“It was kind of romantic. Catastrophically romantic.”
With those two sentences, Nick Dunne aptly sums up the relationship he has with his wife, rife wi...more“It was kind of romantic. Catastrophically romantic.”
With those two sentences, Nick Dunne aptly sums up the relationship he has with his wife, rife with false personalities, resentment, the thirst for approval, the desire to be better for one another and a begrudging sort of admiration, even love.
Nick and Amy’s marriage is in rocky waters when Amy goes missing on the morning of their fifth anniversary. The novel is told through alternating chapters from Nick, beginning on the morning of Amy’s disappearance, and from Amy’s diary, beginning back when she met Nick up until shortly before the “event.”
As the investigation progresses, Nick’s lies pile up, the evidence mounts against him and the reader relives how Amy and Nick fell out of love.
At first glance,Gone Girl is a simple mystery, well written, but initially nothing special; however, halfway through the novel takes a sharp and drastic turn. This run-of-the-mill mystery becomes so much more, and I couldn’t put it down at that point. For me the first half is a 3.5-4 stars, but the second half is a solid 5; you just need to power through and get to the good stuff.
Gone Girl is not the sort of book I would normally pick up, but the hype around it was so strong, and it ended up on so many "best of" lists from 2012, that my husband and I had to give it a try. He read it first and couldn't stop raving about it, but couldn't tell me too much about it. And now I know how he felt. It's really the sort of book you need to read all the way through to understand why it's so good, because you can't discuss anything from the second half of the book without ruining it all.(less)
While I didn't feel Insurgent lived up to the first book in the series, there was a lot that I liked here, and overall, it was still a really good boo...moreWhile I didn't feel Insurgent lived up to the first book in the series, there was a lot that I liked here, and overall, it was still a really good book.
For one, the body count is high. I enjoyed that characters from the first book were just as in peril as brand new characters clearly added as cannon fodder. Also, I liked the storyline because it furthered the concept of the first book that despite the general idea of splitting the population into factions based on five main personality traits, each person is layered, and so are their desires and goals. There were many points where you won't be entirely sure where certain characters' loyalties lie. And despite the fact that I knew where the overall story was going (view spoiler)[they are being isolated in a city and there's a lot more world outside that they've been cut off from (hide spoiler)], I was happy about the twist end.
What I did not like was how the romance between Tris and Four — which I enjoyed in the first book — became torturous. For two people who claim to love one another so much, they really don't trust one another at all, which just led to a lot of cyclical conversations and accusations. Also, I felt Tris had a major case of stupidity this book. She just made one stupid decision after another all while suffering from PTSD and getting mired in guilt and depression.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
At the tender age of eight, Rose Edelstein discovers that the taste of food has changed for her. Instead of tasting the final product, she tastes what...moreAt the tender age of eight, Rose Edelstein discovers that the taste of food has changed for her. Instead of tasting the final product, she tastes what went into the food, the emotions of the person who made it. She finds herself overwhelmed by her mother's sadness and depression during home cooked meals and as she grows up she struggles to find food that she can actually eat and she also finds herself unable to connect with people.
Once Rose reaches high school and she experiments with her food-tasting abilities the book begins to really get interesting. Because in addition to understanding more and learning to live with her odd ability, Rose realizes there is something going on with her brother that she doesn't entirely understand. It's very interesting the way the book contrasts Rose's experience with her ability and growing up and trying to find a way to continue living in society with her brother's increasing withdrawal from everyone he knows.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake felt muted for the most part, possibly because Rose spends so much time trying to keep distance from others, or can't seem to understand or figure out the best way to interact with people.
Although there was a lot about this book that I didn't really care for, it's the contrast between Rose and her brother, their relationship and the different choices they make that really grabbed me and will stick with me long after I've read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.(less)
There are some books where the main character is purposely tough to identify with, which is very much the case with The Grove. Dexter is a difficult c...moreThere are some books where the main character is purposely tough to identify with, which is very much the case with The Grove. Dexter is a difficult character to understand, to love and even sympathize with. He has of mental illness that is never outright identified, but he is supposed to take medication otherwise he hallucinates and has blackouts during times of extreme emotion. And after one of these blackouts Dexter finds the body of a teenage girl in the grove behind his house. Since he can't be sure he didn't accidentally kill her, Dexter takes it upon himself to investigate and try to find out who did kill her.
