Monster Republic is the first book in a new series by Ben Horton. It's told in the third person narrative and although there are several interesting cMonster Republic is the first book in a new series by Ben Horton. It's told in the third person narrative and although there are several interesting characters, it focuses mainly on the character of Cameron.
Cameron is popular, sporty and good looking. He has everything going for him, including the prettiest girl at school as his girlfriend. But there is one thorn in his side and that's Carl, the school bully. While visiting a nuclear power plant there is a huge explosion after which Cameron wakes up to find his life has changed forever and he's not sure who to trust. Then he realises he's not the only one who's changed when he comes face to face with his girlfriend, who sure sounds a lot like Carl!
A young girl brakes him out of hospital and takes him back to a group who call themselves Monster Republic. They have formed the group so all unsuccessful experiments, like Cameron, have a safe haven. But Cameron doesn't want to just hide away and so sets out to bring down the man who made him into a monster.
This is a really fast-paced, gripping novel. It may be aimed at the young adult reader, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and in fact couldn't put it down. Although there were times, as an adult reader, I felt a little more detail was needed, this didn't deter me from this very well written action packed story. The writer is successful in making the characters believable and well rounded and gives them enough emotional depth to enable you to either love them or loath them, depending on if they are the good guy or the bad guy.
"The eye that gazed out from the metal plating looked more like a camera. It's cold, glassy lens stared back at him from alongside a living, human eye, daring Cameron to keep looking. Sending him the clear and brutal truth: This is you."
"'No,' he whispered to the monster in the glass. And he watched it shaking its hideous head. 'That's not me. You're not me.'"
I wish the story continued for longer than its 275 pages, as it ended way too soon for me, which only makes me that much more impatient for the next installment in this brilliant new series. I have a feeling that this book is going to be hugely popular in 2010! I highly recommend it, so when it's released, go guy it, you won't be disappointed!
After reading the synopsis I was really looking forward to immersing myself in this book. Sadly it didn't quite deliver. It did keep my attention andAfter reading the synopsis I was really looking forward to immersing myself in this book. Sadly it didn't quite deliver. It did keep my attention and some of the passages were exciting, but the characterisation was underdeveloped for my taste and there were several points that as a woman, hit a nerve.
There are many personalities that we are introduced to and for me there were too many. The main two are Sorcha, a focused, driven and if somewhat brainwashed soldier whose sole purpose is to serve and then die a 'glorious death' (meaning to die in battle). Professor Helms, a genius whose actions contradict, until we are given answers halfway through the book, and who I also become to like, even though the ending for this character is a little cliched. There are many other characters who play a large part in the story and there's a lot of dialogue between them, but there is not enough inner reflection. With the exception of Dr Hugo Daal, who is exceedingly irritating in my opinion, I didn't really get to know any of the characters and to completely immerse myself in a novel I have to know the characters and their thoughts.
There's a lot of double-dealing, lies, secrets and they are all revealed by the end of the book, which was rather satisfying. I'm not one for ambiguity in a stand alone novel. There are deaths of certain main characters, which I'm sure should have caused a gasp or two when they were killed, but because I didn't really get to know the characters, the shock was never felt. To be honest I didn't really care.
The most disappointing aspect to this novel is that the typical stereotypes are all still here. Even though, as a species, we are now able to travel to distant planets and completely take over with apparent ease. Even though we are now able to live for hundreds of years. Even though we have moved on so much in so many ways, women are still sexual objects treated like inferior beings.
Women soldiers are fondled, groped, sexually abused and raped (as most of the sexual encounters that were hinted at were against the woman's wishes). This is not what I enjoy reading about. Even Sorcha, an intelligent, high ranking soldier, had to succumb and fall for a guy, (professor Helms), and act like a love sick school girl. She hated him, then loved him, then hated him again. And although he was described as a not very attractive man or particularly appealing physically, somehow he was just so amazing in bed then she managed to organism five times in a row! Hmmm... Really?
Apart from the very obvious sexism, this book did have some good qualities. Palmer's world-building is pretty detailed, although at times complex. The description of the planet and it's inhabitants are excellent. I enjoyed reading about the intelligence of other life-forms, but then saddened to think that we as human being could just wipe out an entire planet for our own uses. Then again, a species will always fight to survive, so I suppose if we had nowhere else to go and our own species depended on that particular planet to live, maybe I could see us performing such a terrible act.
Red Claw is an interesting read and at times exciting. It did keep my attention, but overall there were just too many points that were of the negative kind and kept me from really enjoying it. And lastly, I didn't like the cover either.
