I created a shelf just for this, because it's tough to really describe and review this book. I mean, it's literally about bees. It's a book with all tI created a shelf just for this, because it's tough to really describe and review this book. I mean, it's literally about bees. It's a book with all the hallmarks of a dystopian novel, but IT'S ABOUT BEES. It's so different from anything I've read, simply because of the fact that it's about bees, that it's tough to review.
Ashley made a pretty good attempt at reviewing this, and much better than mine.
(I can say that if this were a novel about humans, I would have very early given up at how special a Mary Sue Flora is. But I was so fascinated by the fact that IT IS ABOUT BEES that I couldn't do anything but keep reading.)...more
I kind of enjoyed this one, even though there were aspects of it that I didn't quite get into as much as other aspects.
The dystopian setting seems toI kind of enjoyed this one, even though there were aspects of it that I didn't quite get into as much as other aspects.
The dystopian setting seems to be a little out of left field, but it works for what the author is trying to do when it comes to the star-crossed lovers trope. The setting is about all that's truly interesting about the dystopian setting here. Where the novel really works, for once in this genre, is in the romance between Sol and D'arcy. It's a great slow build, and when we focus on the pair, it works greatly. Sol doesn't let her mission go astray when the romance builds, either. Instead, she keeps forging forward, even though her mission (which the entire plot is based around) started with a terrible decision and keeps moving forward thanks to Sol sort of falling into the plots others have set up.
It feels weird, being pleased with the romance in a YA dystopian novel. So, so weird....more
There is nothing interesting or new in this one, just another paint-by-the-numbers dystopian novel with lots of twists and secrets and action aBoring.
There is nothing interesting or new in this one, just another paint-by-the-numbers dystopian novel with lots of twists and secrets and action and instalove triangles and characters I barely remember at all. I did skim the last half of the novel, but at that point I was bored and only wanted some answers to all the secrets flying around.
One good thing: Gray gets answers pretty quickly (and more questions, but then those get answered as well). That was nice....more
Finally finished this in a blurry haze last night (some of that blur came from tears, I'll admit) and like every other David MActual review (sort of):
Finally finished this in a blurry haze last night (some of that blur came from tears, I'll admit) and like every other David Mitchell book I've read, I'm completely unable to write a review.
The Bone Clocks doesn't quite reach the dizzying heights Cloud Atlas did for me -- will any book? -- but there's some damn good character work here. The fantastical aspect is intriguing and unique, as far as I can tell. Though it took a while for the fantasy to be more than just bits and pieces in the first few sections, when we finally reach the actual meaty plot of the novel, we've traversed decades and touched different aspects of Holly Sykes' life through her eyes and the eyes of others who knew her.
Each character section is incredibly compelling, with the sort of full immersion that Mitchell is a master of - Holly sounds completely different from Hugo and Crispin, etc. Crispin Hershey was probably my favorite of the character studies, considering just how much development he goes through. By the time his section ended, I was...angry, I'd say? So much going, and to have it just stop was frustrating.
That's the mark of how easily it was to get into the heads of these characters - unfortunately, in the case of Hugo Lamb. Ugh. Uuuuggghhhh.
I won't lie and say I wasn't super excited to see some familiar names from other Mitchell novels. It makes it feel like there's some larger, interconnected universe at play, and I like thinking that all the characters I've loved from his other novels are still wandering around, having lives and interacting just slightly with other characters.
Anyway. I suppose that was something of a review. A mess, I'd say, but after reading hundreds of pages of David Mitchell, anything I write anywhere would seem a mess.
Here's to another few years waiting for a Mitchell novel!
August 8th edit: LESS THAN ONE MONTH LEFT!
This wait is just as terrible as the waits between Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet -- I'm used to waiting for books from you, David Mitchell, BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY EASIER.
I'm just gonna go keep re-reading his twitter short story The Right Sort until then, I guess. Sigh.
Original ridiculous note: What do I have to do to get this in my life NOW??