What follows is a quick read with a unique voice. I never fully connected with any of the characters, but then Dexter has trouble connecting to people and the book is told through his point of view. This is one of the few instances where first-person POV really worked for me because Dexter has such a unique voice and view of the world. I found myself unsure just what was real and what was the makings of Dexter's mind. I found myself frustrated because I couldn't fully understand the poor choices he was making, although they clearly made sense to him.
The Grove isn't a perfect book, but it's an interesting read with a very different voice. Also, considering how short the novel is, there is a lot in here including the painful back story of Dexter and his wife, and half a dozen or so characters that are all important in some way throughout.
Despite being enamored with all of Neil Gaiman’s novels, his short stories usually don’t do it for me for the most part. I read them though, because f...moreDespite being enamored with all of Neil Gaiman’s novels, his short stories usually don’t do it for me for the most part. I read them though, because for every “The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories” there are fantastic ones like “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” and “Babycakes” and “Troll Bridge,” which are so amazingly well written, tell such whimsical, horrifying and beautiful stories that I firmly believe my children or grandchildren will be reading them in a literature class alongside John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” or Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”(less)
In the year 2039 the creator of the world’s largest interactive online simulation, OASIS, dies a very rich man. However, he has named no heirs to his...moreIn the year 2039 the creator of the world’s largest interactive online simulation, OASIS, dies a very rich man. However, he has named no heirs to his fortune. Instead, in his video will, he sets a task to the people of the world. There is an Easter egg hidden somewhere within the vast universes of OASIS. In order to find it, players must find three keys and three gates. He leaves a clue to the first key and immediately a frenzy begins as the winner stands inherit not only OASIS, but the hundreds of billions of dollars the man had. For five years no one can even find the first key, until high school student Wade Watts gets very, very lucky, triggering a frantic race.
Throughout the book of Ready Player One readers are able to experience the vast, intricate and odd world of OASIS, a place both wonderful (there’s a Whedonverse!) and unreal. But at the same time we are introduced to an Earth that is a dismal place, ravaged by wars, with high unemployment, incredible numbers of homeless and a money-grubbing evil corporation, people are escaping into OASIS more and more simply so they don’t have to face reality.
Ernest Cline has managed to create two very interesting and unique worlds, and the clues and the hints the egg hunters (or “gunters”) are given to find the keys and gates are detailed and interesting. The journey through OASIS, the race against other gunters, Wade’s realizations about the world, and the antagonist of the evil corporation IOI all combine for a great read.
However, this book had some pretty big flaws, the main one being pacing. The middle of the book is a real killer. There is a lull between passing the first gate and finding the second key. Wade falls into a funk, he’s depressed, he’s wasting time, he can’t concentrate on the game and overall I lost interest a little myself. Then the pace picks up frantically as after the second key is found, the second gate is quickly passed and the third key is found even faster. It seemed very uneven to me.
Another thing is the ’80s references. OASIS’s creator loved the ’80s because he was a teenager then, so he makes all sorts of references to games and shows and music of that time in a journal he left behind. As a result, the world becomes obsessed with old games like Adventure, television shows like Schoolhouse Rock and bands like Rush, believing, correctly, that knowledge of his obsessions would help them find the Easter egg. I always find making references to current or past pop culture a cop out. In this book it make sense, it really does, in order for the gunters to figure out the keys, but I quickly got ’80s fatigue at all the name dropping and references and factoids. Technologically, the world in which Ready Player One takes place has progressed, but it stymied culturally, never advancing and in fact actually backtracking to, of all decades, the ’80s.
