As a story, I wasn't that impressed. The plot line was pretty simplistic and fairly predictable. Only a third of the way thrAs seen on Zombie Mommies.
As a story, I wasn't that impressed. The plot line was pretty simplistic and fairly predictable. Only a third of the way through and I already had a lingering suspicion of who the culprit might be. There were also a few unrealistic moments. For instance, when the target is finally revealed, I kept wondering why they didn't just google "Ortolan & video game," a hundred pages ago instead of just "Ortolan." Which by the way is evidenced when Nick says, "We should have done more research...Then we would have found him a lot earlier." Yes, my thoughts exactly. I also didn't feel that much for any of the characters: an eyeroll every once in a while and an exasperated sigh. The pacing was also somewhat slow for a thriller and quite honestly, I felt like it was consuming up too many hours of my time. And when a book makes you wonder if "it is ever going to end?"...well, that's not a good sign.
HOWEVER, I really did like the writing style. And while I wasn't impressed by the plot, I was impressed by the way the characters became totally consumed by the game. I'm not a gamer myself so I can't fully understand the draw...but I've always wondered what keeps them hooked. As the story switches back and forth from the gaming world and the real one, I began to get a better feel for what keeps them going. There's the secrecy of the game and its rewards. Once Nick gets his hands on Erebos, he becomes completely consumed by it: just one more level...just one more reward... My favorite parts were when Nick must accomplish a task in "real life" in order to obtain a reward in the game: Nick acts nearly psychotic and desperate.
AND I did appreciate the fact that the story is more multicultural than most high school settings. Erebos takes place in London, and I expected a completely homogeneous group of people, so I was pleasantly surprised to read references to descriptions and names from different races. It made London feel so real!
But towards the end, I just wanted the story to be over. The romance with Nick and Emily was too forced...like the author just had to make it work. The pacing was too slow for me, and I expected more plot twists, more suspense. Also, I'm a bit surprised that Nick's parents never mention a word to him about Erebos. It is an interesting read but not as entertaining as I would have liked. I would have to recommend this as a "Maybe" read....more
I really really wanted to like this one: Mind Games, Visions, Sleepwalking, A Boarding School, A Mystery, A Dark and HandsomAs seen on Zombie Mommies.
I really really wanted to like this one: Mind Games, Visions, Sleepwalking, A Boarding School, A Mystery, A Dark and Handsome Mysterious Boy? All the perfect ingredients for a great story...
...that fell flat like a homemade souffle.
The main problem with Harbinger were too many lose ends. With thrillers, I am completely prepared for unanswered questions that compel me to turn the page, eager to find the answer. But with this one, when i finally got to the end, all the lose ends just became a jumbled mess.
*****I am sorry but this is going to contain major spoilers.*****
In the beginning, Faye gets dropped off (against her will) at Holbrook, which is basically a school for wayward kids. The world has been destroyed and people live in "cooperatives" (which is never really explained; plus, what happens in the story could've just taken place without that). Faye has visions of drowning which began when she was a child but her episodes are getting worse. Then at Holbrook, she begins to hear drums and mysterious thingshappen.
The Holbrook Director, Dr. Mordoch plays mind games with the group in order to ensure cooperation: solitary confinement, privileges taken away, etc...Plus, there are pepper-spraying, taser-loving caretakers. Faye meets a host of characters who bond together like "Survivor Island" against Dr. Mordoch. There's even a ghost. The friends find themselves supposedly sleepwalking and in the morning, their hands are red and there are drawings on the floor.
