both :) I'm thinking of having one to two mini-reviews per post... depending on the voting, the number of books I've read and the actual length of each review :) Even if there's no tie, I might review the most 2 popular books or the book that won with a book that I really wanted to review. See, that's the nice thing about this feature... the flexibility LOL. For now :P

    LOL, I know what you mean!! And I'm glad you like my idea ;) You're free do the same LOL.

    And thank you both for voting!

  4. This mini-review format was great for me! Most summaries are available in other places - I prefer the focus placed on your opinion of what worked and what didn't. This focus gives me a much better way to gauge a possible investment of time or money on the book.

  5. Minis or full reviews all work for me. But if we get a review sooner, then I'm all for the mini reviews. Lol. I'd like a summary of the story only when the blurb is misleading or isn't clear. To help shorten your review, just laying out what you like and don't like would work.

    As for this series, I'm so disappointed that Maya Banks took the psychic route mid-way into the series. How can she throw in paranormal elements in a romantic suspense series?? Honestly though, I've only liked the first book in the KGI. Each book since the first has just been a disappointment to me.

  6. You did a mini-review, so I’ll do a mini-ranty-mcrant. Ready? Here it goes: I’m a fan of romantic suspense, I’m a fan of paranormal romance, I’m a fan of romantic suspense with a paranormal touch, and I’m a fan of this series. Having said that, WTF!?!?! That was my reaction when I got to the paranormal part. You can’t do that! Why are you changing the rules halfway through the series? Well, you can because it’s your book, but you’re alienating your readers. I did a spit take and ended up DNFing it because it was full of poorly done WTFckery. End of mini-rant.

    You do whatever you want, love your monthly reads (even if they come two months late), love your regular reviews, love mini-reviews, love your miscellaneous post, just please don’t start reading people’s mind or doing anything paranormal!!!

  7. Kathryn - Welcome to my blog Kathryn :) I'm happy you enjoyed the mini-review format :)

    I usually try to focus on what worked and what didn't in my regular reviews as well... Only I tend to go on and on LOL.

    Hope to see you comment again :)

    Tabitha - LOL. I think yes, it's going to help me have some reviews out faster I think. Just because I'll be more focused :)

    That's what I'm going to try about the story for the mini-reviews. Just expand if it's really different from the blurb.

    I don't know why Ms Banks added the paranormal element... but I'm not sure it's going to be permanent. Perhaps she had to mix things up, but I think it was the wrong decision :( I'm sorry that the series isn't working for you. I still have the first book that you sent me in the TBR pile. Not sure if I'll get to it now :(

    Brie - LOL, I was a bit worried when I first read your comment Brie. I was like, mini-rant against my review? but okay, against the book. Phew :P

    I think it's really hard to mix styles in the middle of the series. And the worst was the lack of foreshadowing. There was no indication there was psychics even in the blurb. Readers just don't like to be surprised that way.

    I like psychics and RS, I'm a huge fan of Ms Kay Hooper FBI SCU series. Did you read it, Brie? However, for me, the psychic element in this book just didn't work :(

    And no, I'm not trying to read your mind... Which is why I have the poll on the side - just under the search box!! You need to vote Brie! :)

  8. I read the first 2 books and then gave up. Just couldn't keep my interest in the characters. Good to know I'm not missing anything.

  9. Nath, I missed your weekend mini! You know I love mini-reviews. They've always worked for me. Like someone said above, I love your reviews and I think your minis will work just fine too!

    An E? The grade confused me for a minute until I looked at your grading system. Hmm... I don't mind psychics if it is well done. It doesn't sound as if that was the case with this book. Meh. And changing the rules in the middle of a series to incorporate paranormal elements in a contemporary series or romantic suspense would drive me to rant too.

  10. Leslie - It's surprising that you gave up on this series. But you know, if the first two couldn't hold your attention, don't try this one ^_^;

    Hilcia - Did I ever do week-end mini before? I don't think so... I used to do more mini-reviews I know, but it wasn't really consistent :) Well I'm glad you guys like it though! :)

    Yeah, well I did finish it, so couldn't give it an DNF. E it is.

    Well I think that changing the rules mid-way through the series did not help... if you look on Goodreads though, a lot of people seem to still enjoy this book. For me, I'm just nit-picky about the psychics aspect.