For a summary that promises lots of awesome action and a cover that gorgeous, Night Witches was a let down.
It has all the tired cliches of a dystopiaFor a summary that promises lots of awesome action and a cover that gorgeous, Night Witches was a let down.
It has all the tired cliches of a dystopian romance, and none of the interesting aspects were strong enough to overcome that. There was a lot of time spent on the more awesome parts - the night bombing badassery - but that was overshadowed by Rain's naivety and confusion about how she was changing. If I had to see "witches don't exist!" one more time, I was going to punch someone. (And seeing as how the only person close enough was my sleeping boyfriend, that would have been bad.)
The dystopia is boring. It's that same old "don't be unique, everyone fall in line" with science being king and any Old World superstitions are what get you taken away and killed by the government.
The romance here is lukewarm at best. I'm still not sure just how the pair fell in love, and they rarely do anything besides look at each other with fuzzy feelings. Also, I got the impression that Rain was maybe twelve-ish, and if Reek is a teen old enough to lose his night vision (that's a thing), then he's probably what, fifteen? Sixteen? Yeah, not an age gap that is appealing. At all.
Then there's climax. Like the author remembered there should be some action and some kind of resolution, but didn't know what to do, so a deus ex machina was thrown in to wrap things up and tada!
No, thank you.
The more I write of this review, the more I realized this book is more of a two star book, not a 2.5 rounded up. What a waste of a fantastic cover....more
The Glimpse is an odd little book. Under the dystopian genre, you can do just about anything you want to crOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
The Glimpse is an odd little book. Under the dystopian genre, you can do just about anything you want to create a dystopian world. Make love a disease? Sure. Have people die at age 20/25? Why not! Create a religious state? Go for it! But you have to be careful, well-researched, and most importantly, conscientious when you pick a topic that is sensitive to many readers. When She Woke treated religion very well, presenting both good and bad sides without feeling like the author was talking down to the reader from a soapbox. Delirium did a good job in showing how the heroine is shaped by the dystopian environment she grew up in, as did Wither.
Sadly, The Glimpse doesn’t do exactly what it should; it simply beats the reader over the head with “crazies” and “pures” and mental asylums as we follow Ana’s journey. Like most heroines in dystopian YA lately, she’s grown up with an idea of how the world should work, and that should be enough to forgive her for the way she looks down on those with mental illness.
But it isn’t.
Ana is an incredibly frustrating character to follow. From the start, we’re with her as her whole world shatters when she’s told the truth about her mother: that she was a crazy, and Ana was a carrier as well. Except…nothing happens to her. Not until her future husband is kidnapped and she suddenly makes the decision to leave her gated community for the dirty, crazy streets of London. Despite her adventures on her own, from meeting and falling for a supposed terrorist to admitting herself into a horrifying mental asylum, Ana doesn’t seem to grow. Her experiences open her eyes to what the world is really like, yes, but as far as I felt, she never really has a light bulb moment. She doesn’t really change, and that’s not fun to read.
I’d talk about the secondary characters, expect none of them really stuck in my mind or stood out. Jasper was bland and Cole, the supposed terrorist she falls in love with, wasn’t any better.
As for the plot, I couldn’t care one bit. It didn’t move along as fast as it could have, and everything crawls to a stop when Ana ends up in a mental asylum for reasons I won’t go into because they might be considered spoilers. The whole mental asylum section…I have a problem with abuse perpetrated simply for the sake of a) making the character suffer, and b) being shocking.
And after all she goes through, does Ana even think ‘hey, that mental asylum was awful, maybe I should do something about it’, or I don’t know, think something like that? Nope.
That was my main problem with the book — for all that Ana goes through, it doesn’t seem to change her as a character. She sees the world in a different light and can’t stand her situation anymore, but she’s still the same boring character she is at the start of the novel, and I didn’t care less how the novel ended, just that it did....more
The Immortal Rules is everything I wanted and didn’t get out of Julie Kagawa’s popular Iron Fey series.
