It's been a few years since I read this so forgive me if I get something wrong. As a woman I found this terrifying because of the possibility that thi...moreIt's been a few years since I read this so forgive me if I get something wrong. As a woman I found this terrifying because of the possibility that this could happen. I live in an all-female household in the UK, we're independent, I could never see myself ever being able to rely on a man for everything I need. We've fought for the rights to work, spend our own money and enjoy the same freedoms as men.
Offred, stripped of her husband who may have been murdered and separated from her daughter, watching her being raised by strangers was horrible. When she is forced to have sex with the Commander I wondered why she had to, couldn't they do the turkey baster thing instead? Or was this just another way to degrade women and for the men to get their jollies - even if the wives had to be present? If they got pregnant, having your baby taken away from you is even more dehumanising. To be treated as an object and one that is not particularly valued is awful.
But then even the men were emasculated, like Nick, he had very little power and if you stepped out of line your head would end up on a pike on the fences. The Commander himself was a coward, despite his greater freedom he didn't seem to like how things were and taking her out to that secret club was for his benefit not hers - he wanted to alleviate his guilt by trying to keep this handmaid from suicide. His wife didn't approve either, who wants to watch their husband have sex with another woman and have their reproductive rights taken away from them? Though I know fertility problems amongst the people were one of the main issues here.
I think in a post-9/11 world this book is even more terrifying. There seem to be many more extremists (religious and otherwise), gender inequalities in other cultures have been highlighted as have corrupt governments and dictators who run societies where violence and persecution are apart of everyday life. So if this sort of society exists elsewhere, it could happen here too.
When I read this as a teenager this book did more to scare me than any blood and guts horror book ever could. An incredibly disturbing and shocking read.(less)
A great book but I thought that Katniss got away and won without killing ruthlessly, she only killed in self-defense or indirectly. I was relieved whe...moreA great book but I thought that Katniss got away and won without killing ruthlessly, she only killed in self-defense or indirectly. I was relieved when she told Peeta that the romance wasn't real for her. I want her to be with Gale, her relationship with him has a better chance of lasting.(less)
**spoiler alert** On starting Catching Fire my first desire was to find out how Gale’s relationship with Katniss would change upon reuniting. I was ve...more**spoiler alert** On starting Catching Fire my first desire was to find out how Gale’s relationship with Katniss would change upon reuniting. I was very surprised when the first paragraphs summarised the months following her return with only a few lines about Gale. I had to wait until much later for a face-to-face with him. I was not pleased.
The scene with President Snow dropping by the house to warn Katniss that her actions had consequences was creepy. His breath smelled of blood, ew! By taking away her choices and forcing Katniss to marry Peeta he made things worse by making Katniss more and more likeable to the people even if it made her seem less defiant. Making the Victors of past Hunger Games compete in the Quarter Quell Hunger Games was an unbelievably stupid move, instantly making martyrs of the district champions. History really must have been rewritten if he couldn't see the mistakes he was making.
As for Peeta, I still can't see him with Katniss she belongs with Gale. They were strangers forced together who became allies in order to survive though that is pushing it as Katniss was keeping Peeta alive in both Games. The only things Peeta contributed were the lies to get good sponsors and to keep them both safe, and companionship - and I suppose his self-sacrificing nature when it comes to Katniss. In the real world, Gale is the one for her.
I think Haymitch was stupid to not inform Katniss of what was going on. I can understand not telling Peeta but Katniss could have saved Peeta from the Capitol, no wonder she tried to scratch his eyes out.
If I was President Snow I would torture Peeta for information on the rebellion and then kill him. There isn't a lot Snow could want from Katniss to use him as bait. It's too late to stop the uprisings, her defiance at the first games was the straw that broke the camel's back as it were - they weren't her fault. She may be a symbol for the rebellion but they aren't just fighting for her they're fighting for their right to keep their children safe. Even if Snow managed to lure her into a trap and tortured and killed her in public or private I doubt the uprisings would end, it would only encourage them to keep fighting so why keep Peeta alive? The same goes for Cinna though he may have brought his fate upon himself by being so brazen in his defiance, instantly turning Katniss's wedding dress into a funeral gown on stage in front of everyone.
As for District 12, well Snow can't bomb all of the districts can he? Where will the Capitol get food and clothing and those items necessary for survival? Who would he rule if he kills off all of the people? Some have all ready shown that they are willing to die for the cause. I'm looking forward to seeing District 13, I wonder if Bonnie and Twill made it there.
I may be biased in all of this because I do love Gale. I hope she lets him know she's not pregnant, not even close in fact so they can get closer. She chose him in book one and book two so I hope she chooses him again in book three.(less)
**spoiler alert** This one, I think, was the most harrowing and painful to read out of all three and I'm so glad it didn't get a happy, happy, happy e...more**spoiler alert** This one, I think, was the most harrowing and painful to read out of all three and I'm so glad it didn't get a happy, happy, happy ending. It was realistic and I liked it.
Even Katniss's nightmares, confusion and depression contributed to this being real. So many books ignores the repercussions that violence can have on it's characters.
Finnick. I fell hard for him and then...I was so upset. And to a lesser degree, Boggs which happened so fast. In the blink of an eye. Gone. War sucks. An understatement but I can't think of better words right now.
