I was hoping a reread would change my ambivalent feelings toward Across the Universe. No such luck.
Even when writing sci-fi space futuristic detective...moreI was hoping a reread would change my ambivalent feelings toward Across the Universe. No such luck.
Even when writing sci-fi space futuristic detective thriller you have to abide by the rules of nature and especially the rules you established as a writer and creator of that particular universe. There is just no excuse for breaking them and using shortcuts. Setting you book aboard a spaceship doesn’t justify the plot holes by any means. Treating hormones, DNAs, genetics, embryos, peoples’ talents and aptitudes like scrabble just isn’t right.
First, you need some likeable and/or interesting and/or round characters. Amy an Elder are sorry excuses for the main characters. Are you being threatened for creating the disturbance on the ship where you stick out as a sore thumb? Go out jogging. Do tell people stories. Give a tantrum. No one will notice. Or will they? Maybe you are just affected by the unfreezing liquid pumped into your vains centuries ago which nobody tried to get out of your system. Wait, the liquid wasn’t even needed, was it? The end of the book breaks every rule established in the beginning.
This can’t be happening. There is always some excuse for every all too convenient and not so much believable incidents and subplots. The thing is – an average observant reader shouldn’t be expected to come up with such excuses if he is to have nice and overall pleasant reading experience.
"Rules for writing detective stories" by S. S. Van Dine (SPOILERS ahead)
The reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery. All clues must be plainly stated and described.
Not really. Elder has access anywhere and to everything and he still remains clueless to everything. He knows nothing about the drugs, about the genetic manipulation, engine malfunction, real nature of the plague… All it would take is to talk to some of the keepers, reading through the history records, questioning Orion, questioning the Doc… Every time somebody acts suspiciously or gives a clue, Elder just ignores it.
No willful tricks or deceptions may be placed on the reader other than those played legitimately by the criminal on the detective himself.
Super modern space ship centuries ahead of the old Earth. Everybody has an ID chip. Everything can be traced. And yet, it is very convenient not to use this technology to your advantage and to rely on archaic fingerprint base authorization and identification. How convenient for the author and inconvenient for the characters solving the murders.
There must be no love interest. The business in hand is to bring a criminal to the bar of justice, not to bring a lovelorn couple to the hymeneal altar.
Ok, lets skip this one. The love interest was needed in order to have a catchy lovey-dovey cover.
The detective himself, or one of the official investigators, should never turn out to be the culprit.
This was just so very wrong. This way, the author made Elder a hypocritical lying dummy with no moral fiber and more importantly she made a fool out of all her readers. Or were we just pretending it was an actual detective story? Lets rather pretend we didn’t notice than no real precaution at all has been made in order to prevent other murders. None at all. Locking the door? Setting up alarms? Disabling the cryo tanks from being compromised? (Putting Harley - the depressive star obsessed boy in mental health care – on guard just doesn’t count)
The culprit must be determined by logical deductions — not by accident or coincidence or unmotivated confession. Such an author is no better than a practical joker.
Call it as you wish, a voluntary confession fits the best. For both of them. Ooops. Just one too many because:
There must be but one culprit, no matter how many murders are committed.
Ok, enough with that. I know it’s not fair to judge YA sci-fi as a roman policier. But it’s equally bad to consider YA readers gullible objects who don’t question anything and fall for every attempt to bring some new fresh ideas into Young Adult.
SETTING matters. PREMISE matters. CHARACTERS matter. PLOT matters. SCIENCE matters. READERS matter. You have to go beyond setting, getting stuck somewhere around premise and not going further/deeper just wont do. (less)
~ Intro Poslední dobou provozuji nový adrenalinový sport. Říkám mu coverjumping – vybírám si knihy podle obálky. To asi občas děláme všichni. Já ale za...more~ Intro Poslední dobou provozuji nový adrenalinový sport. Říkám mu coverjumping – vybírám si knihy podle obálky. To asi občas děláme všichni. Já ale zacházím tak daleko, že si nečtu ani anotaci pro danou knihu. Prostě a jednoduše, pokud mě kniha něčím zaujme, není daleko z mé žánrové komfort-zóny a má dobré hodnocení, pustím se do ní. Tento výběr knih má spoustu nevýhod. Mezi výhody však patří, že mě během čtení nezatěžují má vlastní očekávání a nafouknuté, těžce marketingem zatížené anotace. These Broken Stars je jedním z mých nejnovějších coverjumpů, který mě přesvědčil, že tato strategie funguje. Dostala jsem se tak k dílu, ke kterému bych si možná cestu jinak nenašla. A to by byla věčná škoda.
