This is a weird little book. It’s a Twilight Zone sort of homage with this constant sense of terror around the corner. Once you finally find the terriThis is a weird little book. It’s a Twilight Zone sort of homage with this constant sense of terror around the corner. Once you finally find the terrible thing though, it’s nothing like what you expect and things just keep getting weirder and weirder. As the beginning of a trilogy, Annihilation sets the stage for some bizarre adventures in a strange world, but instead comes away as an emotional character arc with plenty of emotional tension, but perhaps lacking a bit in plot or action.
I’ve tried writing this review several times since I read the book some time ago. It’s a weird book and it left me with weird feelings about it. At times I felt dumb for being bored by its lingering analysis of character emotions and back story. Other times I was genuinely creeped out by the mysterious Area X and all the bizarre things that seemed to be happening right outside the corner of the narrator’s vision.
There is a lot in Annihilation and I feel it would take another read through or two for me to fully grasp what it is VanderMeer has created. With an unreliable narrator telling a story from the first person, it’s a challenge to tell what is real and what is just some twisted version of reality. It’s a strange book from beginning to end and, while it’s a quick read, it has meat on its bones that deserve some time to be picked at and consumed. I don’t know if I’m going to move forward with the rest of the series, but I’m intrigued to do a bit of digging to see what other people have thought of the series....more
I really want to give this five stars, but I'm being held back by the severe lack of Samm and what felt like a very quick resolution in the last 40 paI really want to give this five stars, but I'm being held back by the severe lack of Samm and what felt like a very quick resolution in the last 40 pages or so. Everything else about this book was close to perfect, though with most of the characters trekking across large land areas in various groupings, parts did get a little tedious. Some new characters threw wrenches into the system, making for more interesting and unexpected conflicts, and there were some genuinely surprising moments. Very satisfying conclusion....more
This is the type of book that, when you describe what you just read to someone else, sounds like it would be incredibly boring and yet somehow Eric WaThis is the type of book that, when you describe what you just read to someone else, sounds like it would be incredibly boring and yet somehow Eric Walters makes the day-to-day elements of living without power seem incredibly compelling. Then he ramps everything up, puts in a couple of awesome action scenes, and stops.
I'm am upset with him in the best possible way....more
This books starts off as a real slow burn with most of the narrative being about things that have already happened, but once all the groundwork is inThis books starts off as a real slow burn with most of the narrative being about things that have already happened, but once all the groundwork is in place, it really picks up and starts to fly. By the end I wanted to metaphorically throttle Rick Yancey for stopping the book where he did. Not a lot of books literally make my heart pound (and I'm using "literally" correctly here), but there were moments in The 5th Wave where I found myself holding my breath, my heart pounding, unable to put the book down....more
This is a surprising read. I wasn't expecting all the science-y bits and was pleasantly surprised that the author wrote even the technical things in aThis is a surprising read. I wasn't expecting all the science-y bits and was pleasantly surprised that the author wrote even the technical things in a manner that didn't feel like she was talking down or dumbing it down for a YA audience. It got a little preachy towards the end, but overall, I found this book absolutely fascinating....more
This book has left me both speechless and wanting to scream out curse words. It's exponentially better, in my opinion, than Divergent and now I desperThis book has left me both speechless and wanting to scream out curse words. It's exponentially better, in my opinion, than Divergent and now I desperately need the unnamed third book in the series. Wtf, Veronica Roth? Crazy pants....more
My reaction to this book is a little weird. I really enjoyed reading it and wanted to get back to it whenever I had to put it down, but yet after finiMy reaction to this book is a little weird. I really enjoyed reading it and wanted to get back to it whenever I had to put it down, but yet after finishing it completely, I realize not a lot actually happens and I'm disappointed.
