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Reader's Discretion Advised

...this confuses me. So...it's like tumblr...for books?

Either way, I'm mainly on Goodreads. I do occasionally come here, and also do periodically import my shelves from GR here, but GR is a more sure bet for contacting me.

The Emperor's Wolf - J.C. Owens Inside the spoiler is a part commentary as I read the thing (I read the last half away from my computer, so I couldn't comment as I went). It's probably out of order and not very coherent/cohesive. Oh, well.I don't think I understand why Jaden was called "Black," unless I missed something. I mean, he's got hazel eyes ("green-gold," I think it was) and chestnut hair, as far as I can tell. His sister is blond haired-blue eyed. That doesn't exactly sound like a coloring that would have dark skin, but then, I suppose that it's fiction and it's possible that he'd have dark skin. It still seems weird to me, though.It was weird because there wasn't any indication that the emperor dude (Dersai, w/e) gave Jaden any clothes after the first time in the baths (after he cut Jaden/Black's original clothes off of him). It was just weird cuz he was going around and having lessons and whatnot and for some reason, I just assumed he'd be naked the entire time...also, when he first woke up and discovered he was manacled and chained, there wasn't any indication that he had any clothes then either. This leads me to believe that either clothes were a foregone conclusion or that he really was running around naked. (The scene in which Jaden was doing his exercises and stretches...something about the phrasing made me think he didn't have any clothes on, with him bent over and "everything hanging..." something like that.It makes for very weird mental images of the sparring/physical exercise/training scenes.[Anyway, I'm commenting as I read it right now, and apparently, it implies later that he really was going around naked that entire time... O_O]Isn't that something for him to hate? I mean, we were led to believe he'd be hell-bent on revenge. He seemed really complacent and content for someone who supposedly resented his situation. I mean, what isn't there to hate? I find it hard to believe that so much of his anger at enslavement and mistreatment could have survived Mailyn, only to completely dissolve as soon as he set eyes on the emperor dude. Jaden was also really complacent for someone who was sworn on revenge. But then, I was always confused as to whom his revenge was aimed at. I mean, it was possibly implied the emperor dude, but I personally think he was too damn scared of him for that actually to be realistic. And then he started liking him. "Against his will" (*rolls eyes. Yeah, yeah; of course we believe you.) (To be fair, I think the author only had him protest that a couple of times before she gave up on that as futile, I suppose.)Anyway, his comment about being more of a pet dog than a wolf really does seem extremely apt. In fact, I doubt he was ever really a wolf. More like a poor mistreated dog that had gone almost feral with wariness towards the beginning of his...(I'd like to use the term captivity, but he seems very content where he is...) stay with Dersai (which, I personally still think sounds like a silly name).I think I was actually amused when the emperor dude (I refuse to call him by his silly name) started off'ing the prisoners from, I assume, Jaden's country (Astoria?).I also thought Jaden was definitely more of a sheep than a wolf. More a sheep than a dog, even. *shrugs. Well, it was dramatic when it happened.I think weirdly enough, Jaden seemed to know too much. When Dersai showed his demon whatever, Jaden was like "O_O there's something...else...inside him" instead of probably a more reasonable "HOLY SHIT, THIS IS WHO HE REALLY IS, ISN'T IT? OMGOMGOMGOMG HE'S GOING TO TORTURE ME AND KILL ME AND AAAAAHHHH." I mean, we were led to believe - or rather, are supposed to be led to believe; I don't think the intent was quite conveyed - that he was waiting for the other shoe to drop.The demon thing is an interesting idea, but I think it was worked rather oddly. Oh, look. He suddenly remembers he has a sister. What a convenient time for an outraged outburst - "you sold my sister!" Omg. This part. “They sold my sister, damn it! Sold me to that bitch. You have no idea of the hell—” Jaden tried to turn away, eyes stinging with tears, his teeth clenched to the point of breaking.The hell I went through! You have no idea what my life is like. You don't understand. NO ONE UNDERSTANDS. (=_= yeah, yeah. Have your wangsty pity party somewhere else. I'm left here feeling extremely sorry for Dersai for falling in love with/being destined with such a damn prick. Meanwhile, Jaden is working his way to Mary-Su-*cough cough, sorry, I meant Gary-Stu-dom. I really hated Jaden when D (it really is a silly name...) was all apologizing to him.I actually even got bored of the sex scenes, if you can believe that. (Though admittedly, I don't usually read for the sex, so this might or might not be a moot point. In fact, I think I've gotten to the point where plot no longer engages me and I read more for the setting, world creation, characterization, etc.)And then Jaden. After D's like "someday you'll wear my mark." The ungrateful little prick thinks "why didn't he just order it?"