In a post-apocalyptic, vampire-ruled future, we’re introduced to Allison Sekemoto, a human fighting to survive in a city where starving is just as popular a death as being drained by a vampire. She’s incredibly fierce and strong from the word go, willing to do anything to keep herself and her crew alive. Which leads to a decision that gets them all killed (bad luck there, girl), and while Allie is on death’s doorstep, a vampire offers to help her by turning her. Though she hates vampires, she fears death even more, and accepts.
I knew from the very moment she admitted she’d rather be a thing she hated than face her fear of death that I would love Allie. While she’s very strong and incredibly principled, she still has a vulnerability to her that’s easy to relate to, and she doesn’t overdo the “I’m a vampire, woe is me” angst too much. Julie Kagawa struck the perfect balance here.
Also perfect is the pacing and action. While we do spend time with Allie as she learns what being a vampire entails, everything still moves at a whip crack pace; the seeds of vampire politics are sown, and when she’s suddenly thrust out on her own into the unforgiving world at large, it makes sense. From there it’s scene after scene where everything’s always moving at the perfect pace — slow enough for characterization and tension build up, but fast enough that you’re never bored and keep the pages turning.
The secondary characters were drawn nicely, though some more than others. Zeke turns out to be a wonderful romantic foil for Allie, though he did seem a little too perfect at times. Jeb, the leader of the wandering humans Zeke belongs to, is just as strong a presence as Allie is. Also great is Allie’s sire, Kanin, who leaves a strong impression with what page time he has. The rest of the characters sort of blend together, apart from the one catty girl who hates Allie just because she’s in love with Zeke, too. It’s the one aspect of the novel I hated, simply because it didn’t need to be there.
All in all, The Immortal Rules is an explosive start to a vampire series, with a main character who holds a ton of promise. Everyone should check this one out....more
Though labeled as the sequel to 2010′s Ship Breaker, The Drowned Cities is more a novel that takes place in the same universe as the first, and includes one of the minor characters from Ship Breaker to great effect.
The Drowned Cities is not an easy novel to stomach. It’s a story of war, and what that does to a world, from the top of society all the way down. We follow the story of Mahlia, a girl who’s seen the worst of war in the past, and her friend Mouse, a young boy who gets caught in the great war machine. Then there’s Tool, a genetically created half-man, half-animal that somehow has broken free of his training. Between the three characters, there isn’t much to the ravages of war that isn’t touched.
Mahlia is an incredibly strong character, someone who is hard to stomach but easy to root for. She knows what it means to be an outcast, to survive on the outskirts and in the middle of a war when she needs to. Scrappy, independent, hard, she forges her way through the drowned cities of a future war-torn America to save her friend. Mouse is a little harder to take as a character, and it’s the sympathy of his storyline that got to me. He gets caught up in the war, becomes a soldier boy, and watching his initiation and bonding with his fellow boy soldiers is painful. And it’s real.
Then there’s Tool. Tool, who is such a great force that he overshadows Mahlia and Mouse. He’s got such an amazing presence that it’s hard to pay attention to anything else. Mahlia has her moments to shine beside Tool, but he’s the real star of the novel, in my eyes. He embodies the questions of genetic manipulation, of what it means to have humanity, what it means to be free of your own accord. The fact that he’s a terrifying killer on top of it all seems to be just another aspect of Tool’s personality, which is something I have to applaud Bacigalupi for. He’s created a character so realized, you can’t help but cheer him on and be repulsed by him at the same time.
The Drowned Cities explores what it means to be human, and what horrible things we can do to ourselves and to others if we keep going down the route we are. It’s such a great, great read....more
Between glowing reviews on Goodreads and all the awards it’s received, I don’t know why I took so long gettOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
Between glowing reviews on Goodreads and all the awards it’s received, I don’t know why I took so long getting around to reading The House of the Scorpion. The novel follows the tale of Matteo Alacran, a boy who was cloned from El Patron, drug lord and head of a country called Opium. The world building in this dystopian future is lovely; not too much exposition, but enough backstory that you know how they came to be where they were.