The choice of who Katniss was going to pick wasn't much of a choice in the end was it? And was only given 3 pages at the very end. I wasn't on the team that "won" her eventually but I accepted it. That there wasn't much between her and Gale made this easier even though I was dying for them to be together all the way through.
I thought it was funny that Snow's death happened without anyone watching, giving it less importance. I did want to know a little more about the aftermath of Coin's death and the trial though. I wanted Katniss to explain to them her reason for it and see everyone's reaction. I also needed to know some details of the Games with the Capitol's children and Katniss's views on it.
I'm a fan of the author's UF Guild Hunter books and wanted to see what her futuristic PNR series was like so I read this. It was brilliant. I loved it...moreI'm a fan of the author's UF Guild Hunter books and wanted to see what her futuristic PNR series was like so I read this. It was brilliant. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it! The only thing I could criticise was the ending. I thought there would be a big fight scene with casualties on both sides but this wasn't enough to stop me from giving it 5 stars, the detailed world and variety of characters were too good to give it anything less! Please don't be put off by the US covers, it's not as cheesy as it looks. (less)
Awaken Me Darkly is set in the future when different species of aliens are openly living amongst humans. Mia is part of a law enforcement group that s...moreAwaken Me Darkly is set in the future when different species of aliens are openly living amongst humans. Mia is part of a law enforcement group that specifically deal with alien-related crime. She hunts down the criminals and if she finds them guilty, they are executed. There is no trial.
Mia is a no-nonsense kick-ass alien hunter, she's had a tough life growing up. Her mother left after she was born, her two brothers were murdered and her father stopped loving her and turned abusive when her first brother died when she was just 5 years old. She has no room in her life for love but she cares deeply for her team of very loyal hunters. She is very physical with her emotions, if you upset her she lets you know right away with a punch or a slap to the face - as Kyrin notes “Can you not go one day without using your fists?” which lets you know just how often she gets upset!
Mia encounters Kyrin when she begins investigating a serial killer who is murdering human men and displaying them in public. Kyrin is the obvious suspect he had contact with all of the victims before they died but it isn't as simple as that. Mia is drawn to him, she can sense him, his energy - she's human she shouldn't be able to do that. She fights her attraction to him in order to remain cold impartial but he shows her that he isn't responsible for the murders, that there is a whole lot more to the story than just these murders. He shines a light on her personal life, her very being and reveals that she has a connection to the real murderer.
My only real complaint about this book is the lack of background. Being the first book I expected there to be more information about the different species of aliens, a little more on the supporting characters, even Kyrian and Lilla. I also wanted to follow Mia as she looked for the children, a loose end that was never addressed. I understand the next few books follow different couples so I guess that we will not find out what happened to the children.
I never would have read this type of book if it hadn't been for a group challenge. I'm glad I did. I had read the authors first book in the Lords of the Underworld series which I enjoyed so I naturally picked this book to fit the alien category of the challenge. I'm not sure whether I'll continue reading the series now that I know this story will not be continued but it was an enjoyable read.(less)
This wasn't quite as good as the first book, the ending (the last 50 or more pages) dragged. The writing could have been more concise there but otherw...moreThis wasn't quite as good as the first book, the ending (the last 50 or more pages) dragged. The writing could have been more concise there but otherwise it was very good. I'll definitely be reading the next one when the new cover comes out next month. (less)
As a lover of Snyder's Study series I thought I'd instantly take to this one with the same kind of enthusiasm, and although I didn't that's not to say...moreAs a lover of Snyder's Study series I thought I'd instantly take to this one with the same kind of enthusiasm, and although I didn't that's not to say that I didn't like it.
It's not a wholly original story which it needs to be to really stand out amongst the flooded dystopian genre but it has the standard brave and rebellious protagonist who becomes a symbol of hope for both her fellow Scrubs and the Uppers, who risks her life as well as others' to achieve an almost unattainable goal. She experiences love, loss, pain and joy along the way. I will add here that there is violence -torture though it's not described in too much detail.
There were some truly dull parts which I skimmed and skipped. I grew tired of the way in which time was recorded and eventually gave up on trying to figure how old everyone was and how much time had passed.
However, the thing that kept me reading were Riley's stuffed toy family (I know that sounds weird but you'll understand once you've read it) and how they were referred to in the rest of the book. It added some much needed warmth and light relief to a serious and sometimes boring book. Outside In is the next book and my curiosity will no doubt have me seeking it out upon its release.(less)
After a brilliant and very useful recap of Inside Out, this only got better. It found it's footing immediately and ran like the wind to the closing li...moreAfter a brilliant and very useful recap of Inside Out, this only got better. It found it's footing immediately and ran like the wind to the closing lines.
It was so jam-packed with action, betrayals and trickery I was exhausted just reading it. It wasn't simple either. I'm impressed Snyder could fit so much in (including technical detail) and I could still follow her throughout. Something I couldn't do with the first book.
I never knew who to trust. That seems to be a real theme that Snyder just loves to play with. I don't know how Trella managed what with getting injured, drugged or knocked out every five minutes and having to deal with the difficult relationships with her mother and her boyfriend. Time was a real factor, she never had enough of it but she somehow triumphed more often than not.
There was very little skimming this time around. Snyder was economical with words yet she still managed to fill many, many pages, more than I expected and I never got bored. Unusual for me with YA. The only real downside was no sexually explicit content even when it would've made sense with what should've been a very steamy shower scene, dammit! F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G.