~ Titanic bez vody Stavitelé vesmírné lodi Icarus byli ještě domýšlivější, než ti, kdo se v pomatení smyslů vychloubali nepotopitelností, na svou dobu nevídaného zaoceánského velikána, Titanicu. These Broken Stars skutečně nabízí příběh, který se v mnoha ohledech slavné filmové adaptaci neslavné námořní tragédie podobá. Napadlo vás ale někdy, co by se asi stalo, kdyby Rose i Jack přežili a ztroskotali někde na opuštěném ostrově? Icarus je ve své podstatě takovým Vesmírným Titanicem, který však ztroskotáním naopak začíná. Nenechte se však zmýlit, je to mnohem více než romance o dvou lidech z různých sociálních vrstev. Dobrou zprávou zůstává, že ač je kniha součástí série Starbound, přece jen se jedná o stand-alone samostatnou knihu. Příběh započatý v These Broken Stars je zde řádně ukončen a s dalšími knihami autorského dua již má společný jen ten svět, postavy a jejich příběh (pravděpodobně) nikoli.
~ Cesta za záchranou These Broken Stars rozhodně není jen romance na pozadí katastrofického scénáře. Co to tedy je? Dobrodružný psychologický příběh s prvky thrilleru, do kterého se ona avizovaná romance jen tak mimochodem připlete. A jednotlivé ingredience jsou odměřeny přesně tak, jak se to na vesmírné sci-fi patří. Většina knihy je věnována právě boji o přežití a spřádání plánů na záchranu z nehostinné a tajuplné planety. Jako věrná vizualizace vám postačí obrázek ostříleného mladého vojáka Tarvera, kterýžto s sebou táhne chabě protestující mladou dědičku vesmírného impéria, která se odmítá vzdát civilizace, kterou pro ni v opuštěném koutu vesmíru reprezentují boty na vysokém podpatku. Tarver musí zpočátku bojovat nejen s útrapami cestování nehostinným terénem ale také s vlastními předsudky vůči Lilac a její neochotě přizpůsobit se nouzovým podmínkám ztroskotání.
~ Skoro-opuštěná planeta Planeta na které přistáli/ztroskotali, nese známky činnosti pozemských kolonistů, po těch však není vidu ani slechu. Kde se schovávají, případně proč planetu opustili, to jsou jen jedny z otázek, na které se dva trosečníci snaží najít odpověď. Netrvá totiž dlouho a úzkostí je začnou naplňovat tajuplné hlasy a přízračná zjevení, které Lilac nedají spát. Tarver, ač se snaží vše zvládat s klidem jenu vlastním, si je až bolestně vědom, že přízračné prostředí planety si na křehké Lilac začíná vybírat svou daň. A to se ještě ani nedostali k vraku Ikara, kde na ně čekají další hrůzostrašné objevy. Sci-fi elementy, kterým je příběh poset sice nejdou příliš do hloubky, ale čtenáři připomínají, že ač je snadné na to zapomenout, celý příběh se odehrává světelné roky daleko v neprobádaném koutu vesmíru, kde je záchrana možná vůbec nečeká. Důkazem toho, jak moc si daly autorky záležet na psychologii postav a neotřelosti zápletky, jsou (úžasně vtipná) intermezza mezi jednotlivými kapitolami, které se v ději předbíhají a čtenáři vyzrazují, jak to celé má vlastně dopadnout. Čtenář je i přesto celou dobu v napětí, co se tam doopravdy stalo/stane a jak se Ikarovo ztroskotání a události na planetě vysvětlí.