So of course, I have to know what happens...and in the end, the only things I can gather are: 1) A long time ago, there were a group of people who had power over the earth and had a special meteorite seer stone. (Yes, a meteorite, and I have no idea where they got their power from.) 2) They saw that the earth was going to go to waste in the future so the members transferred their spirit to some relics that were buried. (So they could save the world in the future.) 3) When Faye touched the ocean when she was a child, one of the spirits transferred into her body causing her the visions. (I have no idea how the spirit attached itself to the ocean and what happened to the original Faye.) 4) Dr. Mordoch was being haunted by one of the original tribal spirits. Rita (the ghost/tribal spirit) leaves clues for Faye in the form of a prophecy on Tarot cards. 5) Faye begins to realize her visions as images of the past. 6) Faye, who originally wanted to 'save' the world, now wants to destroy/cleanse it. 7) Her group of friends had been sleepwalking and digging for the relics and become possessed with the spirits of the past and now have powers. They try to prevent Faye from destroying the earth. She ends up changing her mind because of Kel (eye roll). 8) Everyone sings (SINGS!!!) and the pollution from the sea and sky begin to dissipate.
But wait, I never learned more about the bones that Faye finds comfort in or why there were creepy Dr.-Who-Like-Weeping-Angel statues at the Academy or how the friends sleepwalked in the first place.
And although the cover says "psychological thriller," I never felt it as psychological as it was more weird fantasy. And my idea of a psychological thriller does not include spiritual possession. It does remind me a little like a Dr. Who episode (surprise, surprise. since Etienne is a fan) but where Steve Moffat's creepy paranormal scenarios are wrapped up nicely, Etienne leaves you with a disjointed and confusing story. I do have to say some of Faye's lines are a bit humorous but the entire premise was so poorly formed and left me quite angry at the end.
I don't know how he does it...After The Lightning Thief series (which if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for!), I thought Riordan wouldn't bI don't know how he does it...After The Lightning Thief series (which if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for!), I thought Riordan wouldn't be able to produce another one just as entertaining...But I WAS WRONG! Thankfully...
The Son of Neptune is the second in his new series: The Heroes of Olympus. The first book, The Lost Hero, follows the adventures of 3 demigods: Jason, Piper, and Leo while The Son of Neptune begins at the "Roman" camp starring Percy, Hazel, and Frank.
Riordan's trademark humor and sarcasm is evident throughout the story, and I found myself laughing right at the start:
"Her Bargain Mart vest, her flowery dress, even her tusks were decorated with 50% OFF stickers. Her name badge read: Hello! My name is DIE, DEMIGOD SCUM!"
The chapters switch POVs seamlessly among the 3 characters. Each has it's own mystery, strength, and weakness. And Frank's Asian grandmother was so ON THE MARK...I loved it!
There were only a few "buggy" things I noticed this time around: 1) The characters all seem to have the same "voice." I'm not sure if that really makes much sense, but while each of the characters have different backgrounds, they seemed to speak the same, have the same humor. It's not enough for a reader to notice unless there are being overly Type A...like me.
2) Definitely try to read the books without waiting MONTHS in between. It made for a frustrating read as I was trying to pull my amnesia back into remission. There are A LOT of tiny references to both Book 1 and The Lightening Thief series--not enough to take away from the story, but it would have been nice if my memory served me better.
Overall: I highly recommend any of Riordan's books. The only bummer about finding an author you enjoy is that you're not the only one; Riordan's last book signing was INSANE and a bit of a disappointment. I literally was given less than 10 seconds to say hello and have him sign my book. Oh, wait, I didn't even get a chance to say hello because he was busy talking to the kid in front of me. I got a "head nod" and then herded out of line. Apparently, I haven't gotten over that. But still, go read the book. It funny fun.
Are all cloning stories based on the same idea? If I hadn't already read The House of the Scorpion or watched Ewan McGregor in The Island, I may haveAre all cloning stories based on the same idea? If I hadn't already read The House of the Scorpion or watched Ewan McGregor in The Island, I may have been more impressed by a story of (view spoiler)[harvesting organs from human clones (hide spoiler)]. Granted this one was about 1 individual being cloned multiple times...but, wait...wasn't that like The House of the Scorpion?