I actually gave this 5/10 on my blog but Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars....more
"Nylon Angel" is the first book in the 'Parrish Plessis' sci-fi series by Marianne de Pierres. I don't read an awful l7/10 on my blog: Book Chick City
"Nylon Angel" is the first book in the 'Parrish Plessis' sci-fi series by Marianne de Pierres. I don't read an awful lot of sci-fi but when I do it's usually been a male author, with male characters and rather hard core sci-fi at it's root. Because of this, although I enjoy it, I have to be in the mood for it and the mood doesn't come along that frequently.
When deciding which book to read for my "women of science fiction" event, I decided on "Nylon Angel" and it was this quote that clinched the deal: 'A kick-ass girl surviving in an ultra-violent world run by the media... This is a character driven series that should gather a strong following in much the same way as Anita Blake' THE BOOKSELLER - this book was exactly what I was looking for for my event...and it didn't disappoint.
It had everything I love about urban fantasy but in a sci-fi setting: character driven story, check - kick-arse girlie, check - similar to Anita Blake, double check. The quote is totally on the money. Parrish is real, strong, independent and kick-arse, and has some seriously cool moves, but she's also flawed and vulnerable and has an interesting background which gives her the depth of character I love in my urban fantasy heroines, and now I have it in sci-fi! I honestly didn't know it existed!
There are two cities the story revolves around: Vacinity and Tert. The former is for the rich and the latter for everyone else, where gangs dominate and food is hard to come by. It begins with Parrish trying to escape the clutches of Jamon Hondo, a horrid character that rapes and abuses her. She's given a way out by stealing something from Vacinity only to become a scapegoat and accused of murder.
I loved Parrish from the first page - this is a girl after my heart. She's a determined soul and doesn't stop until she finds out the truth. She has a seriously troubled past which keeps her guarded towards others and makes her the independent woman she is. I loved her feisty, fighting nature.
There is a lot of action in "Nylon Angel", a bit of mystery and a smidgen of romance. All these threads kept me turning the pages; each story is exciting and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.
The romantic aspect is very secondary to Parrish and her plight, but it's still good. Parrish meets a mysterious guy called Dark (but eventually finds out his real name is Daac). The chemistry is instant for me, although it wasn't to them. This is a romance that I feel will be a slow burner. I'm also very interested in how the relationship evolves as things don't end well between them and the ending is certainly intriguing.
The supporting cast of characters are also well written and each one has their own story. But I never knew who to trust - they all have their own game plan.
This is a very good start to a series and sets the scene nicely for further books. The characters are brilliantly written and I just can't wait to read how Parrish evolves. I really enjoyed this book and if you love character driven stories that are gritty, dark and exciting, then look no further. I've already bought book two - 'Code Noir' :)...more
Boss is a loner - she seeks out old ships to dive, not to loot, but for its historical value. She also prefers her own company and doesn't really inte Boss is a loner - she seeks out old ships to dive, not to loot, but for its historical value. She also prefers her own company and doesn't really interact with people or have any friends. When she finds a space ship that is five thousand years old, human made and shouldn't be in this sector of space, she groups together a team to help her explore the ship.
Her interactions with her crew are somewhat cold and matter-of-fact, as is her narration. There's no warmth or show of emotion, to her fellow crew mates or to the reader. But Boss is not hard, just closed off and as we read further the prologue becomes clearer and we get to understand why she is the way she is.
There is no real build up to the story as it jumps in straight away into the action and Boss finding the ship. But we soon realise that this isn't the primary story but the lead up to it. As the story progresses from finding the ship to being hired to find a man who has been lost a place called The Room of Lost Souls, it becomes apparent that this is a personal story, Boss's story and it becomes a personal mission and not just about the exploration of an historical ship or finding The Room.
The story picks up pace about half way through and becomes exciting as Boss learns about The Room of Lost Souls where she last saw her mother alive. She begins to offer glimpses into her past, her pain, her mother's death and her strained relationship with her father and we get to see this more as she is reunited with him after years of ignoring his calls and messages. We begin to learn and understand why she is such a loner and so private. But as we get to know her so do the other characters in the book. She opens up more, shows emotion, especially with the deaths of her friends.
Boss is a complex character and although there is not a huge amount of dialogue in the book we get the feeling of so much history, so much has gone on in her life that she is an immensely interesting character and I enjoyed getting to know her very much. I wish there was a sequel to this book so I could keep up with her life and get to know her more.
The story is great too and if you are new to science fiction a great book to start as the sci-fi jargon is kept to a minimum and all scientific explanations are easy to follow. I enjoyed the descriptions of Boss's world in space. I must admit the ending surprised me a little - to end with a 'if you can't beat them join them' attitude was quite a change in direction and I felt went against Boss's whole character. However, It didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book and I wasn't disappointed.