Talking of frustration, Trella's stubborn reluctance in taking on the responsibility of leadership and leaving it to others -ugh! I was so desperate to reach into the book and throttle her and take the reins myself. Everything was falling apart and she was doing NOTHING! It was all her fault. Maybe not but she could've prevented some things or at least coordinated responses to them more efficiently. I'm so glad she learned from her mistakes.
Anyway, things were all nicely wrapped up. Perhaps a little too quickly (I wanted to know what crimes the Outsiders committed to be kicked out of Inside) but by then I was tired and just wanted to put the book down to catch my breath so I didn't care too much. I'm guessing this is a duology, I could be wrong but it ended perfectly so I'm not expecting another instalment. Oh, and I'm assuming Trella got the top spot at the end, in more ways than one. Wink, wink.(less)
I clearly watch too many sci-fi TV shows. Reading Birthmarked was like watching an amalgamation of specific episodes of those shows play out on paper....moreI clearly watch too many sci-fi TV shows. Reading Birthmarked was like watching an amalgamation of specific episodes of those shows play out on paper. In black and white, not full and vivid HD colour because very little of it felt new and fresh, shocking and memorable. One scene and one scene only (view spoiler)[when Gaia rescues and revives the unborn baby of an executed couple (for mostly unintentional incest) (hide spoiler)], is a time where I could say this book made an impression on me.
Don't get me wrong, the world described within these pages is very detailed, I liked the reproductive rights theme vs. the incest dilemma, and I know the codes would've required time and research to create, I appreciate that but it didn't inspire strong and lasting emotions in me or give me something wholly captivating and original to hold up and say to others "You must read this. It's brilliant because..."
I couldn't connect to Gaia. She was a brave, motherly figure much like her mythological namesake but it was difficult to feel her pain when her parents were taken away because we didn't know them or the state of their relationship. Later on, we saw them in her memories but by then it was too little, too late. The characters in general didn't appear to have distinctive personalities, instead they were classified by two characteristics: the brave and the submissive sheep. They could be in either camp, switch between the two or somehow straddle the fence. That's it, that's all there is to them. One exception is Myrna -my favourite character, an imprisoned doctor, locked up for doing her job but unfortunately we don't spend too much time with her.
Supposedly uneducated in almost every way bar midwifery, Gaia was surprisingly intelligent enough to solve a code in hours that top scholars couldn't crack in weeks. I'm not buying that. Neither am I convinced of her developing romance with her jailer. It's very thin and I'm surprised Leon took to her so easily, risking his life for her when they've only had less than a handful of conversations.
Also, all that running for their lives with a newborn baby in her arms -tricky. I kept expecting it to either cry non-stop or for Gaia to look down and find it dead from suffocation because she was clutching it too tightly in the rush.
I didn't hate Birthmarked, the world-building is good and the lesson "the grass is not always greener on the other side" is a classic but I do question the 'baby quota'. It's tough for me to imagine many women, or men for that matter, would give up their children without a fight no matter what the cost. The bond is too strong. I'm also surprised so many are willing to bear children knowing the risk of losing them. There should be good trade in birth control methods.
Perhaps if the characters were more developed and the book was written in first person I would feel more involved and connected to the action. I'm curious about what life has in store for Gaia next but having read the synopsis and a couple of reviews of Prized I'm not overly enthusiastic about finding out.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Someone pass me a knife, I need to add a number to the body count...No? Okay. Maybe later.
My experience with this is one of enjoyment despite my homi...moreSomeone pass me a knife, I need to add a number to the body count...No? Okay. Maybe later.
My experience with this is one of enjoyment despite my homicidal streak rearing it’s bloodthirsty head whilst reading it. There are some typical YA stereotypes but there are differences that set this apart from the rest. The setting is not Earth, nope, we’re in the future and we’ve left those Earthlings behind to start a better life after fighting for equal rights between humans and shifters. However, the setting feels like Earth which honestly I didn’t mind, there’s too much other stuff to hold the attention though we are reminded by technology and history that this is set a couple of hundred years from now.
Multiple POVs is not something I’m fond of but it totally worked in this. It’s completely character driven and seeing into the minds of the characters was revealing in what was an intricate chess-like game of power-playing. Pieces had to be strategically placed to gain the upper hand and you never quite knew what was going to happen.
Each and every pawn character had an individual personality which is quite a feat with so many in the cast. They all had their motives, pasts and plans for the future. I’m going to give a special mention to Stefan -the opposite of Henry, Britta -Laylah's understanding BFF, Jacques -Henry's Beta and Laylah's guardian and even the villain –the single-mindedly evil Alpha Zina.
As you’ve probably guessed Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy incited very strong emotions in me from the beginning. My protective instincts came out in force for 17-year old Laylah.
From the moment she was conceived Laylah's been in danger. She’s the daughter of a panther mother and werewolf father, and to some is considered an abomination or at least a person of interest (to the wrong people). She's also the target of a hate campaign against her father, Henry for his choice of mate.
Henry. $%&@#! Deep breaths, deep breaths.