~ Tarver a Lilac Kniha vykazuje symptomy podobné trendům současných bestsellerů – střídající se POV, chcete-li vypravěče. Na rozdíl od nich je však tady rozhodně výhodou – dva hlavní hrdinové jsou totiž také hrdiny jedinými, a střídání jejich pohledů čtenáři umožní sledovat všechny důležité okamžiky a události z první ruky. Navíc je výborně zvládnuté – změna vypravěče nepřichází ani příliš brzy, ani příliš pozdě, je logická a jejich hlasy jsou dostatečně nezaměnitelné, aby každý z nich nabídl jinou perspektivu, se kterou je možné se na příběh dívat. Lilac a Tarver se skvěle doplňují, a to nejen ve vyprávění, protože brzy zjišťují, že by jeden bez druhého nepřežili. Ve své podstatě by to tak byl krásný intimní příběh o postupné sbližování dvou lidí... kdyby si s nimi planeta krutě nazahrávala.
~Slovo závěrem Děj These Broken Stars je úžasně originální a čtivý; příběh těchto dvou mladých lidí vás určitě chytí za srdce, ale… Právě jeho originalita je mojí jedinou výtkou na jeho adresu, protože už jsem ho někde četla. Zápletka spolu s rozuzlením se mi zdá být variací na sci-fi příběh polského sci-fi velmistra Stanislawa Lema, jen s jinými, mladšími postavami. Nejsem schopna posoudit, jestli si toho jsou autorky vědomy, jestli snad viděly jeden z filmů na motivy Lemova Solarisu a nechaly se vědomě či nevědomě inspirovat, ale podobností je tady tolik, že náhoda by to byla vskutku majestátní. Proto už čistě z principu nemůžu dát plný počet, i když bych moc chtěla. Alespoň knihu ale můžu směle doporučit dál. (less)
Paranormalcy was NOT what I was expecting. However, Paranormalcy is an OK kind of book. As in: you probably won’t love but you shouldn’t hate it eithe...moreParanormalcy was NOT what I was expecting. However, Paranormalcy is an OK kind of book. As in: you probably won’t love but you shouldn’t hate it either.
Light read full of paranormal creatures of all sorts. Main heroine Evie is a teenage girl living in and working for International Paranormal Containment Agency. She deals with vampires and hags on daily bases, calls her taser Tasey, loves pink and TV show Easton Heights. She dreams of having a real driver’s licence and a school locker. Her best friend is a mermaid living in an huge tank whose voice is generated by a computer which substitutes all the cuss words with bleep sounds resulting in something like this: "Bleep stupid bleep bleep faeries and their bleep bleep bleep obsessions. He had better stop bleep bleep bleep the bleep bleep rules or I will bleep bleep bleep the little bleeeeeeeeeeep."
(There is also Evie’s obsessive faery ex-friend - almost boyfriend - Reth who just can’t leave her alone and a prophecy poem with too many “death, death, death“ words in it. You get the picture...)
Evie might be girly Mary Sue, but she’s kind of cute and funny. I loved the concept of faeries being commanded by their name, of their treacherous natures and intentional misunderstandings. I liked the graduall development of Evie’s and Lend’s relationship. It’s a kind of book that’s proud of it’s dorkiness, that does not mourn the dead (not too much) and does not believe in elaborate plot-lines.
Part of me wants to give 2* rating but the rest of me says: hey, it was nice. And it did not aim too high, did not pretend to be better than that. Sincerity - that’s the word I’m looking for. It was sincere. Even though I'm not in a hurry to read the sequel.(less)
Wow. Just wow. Faeriewalker series most certainly belongs with my all time favourite series. Only handful of series manages to get better with every o...moreWow. Just wow. Faeriewalker series most certainly belongs with my all time favourite series. Only handful of series manages to get better with every other instalment and Faeriewalker series managed just that. Carefully building up the tension leading to some pretty amazing stuff.
I’ve already made a point of saying that I like the characters, the premise, the world, the urban faerie thing, the sophisticated villain, the kind of screwed up relationships, style of writing, witty dialogues, Dana’s funny remarks, entertaining scenes and situations etc...
Sirensong managed to preserve all that and added some pretty heavy faerie politics and magical atmosphere of the Seelie Court. It must have taken ages to find a way to untangle all that was tangled and to make it all work out while abiding all the rules established earlier. Second half of the book was never ending string of unexpected events and complicated twists.