The book raises the interesting concept that, like the Internet, you could be anyone in OASIS. So I enjoyed learning a little more about the people behind the avatars. (view spoiler)[Although it was disappointing that the person we learn the least about was Art3mis. We get very interesting back stories with Shoto and Aech, but Art3mis, the love interest, never really gets developed much. When they meet the focus is on the mark on her face, to prove the point that physical appearance doesn’t matter to Wade, he fell in love with her long ago in OASIS. But we don’t get any background on her. She’s a college student who lives in Canada. That’s about it. Whereas Shoto explains his backstory with Daito, how they met and why they felt like they were brothers. Aech explains her troubles with her mother and why she chose to be a Caucasian male in OASIS despite being a black female in real life. (hide spoiler)]
Ready Player One was a unique and interesting read with a few issues that didn’t detract too much from the overall story.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I know a lot of people are probably sick to death of angels (the new vampires and werewolves). But the angels in Angelfall are not the angels of Unear...moreI know a lot of people are probably sick to death of angels (the new vampires and werewolves). But the angels in Angelfall are not the angels of Unearthly (which I loved). They aren't normal people or kind to humans or guardian angels or anything like that. These are biblical angels. These are Old Testament/Torah, wrath of god, angels that destroyed cities like Sodom and Gomorrah. Susan Ee has legit angel and bible lore (I'm not religious, but I did go to Catholic school) and I was absolutely giddy about that. (Nephilim are referenced correctly! Gabriel is the messenger of God and brings about the beginning of the apocalypse! Uriel has ties to hell!)
The book takes place after cities of the U.S. have already been destroyed when angels came down to Earth to wreak fire and brimstone. In life after modern amenities are gone, people keep one eye on the skies to hide from angels, gangs roam the streets and Penryn (your typical tough female lead, like The Hunger Games' Katniss, Graceling's Katsa or Hollowmen's Remy) watches as her little sister is grabbed by an angel who flies away with her. And the only chance she has of getting Paige back is the injured, wingless angel she finds on the street. Raffe is willing to bring Penryn to the angels only because she has his wings and it's his hope that they can be reattached.
I love lawless end-of-the-world-type societies, so Angelfall hit the mark for me. I like books that are light on the romance, but hint that there is actual build up of a relationship. I just really liked this book. I love underground rebellions (like Neville Longbottom and Dumbledore's Army in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).
And I absolutely loved that Penryn's mother is legitimately crazy. She's schizophrenic, sees things, does things that only make sense to her but seem to have no rational reasoning and is just damn fascinating to read about. A woman like that would normally be in the care of professionals. Instead, given the end of the world and everything, she's free to roam the streets and right now the real world looks as horrifying and scary as what she's always pictured in her head. And she is actually more dangerous than most people because of how unpredictable and out of touch with reality she is.
I think the only reason Angelfall didn't get 5 stars from me was because the story is the classic "younger sibling was taken by supernatural creatures and I have to get him/her back with the help of one of these supernatural creatures that I don't trust all that much" (although the end is different (view spoiler)[ when you consider the fact that Paige has been turned into a little monster! I can't wait to see how that plays out (hide spoiler)]). Lastly, it's written in first person POV, and I'm honestly getting so sick of that. There's something about first person POV that I never really liked and the more YA novels I read that are written like that, the less patience I have for it.
Overall, this was an amazing book, a fascinating read and has planted the seeds for a really great series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Alas, Babylon really shows an amazing look into what American life would have been like if Russia had sent nukes during the Cold War. Admittedly, I th...moreAlas, Babylon really shows an amazing look into what American life would have been like if Russia had sent nukes during the Cold War. Admittedly, I thought it was a rather optimistic look at life, since the people of Fort Repose, Florida, seem to get rather lucky at the things they find, at the fact that the wind blows just right so they can avoid the fallout and that they live on a river that essentially feeds the main characters throughout the book.
We don't really get much of a look at what is happening in the rest of the country until the very end, because communications are down and whatever is working is reserved specifically for special defense communications.
All in all, I thought the end of the book had a very odd message. It almost seemed as if what we were to take away was that once modern amenities were all taken away from them, the people of the book found their lives fulfilling because they had to fend for themselves in a way that they never had to their whole lives.(less)
A remarkable amount of work went into writing this novel so that it really felt like the reader is holding a factual account of events. Grahame-Smith...moreA remarkable amount of work went into writing this novel so that it really felt like the reader is holding a factual account of events. Grahame-Smith cleverly uses quoted passages from Lincoln’s diary, from speeches he gave, from correspondences, etc. The care put into this novel is very much the same work one would put into a biography or a research paper. This impressed me very much.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter isn’t quite as silly as one would think (other than the idea that our president was out hunting vampires in his youth). In fact, this novel seamlessly weaves vampires into slavery and the Civil War in a way that is almost realistic. I, of course, am not a history buff and wouldn’t be able to point out any obvious problems.