But--as the character Abby would so often point out: there are pros and cons to everything so here's my list for Replication:
Pros: 1) I felt like I really knew Martyr; As a clone, we learn of his perceptions and views while living on the farm and then see his lack of knowledge of the "real world" when he escapes. What he thinks about colors, sky, clothing. What he calls a "dog" or a "house." It makes me think about when and what we learn about the world. 2) Abby's train of thought and sarcasm were funny. 3) Williamson did a good job of balancing the themes of Christianity in a Sci-fi novel. I didn't feel like she trying to preach to me. It just felt like a story about a girl who just happens to believe in God. There are definite Christian principles in the novel such as prayer, creation, and the Bible which may be a little overwhelming if you are not interested in those topics. 4)A discussion guide was included! Yay!
Cons: 1) I had hoped for a more interesting concept/plot line and the story was fairly predictable--which is probably why I wasn't on the edge of my seat and began to get a little bored closer to the end. (But if you haven't read many human cloning stories, you may enjoy this one.) 2) Some answers weren't good enough for me. Why do clones need to be educated if the doctors are just going to take out their body parts? Just to keep them civilized? What if you just kept them in a vegetative state?
Even with 2 strikes against it, I think it's well worth the read and would make for an enlightening book club discussion.
Check out this review and more on my blog at: Zombie Mommies.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
To be perfectly honest, it is a different book from Revis but the initial chapters did remind me aWhy do I feel like I'm reading Across the Universe?
To be perfectly honest, it is a different book from Revis but the initial chapters did remind me a lot of Across the Universe: there's a ship in the middle of space with problems and racing to colonize a new earth.
Other than that, the story takes a much different turn. Waverly and the entire ship of girls are kidnapped by their sister ship in order to populate their race. With the adults mostly dead and unconscious on the original attacked ship, the entire group of boys left behind must decide how to rescue the girls and survive among themselves. Meanwhile Waverly must decide what it will take to escape.
In a story like this one where the perspectives switch from the two main characters: Waverly and Kieran, a 1st person POV would have added more depth to the story and helped me internalize the character's emotions and behavior. With 3rd person, I felt so disconnected from the characters...but I also wonder if it's because the characters just had too many negative traits that I never knew which character I was routing for; I actually liked some of the minor characters more as they didn't seem to have so many internal conflicts.
Initially, I thought Waverly was a pretty strong character but in the very last chapter, I have no idea what to think of her. Also, the numerous lies and secrets were just too much for me to handle. By the end, I felt like they all needed to attend group therapy.
The plot was interesting (kidnapped girls, engine failure, mutiny) but again it was really my lack of connecting with any one character that makes this story lacking.
Also, the plot takes a real odd twist toward the end with the introduction of (view spoiler)[ God's voice/words to Kieran (hide spoiler)]. The problem to me was not that (view spoiler)[ God is speaking to him, although I do wonder if it is indeed God or Kieran's imagination (hide spoiler)], it is the fact that it comes OUT OF NOWHERE; I never felt like Kieran was a spiritual person and then all of a sudden this happens. It would seem more plausible if Kieran showed signs of spirituality prior to that.
And lastly, I have absolutely no idea what the title means or refers to.
2.5 STARS for me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I can't really say much seeing as I've only made it to page 6. It's true, I'm probably biased by other reviewers who only gave it a 3 star so I'm goinI can't really say much seeing as I've only made it to page 6. It's true, I'm probably biased by other reviewers who only gave it a 3 star so I'm going to bench this one for now.
Maybe I'll return to it--but most likely I won't. Sorry....more
Meyer definitely changes things up with this sci-fi spin of the traditional Cinderella story. While there were elements of the original story (the "evMeyer definitely changes things up with this sci-fi spin of the traditional Cinderella story. While there were elements of the original story (the "evil" stepmother, the mean stepsister, servitude, a royal ball, a prince), thankfully, there were also some new ideas: a loving stepsister, a plague, a Cyborg foot instead of a glass slipper ;). So really, Meyer deserves a round of applause for making Cinder less than traditional.