Reasons to cause him harm: He suppresses and hides Laylah's nature from her, surrounds her with rules so restrictive she can barely breathe, ordering the staff to lie and basically imprison her in her own home. Whenever they came face to face (a rare event) he was a cold, heartless bastard. Nothing she said or did was ever good enough and everything was her fault. He constantly slapped her down leaving her with no confidence or self-esteem. She was a possession he didn't care for. Where's that knife? I'm getting worked up again.
Bullied at school and with only one friend (Britta, I love you!) –the only one she was allowed, Laylah's life is barely worth living. As a result of being sheltered and beaten down, she's fragile and vulnerable. In both human and were society she'd be considered an Omega and yet her father is Alpha. In some ways she's lucky to have Jacques and Naiya as surrogate parents but they can only do so much for her without disobeying her Alpha father. Their struggle to do what’s right, to protect their charge but also having to hurt her in order to keep their positions and prevent less caring people replacing them was well done.
I'm desperate to give this 4 stars but the language lacks some finesse and I was somewhat uncomfortable with the 22-year-old Donil's over-familiarity with an incredibly naive and repressed 17-year-old Layla, however his gentleness and caring attitude towards her is exactly what she needed in order to learn and grow into the adult she’ll legally be in just a few short months. His advances though felt too predatory and I’m not going to lie –“paedaophile” did pop into my head whenever he was around.
Villian, Zina is obsessed with werewolf Henry, believing he should've picked her -a pure werewolf rather than Helena, a panther. In her mind it's not too late she just has to destroy the obstacles in her way -the wife and the mongrel child. No one knows what she sees in Henry, he's an asshole but then crazy people have their crazy reasons. She goes after what she wants with maniacal glee -manipulating, torturing and murdering her way into getting what she wants.
The time after the major battle confused me. Rushed as it was, I was unsure of what had changed other than Henry’s slightly less spiteful approach to his daughter. Despite this I'm impressed with the political manoeuvring, social interactions and the general choreography of characters. I’m eager to read part two in Werelove saga, Werelove: Midnight Revelations upon it’s release in April 2011.
*round of applause* More! More! Where's the sequel? Damn. There isn't one yet. I'm a little disappointed. I was all ready to do business with that hor...more*round of applause* More! More! Where's the sequel? Damn. There isn't one yet. I'm a little disappointed. I was all ready to do business with that horrible "one-click" button.
We have Carla, a rising musician catapulted 50 years (via a plane crash) into a post-apocalyptic future where women are so scarce they're looked upon with curiosity and lust everywhere they go. Women stealers are everywhere and rape is a near certainty if they walk around unprotected.
In the aftermath of the crash, Carla and Lisa volunteer to find aid for the wounded survivors. They're tricked and sold into a Bride Fight where men fight for the women to become their brides. The women have no say in the matter.
These two get lucky. Their winning males are gentle with them. Carla gets Taye, a hot Native American Alpha werewolf for a mate, who's read many romance novels to ensure he can seduce and please his woman! Lisa, a blond but jealous sex god.
Taye is tender and gentle with Carla, his Lupa. As is his pack. He wants her to be happy so he acquires the most thoughtful presents for her but Carla doesn't give in easily:
"Fire!" She jerked her hand away from him. "Gotta put the fire out...I mean, put wood on the fire!" She squirmed out from under him, fell out of bed in a sprawl of flailing limbs, and scrambled up to lunge for the small woodpile under the window. She blindly tossed some in to the stove and fled to the bathroom.
But when she does. It's not only hot but hilarious. Taye has never seen or touched a naked woman before, and he's mesmerised. He innocently announces the anatomical names of her lady parts as he sees and touches them. Not only that but he insists on a step-by-step seduction process, right out of the romance novels he's studied. A verrry loooong process. He tortures poor Carla. But I can't feel too sorry for her because she gets what she wants in the end. ;)
I'm pleasantly surprised I liked this so much. Usually a short-ish story + debut novel + first in series + paranormal romance = one crappy book. Not so!
I love the premise, the characters have solid personalities and the writing was spot on. The world-building was expertly done. It had a slightly cheesy ending but that's all the bad there is. I enjoyed this immensely.
I'm desperate to find out what happened with the other survivors. How Stag will fare with his mate Sherry who's too scared of his wolf to even begin to consider him as her husband. How Shadow is going to get a very depressed Glory, grieving for the life she's now realised is lost to her, to love him again. And most importantly of all, the outcome of the indication that Quill is interested in Ellie as his mate.
Holy crap! I cannot believe how good that was. And it was a short story too! Is it even possible to write something so...so emotional? So understandab...moreHoly crap! I cannot believe how good that was. And it was a short story too! Is it even possible to write something so...so emotional? So understandable? So relateable? In just a few pages. Even the world-building was superb. It was over in a flash and yet I want more. I'm hungry for it. I felt for the main character, Viola. She was only 12/13. I wanted to cry for her. I'm so happy I all ready have The Knife of Never Letting Go!(less)
A simple yet well-written story with enough background and quirky elements to entice me to head over to Amazon and immediately download Forsaken. Unti...moreA simple yet well-written story with enough background and quirky elements to entice me to head over to Amazon and immediately download Forsaken. Until I saw the words "love square" in the reviews. No. I'm not going there. I'll wait for the sequel's reviews to let me know whether it's safe to continue. It's a shame because it has potential. It reminded me of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan adventures.(less)
Lessons learned: Never trust history. Never trust doctors. Never trust scientists. Never trust technology. Never trust blanket medication.