The vampires here are not Twilight vampires (not that I thought they would be since Lincoln is decapitating them left and right), but neither are they like the vampires from The Passage, which are more uncontrollable animal than human. Instead, they’re more like Anne Rice’s vampires in Interview With the Vampire. There are the good ones like Louis. And then there are the Lestats. Actually, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has a very big resemblance to Interview in that they both start with the vampire contacting a human to basically publish the story.
For me, this book begins to drag when it was light on the vampire hunting and heavy on the politics. But then, I am just not very interested in politics. For others, this will continue to be engaging. Since I wasn’t as interested, there was a lull for me when Lincoln becomes senator, then president and the Civil War begins.
This book was good, not great, and it definitely didn’t live up to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for me. In all fairness though, I liked the original source material for that quite a bit even before the zombies (which I have a particular weakness for) were added.(less)
Prediction August 2011: My only concern stems from this one line: "and wonders if she may be falling in love again." EDIT: the blurb has since changed...morePrediction August 2011: My only concern stems from this one line: "and wonders if she may be falling in love again." EDIT: the blurb has since changed.
I'm predicting the dreaded upcoming storyline. Lena is now on her own and thinks Alex is dead. She meets up with some people in the Wilds, and starts to fall in love with one of the guys. Then, toward the end of the book, she finds out that Alex is still alive and OMG MAJOR CONFLICT OF EMOTIONS. Lena and the others decide they have to try and save Alex. Cue the next book in the series, which will be super heavy on the love triangle angst.
Review: So I've finished the book and overall I was rather pleased with it. The format of the story was not what I was expecting. I really enjoyed that it wasn't told linearly. Instead, the chapters alternate between Now and Then. The Then chapters pick up directly after the events of Delirium. Lena has escaped into the woods and she's injured and alone. The Now chapters are six months in the future. Lena has been with the Invalids in the Wilds and now she is living in one of the cities, pretending she is cured, but really working for the resistance.
However, some aspects of this book were a little predictable: (view spoiler)[the fact that Tack gave her all that stuff and was acting weird just made it obvious to me that they knew she was going to be captured. I hadn't figured out the extent of it all, but I wasn't all that surprised by the big reveal. Also, the fact that she and Julian (as soon as he was introduced I knew he was going to be the object of affection) fell in love was not at all surprising. Furthermore, I knew Alex was coming back. He's different though, changed by the Crypts, so that should be interesting. But not if he's going to be a d-bag to her and yet still have feelings for her and she'll still be torn despite the fact that he's acting cruelly toward her (like Wanda in The Host. (hide spoiler)]
What I liked about this book was the fact that Lena's role changes. In the first book she is one of the believers in the cure and we get to see her perspective slowly change because of Alex. In this book she's acting in the role of Alex because she is pretending to be cured and she is changing the mind of someone else.
Based on how the book ended, I'm dreading some of the things that have to be worked out in the next book, but I've really enjoyed the first two, so I'm going to give Requiem the benefit of the doubt.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I think I would typically rate The Host at 3.5 stars, but because I was so surprised at how much I liked it (and to be fair, I went in with really low...moreI think I would typically rate The Host at 3.5 stars, but because I was so surprised at how much I liked it (and to be fair, I went in with really low expectations), I’m bumping it up to 4 rather than down to 3. I really feel like I have to justify why I liked this book, especially since I loathed Twilight so much.
In my opinion, this is a huge improvement over the schlockfest that was Twilight. There is an actual, interesting story to tell that is beyond a love triangle (although there is a love triangle present: more on that later). And it’s a rather unique story too. Meyer proves to be a competent storyteller, even if her writing leaves a lot to be desired at times. She still has her sentences that aren’t quite sentences, which annoys the crap out of me. She still has her creepy, WTF scenes that masquerade as her idea of romance and love, and make me wonder what goes on in this woman’s head.