I found Diving into the Wreck to be an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable read. For me my favourite part was pealing away the layers of Boss's personality. If you enjoy a strong, complex heroine and an exciting plot, then this is definitely the book for you. I will certainly be checking out Rusch's back catalogue. ...more
This book is worth reading for the fantastically imaginative setting alone. Set in the futureReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
This book is worth reading for the fantastically imaginative setting alone. Set in the future when the world has been consumed by the oceans. People live in cramped high rise blocks on the limited land available, lucky to have two rooms per family. But there are some that choose a very different life entirely and decide to live the 'darklife' and make their homes at the bottom of the sea.
Now, if you like me think that living at the bottom of the sea means a life in oppressive submarines, think again. Kat Wells' under sea world is magical and vividly drawn. With homes built from jellyfish style structures, liquid gel that means people can dive without the risk of decompression sickness, electricity and entire farms and rural wildlife surviving in this new world, as well as dangerous deep sea creatures. It really is fabulously clever.
Ty has lived on the ocean's floor all his life. At fifteen, he was the first child to be born and live his entire life under the sea. But there are rumours that this new life damages children, giving them a 'darkgift', a new supernatural ability. Which has made topsiders suspicious of darklifers and other people reticent to try this new life for themselves.
Then, during a dive Ty meets Gemma. Gemma is a gutsy topsider searching for her missing brother. But the more Ty and Gemma begin to investigate and look for Gemma's brother, the more they begin to realise things are really not what they seem in this new world.
This book has a nice element of drama to it. With an underwater outlaw group raiding homesteads and submarines, a small murder mystery, as well as the dangers of the deep. It's actually a really absorbing read.
As Ty is fifteen, I would say that this book is on the younger side of YA. But it's pitched really well, with just a small romantic element. Ty is grown up and brave for his age, and a really engaging main character. As this is slightly on the younger side, I probably would not have picked this book up ordinarily if it had not been sent to me for review, which would have been a real shame, because I really enjoyed it. But more than anything I just loved the deep sea world.
A great book with a spectacular world setting that will appeal to adults both young and old. This is one of those books I would love to see translated into film, because of its cinematic quality....more
This is the first book in the The Uglies Trilogy series by Scott Westerfeld. Uglies was quite a roller coaster for me to read. One minute I was enjoyiThis is the first book in the The Uglies Trilogy series by Scott Westerfeld. Uglies was quite a roller coaster for me to read. One minute I was enjoying it, then I was bored, then I was enjoying it again. Happily though my overall feeling was that I really enjoyed it. For the most part is was fast-paced, with great characters and a great story.
It's three hundred years into the future and the main protagonist, Tally, is anxiously awaiting to become a 'Pretty'. But she has to wait until she's sixteen. Tally lives in Uglyville and is an 'Ugly'. Her best friend Peris is already a Pretty and lives in New Pretty Town and she misses him a lot. Along comes Shay, another Ugly and they become fast friends. Shay tells Tally of another place called The Smoke where Uglies live out their lives without becoming Pretty.
For the majority of the story Tally is pretty adamant that she wants to become a Pretty, brainwashed into thinking that anyone other than a Pretty is downright ugly. This has blinded her to what's really important, the person you are on the inside. But she's seduced by the Pretties lifestyle of parties and fun, their unblemished, perfect skin, plump lips and big beautiful eyes.
But when Shay tells Tally that she's running away to join the other Uglies in The Smoke, Tally cannot understand why. Why would Shay not want to be pretty? After Shay leaves, Tally is lonely but she believes she has made the right decision. She doesn't want to be ugly any more. On the morning of her operation things don't go to plan and she's taken to Special Circumstances where she meets Dr Cable who blackmails her into infiltrating the others at The Smoke by being a spy.
The journey to The Smoke is where I became slightly bored. I wanted action and yet it slowed down quite a lot in terms of pace and I struggled. But I'm so pleased I continued as it got better and better with each chapter.
Once in The Smoke, Tally's life really changes. She meets David and other Uglies that are living very much in the wild. In The Ruins of a city past. Her perception of the Uglies slowly changes and her outlook on life as a Pretty and what she thought it would be like is turned upside down when she discovers a secret. A conspiracy. And it shocks her to the core. In the end Tally makes a decision that will change her world forever and maybe the lives of those around her.
I really enjoyed seeing Tally evolve from a brainwashed young girl into a young woman with her own mind. The characters are well rounded and the relationships between them are believable. There's even a little bit of romance, but not a lot. The story ends on a slight cliffhanger, which has me itching to begin the next installment. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to young adults and adults alike.
I actually gave this 7/10 on my blog but Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars!...more