"What about our human rights,' demanded Carl, who'd gathered a small deputation of kids within minutes. 'There is a WAR ON,' said Crewman Devlin, shor"What about our human rights,' demanded Carl, who'd gathered a small deputation of kids within minutes. 'There is a WAR ON,' said Crewman Devlin, shortly. I wondered if this meant grown-ups actually listen to you when there wasn't a war on, because somehow I was sceptical." Teccc - my reading partner - is unquestionably right: The book loses some of its naughty snappiness and sarcasm as it proceeds and it gets more and more predictable after the small, nerdy gang of kids and their maniacally cheerful, robotic goldfish tutor flee the kiddie cadet academy on Mars in a stolen spaceship in order to find adult help or a way back home to earth. Also, the characters - both human and alien - reminded me often of those in "The True Meaning of Smekday".
Still, I enjoyed the story and its messages well enough. As "Smekday" does, it encourages the reader to have a look at the enemy's position/reasons/lack of other options/history, it stresses that there are always people who flourish because of war - career-wise, money-wise or morality-wise (meaning actions which are cautiously sanctioned or meticulously dissected angle by angle in a well-functioning society are overlooked or hastily permitted in war, because survival as a whole is at stake and long-term problems or ethical qualms suddenly play a secondary role to immediate results), and it certainly devises not to give up at any seemingly hopeless point of any endeavor.
The ending wrapped up everything pretty nicely while pointing out that in most disputes compromises have to be tolerated and that the notion to be able to return a society or a country to what it was "before"/in good old times/at a certain point is always unrealistic/undoable. Change happens. I can imagine reading the sequel at some point. Yes, definitely. Goldfish, bring it on!...more
The smalltown Grebe reminded me a lot of Neptune (the hometown of Veronica Mars). It just wasn't as shiny as the little pseudo hollywood and the beautThe smalltown Grebe reminded me a lot of Neptune (the hometown of Veronica Mars). It just wasn't as shiny as the little pseudo hollywood and the beautiful, powerful and ruthlessly corrupt families with their moneyed fingers stuck deep into the police department pie were people who had clawed themselves to the top by spreading their car parts business across the country instead of being software tycoons and film stars.
Romy Grey had a bit of Veronica's personality - and of her burden, too. The drugged party rape with the blank memory and the victim blaming in tow, the unfiltered hate of the town's uppers that is blown towards her, although it had been "caused" by her parents, the steep fall from being the queen bee's pet to the school's dirt rag, her decision to face the crowd each day and be visibly tough about it, the shame, the hard-faced denial of being wounded inside, the reluctance to involve others in her pain and her suffering and finally the jaded opinion of every new aquaintance she makes because of those awful experiences.
The main difference between those girls is that Veronica is out on a mission for cold revenge and for getting justice, which makes her case easier to witness. Occasionaly she brakes down and has a frail, human moment, which tugs on your heartstrings, but otherwise you just root for her and you smirk, when her geniality calculatedly blows in someone's slack-jawed face.
Romy, in comparison, tries to stay under the radar, to not to let herself be jabbed, tripped, terrorized ... killed ... by her menacing peers each new day, to disappear, to forget, to run, to think of her own past as of the misfortunes that happened to another girl. And, feeling unbelievably raw, you cannot help but wonder how she manages day by day, being held together only by several meticulously applied layers of face paint and nail polish....more
Gave up shortly before hitting the 30% mark. My spare time is definitely too precious to waste on boring and puffed-up-to-look-sinister, historial chiGave up shortly before hitting the 30% mark. My spare time is definitely too precious to waste on boring and puffed-up-to-look-sinister, historial chicklit....more
"It's just - a way to go. There isn't only one way to go." I waved at his notes. "You're trying to find a road where there isn't one. It's like gleani"It's just - a way to go. There isn't only one way to go." I waved at his notes. "You're trying to find a road where there isn't one. It's like gleaning in the woods," I said abruptly. "You have to pick your way through the thickets and the trees, and it's different every time."
Well, this has been truely delightful. And completely different from what I expected.
There is a dragon mentioned in the description and the author is Naomi Novik of the Temeraire endlessology. So I had quickly concluded Ms. Novik had just half-recycled her dragon concept while pushing the result into the YA fantasy area. Zero point zero points for my plot anticipation skills. But some lucky badges for choosing to read the story spontaneously anyway (The Goodreads Choice Awards of 2015 might have provided the final persuasive nudge).
Would I be asked to write a short backcover text about "Uprooted", I would readily comply, wording it as follows: Imagine a clumsy girl with the unspectacular gift for gleaning held against her will in a Rapunzel-like tower near to the border of alternative versions of medieval Poland and Russia. Picture her captor, a youngish-looking, but old cynical wizard with the impossible task of keeping vast and spreading maliciously magical wood at bay. Look at that magnificent world-building and think of Baba Jaga, other East European legends and tales, of "Graceling" (Cashore) and of "Nausicaä in the Valley of the Winds" (Miyazaki)....more
**** 3.5 stars **** Melissa Grey's debut tries very hard to be "Daughter of Smoke and Bones", which it certainly isn't on any level: The writing, the**** 3.5 stars **** Melissa Grey's debut tries very hard to be "Daughter of Smoke and Bones", which it certainly isn't on any level: The writing, the characters and their ability to move your heartstrings, the depth of the world-building, its uniqueness, the complexity of the depicted relationships, the grittiness of real war and so forth are not to be found in this story about a human orphan girl who has one of her feet firmly on the inside of the magical world, hopping from one exotic sounding place to another by means of borrowed magic to do shady deals or flashy heists for her paranormal guardians.
But reading Echo's saving-the-world-while-falling-in-love story has been great fun nonetheless - in spite of the otherworldly, insanely gorgeous, immortal guys, the love-triangle, the rather creepy difference in age and life experience between her and her potential lover and the dangling threads of unfinished thoughts.
I can even imagine reading the sequel when it comes out next year....more
I thought I was fed up with dead-sibling-stories. But this one had been different. It focuses mainly on the relationship between Alex and his parents,I thought I was fed up with dead-sibling-stories. But this one had been different. It focuses mainly on the relationship between Alex and his parents, who are as crappy as fictional patents can get. I loved the novel almost as much as Pan's Whisper and it made me a fan of Sue Lawson. I need to read more of her books. Two isn't sufficient - by far....more
"The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly" is a superbly worded cross between "All the Truth that's in Me" (Berry) and "The Chosen One" (Lynch Williams). It ends"The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly" is a superbly worded cross between "All the Truth that's in Me" (Berry) and "The Chosen One" (Lynch Williams). It ends on a hopeful not - if you can call that sudden switch from story to acknowledgements an ending. That discernible sheen of hope is an absolute requirement for a book which intends to worm itself into my heart and earn my lingering adoration. Strangely not finding out what happens to cellmate Angel has been the elements that made that burning pain in my chest refuse to ebb away....more