I only read this book because I don't like leaving trilogies unfinished, and because there are movies coming. I'd already heard that (view spoiler)[ TI only read this book because I don't like leaving trilogies unfinished, and because there are movies coming. I'd already heard that (view spoiler)[ Tris dies at the end (hide spoiler)], so that wasn't a surprise. And it didn't upset me at all, because (view spoiler)[ I didn't like her anyway. It was badly executed though. The government wasn't going to drop a bomb on the city and kill everyone. They were going to wipe the memories of those inside, so they didn't all kill each other. I'm not sure how the second option is the better one. If Four hadn't managed to convince his mommy that she loved him more than power, lots of people would have died as a result of Tris's actions. The whole plan is ridiculous and her sacrifice is contrived. (hide spoiler)]
As I put in one of my status updates, one of my big qualms of the series was addressed by explaining more about why there were factions. They never made any sense to me. In the real world, everyone would be divergent, because no one is just one thing. Unfortunately, the explanation caused more problems than it solved. There's a vague, supposedly scientific explanation to do with genetics that was obviously written by someone who's not a biologist. If you have a science background, stay far away from this book. (view spoiler)[ Also, where is the rest of the world when these human rights violations are going on? It sounded like this was a USA only thing. No one noticed that the US government was wiping citizens memories and basically putting them in breeding programs? (hide spoiler)]
Fans of this series will probably like (most of) this book. For those who came to the series hoping for the next Hunger Games and finding something that pales in comparison, this book definitely does not redeem the series. Two stars, because I was able to make it to the end.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I loved this book, even more than the first one. The focus is on Ista, the dowager royina, who we meet briefly in the first book. She no longer has anI loved this book, even more than the first one. The focus is on Ista, the dowager royina, who we meet briefly in the first book. She no longer has an obvious role to play in her life, society has decided she is pretty much useless, and she is afraid of being locked in a castle forever living out years of monotony. So, she goes on a pilgrimage and starts a journey that goes places she never imagined. It is unusual to see a fantasy novel about a woman in her 40s, and her life history made the story very engaging. She's haunted by her past mistakes and other people's perceptions/expectations of her.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It won Hugo, Locus, and Nebula Awards for good reason. The first book was great, but this one was even better....more
After struggling through Frankenstein and Dracula back in the day, I was pleasantly surprised at how readable this book was. Of course, it's one of thAfter struggling through Frankenstein and Dracula back in the day, I was pleasantly surprised at how readable this book was. Of course, it's one of the most important and ground-breaking works of horror ever written. It's exploration of the dual natures of man is fascinating and well executed. But on top of that, it's engaging and easy to read, even today. Definitely recommended for anyone who's interested in horror....more
Sad. I wrote a good review for this book, but goodreads ate it, and I'm too tired to write it again. To sum up, I really enjoyed it and if you enjoy wSad. I wrote a good review for this book, but goodreads ate it, and I'm too tired to write it again. To sum up, I really enjoyed it and if you enjoy well written, entertaining stories of investigative journalism, you will too....more
I'm not surprised I didn't like this book very much. I really only read it because I hate leaving series unfinished, and it's a quick and easy read. AI'm not surprised I didn't like this book very much. I really only read it because I hate leaving series unfinished, and it's a quick and easy read. All the problems I had with the first one are still here, with the addition of Tris being more annoying and having a death wish. Will I read the third one? If it was out today, I probably would. Since it's not coming out for awhile, I don't know if I'll care at all by the time it comes out. There is a possibility that the ending could be good, but I don't have high hopes....more
"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."
I really didn't know what this book was about when I picked it up. I sorte"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."
I really didn't know what this book was about when I picked it up. I sorted my To-Reads list by rating, and this floated to the top, so I put in on hold at the library. And everyone who's raving about it is right. This is a great book. It's about a teenager named Karou who goes to art school in Prague, has a best friend named Zuzana who is a puppeteer, and spends her time avoiding her ex-boyfriend and hanging out at the Poison Kitchen. Oh, and she also has a secret life running errands through a portal in Elsewhere for her foster father, Brimstone, a chimaera who trades wishes for teeth. And then everything changes when she meets Akiva, an angel, and learns about the never-ending war between the seraphim and chimaera.
My favorite thing about the book was the writing. Taylor has a command of language rarely seen in a young adult novel. It was poetic and descriptive, without devolving into purple prose. She gave enough details to set the scene without slowing down the plot. From the first sentence, I knew I was in for a treat:
"Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day. It seemed like just another Monday, innocent but for its essential Mondayness, not to mention its Januaryness."
Here are some of my other favorites:
"It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him."