One of my biggest complaints, however, is that Meyer still avoids actual confrontation and loves the fluffy, happy, Disney ending. (Hell, even Disney might be more hardcore considering it’s not afraid to do things like kill off Mufasa or throw in a montage of a married couple’s life that includes me bawling for five minutes when we learn the wife can’t have children and then she DIES and it’s so depressing. Disclosure: I love Disney and Pixar). The whole book is leading up to a confrontation between Wanda and Seeker. And what we get is Wanda being a sad sack and then coming up with the perfect plan that fixes everything. (view spoiler)[Yes, Wes dies. But he dies off screen and to be honest, who gives a crap? We barely knew Wes. He’s just someone who lives in the caves and happens to support Wanda. But he’s not vital, we see maybe three scenes with him. And yes, Walter dies. But it’s of cancer. No one can control that. It’s not the result of someone’s choices. And again, we barely knew him. (hide spoiler)]
Meyer broaches some interesting topics, specifically about humanity and the soul. We have to wonder just what makes us human. What makes us civilized? And what is it that makes a person who he or she is? Is it the body, the soul, personality, interactions, relationships to people, reactions to events? Furthermore, the book brings up interesting parallels of how countries would invade another and take over, enforcing their ideas on the natives. The whole justification by the souls (other than they can’t survive without a host) is that humans were too violent and they were killing the planet. So they came in and they made it better. They made people better and the world better. Of course this is all debatable, and it’s not really better for the humans if they are trapped in their own heads or if they disappear altogether.
This book was already incredibly long at more than 600 pages, but Meyer made a mistake in not giving details and explanations in the area that really needed it. Wanderer is placed in Melanie’s body and she quickly realizes that the host is not gone. Wanderer, who has been to eight different planets, is supposed to be pretty hot stuff among the souls. She’s strong and she’s confident that Melanie’s presence isn’t going to be a big deal.
Fast forward a few months, and we learn that perhaps Melanie is just stronger. We get a few memory/dreams and the adventure starts as Wanderer chooses to go search of Melanie’s brother Jamie and Jared, the man she loves. Wanderer, at this point, already has very strong feelings for the two and she doesn’t want any harm to come to them. I suppose it’s understandable, but I felt like Meyer copped out by not showing us the slow change in Wanderer as she gradually came to care for two men she’d never met simply through the memories of her host.
It’s like the insta-love problem. You skipped all of the relationship building, all of the turmoil, the INTERESTING stuff. Plus, considering how AWFUL Jared is to Wanderer for the first couple of months she's there, I just don't believe that she would still sort of love him even when she's afraid he's going to hit her (yes, this is a very real fear she has at times). But maybe if we saw the development of her feelings for Jared, I could better understand why those feelings remain despite her fear.
But Meyer also proves in this book that she’s capable of writing a believable, growing relationship: thus, the third aspect of the predictable love triangle. This is where things get tricky. Melanie, who is very much still there, loves Jared. Her body responds to Jared. Therefore, Wanderer (aka Wanda, now) also has very strong feelings and responses to Jared. But, enter Ian. Wanda slowly develops feelings for Ian, who has slowly developed feelings for Wanda (Melanie, for the record, is not happy about this because it's still her body ... so, creepy, when you think about it). Things aren’t insta-love for the two of them right off the bat. Instead, Ian is one of the many who (quite understandably) hates Wanda for what she is, doesn’t trust her and even tries to get at her so they can kill her and protect the group. But we can see when Ian starts to change his mind; when he realizes that there is more to Wanda than a parasite alien.
But Meyer has to ruin some well-written relationship development with her incredibly twisted idea of what is romantic (she did some fairly creepy things with Edward-Bella-Jacob. Hi, tent scene and time when Edward offers to pimp out his wife). There’s a lot of weird experimental kissing and a juvenile pissing contest between Ian and Jared that is full on ridiculous because these are grown ass men.
I know there has been talk of two other books, which I’ll probably read, but I think The Host stands fine just the way it is. I like the ending as it stands. It opens up the possibility of sequels (view spoiler)[(I would assume that they would then focus on the rebel cells of humans and taking back Earth.) (hide spoiler)] but they aren’t necessary, and to be honest, they will probably be a letdown unless done exactly right.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It would be difficult to read the Percy Jackson books and not compare them to another series about a magical young, prepubescent boy. But Percy Jackso...moreIt would be difficult to read the Percy Jackson books and not compare them to another series about a magical young, prepubescent boy. But Percy Jackson is sort of like an inverted Harry Potter. Harry tries to spend his whole life being invisible so Dudley and his friends won’t beat on him, whereas Percy, with his ADHD and various other issues, can’t help but act out. Like Harry, Percy finds answers to all of the weird happenings in his life when he discovers the truth of what he is and is brought to a place to train those like him. Only, where Harry Potter gets to live at Hogwarts during the school year and dreads summer, Percy dreads the school year and makes the choice to only attend Camp Half-Blood in the summer.