And still – when my favourite character got herself into a fatal ambush I though she has no chance of escaping (for the hundredth time) I couldn’t stop but admire some kind of poetic justice of that situation and I had to laugh at the awkwardness of it.
And I loved the ending that was somewhere half-way between “happily-ever-after” and “a bunch of teenagers can’t always defeat all the evil of the world and save the day along with every single innocent life”. Or do they? :) (less)
Yesterday (today, around 2:30 am) I developed a new book addiction.
While reading the first book in the series I wasn’t completely convinced that Faeri...moreYesterday (today, around 2:30 am) I developed a new book addiction.
While reading the first book in the series I wasn’t completely convinced that Faeriewalker is the next big thing, but Shadowspell (pardon my Twilightism) is exactly my brand of heroin. Do you remember me saying that some parts of Glimmerglass made me feel kind of like like City of Bones? I can’t say the same about Shadowspell. Shadowspell was even better. Better than Glimmerglass. Right now even better than CoB (I might deny I said that few weeks from now, but right I’m head over heels). I’ve heard about this love / hate thing going on among people who read Faeriewalker series. I’m having a permanent reservation over at the love camp.
The plot is much more sophisticated, enjoyable, dangerous and exciting. Not a single page was boring or blunt. Maybe because the writing is so fresh and youthful and easy to follow. I love Jenna’s style of writing, exactly capturing what’s going on inside Danas head. I was on edge the whole time waiting for what’s going to happen next enjoying the perfectly balanced faery / urban thing going on. The story gets more and more tangled and relationships more and more screwed up with every page. All the things that can could go wrong - guess what - go wrong.
I’ve come to really like all the characters (maybe with the exception of aunt Grace) and especially Dana. It seems like she’s getting more mature while remaining stubborn and fun teenager longing for independence. She proves to be amazingly brave and caring for other people. Sometimes she acts a little recklessly and does some stupid things but hey, she's sixteen and she always does it for the right reasons.
I adore the romance between Ethan and Dana and the dynamics of their complicated relationship – was it not enough for Dana to fell in love with a gorgeous unseelie guy way out her league – who might or might not be seducing her for political reasons? Let’s throw in some more flirting, angst, jealousy, another guy, lies, half-truths, sneaking out, faerie bargains, The Wild Hunt and Erlking – evil cold blooded killer but hot and charming villain with a sense of humour.
Shadowspell was wicked, sexy, funny, thrilling and unputdownable (spell-check says this in not an existing word – go to hell, dear spell-check) read and if it gets any better, I’ll have a new all time favourite series.(less)
I’ve read Fallen not more than a week ago and I’ve already forgot about a half of the plot along with the character names. Some self-preservation mech...moreI’ve read Fallen not more than a week ago and I’ve already forgot about a half of the plot along with the character names. Some self-preservation mechanism I guess. I’m not saying it’s the worst book that has seen the light of the day, my rating just reflects how enjoyable the reading was for me. Yeah. Not. Enjoyable. At. All.
I can’t give point for characters, plot, narrating, premise, ending. Actually I think I’m not able to find any positives and that’s infuriating, because a medicated girl seeing shadows sent to a reform school (secret code for a mad house) full of challenged teenagers had such a potential! Unfortunately all the possible coolness was buried under unnecessary unrealistically overdone dramatic surrounding consisting of gothic school full of cameras with graveyard for serving detention and a pool inside of an old cathedral. Did I mention that some of the students wore monitoring devices giving shocks?
Ad some clichés, two hot guys fighting over the main heroine, accusing one another of not being good for her (obviously we all knew who was the right for her), half of the school secretly knowing about their timeless incredibly romantic ehm... let’s call it a “relationship” – because some unwritten rule about how many characters at once can hide their supernatural heritage and identity was broken and fate of all the world was depending on romantic affair of two incredibly boring people one of them being a regular stalker Googling a guy she’s just met like crazy.