I’m going to attempt to be rational about this book and write a fair and balanced review. This is going to be difficult, however, because I just finished it and all I want to write is “OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK!” over and over again with excessive amounts of exclamation marks and yet I know the book has problems. Crossed is the sequel to Matched, a book I read earlier in the year that I enjoyed, but was one of those books I loved more the farther away I got from it. I didn’t do it any favors by reading it right after The Hunger Games series either. The more I thought about the world building, the concepts Condie put inside, and the potential for character growth beyond the stock YA cast, the more I enjoyed Matched. I mean, I gave it a B- in my initial review.
This is not the case with Crossed. I’m on the verge of breaking things in frustration of not having the third book. Yes, I had a few issues here and there that might have been fixed for the finished version, but OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Warning: Spoilers for Matched ahead
I finished my review of Matched with the following words:
I'm left with a lot of questions, mostly background and about all the things that are only hinted at with passing comments. I want to know more about the global situation. I want more world building. I want more Ky being awesome.
And guess what? Ally Condie gave me everything I wanted and so much more. There’s background and world building, views of life outside the Society, the absolutely horrible things the Society is capable of, and above all else, a lot more of Ky being awesome because half of the story is told by Ky.
By the end of Matched, Cassia – our plucky female protagonist – was on her way to a work program with the intent of sneaking out of the Society to find Ky, who had been ripped from his bed in the middle of the night and shipped off to what is essentially boot camp for death. Crossed picks up a few months later when Cassia is almost done with her work program and desperate for a way out to find Ky. He is currently acting as a decoy farmer in an outer province, helping the Society divert the enemy (cleverly referred to as the Enemy) in some long-standing war. Essentially he’s living in an abandoned village with other people deemed not worthy, waiting for a bomb to blow him up.
A lot of convenient plot devices occur and Cassia finds herself in the outer provinces with a boy who knew Ky and promises to help her on her way to find him. Adventure ensues. People are dramatic. A lot of poetry is thought about. In context, I should not really like this book. It’s romance-y. Everyone is pining after each other. And yet…
For a book that doesn’t take place in any of the Society world I found so fascinating, this book hooked me from the beginning and didn’t let me go. I was horrified by what Ky had to go through, anxious to see when Cassia and Ky would be reunited (I stayed up until 1am one night in hopes I would be able to reach their reunion before I went to sleep), and eager to see what happened after. The rebellion alluded to in Matched acts as a strong catalyst in Crossed, driving the action of the story once the inevitable reunion is made. Also, can I say how glad I am that the separation wasn’t dragged out for the entire book? That was a huge relief....more
This book is bizarre. The concept of it shouldn’t work and yet somehow it does. Marion manages to retuRead the full review at Working for the Mandroid
This book is bizarre. The concept of it shouldn’t work and yet somehow it does. Marion manages to return some sort of humanity back to the zombie lit cannon, which seems wrong on so many levels. Our protagonist, simply known as R, is likeable even when he’s eating people. The story is told from his first-person point-of-view, which means there’s a fair amount of philosophical wonderings on the meaning of life and what went wrong in the world to cause the devastation that surrounds him. Despite having lost everything, he’s still compelled to keep moving on by the virus that has taken over his being.
Honestly after the first chapter, I had no idea where this story would take me and the suspense in its short 250 pages never stopped. When I’d feel I had a handle on how the rest of the book would go, it surprised me yet again. Yes, there are a few ideas that called for an even farther suspension of disbelief than already required for a tale about a bunch of zombies. Once or twice these occasions were jarring enough to make me wonder why the author made the literary decisions he did, but he always managed to keep the pacing steady and the characters realistic (or at least as realistic as things in this situation can be). For the most part, the characters’ decisions made sense and the relationships being built seemed authentic and fit well within the whimsical nature of the story.
Marion tells an epic story on a small scale, somehow fitting so much into such a short book. I think that’s what allowed it to work as well as it did – had he dwelled on more of the philosophical issues and the small things happening beyond the R’s immediate point of view, everything would have become more repetitive. I did still have a bundle of questions by the end that had gone unanswered, but they weren’t entirely pertinent to the storytelling at hand. By the end, I didn’t even really feel like I was reading a book about zombies, since that aspect of the character seemed secondary in comparison to the person....more