What first made me take a second look at Branded was its gorgeous cover, hence my decision to join the tour when the authors offer me a copy3.5 Stars
What first made me take a second look at Branded was its gorgeous cover, hence my decision to join the tour when the authors offer me a copy of the book.
The premise of Branded is very interesting. In theory, people that commit a crime are ‘branded’ with a different color according to the nature of the crime (to match the capital sins.) Then, they are removed from polite society and send to live to a horrendous place called the Hole. As you might imaging, the Hole is not a nice place, quite the opposite. In fact, it is one of the most horrendous settings that I ever read.
Lexi is a very complicated character. She had a very happy childhood and family life, but unfortunately that didn’t last long. When her mother remarried, it seems like she married a controlling sadistic maniac (just saying it like it is.) I have no idea how Lexi endured these years because it was enough to turn a lesser person crazy. When she ends up in the Hole, she is broken. She lives in constant fear, she can’t defend herself and seems to always fit the role of damsel in distress (which I strongly dislike.) Lexi surprised me though. She made a big change, and a conscious effort to no longer fit that role and learn how to be stronger and overcome her fear.
For an unknown reason, Lexi is assigned a private guard, to keep her safe. I really liked Cole, even though he comes across a bit overprotective and overbearing. Since a relationship between guards and sinners is prohibited and punishable by death, it is predictable that Lexi and Cole fall in love. It is by no means insta-love, but when the fall, the fall hard.
Bruno is a big teddy bear of a man. He’s Cole’s best friend and he tried to help Lexi and Cole in any way he can. Zeus is Cole’s huge dog and a vicious loyal sweetheart. Keegan is Lexi’s brother and also very protective of Lexi. The interaction between the siblings was fun to watch. I wonder where Lexi’s mother is. Overall, the characterizations was strong.
The plot, as I mentioned at the beginning is original and strong. Some of the turns of events I could predict, but some I didn’t (plus I’m sure there’s more to come.) The writing is easy to read and follow, but the dialogue was a little out of place (see below.) The world building is excellent for the Hole, but very vague for the rest of the world outside.
However, the book is not without problems. Two things really bugged me. First, there were some spelling errors. Second, the timing of things didn’t quite work for me. The book explains that the current system has been in effect after World War V which happened fifty year before Lexi’s story. However, Lexi’s father remembers the system before that time (which would make him very old.) Also, the language used by the characters is current (slang and all) and this would not be used in a dystopian; even the technology seemed the same. Unless I was confused with how the book is supposed to be read as (a dystopian versus an alternate present?)
I’m sure that some other unknown factors will come into play in the next book and I will certainly read it when it’s published. The book ends with a lull in the action, but with a promise of more to come....more
What a wild ride Burn Out turned out to be! I don’t usually read books set in space, but I’m glad that this one called out to me.
I think the synopsisWhat a wild ride Burn Out turned out to be! I don’t usually read books set in space, but I’m glad that this one called out to me.
I think the synopsis does an awesome job as stating the basic facts, so I won’t go over those again. Instead, let’s concentrate on the characters. Tora has been taught how to survive since age ten and it is drilled into her skull. She doesn’t trust anyone and has a vague plan as to how to survive Earth’s last days. She is full of sarcasm and a tough cookie. She is also very lonely and with small hopes for survival. However, Tora’s survival instincts are really strong and not only does she manages to do so, but to help others as well.
James, I’m reserving my judgment until the next book in the series, but I hope you can see me shaking my head at you. Anyway, the budding romance between James and Tora seems to be too fast (although nothing really happened!) and it is not the focus of the story, rather a promise of things to come.
I’m not sure what to think of Alex. I mean, Tora is so distrustful of everyone and then, like magic, she’s charging of to rescue a complete stranger. It’s really out of character and I hope there is an ulterior motive to the addition of Alex to this highly messed up group.
Markus is as ambivalent as the wind, but I have high hopes for his and him and I hope he learned his lesson after all that happened. Tora’s family is dead when we meet her, but they are ever present in her thoughts and in most decisions she makes. The other character in the group is Britta, another survivor, but with a healthy dose of annoying thrown in. About Kale, the group’s leader, let me just say that Helvig’s phycology degree shines through him and how devious and manipulative he is. Just sayin’.
Holy cliffhangers! This ending was beyond cruel. I’m not sure what will happen next, but I hope that Tora finds a way out of the mess she got herself into; in one piece, I mean. The plot is a full of twists and turns and ever changing alliances. It really made me dizzy how people seem to change their minds by the hour (that’s what it felt like). The writing is descriptive and straight forward enough that even I understood the science behind Earth’s destruction (no small feat, let me assure you!), and the new gadgets and doohickeys that about in the future.
Overall, Burn Out it’s a solid first book in what I’m sure will be a great series. Can I have the next book pretty please?...more
Last year I read and I really enjoyed Not a Drop to Drink, BUT the ending was too open ended for me so IReview: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
Last year I read and I really enjoyed Not a Drop to Drink, BUT the ending was too open ended for me so I was so happy when I found out its companion novel, In a Handful of Dust. It is not exactly a sequel, but rather Lucy’s story.