I’m not trying to be bitter or mean - I do regret those hours of my life spent over this book, but not as much as screwing up my carefully built GR rating average. (It did suffer a major blow because of Fallen)
spoilerish For crying out loud – even an adult can get baptized – wouldn’t that solve all her problems? If you tell me Luce gets baptized first thing after getting off that plane, I’ll go up whole one star! end of spoilerish
Review dedicated to a reading buddy of mine with the best approach to “challenged books” :) I envy you. Now I see I'm not capable of that.(less)
Actually, I've been settled on 4★ for a long time, but I admit I have a soft spot for TIF series and a ginormous crush on Ash (I would buy him a table...moreActually, I've been settled on 4★ for a long time, but I admit I have a soft spot for TIF series and a ginormous crush on Ash (I would buy him a tablet any time - even though he thinks it runs on Iron glamour) Yes, I am soft, so let's make it 4.5★ (do not tell on me, OK?)
~Promise-breakers Disowned by his own people, banished from the Iron Realm for his own good by a girl he loves, Ash begins his quest to find a way to get back to her. Winter faery can’t be around iron for long so for this to be possible, Ash has to become a mortal. And for that he needs a soul. Bound by his oath as Meghan’s Iron Knight there aren’t really any other options: he finds a way to be with her or he dies. Wait, there is one other future, because if he failed, Ash wouldn’t be just a regular promise-breaker, he would become something terrible, threatening the newly found balance of the Faery world.
~Cost of mortality Over the first three books Ash has become as human as a winter fey can possibly be and seeing it from his perspective is a whole new amazing experience. But it The Iron Knight there is also his other half – the unseelie half – that often surfaces and makes your blood run cold, makes Ash as dark as never before, because not only he has to earn his soul, he also has to come a long journey for the soul to be able to survive in his body. Those two sides – his dark unseelie nature and his other part that fell in love with half-human girl - battle for control and promise an amazing drama. Ash has to come to terms with his past as a ruthless unseelie prince and give up things that make him what he’s always been. It’s a tough journey full of obstacles and both physical and psychical pain. Will he even want a soul, once he really understands what it really means to be mortal?
~Something old and something new Unlike the previous books, The Iron Knight’s plot is fairly simple and straightforward. Ash has to fight his way through the tests – there is a generous amount of skirmishes and scuffles with all kinds of magical creatures, which don’t really count as my favourite part of the story, but these are regularly punctuated by dream sequences, prophetic visions, memories, witty dialogues and others. Ashe’s vow to kill Puck inevitably surfaces and demands fulfilment he no longer can ignore and results in some – well... heart throbbing scenes that made a brilliantly thrilling horror movie in my head. Also Ash has a new unexpected companion that makes him doubt everything he believed to be true and unchangeable.
~The magic of writing The writing is impeccable as always – beautiful prose packed with strings of enchanting almost magical words and sentences which made me reread whole paragraphs and bookmark like crazy (all in all 48 bookmarks for my favourite funny, romantic, dramatic and otherwise memorable parts.) I’m in awe of the way new faery creatures and places are presented and described – it all feels so deliciously new and imaginative but ancient – in a way that I believe they all have already existed in some old fairytales (which they probably do) – at the same time.
~To sum up Great sequel that puts an end to an amazing trilogy (tetralogy). It’s not a full-fledged five star just because my favourite romantic subplot was overpowered by a lot of fighting.(less)
Faeriebooks are tricky. Urban faerie books are even trickier. Glimmerglass did a good job, it’s not close to being epic or a must-read, but given the...moreFaeriebooks are tricky. Urban faerie books are even trickier. Glimmerglass did a good job, it’s not close to being epic or a must-read, but given the rules and circumstances – I really liked it.
First 60 pages was like “hmmm, OK, not too bad, I just don’t see where it’s headed and what might be special abut it”. But around page 100 I was hooked. It took exactly 100 pages for the characters to stop being so boring stereotypes and for them to develop some depth so that I might enjoy reading about them. It was more urban than Faery in a way that the reader isn’t overwhelmed by armies of unicorns, goblins and other inhuman creatures, but not so much to kill the eerie fae...hmm... x-factor. Sure, they are using cell phones and driving modern cars, but they are still charming, dangerous and proud, tied to Seelie and Unseelie courts and centuries of doing - well... some faerie stuff.