If I had read this book when it was first published I might have enjoyed it more. I’m a little older now, and much of The Lightning Thief was a little juvenile for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of the quest because it was a little repetitive: the group goes here, they run into trouble, they get out of trouble and move on to the next destination where they run into trouble and get out of trouble and then move onto the next destination…
I think I’ll still give The Sea of Monsters a try (eventually, but not right away) because I like the overarching plot that this book set up at the end (view spoiler)[that Kronos is a threat once again and trying to come back (hide spoiler)]. I’m also interested to see if both the writing and Percy mature a little as the books go on.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was left with mixed emotions once I finished The Strain, mostly because I really, really did not like it at all for the first three-quarters of the...moreI was left with mixed emotions once I finished The Strain, mostly because I really, really did not like it at all for the first three-quarters of the book. It was only until the end that I began to get interested, but by then I had little to no patience.
To me, The Strain felt like the poor man’s The Passage and feels sort of like the movie Contagion in which it tries to be incredibly scientific and look at the process of turning into a vampire like a disease. This is interesting initially, but quickly becomes boring and continues to go on for the majority of the book.
I had high hopes for this book because the beginning – the tale of Sardu, the dead plane landing in JFK – really caught me. But the book never really seems to go anywhere from there. Once the virus is out and it’s taking hold of Manhattan, we jump around from minor character to minor character just to see the various ways they are sucked dry and turned or find out what is happening. Eventually, you know longer care (I get it! No one is prepared!), because it has been to varying degrees over and over again.
And I didn't care at all about the characters who were all cliched caricatures. There's the good guy who has troubles (former alcoholic, divorced, going through a custody battle), the old, wise man who knows everything, the female love interest, the son who is so smart for his age, the ex-wife who has a weird, confusing relationship with the main guy, and her boyfriend who is an a-hole.
I'm pretty sure I’ll never go on to read The Fall because The Strain left me feeling so disappointed.
Instead, I think I’m going to go back and read The Passage again in anticipation of the sequel, The Twelve, coming out.(less)
This book was an absolute gem. Somehow Hobson managed to take witchcraft, steampunk, the old West and various fictional religions and create a wonderf...moreThis book was an absolute gem. Somehow Hobson managed to take witchcraft, steampunk, the old West and various fictional religions and create a wonderful adventure with two well-crafted but flawed characters.
Emily Edwards is just the time of plucky heroine I like. She’s a little crass, she can be improper and, best of all, she doesn’t become someone else when she finds love. And the thing I enjoyed was that as Emily fell in love with Dreadnought (coolest name ever), so did I. He was insufferable and incredibly obnoxious in the beginning. He was the guy who couldn’t help but correct you and rub your nose in the fact that he is smarter and richer than you. And falling in love with Dreadnought (for both the reader and Emily) is gradual, it creeps up on us and it’s utterly perfect.
The use of magic in this book was amazing. I liked how brutal and dangerous it could be. It brought a sort of realism to the story. And the villainous Caul was so very scary for me because he became less sane as the book goes on.
As a historical novel, I loved the little things Hobson put into the Native Star that helped me remember where they were in time. She mentions people (like President Ulysses S. Grant) and places (Central Park is being constructed in New York City) and it all served to help me really feel like I was back in time.
I really enjoyed the ride and can’t wait to read the next one. (The only reason it took me a week to read was because I was simultaneously reading A Song of Ice and Fire and those books are hard to put down!) (less)
The Trylle books are all very quick and easy reads. However, I liked the second book of the trilogy a lot less than the first one. My biggest issue wa...moreThe Trylle books are all very quick and easy reads. However, I liked the second book of the trilogy a lot less than the first one. My biggest issue was that Wendy is suffering from Bella Swan Syndrome. She's her own kind of super special (more so than the other Trylle) and she's caught in the midst of a love triangle (between the guy who's trying to do the right thing and distance himself and the guy who is the sworn enemy of the first and likes to tease and flirt and say inappropriate things to her (sound familiar?)). It's all sort of ridiculous.