Unfortunately, while the concept was intriguing, the execution needed a little help:
Cinder: As a cyborg, Cinder is part human/part machine and according to society, is seemingly less than "human." But while there were scenes and details that depicted discrimination towards Cyborgs (mostly only to her), I just plain couldn't relate. For me, I never felt like Cinder was less human...which stems greatly from the fact that in our present society, we don't look at humans who have mechanical parts (metal arms/legs, plastic heart valves, electronic pace makers) as less than human; in fact, we graciously praise those scientist for making it possible for these humans to live. Now, if Cinder's society is an extension of the human condition, then--based on what we know today--why would I consider Cyborgs inhuman? What made her society view them as such?
Since Cinder's character as a cyborg was such a key part to the story, this depiction of her made it extremely hard for me to understand WHY certain characters treated her as such. For me, Meyer, needed to expand on what I already feel today and change it so I can relate to her character's behavior.
New Beijing: Again, Kudos to Meyer for adding a little multiculturalism. However, the setting of New Beijing needs something more than a booth of buns and Asian-type references and names. What makes Beijing, NEW Beijing? And why Beijing? (In my mind, I kept envisioning Hong Kong--with it's bright lights of skyscrapers and electronics.) So, again Why Beijing? Who are the people living there? Why is there an emperor? Describe to me the smells, the food...give me a little background so I know where I am!
Lunar: As the story progresses, we are introduced to a competing society to earth: the people of Lunar who (you guessed it) live on. the. moon. While the introduction of another colony is intriguing, there wasn't much background to their existence except that they were an advanced human race that lives on the moon and can manipulate bio-electric energy to make you do what they want. And maybe I'm being a little picky here but...how do they live on the moon? Do they live in space stations? Is there gravity/air? The reason I ask is because in a later scene when pictures are taken of them, they appear to be STANDING STILL (not floating) on the moon without any helmets. ???!!!??? Also, why is Lunar and Earth at war with each other??!
I think the main interest of this story is it's adaptation to the traditional tale. Otherwise, the story line is predictable within the first few chapters, the introduction of lies that induce conflict is getting tiresome to see in story after story, and the lack of empathy for the mc makes this book lacking.
Again, I do applaud Meyer's sci-fi adaption and the bionic parts that make up Cinder, and the writing is decent (considering that it's in 3rd person--which I don't favor) so overall, I would give this 3.5 STARS. Interesting and somewhat enjoyable to read (if you can ignore the predictability)...I think I will read the next installment to see if there's improvement to the character/plot but it was still somewhat of a disappointment to me....more
Sam is an unsuspecting fast-food burger boy suddenly thrust into the throws of a madman to unearth who he reallyHow can you resist a title like that?
Sam is an unsuspecting fast-food burger boy suddenly thrust into the throws of a madman to unearth who he really is. Along with his buddy Ramon, his headless co-worker, Brooke, and a weregirl, Sam has to decide what he's really made of.
This was a witty and entertaining read with a side of suspense and mystery. Similar to Riordan's sarcastic style, McBride sets the tone for a wickedly funny tale that is also creepy and scary. For someone like me who is a "fraidy cat," McBride gives you just enough details at the 'scary scenes' to let your imagination take over without layering on the gory details.
I only wished that: *I could have seen more of Sam's powers develop and what he will use it for (maybe there will be a sequel?) *The scene with the weregirl and Sam (view spoiler)[ having sex (hide spoiler)] was just a little odd--even though it made sense in werewolf context but still just a bit disturbing that that happened. *which leads to my curiosity and desire to see more of a resolution b/w the weregirl and Sam. *Only a few lines of humor that I didn't like.
Overall, this story had both the humor and plot to match. Definitely a FUN read if you're looking for a light horror story with some humor.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I almost didn't make it to the end. Half-way through, I almost tossed it aside. Half-way through, I had to tell myself to just keep on going and finisI almost didn't make it to the end. Half-way through, I almost tossed it aside. Half-way through, I had to tell myself to just keep on going and finish. To tell you the truth, it lulled me to sleep a couple of times.
It wasn't that the writing was dull, it was just a slow...long...trek to uncover the truth behind Rose's sleep.