As we follow Matt’s life from his “birth” to his teens, we’re smacked with all the familiar question when it comes to clones: are they really human? Will nature or nurture decide who they become? All these questions are handled with care and wonderful writing by Nancy Farmer. I fell for Matt immediately; he was a completely filled in character, from his own questions about his mortality and morality to the way he interacts with other people and the world around him.
The only problem I had with The House of the Scorpion was about the last quarter of the book, where a whole host of new characters are introduced, and Matt is thrown into an even newer situation for no reason that I could see. I understood how he got there, but it felt like the novel could have ended on the same note it did without that interlude.
Overall, though, The House of the Scorpion was an interesting and engaging take on clones, dystopias, and what it means to be human....more
I gave this a good try, I really did, but when I hit page 100, I realized I wasn't connecting with our heroOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
I gave this a good try, I really did, but when I hit page 100, I realized I wasn't connecting with our heroine or her friends at all. The dystopian element was interesting (a world where people are separated in class by what language they speak) but it wasn't enough for me. I can forgive not connecting with a character or weak world building, but I can't do both. Maybe I'll give it another try in the future since it had the misfortune of following an amazing stretch of books. ...more
Honestly, I wasn't so blown away by Partials. I love me some post-apocalyptic dystopian YA, and it's even bOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
Honestly, I wasn't so blown away by Partials. I love me some post-apocalyptic dystopian YA, and it's even better when cylons human-looking androids are the ones who destroyed the world. RM is a virus that killed most humans, and kills babies days after they're born. The human race is dying off, and Kira, teenage medic and doctor in training, decides she's going to cure it. By kidnapping a Partial, the robots that destroyed humanity. Kira was a strong protagonist, I can't deny that, but it mostly felt like she was off doing what she did because she was incredibly stubborn and couldn't even consider the fact that maybe, I don't know, she was being crazy. It would have helped if all the adults in the novel weren't written as roadblocks for Kira or totally eeeeevil~ conspirators. ...more
I loved Divergent, as everyone seems to have, and was so excited for Insurgent when it finally came out. StOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
I loved Divergent, as everyone seems to have, and was so excited for Insurgent when it finally came out. Starting out right after the events of the first book, we dive deeper into Tris’s world as she learns more about how the other factions live — including the factionless. Insurgent did a great job expanding on the universe itself, and I loved learning about the other factions and the people living there. Emotionally, Insurgent is a hard book to take; Tris has the weight of the world on her shoulders, and things with Four aren’t as perfect as we’d all like them to be. I didn’t mind the heaviness, but I would have liked a little more common sense between Tris and Four instead of the constant emotional whiplash we’re treated to.
Then there’s the huge cliffhanger at the end of the book. Just…what? I saw it coming in the last quarter of the book, but that still doesn’t make me boggle any less.
Insurgent‘s a pretty solid second book in this series, but it didn’t live up to the awesomeness of Divergent, in my eyes....more
With so many rave reviews on Goodreads, I was looking forward to Article 5, but uuugghhhh it fell totally fOriginally posted at The Wandering Fangirl.
With so many rave reviews on Goodreads, I was looking forward to Article 5, but uuugghhhh it fell totally flat for me. It was an easy read, one I did it two short sittings, but I didn't particularly enjoy it. When creating a dystopia like the one in Article 5, you need to at least have some sort of explanation. "The was a war and there's an overly-religious government in place and btw this happened only a few years ago" does not a good dystopia make. On top of that, Ember, our main character, was so hard for me to like. She seemed so naive and stupid, and if she was written that way because she was totally sheltered her whole life, cool. If not, well. Ember's constant questioning of Chase, her former love and rescuer, drove me up a wall. So did their lack of communication, angst and constant second guessing what each other said because they were both so hurt by the other. Too much drama, man. ...more