And perhaps my biggest peeve is that Wendy is deliberately stupid in this book. She recaps things that literally took place the page before and sums it all up again. Yeah, hi? I was paying attention when I read it the first time less than a minute ago. Also it's like she can't follow the simplest conversation without someone spelling it out for her. For instance, when they're discussing Elora's age. Wendy guesses low to be nice and Elora calls her a bad liar and then says "I'm only thirty-nine." "Thirty-nine, what?" Really? You couldn't follow that? Also, (view spoiler)[she can't seem to figure out what's going on between Matt and Willa even though they're clearly flirting it up all over the place. (hide spoiler)] She's also the worst princess in the world. She's incredibly selfish when it's sort of common knowledge that when you're royalty your life isn't really your own. It's expected that you'll marry for the good of the people or that you'll have to do things for the sake of those you govern even if you don't particularly want to. Get over it. (view spoiler)[ So she really shouldn't have been surprised by the arranged marriage to Tove, which I saw as soon as the Kroners were introduced back in the first book. And is the idea that she might have to kill her father really all that horrible considering she spent five minutes in his company and hated him instantly. He's your father in name, he didn't raise you, you have no other ties to that man what's the big issue?(hide spoiler)]
So overall, even though there's only one other book, I don't know if I'm going to bother with it. I could have enjoyed this book simply for the plot, but the characters all ruined it for me. Except for Tove. He's awesome. And maybe Willa. I'd read a book where those two were the main characters.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
At the beginning of Aftertime I believed that Cass was going to be a strong, kick-ass heroine. However, it slowly became clear that Cass was weak and...moreAt the beginning of Aftertime I believed that Cass was going to be a strong, kick-ass heroine. However, it slowly became clear that Cass was weak and rife with personality flaws (alcoholic, used sex to fill a void, steals). I was thoroughly disappointed in her and the first half of the book was a solid 2 stars. However things began to pick up when the conflict with the Rebuilders came into play, and slowly Cass actually became worth my time.
Overall, I'm glad I forced myself through the first half of the book. The second half was much better. Once you get through Cass' inner emotional turmoil and all the multitude of problems she has, the book gets really interesting as it starts to explore the different factions that have taken power during Aftertime. That sort of world building (I suppose you could consider it like that) was so much more intriguing than anything going on in Cass' head. Based on the second half alone, this book would have been 4 stars.
I'm debating if I'll read the second book, but considering it's focusing on the division between Dor's group and the Rebuilders, I'll probably end up giving it a try.(less)
However, Unearthly was incredibly interesting and had a very unique take on the idea of angels. All angel-bloods (Clara is only a quarter and her mom is half) have a purpose. Shortly after puberty they begin to have visions of what they were put on earth to do. Clara learns that her purpose is to save a boy from a forest fire in Wyoming, so her California family packs up and moves.
There are typical high school moments in the book, but for me the most interesting thing is the mythology created about angels and angel-bloods. I want to learn more about this world, about these beings. Some angel-bloods’ purposes are to watch, others are messengers, and there are those who are supposed to interfere in human events in some way. There is conflict between angels. There are angel levels and hierarchies. It's all touched upon here, but not completely fleshed out yet.
In this book, the antagonist isn’t really the Black Wings (fallen angels who have gone against their purpose and what God intends for them), although Clara does have a confrontation with one. The main antagonist is actually Clara herself. As the book progresses and she meets Christian, Clara seems certain she is supposed to fall in love with him. When she instead falls in love with someone else (love triangle! dun, dun, DUN! But seriously, it's not that annoying), Clara finds herself torn between fulfilling her purpose or being with the boy she truly loves.
To me this book doesn’t really end. This felt like only the first act. I think it’s because there are so many open storylines now that Clara has made her decision and things don't go down how anyone had expected them to. There's so much to cover in the next book still: (view spoiler)[Neither Clara nor Christian knows what they should do now that they both technically didn’t complete their purposes. Something tricky is going on with Jeffrey, whose wings are almost completely black now. And Clara’s mom is still hiding things. I imagine all of this will come into play in the next book, and I eagerly await all of it. Especially Jeffrey’s storyline. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)