Found in a futuristic anti-aging tube in the basement of a wealthy condominium, Rose awakens after more than 60 years asleep. She finds herself suddenly thrust into the public eye as THE HEIR to a powerful interplanetary company. But as she tries to make sense of the present, there are still some unexplained memories in her past she must confront.
Rose is one of those characters that you have to look beyond the surface to see the complexities beneath. Initially, I found her to be quite plain and spineless. Sorry for the pun, but really, she's a fish out of water. Here she is 60 years later, a complete stranger in a new world, and not a single complaint or peep is heard. I wasn't sure where this story was going...because, like I said, I was just trudging along...
But by the end, everything made sense, and it took that long, slow climb to finally reveal WHO Rose truly is, was, and will become.
It's a story of a broken soul who eventually finds herself. Unlike the fairy tale (Sleeping Beauty) and refreshingly so, (view spoiler)[ the story does not have the typical "HAPPILY EVER AFTER ENDING," and the PRINCE doesn't sweep her away to happiness (hide spoiler)] But it does however give a deep and thought provoking look into the life of a scared little girl (view spoiler)[ abused by her parents (hide spoiler)] who has the will to LIVE ON.
My only challenges to the story are: 1. I wanted a more "futuristic" quality to it: more unique technology and less forced slang. 2. Some scenes seemed unrealistic: (view spoiler)[ when she gets her fingers burned at the end, she's still able to draw? (hide spoiler)] 3. And while the ending provided resolution, it was still (view spoiler)[ sad. But that's not really a criticism and more of me just wanting a "happy ending." (hide spoiler)]:) 4. The addition of the (view spoiler)[ missing brother and sister (hide spoiler)] seemed a out of place and unnecessary.
But overall, after I closed the book, its story still haunted me into the next day...and that's always a good thing. Hope you enjoy it too!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Last year, I attended an author panel featuring Lisa Yee. She was pretty funny and entertaining so curiously I decided to read Millicent Min--not exacLast year, I attended an author panel featuring Lisa Yee. She was pretty funny and entertaining so curiously I decided to read Millicent Min--not exactly my first choice of read...I'm much more of a sci/fi-paranormal kind of a girl and the last time I read any middle grade "coming of age" book was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and that was way back in 5th grade.
Millicent certainly surprised me. Her blind confidence, sarcasm, and wit make her a delight to read. There were a couple of times that her thought process had me laughing out loud.
While Millicent is a genius in extremes (an 11-year-old high school Junior), there were aspects I found myself connected to: the longing to be included yet the self-preservation of using your "identity" as a shield. Millicent's entire life has been focused on her intelligence and she uses it to protect herself from the friendships she so desperately wants until she meets Emily who knows nothing of her intelligence. As she tries to keep her identity a secret, she ends up discovering that your identity is part of you but is not the whole part.
I really connected with this story personally: having a brother who skipped a grade, another brother who aced the CA mathematics test, and a dad who thought it would be fun for the kids to memorize pi to 30 digits. So I've had first hand experience with how challenging it can be to have other people understand and connect with you.
I really enjoyed this and even though Yee made Millicent into an intellectual "Asian," it wasn't full of stereotypical cliches; Instead, she incorporated other characteristics which made you see past the stereotypical Asian family/type. An entertaining quick read that will appeal to readers who may feel unique or secluded from the "norm."...more
At some point in the future, humans colonize the planet Loka. It is here on the continent of Svarga that different caste systems exist with True HumanAt some point in the future, humans colonize the planet Loka. It is here on the continent of Svarga that different caste systems exist with True Humans at the top (gestated in the womb) while "Genetically Engineered Non-humans" exist to serve those above them. These GENS are born into tanks and fused with technology, a skill set (sket) and animal DNA.
As best friends Mishalla and Kayla embark on their separate assignments, new information comes to light to either destroy them or set them free.
Sandler's premise of a Genetically altered population of beings is an interesting one: What makes a human, human? Her story telling is creative and the plot moves along at a good pace.