"It was what she had always wanted and thought that she'd found: someone who was for her, as she was for him, whose blood and butterflies sang to hers and answered them, note for note."
I could go on and on. The world building was great. She threw in a lot of little details that made the world feel authentic:
"The Art Lyceum of Bohemia was a private high school housed in a pink Baroque palace where famously, during the Nazi occupation, two young Czech nationalists had slit the throat of a Gestapo commander and scrawled liberty with his blood. A brief, brave rebellion before they were captured and impaled upon the finials of the courtyard gate."
Just a little detail. Has nothing to do with the plot. But it makes the world feel richer and fuller, like this school really does exist in Prague (it doesn't).
I didn't want this book to end, and I can't wait to get the second one....more
This is definitely book two of a trilogy. Don't try to read this one without reading The Name of the Wind or you will be confused. This book was hardThis is definitely book two of a trilogy. Don't try to read this one without reading The Name of the Wind or you will be confused. This book was hard to rate. On one hand, it took me over two months to read it, because I kept putting it down for long stretches. On the other hand, I did keep picking it back up, which says a lot. For such a long book, remarkably little of substance happened. But I really enjoyed reading it. I'm really hopeful that book three will be an amazing end to the trilogy. There are a lot of interesting questions that could be answered in the next book, particularly regarding the discrepancies between Kvothe-that-was and Kvothe-that-is. What happened to him? Is any of his story really true or is he just adding to his own legend? If the ending isn't great, I might have to revise this down to three stars. Even though I enjoyed reading this book, it's an awful lot to wade through if the payoff isn't worth it....more
I thought this was a great followup to Angelfall. The story follows Penryn as she continues to fight for herself and her family in the aftermath of thI thought this was a great followup to Angelfall. The story follows Penryn as she continues to fight for herself and her family in the aftermath of the angel invasion. I really like Penryn as a main character. She's a survivor, she doesn't wait around to be rescued, and she's dedicated to her family. I also really like that there is no love triangle. It's so common to include one in YA books these days, and it gets old very fast. I'm really enjoying this series. It's definitely a different take on angels. I only wish I had found it after the whole series was written. It's going to be quite a wait for book 3!...more
After I saw all the great reviews for this book, I had to see what it was all about, and it did not disappoint. Susan Ee is a strong new voice in ya lAfter I saw all the great reviews for this book, I had to see what it was all about, and it did not disappoint. Susan Ee is a strong new voice in ya literature, and I think she has a long career ahead of her. The world made sense, the characters were well formed, the plot moved forward quickly with a lot of action, and it wasn't too long. The one downside to the book, however, is that it's definitely the first book of a series, and not everything is wrapped up at the end. It left me with a lot of questions (but they are I-want-to-know-more questions, not wtf questions), and now I have to wait for book two!...more
I read this book in 3 days. I could not put it down. It was engrossing, easy to read, and really good. This is a futuristic retelling of Cinderella. CI read this book in 3 days. I could not put it down. It was engrossing, easy to read, and really good. This is a futuristic retelling of Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg, which makes her a second class citizen. She's stuck living with a woman who hates her, making money for the family as a mechanic. And then she meets the prince.
Meyer did a great job with this retelling. It's very strong for a debut novel. The world-building (which is always important to me) was pretty good. It's set in New Beijing, which I think is on the site of current Beijing. There have been 2 more world wars, and the world is a very different place because of it. However, I hesitate to label this as a dystopian novel, because every day life doesn't seem that much different than it is today. It really doesn't seem like a terrible place to live, except for cyborgs, who are basically slaves. That was the one part of the world I didn't really understand. It was never fully explained why cyborgs were treated so badly, except that they have been altered by science. It would be interesting to get more background on the development of cyborg technology and the creation of the laws that govern them.
The characters were also well done. Cinder was very likeable and had a good head on her shoulders. Her house android, Iko, was hilarious and very entertaining. Prince Kai was charming and intelligent, if a little bland.
The ending just left me wanting more. It ends at a satisfying spot, but it doesn't wrap up in a neat little bow. I can't wait to read the second one....more
This is the best book I have read in quite awhile. I really didn't know much about it when I picked it up. I just knew it was about a kid who was visiThis is the best book I have read in quite awhile. I really didn't know much about it when I picked it up. I just knew it was about a kid who was visited by a monster and that it was one of the highest rated books on my "to read" shelf. I didn't even remember why I added it. It turned out to be one of the most heart wrenching books I've ever read. Now, it's possible that's because I tend to stick to lighthearted fare with magic and dragons rather than books set in the here and now with real people and real problems. But I don't think so. It's a good story. It's engaging and well written. And it will break your heart....more