When Dana comes to Avalon, she’s naive and gullible more than any other sixteen year old human girl. And a little bit of annoying about all that “my mother is an alcoholic so know how to take care of myself” which isn’t really all that true. But I like her all right and I believe she’ll have enough space for further development in future books.
What I liked the best about Glimmerglass was the romantic tension between innocent Dana and self-assured but galant Ethan. That was delicious. I swear for a few precious chapters I felt this tingly feeling I later recognized as that feeling I got while reading City of Bones for the first time. And that’s something! Let’s just hope Shadowspell will be even better. I want more of gorgeous Ethan, stubborn Dana, jealous Kimber and emo fae Keane.(less)
I´m torn between 4 and 5. Great introduction to the new series. It seems to me like a crossover between Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments a l...moreI´m torn between 4 and 5. Great introduction to the new series. It seems to me like a crossover between Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments a little. Heavy on the Vampire Academy side. Writing that makes you immediately write down memorable sentences. Often. Kickass smart-mouthed heroine. What else is here to say? Can´t wait for Half-blood.
I thought it was gonna be a bittersweet romance about forbidden love that shouldn’t have happened – a love that is wrong and therefore painful. I was...moreI thought it was gonna be a bittersweet romance about forbidden love that shouldn’t have happened – a love that is wrong and therefore painful. I was wrong. Well I wasn´t, really, but Forbidden was just so much more; those few words just couldn’t cover it. It was an unbelievably realistic social drama about a family with all kinds of problems including alcoholism, neglect, revolting youth, social phobia... and of course forbidden love. Incest between siblings.
At times it made me almost physically sick reading those lines - and not in a way you think it would or should. But in a way that a wanted Lochan a Maya to overcome it all, to make it work. How could love so basically wrong, twisted and otherwise sick seem so terribly right, justifiable and beautiful? I read all kinds or romance YA books but no couple’s love has ever felt so - genuine and pure. It’s a young adult book but I would be very careful recommending it to early teen readers. I´m still a teen (but I won’t be for a very long time) and it´s a very good thing I haven´t read it sooner.
Also I have a slightly older brother so plus minus few months I would have been in the same situation as the couple in the book. Me and my bro we are nothing like Lochan and Maya and we regularly go for each other’s throats yelling curse words but it still made me very uneasy reading those lines. And as much as applying the scheme on my own situation made my skin crawl and my gagging reflex kicked it – I never once doubted that Maya and Lochan shouldn´t be allowed to be together, to love each other, to be happy. Is incest wrong? Hell yes. Did this realization made any difference during reading about the two of them? Nope. It was just a vague realization in a distance.
The writing was amazing: well paced, easy to follow but still striking. Everything seemed so real, the setting, the plot, relationships between members of the family... They all had not only their own faces and personalities but also their voices and scents in my head. Every time I looked up from the book I expected one of them to appear standing right in front of me.
There are books you will love, there are books you will hate and then there are books like Forbidden (and Mockingjay and The Book Thief) you will simultaneously and equally strongly love AND hate. There were moments when I was overwhelmed with joy and also those that made me cry with despair. Forbidden was worth every cent I paid for it but now I´m just going to bury it somewhere deep in my closet in an very much useless attempt to stop thinking about it. To get over it. I will need every help I can get to manage that. And part of my self-prescribed therapy involved writing this review and listening 9 Crimes by Damien Rice: It's the wrong kind of place To be thinking of you - It's the wrong time but she's pulling me through It's a small crime And I've got no excuse - Is that alright? Yeah... Give my gun away when it's loaded Is that alright? Yeah... - Is that alright with you? (less)
I quite liked it though it´s not my usual (favourite) genre. The writing was good, the atmosphere was there. It never left me wondering who was wearin...moreI quite liked it though it´s not my usual (favourite) genre. The writing was good, the atmosphere was there. It never left me wondering who was wearing what, I could easily imagine all the interiors and scenes. Only the romantic plot of forbidden love seemed just like an afterthought, there should have been more of Liz and Will and less of social interactions and etiquette. It´s also kind of predictable but fans of classic historical novels might enjoy it nevertheless. Full-fledged review yet to come, I just wanted to summarize my thoughts a little just after finishing.(less)