Overall my exper...moreLessons learned: Never trust history. Never trust doctors. Never trust scientists. Never trust technology. Never trust blanket medication.
Overall my experience with this book was like meeting and falling in love, being excited and happy, then slowly finding out that he's not perfect. He drinks out of the milk carton, he ignores you in favour of sports events and when you finally get his clothes off he's as smooth as a Ken doll but insists he can still have children. Then finding out he's right he can make babies, just not the same enjoyable way everyone else does, which is confusing and unsatisfying.
If you're going to write science fiction, could you at least research the science? Please, please get your facts right, if you don't then you must sell this as fantasy not SF.
I assumed, not even 50% in, that I was reading unscientific science fiction i.e. fantasy. As far as I was concerned the author had made little attempt to research certain aspects of her story so why was I wasting my time reading it? I was THIS close to giving up. It was almost as disastrous as my experience with the scientifically unsound I am Number Four. Little did I know that if I had given up, I would've missed out on the explanations which magically fixed many of the obstacles that I'd previously believed were unquestionably insurmountable because science told me so, and therefore the cure-all bandage Revis slaps on the problems didn't sit right with me. They were hard to accept in the face of catastrophically fatal situations. There is a lesson in this: if it reads like unintelligent drivel some readers may give up on your work before you make the big reveal that attempts to explain the drivel.
Amy's character is well-drawn and her memories and emotions are brilliantly portrayed. I had some difficulty with Elder's character but his personality was a result of Eldest's manipulation and his awakening is caused by Amy's inquisitiveness and tenaciousness. I was glad he was finally able to see the truth of things.
Harley and his girlfriend were an excellent examples of people not being able to cope under the pressure of living on the claustrophobic ship surrounded by fakery (there is no substitute for the real thing) because despite his mood swings and obsession problem they were both perfectly sane, despite being labelled crazy.
It was completely understandable the almost absurd lengths Eldest went to to impose and maintain the many methods of manipulation in order for everyone to survive. Survival was imperative. Quality of life means nothing in the face of that. Or does it? And that's what this questions.
This society may not believe in any religion as we know it but they do have religion: hope. Hope is their "opium of the masses" (a Marxist philosophy on the merits of religion) which is a method of control. By giving the people hope that their sacrifices will ensure that their children will be the ones to one day see real sky above their heads and feel earth beneath their feet, keeps them going, keeps them working, living, breathing. Without hope what is there?
There are moments, scenes, words of wisdom -that are pure genius and others where I felt baffled, confused and angry when I think I'm reading utter crap. Ideas have been stolen from movies like Serenity (Phydus is Pax) and the less popular Demolition Man (being conscious in cryo) which makes me wonder how much of this book is original. There is no romance despite the cover (Elder is interested in Amy but not vice versa), and we know who the killer is before the search even begins. Bevis gets the human element right but the science and mystery completely wrong. It's a real mixed bag and it's difficult for me to determine my position on this book, positive or negative. A five star beginning graduating to a one star ending?
Timeline of my reading experience (i.e. like status updates)
~ Hooked by page 10 and in love by page 11. I am in love. And I am not a cheap date. But why don't they knock 'em out before starting the freezing process? Much less painful and traumatising. This is not something I'd want to go through.
~ I'd want my extra year on Earth back too, honey, but life ain't fair. Best you learn that now. You chose this, I wouldn't have. Deal with it.
~ Reminded of the movie Demolition Man (and a little of The Matrix) here. They're both conscious during their cryo state. How does she not go crazy?
~ Jarred by the second POV, Amy is more than enough for me. I like her. I like her a lot. I want her to live. So why does she never get her blood back during reanimation? She's literally blue-blooded now. She IS a freak!
~ Frexing? Brilly? Chutz? Are there only three new words in 250 years? That's unrealistic. Language in the 1760s was different to today. The author probably should've left these out instead of calling attention to it.
~ Why do they repeatedly say the generational Elder between Elder Jnr and Eldest is dead? He's obviously not. And he's probably the killer.
~ I've noticed a small thing and it's got me thinking about the science in this science fiction. The plague killed off many, decreasing the on-board free-range population to the 700s -this is where I couldn't help but question the MVP (minimum viable population). Taking into consideration the 100 frozen battery humans, I do a quick Google search and the result is not good. Extinction, a foregone conclusion. In theory you need more than 3,000 individuals for a species to survive. So why read the rest? Because I'm in lurve and this will be amazing. Nothing will spoil this. Nothing!
~ I like fresh air. *opens window*
~ That old man. He's going to heaven sooner than he thinks, isn't he? I just know it. Well, that solves the pensions crisis.
~ Um, if incest is an issue with such a small population, why is everyone indiscriminately bonking? Be ready for the possibility of birth defects in the next generation. Also, why are those in their twenties the only ones to go through their Season? Shouldn't everyone older as well as the supposed crazies plus Amy, Elder, Eldest, Doc etc. be bonking their brains out?
~ Halfway in and we've turned away from a possible romance as advertised on the cover and we're ignoring Elder's boner around Amy's red hair. No, now we're solving a murder. Whaaaaat? Elder is all talk. I thought he was going to use that boner to show Eldest who's boss. Er, that didn't come out right. I meant, he was going defy Eldest by making love to that (girl with the) beautiful red hair and then usurp/depose Eldest. Oh, and quietly but quickly solve the whodunnit. Elder is a disappointing hero.