...Has he not been paying attention the past...indeterminable time he's been with D?Anyway, serious Mary-Sue-ness. I mean, even the damn country people all love him. Or at least more than tolerate him.And the war machines thing =_=I'm actually very confused about the setting. I mean, when Jaden was first being sold - in his flashbacks - there seemed to be implied hypodermic needles. It seems to be standard fantasy fare - generally a medieval-ish setting - but then they have complex Knightmare Frame things. (There was something else that seemed oddly anachronistic to me, but I don't remember it off the top of my head).D is so adorable. He's like a poor kicked puppy. A Woobie, in tropinese (lol). Especially when he's teaching Jaden how to use the "war machines." I don't understand why Jaden is so stupidly loyal to his former country. Well, maybe I do. But not to that extent. I mean, he obviously hasn't been listening to anything D's been telling him. No wait. He has. He just decided that he didn't trust him enough (which, personally, I think should have come earlier. Like, maybe when he - well, the demon, I guess - was slaughtering his former countrymen? Or maybe when HE WAS FIRST RECLAIMED? Now that I think of it, that seems to have been ostentatiously skipped over.)Blah de da dah, I'm skipping over because the next part is too painful to even think back to/reread. In a Narm way. Or maybe a Pseudo-Crisis way. Either way, it's damn annoying and frankly, pretty damn farcical.Actually, this part kind of reminds me of Twilight. In a weird way. His odd outburst about how D's a liar and "how could he and oh, I know your plan now; it's for me to kill my own people" idk why, but the little blowing shiz up part...reminds me of the end of Breaking Dawn, in which Meyer said she originally had included a little part for VampMeyer-Bella to go running off to play Superman to the lawyer person, I think. It kind of reminds me of that... (le awkward... ¬_¬)Even Jaden - as he was going to save D from madness or whatever - with his little fear-of-heights episode didn't endear him to me. It kind of annoyed me more. Like false modesty. ("The devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility")The ending was...weird. It seemed incredibly out of place. I mean, things were going to peachy-keen throughout the entire damn thing that I found myself actually wishing the wouldn't have an HEA. How sad is that? (Maybe something like a traditional "romance" ending - both of 'em die and they get to spend the next life in each others' arms in eternal rapture. Tristan and Isolde, yes?)"You gave me back myself. The world is all awesomely wonderful again. You found your sister, we'll go retrieve my kids, we'll all live wonderfully and awesomely together, as long as I have you by my side."I think that pretty much sums up the ending.D's first "waking up" scene was painful. Not the concepts; more the execution. Also, another thing, isn't he, like, bleeding to death here? How the hell did he had the time/strength to have all that after all the damn blood he lost/perhaps is still losing, the fit of demon-ness that we were led to believe would leave him ravenously hungry from a prior scene, and whatever other issues he had to work through?I actually love the line about him trying not to feel like he was molesting a child. Made me think of that scene in Snake's LEVS (the on in the original version of Cake; not the published one) after Marcus shows up (it'll make sense if you've read it. If not, this is all I'll say).Anyway, this all leads me to believe that D loves Jaden a lot more than Jaden seems to love D. The wolf thing is still annoying, because I don't see Jaden as fierce. He's had too much wangst for that, imo. Dersai put a finger over Jaden’s lips when the younger man would have spoken. “It is true. Do not defend me. I should have courted you from the beginning, but in all my life, Jaden, I had never been in love before. I wanted you, needed you,but I did not understand what else intertwined with that. All I could think of was that you must not leave me. I could not lose you when I had so miraculously found you. So I chained you, forced you to stay…” Tears rose in his eyes.Jaden stopped the words with a kiss, unable to endure more.“But then you gave me back my self, Dersai. We have both made mistakes, both given hurt.” Jaden paused. His heart was in his throat, and he trembled with the faintest hope that had emerged with his lover’s words, at his lack of blame, and with how he had addressed Jaden—his dearest love. Dersai loved him. Dear gods, Dersai loved him, Jaden—a foolish, impulsive man with a past full of pain and a tainted body and soul. But Dersai knew all this, and still he loved him.It was hard to comprehend. Where did they go from here? Was what had been shattered able to be mended or even built anew? Jaden hardly had the courage to hope.“Stay with me, Jaden. Be my consort, my love, my partner in everything. Be my wolf for whatever time the gods gift us. Never leave me.” Dersai smiled fondly as Jaden’s tears finally overflowed and began to track down his cheeks, his eyes wide with all he felt—all the hope and love that had seemed so far away mere moments ago.“We will bring my sons home, raise them, love them and your sister and Rem and whomever else you deem to need care. We will be a family, and our love will make Tranaden stronger than ever before. There will be no mad emperor, not in my time.” He gathered Jaden into his arms and held him as the younger man sobbed in joy and disbelief.I mean, as illogical as that is, the sentiment is there. I don't understand how D could have thought the whole "wooing from the beginning" thing would have worked, considering the circumstances of their first meeting even if you ignore what happened after that, but the sentiment is there. Again, though. The kids thing...that's still weirding me out by how sudden and oddly out of place it was. And omg. EVERYONE gets an HEA.I mean, even the damn little kid sister didn't suffer; she was merely the companion of a noble girl, never suffered cruelty, blah, blah, blah. The tattoo on his neck in the end made absolutely no sense. I mean, the dead horse has been beaten so much I can't even recognize that it was originally a horse anymore.There wasn't enough actual tension. It's like the author wanted to, but was afraid to delve too deeply into it for fear of either falling into a pit that she can't climb back out of or of insulting someone.Anyway, this is creating some rather odd Twilight parallels for me, but I think it's more because this book has me speaking in tropes, which, though amusing for me (very exasperating at times), is by no means a good sign for this book.I'd be more inclined, I think to rate this a 2.5, because it was slightly amusing, albeit not the way the author intended (as in, in a sort of...farcical comedy way...).(Anyway, the above is why I usually wait until AFTER I'm done reading to review [and then I just go on vague memory and whatever residual impression I have left] and any comments I might have I comment to friends through chat who have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about :D)