While I enjoyed her story-telling, I felt like her themes and scientific explanations could have been further developed: (view spoiler)[ 1) If GENs are tankborn, do they have belly-buttons? This may seem like a non-point, but if belly buttons are used to nurture in the womb, would tankborns have any? And if they didn't, wouldn't this unique absence definitively identify them? (So there would have been no question later on if a human was true or GEN.) To me, this would have had a stronger impact on my feeling for them as GENs than would "animal DNA."
2) There are several references to "animal DNA" but it was not clarified or discussed in depth except to say Dolphin DNA helps to nurture, etc...(which I wonder where they got that from anyways). If the "animal DNA" is a marker to their non-human status, then I want to know why truehumans discriminate against it. If the GENs exhibited some animal feature in their physical appearance, it would compel me more to believe on their discrimination. Or was it just the idea of them being more animalistic.
3) The origin of their society seemed too simplified: one group had money to build the ships (so they became trueborns), another group built it (so they become the demis), etc...HOWEVER, what compelled them to build a ship anyways? Was the planet EARTH dying? Was this just an exploration/colonization journey?
4) Along those same lines, why the segregation in skin color? Did all the separate groups come from a specific continent on earth? Did they come from America? Africa? Asia? If they did, what was the reason? Were all the rich people on earth of dark descent? All the poor of lighter descent? Why?
5) In the end, when you discover who Kayla really is, I think that's just an easy-out to what the theme of the story is about. If we're supposed to feel sympathy for GENs (and discover what makes you human), what does it mean that she's technically not really one? All of my feelings are now null because she wasn't really a GEN in the first place? Let me feel and connect with one who REALLY IS. (hide spoiler)]
Of course, there are many topics to discuss in comparing our OWN society's distinction of class and color and stereotypes but to me, it felt like reading a history book than feeling it. Too many themes interwoven that I felt lost and had a hard time focusing on what the author was trying to convey.
Overall, somewhat entertaining; I think some details are missing and provide some holes to what could be more of a fulfilling story. It's a bit predictable. And while there were some gut-wrenching moments, I wanted to feel more for the GENs. The idea is unique and multiculturalism is great to see in a book, but I would have liked it flushed out further.
Personally, The House of the Scorpion By Nancy Farmer was a much more compelling read that also had genetic cloning and multiculturalism.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I had the theme song to Mission Impossible running through my head the entire read. And like the movie, sometimes you didn't know what was happening bI had the theme song to Mission Impossible running through my head the entire read. And like the movie, sometimes you didn't know what was happening but it didn't matter (too much) because you were just enjoying the scenes unfold.
Marie Lu's debut novel brings you non-stop action from alternating point of views from the murder suspect (Day) to his pursuer (June). Lu seamlessly weaves the story from each perspective so it felt like I was watching the scene through each character's eyes. Day and June are both genius masterminds who surpass unbelievable odds, know all the right fighter moves, and can survive a 3 story high fall. Some of you might be rolling you're eyes right now, and I don't blame you. It is a bit over the top, but sometimes you're just in the mood for that super-genius impossible mission...which I just happened to be in.
One aspect I enjoyed about this cat-and-mouse-chase is that it makes you consider what you believe. June believes Day is the murderer, but when she meets him, she can't reconcile who he is with who she believes he is. Which lead to the question: Is it possible for people to overcome preconceived beliefs about others?
I appreciated that Lu's answer to that question wasn't so immediately resolved because answers like that one aren't so easy to figure out.
The book's main focus is definitely on the relationship at hand. If you're looking for a story more focused on dystopia, try The Hunger Games, Uglies, or Divergent. While I enjoyed the relationship entanglement, I was hoping for more background information. What tore up the United States? Who are the Republic? Who are the Colonies? (Is land the only reason for their dispute?) What does each side stand for/believe? How did Los Angeles turn to ruin? There are suggestions here and there but it would have made the story feel more alive if I knew what happened to society.
It's an entertaining read that will keep you turning the page and hungry for more!