~ I liked my priorities. Why aren't my priorities Amy's priorities. Look, love, you've been frozen for centuries, without boys, there's a cute muscley one in front of you, you have hormones, go get 'im!
~ She refuses to listen. We must find clues to who likes to unplug frozen people. Yawn. We, the reader, all ready know who it is, why bother? There is no mystery to solve for us but we have to watch and wait for the characters slowly put things together. Tedious.
~ Let's get rid of the Hitler-worshipping Nazi instead, shall we? Anything but crime-solving. Anything! A threesome with Harley? It promises to be colourful and sticky. Well, more sticky. No? *whines*
~ CSI:Godspeed is on the job!
~ Those fingerprints tell me the Eldest/Elders are (view spoiler)[clones. I wonder how this came to be and how they're brought to term if they have no mothers. (hide spoiler)]
~ Soon there'll be no frozens left to help colonise Centauri. This ship is doomed.
~ Dragggggging. Not much happening.
*flips to the back*
Oh, a map. I didn't know there was one.
*reads the last 40 pages*
That's it?! That's how it ends?! But...but that was too easy. No mystery to it, and I was right all along. No surprises, no realisation that they're on a failed mission.
Amy should've stayed on Earth, run the New York marathon and married Jason. That was obviously her heart's desire. Her father knew that, it's a shame she didn't. Mind you, it wasn't fair of him to give her the choice at the last minute. She made a decision under pressure and panic had her following her parents.
*back to reading, well, skimming...*
~ Attempted rape. I thought Elder said there was no crime now. Hormones are no excuse.
'And I know without being told that she killed herself. And I totally understand why.' Me too. I don't envy their lives.
~ Incest and MVP problem solved but not in a way I completely accept although I'm feeling very wary of medicine and scientists right now.
~ (view spoiler)[They’ve been travelling for more than 300 years. The Plague –suicide, murder, riots, chaos. A never-ending journey. 250 years behind schedule. (hide spoiler)]I was right, they are doomed!
”People will survive anything for their children.”
p336 ~ The seasons, the generations and other methods of manipulation all make more sense now.
“We’re just pawns. A means to an end. Toys you manufacture to keep playing your game.”
~ SERENITY! – A big whopping dose of the movie, Serenity. Pax = Phydus. No reavers but the other effect of the Pax in varying doses is exactly the same as Phydus. (view spoiler)[Small doses = calm, large does = death) (hide spoiler)]
~ Recycling. They recycle EVERYTHING. People are treated like things. *gulp*
‘[...] I realize the simple truth is that power isn’t control at all-power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to stand on their own.' p344.
I've read the end so...THE END.
*******I apologise for the extra long review but it was the only way to illustrate my frustrations.*******["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Barring the first couple of pages I read this from start to finish in one session. It was that compelling. There were a few short pauses when I was wo...moreBarring the first couple of pages I read this from start to finish in one session. It was that compelling. There were a few short pauses when I was worried about slushy romantic moments but I needn't have worried.
The heroine was strong, brave and despite what she first thought, selfless. She is by no means perfect, she grows and struggles with her nature and identity throughout as she learns to face both her own and other people's fears.
Ultimately this book can be summed up by the following quote by Tris's mother:
"Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us."
This is a truth that is expertly portrayed by the author. We're a flawed race. We will always want something more. Greed, jealousy, ambition, power -we always want what we don't have, or as Tris muses at one point, those in power and value it above all else will, in order to keep it, hand power to those that don't want it, to protect their own positions and aspirations.
Great book. I highly recommend it.
P.S. I'm an Erudite but not a power-hungry one so don't panic.(less)
A post-apocalyptic western with a touch of sci-fi and the paranormal. No speech marks and a writing style that does not include good spelling, punctua...moreA post-apocalyptic western with a touch of sci-fi and the paranormal. No speech marks and a writing style that does not include good spelling, punctuation or grammar. You might be enticed by the former and horrified by the latter but it’s okay, seriously, don’t be put off by it. I didn’t notice it after the first few pages.
In case, I’m losing you and you’re thinking this isn’t for you, it has: Cage-fighting Giant killer worms Strong female characters (Feminists, you will love them) A male love interest with balls, not just empty sacks.
Saba’s voice and personality are unique. She’s a strong woman with flaws. Real flaws. But she’s also extremely loyal and vulnerable. After horsemen attack her family and kidnap her twin brother Lugh 18-year-old Saba cares about nothing and no one but getting him back. She pushes everyone away. She doesn’t have time to make friends or allies - they’re only means to an end. Finding Lugh is everything. Nothing else matters. Or does it?
I was worried about Jack. At first, I thought he was going to be the typical weak YA hero bringing lovey-dovey romance to the book which would’ve been inappropriate but I needn’t have worried. Jack oozes charm and provides light-hearted banter but there are moments when you see his deeper side. He confronts Saba with the truth about herself, forces her to face it, and it hurts. It hurts a lot. He says her 9-year-old sister Emmi would be better off with him than Saba because she cares so little for her and her feelings.
Saba’s never been able to forgive Emmi for killing their mother during childbirth and as a result breaking their father’s heart and robbing him of his sanity. Many times she’s tried to leave Emmi behind with someone she trusts to keep her safe, like she promised her father and brother, during the immensely dangerous journey over wasteland and through barbaric towns but Emmi knows Saba will never return so she always catches up to her. She endures Saba’s mean streak, she stubbornly wants to help find Lugh but she suffers for it. And that’s when Saba starts to realise how badly she’s treated Emmi, when she’s forced to watch someone beat her, unable to protect her, when Jack shows Saba how to patiently interact with Emmi without constantly berating her. Before, Saba only had a twin brother and now she finally has a little sister. It’s heart-warming. I loved it.
Saba gains friends in the Free Hawks, a group of female bandits but she won’t accept their friendship and loyalty. If someone’s going to risk their life, it’s going to be her and her alone. It’s her mission, no one else’s. Even Jack, who you can tell is desperate to get close to Saba is pushed away, often physically. He’s a brave man, chasing a dangerous woman. Saba won’t allow herself feelings for anyone because she’s afraid it will make her weak and distract her from finding Lugh.
Apart from the expert characterisation and development, the writing itself is exemplary. It’s emotive and though some might say it’s sparse on description you still feel the burning hot sun on your skin and know the loneliness of the deadly unending desert. You fear for Saba’s safety, knowing she’s grown up in isolation, and you’re just waiting for something terrible to befall her. It’s intense reading to begin with, building up to something, you just know it but I never found the explosions I was looking forward to; of passion, of realisation, of relief. It didn’t quite happen for me. I think more could've been made of the occasions when lives were in danger and of the grief when they were lost, like it was in the beginning.
And the end left me wanting. Everyone went their separate ways. The characters may have grown but I thought they’d learned that being together as one group meant they were stronger as a whole so I expected them to remain together at least until the fallout of recent events blew over.
As for the plot, saving Lugh involved a deadly superstitious ritual by an insane power-hungry king who rules by doping his police force (the Tonton) with a drug called Chaal, grown by slaves who are also under its influence, and sold to the general public. In small amounts it gets you high –slow and calm, in higher doses it makes you feral, rabid, blood-thirsty.
I didn’t envision the book taking the turns that it did. There were too many convenient coincidences and the need to defeat a crazy dictator, predictable. At times all this felt ludicrous but I tried to keep in mind that there is no “society” now. No infrastructure to speak of. No law and order. It was every man for himself. It was dog eat dog. The survival of the fittest. Any man could build an empire and call himself a king. We’ve regressed back to the times of the Wild West, perhaps even before then. The height of technology is the bow and arrows. Anything more advanced is regarded as “Wrecker tech”. The Wreckers, I’m assuming, is us now. I’m presuming something wiped out much of the world’s population and people left the cities for the country in order survive on the land. I’m got the feeling that this is set in either Australia or the US because of the skyscraper graveyards and the vast deserts.
The paranormal elements are mysterious. You’re not quite sure if they’re real or silly superstition, for instance when Saba’s father reading the future in the stars, or the Heartstone that remains cold until you meet your heart’s desire, when it burns hot. The giant killer worms are mutant creatures evolved from the dumping of illegal chemicals into a mountain lake back in Wrecker times, are mucho scary.
Despite my gripes with this book, I do think it’s worth reading. If you liked Katniss’s strength and survival instinct in The Hunger Games, enjoy the depiction of REAL men and characters that experience tough times and grow from them, then this is for you.
ETA: I've just seen "Tremors". Giant killer worms, people, giant killer worms! They will get you in the end. I see where Young got her inspiration. (less)
Firefly with a paranormal twist. Better than Break Out, Deadly Pursuit continues from where BO we left off.
Al, the small teenage boy, turns out to be...moreFirefly with a paranormal twist. Better than Break Out, Deadly Pursuit continues from where BO we left off.
Al, the small teenage boy, turns out to be Alexia High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life, the 24 year old woman. Suffocating from boredom and lack of control over her high profile life she escapes, disguises herself as a boy and ends up on the spaceship El Cazador.
Both the Collective (people who've taken the expensive immortality treatment Meridian) and now the Church (believe in immortality of the soul which goes to heaven when they physically die) are chasing the crew for the recapture of Jon the werewolf assassin and the return of the High Priestess.
Despite her deception, the crew immediately defend Alexia. She's one of them and they're not going to hand her over if she doesn't want to go. Jon, on the other hand, is wanted for an unknown reason, pointing to a conspiracy so they're not giving him up after they were hired to risk their lives breaking him out of prison until they get some answers.
Alexia is instantly attracted to Jon. Unfortunately her disguise worked only too well, looking like a scruffy child. Her innocence is compounded by the fact that she's a virgin who's lived a sheltered life, and Jon doesn't do virgins. He's a rough, tough, manly 6ft 4 werewolf to her doll-like 5ft 1. He'd break her. But she knew what she wanted and was determined to experience as much of life as could before she was forced to return to her duty so the predator became the prey. Poor man, he had no chance. At least he has a new pack now i.e. the crew and a buddy in Rico despite him being a vampire.
Similarities to Firefly (Rico is Mal with fangs and a lust for blood) and the introduction of shapeshifters, my favourite supernaturals, meant I quite liked this. However, I'm slightly uncomfortable with how Alexia, seconds after being almost raped and killed on two occasions, jumped her mate-to-be's bones. That struck me as wrong since she was beaten and manhandled. I doubt I'd feel up to it if I was in her shoes.
Tannis is next to be matched up with her crush Callum Meridian, the man who first took the immortality treatment and has been transformed by it. They're hired as his bodyguards in the next book.
***Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing the ARC via Netgalley for an honest review.***(less)
Super strong opening chapters with a premise similar to TV’s Dollhouse which although interesting, threw up more questions than answers.
Starters shine...moreSuper strong opening chapters with a premise similar to TV’s Dollhouse which although interesting, threw up more questions than answers.
Starters shines the spotlight on a section of society which is sometimes overlooked or given the least respect but which will in future be the most powerful: the old. One day there will be fewer young people to support the ever-increasing number of elderly citizens, and here we can see how things could change in their favour.
Starters are under 19 years of age, those just starting out in life and Enders are the elderly. The generations inbetween have all died after biological warfare prompted the vaccination of the vulnerable –the old and the young, leaving those in the middle to die prolonged and agonizing deaths.
From the technology available I would guess we’re about 50 years in the future in a post-war America. The reasons for the war aren’t given. All we know is that Pacific Rim countries were involved and that America used an EMP weapon on them and they retaliated with a biologically engineered disease –game, set, match.
The age gap creates a huge gulf between the Starters and Enders. Old legislation addressing the increasing aging population means anyone under 19 cannot work and the large numbers of unclaimed minors whose family have died are unable to legitimately provide for themselves. Orphanages are basically workhouses with inmates treated as prisoners; no one wants to end up there. Squatting and thieving is how most get by, dodging the child-catching Marshals whenever possible. Adoption or fostering seems non-existent. Enders don’t care about Starters unless they’re family. I find this surprising because many Enders would’ve lost children, relatives. Some may be the last members of their families. Hasn’t loneliness spurred any to seek adoption?
The story follows Callie, a Starter, who lost her parents to the war. She has no grandparents and is forced to care for her 7-year-old brother by herself with a little help from Michael, a boy who used to live down the street from her pre-war. They’re currently squatting in an abandoned building practically starving. She can’t bear to watch her sick brother lose any more weight so she visits the not so ethical or legal, Prime Destinations, a place which rents out the bodies of teenagers to Enders who pay large sums of money to feel young again. If she does this she’ll have enough cash to pay for a home and medical care for her brother for the next few years.
For obvious reasons Callie’s reluctant to do this but she has little choice. Unfortunately things don’t go quite to plan, Callie suddenly wakes up in a nightclub instead of the lab and finds out the renter of her body wishes to murder someone. Scared, she pretends she’s her renter to safeguard her payment and attempts to stop her renter from committing this crime which will no doubt lead to her own execution.
Along the way she encounters other renters taking full advantage of their new temporary bodies and think nothing of stealing the lives of the body’s original owners. They take the old adage ‘Youth is wasted on the young’ to heart. These privileged Enders are selfish and greedy. The predatory gleam in the eyes of those at PD were quite creepy, eyeing up the young like they’re cattle for slaughter, salivating at the thought of inhabiting their supple bodies and smooth, wrinkle-free skin. *shudders*
These Enders aren’t your average old people. They live to 200 years old and appear to have no health problems due to advances in medicine, odd because not all Enders are rich and the last time I checked medical care wasn’t free in America so how come none of them appear hampered by age. Sure, some have wrinkles (and others get cosmetic surgery) and watery eyes but no problems running or experiencing a full working life.
Carrie also finds herself spending time with a handsome and rich teen, Blake. Her Prince Charming. Whenever she’s around him the urgency of her predicament, racing-against-time to stop the murder, fades into the background. A day out horse-riding with him and she forgets her responsibilities and starts comparing herself to Cinderella, wondering if the girl from the fairy tale ever considered telling her prince she’s a fraud. I never understood Blake’s appeal considering the over-familiar way he behaves, acting like they’re closer than the strangers they are. And Callie’s ambiguous relationship with Michael –are they more than friends? Even at the end it isn’t clear. Is a love triangle on the horizon?
Reading about how vaccinating the old and young from something so deadly implies this is the wrong course of action generally. Yes, the elderly are an invaluable source of knowledge, wisdom and experience but in a situation where you have limited resources and a serious biological threat, is protecting the weakest to the detriment of the strong really the right decision to make? In this case it left children without parents, manual labour is carried out by those children because the elderly were either too frail or simply felt they were above such work.
The plot is interesting if slightly predictable and the characters are quite thin, I didn't feel particularly attached to any of them. I did have some problems understanding the technology either because we’re given names of something but not what it does or because something we all ready have has been rebranded e.g. Z-mail a.k.a. e-mail, Zing a.k.a. text message –took me a bit to figure that one out. The focus of the book is on the very rich and the very poor Starters but we don't get to see those in the middle, nor do we see any poor Enders. The last page was intriguing but I'm not sure if I'll read the sequel for one reason: the possibility of a love triangle. The rest I believe will be developed and improved upon but I can't abide love triangles.
***Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.***
This is my third free shorty by Sylvia Day and I'm coming to believe I am a fan. Although not one of her best I still enjoyed this no humans involved...moreThis is my third free shorty by Sylvia Day and I'm coming to believe I am a fan. Although not one of her best I still enjoyed this no humans involved erotica with plenty of humour. (less)