McGinnis story makes you think, what would happen if one day water didn’t come down the pipes? How would you live? What would you be willing to do for it? What if there was no electricity, no grocery stores, no internet, no postal service, no cars? I don’t know about you, but I don’t care to find out. I do know that I would probably do whatever it takes to take care of my children.
This time, Lucy is now our narrator. She was raised by Lynn to be self-sufficient, but not in the same manner that she herself was raised. She is gentler, curious, less pragmatic and full of plans and hope. Lucy grew up in a close community, with more people around that are used to help each other. However, her way of life is threated when a polio outbreak starts attacking their members. Thus, Lucy and Lynn leave together in search of a better place.
“Lynn smiled, but it was the one, slow and sad, that always came with talk of Mother, “She taught me what she knew. So has Stebbs, He told me once that people like me and him are badly built for times like this, when there’s nothing we can do.”
“You need an enemy,” Lucy said, understanding immediately.
“I do. And when it’s a sickness, I guess the best weapon I’ve got is the fire for the bodies.”
Lynn is no longer a teenager, but a woman of 26 in this book. I don’t know if it was because I’m more used to Lynn, but I identify with her better than with Lucy. Lynn is still practical, great at survival, a hard worker, slow to trust others and ready to believe the worst in others. Maybe in contrast to her personality, she’s known for quoting poetry.
Both girls learn a lot about each other and complement each other well. Their relationship is that of mother and daughter, but also of friends. No one would call Lynn warm or affectionate, but she does love Lucy and will gladly die for her without thinking twice. Their banter is a precious treat as Lynn is not a bit talker.
There are a lot more characters in this book, all strangers meet in their LONG, LONG trip. Some are bad, some are even worse and then, there’s Fletcher. I liked him a whole lot and I was very sad to see him go. I wished that there would have been more time to get to know him better. *hint*
“I was just wondering when you were going to tell me your foot was in such a shape,” Lynn said, without looking up.
“Didn’t want to bother you,” Lucy answered, pulling her naked foot back under the blanket, “It’s not a big deal.”
“It will be if it gets infected. I don’t like the idea of cutting your foot off and then having to haul your ass to West Coast.”
“I don’t think I’d like the cutting-my-foot-off part,” Lucy said. “But anytime you want to carry me is fine.”
The setting of Not a Drop to Drink was very limited, it only covered a few mile radius, as Lynn was always afraid to go far from her house and her pond. Here, Lynn and Lucy embark on an adventure, from their beloved pond all the way to California. It is a road trip of the worst kind, they have to be cautious all the time, prepared for anything and some awful things happen. But don’t despair, not everything is bad.
The writing is again evocative, spare, and direct. Very fitting for the type of story and to her character’s personality. This is a different kind of dystopian, more direct and realistic and it doesn’t take place in a distant future.
Overall In a Handful of Dust is just as brutal as the first book. The ending is – again – too open ended for my taste. I would love, at least a short story to help me with closure. I need to know.
Find my original post here: “My only thought is that I am not going to end up truly dead this time in Raffe’s arms. I am not going to be one4.5 Stars
Find my original post here: “My only thought is that I am not going to end up truly dead this time in Raffe’s arms. I am not going to be one more wound on his soul.”
“He glares at me. "I've had to watch you die once, isn't that enough?" "All you have to do is make sure it doesn't happen again." I give him a sunny smile. "Simple." "The only thing simple is you. Stubborn little..." His grumbles fades to a point where I can't hear them, but I suspect they're not compliments.”
About the cover: This one is not as pretty as Angelfall, but then again, these are Raffe’s new wings. Nothing is pretty in the World After....more
Last year I participated in the blog tour for Virus Nation, I really loved it because it’s very different. I was dying to read Revel Nation and it didn’t disappoint at all.
One of the things that makes this book different is the plot development. It is so unpredictable and I find it fascinating. Every time that I think I know what’s going to happen, the complete opposite ends up happening! The story picks up a couple of months after the ending of Virus Nation and follows our favorite characters in their fight against The Company.
The second thing that makes this series so good are the characters. Clover is autistic and she’s amazing. She’s smart, loyal, logical, and tries her best to overcome her limitations to help others the best way she cans. Jude is so understanding, and tender with Clover and their relationship is so sweet. I love them both and I hope it all works out. West is so endearing, he’s only 20 but has the weight of a big group of people to take care of. He’s full of doubts, but does what needs to get done without question and tries to be the leader that the Freaks need. These are the main players in the resistance. Go Freaks!
“He looked at the pallet he’d made on the floor out of the sofa cushions and started to ease away from Clover.
“Just say,” she murmured.
He slipped down so he was lying next to her and she curled against him, her head on his chest. How was he ever going to keep her safe?”
The main freaks that we met in the previous book, Christopher, Phire, Marta and Emmy are all there. Also Isaiah, James, and Leanne, join them, even if they are not exactly willing at the beginning. It is also interesting that we now get to see how other live outside of the walled cities and the possibilities. As bad guys go, Bennet is one of the absolute worse. I’m not even sure that we know the extent of his madness and his obsession, but I have a feeling that we will know soon enough.
The story is told in the third person from multiple points of view, mainly from Clover, Jude, West, James, and Bennett. I know it is a bit unusual for YA books to do this, but it works perfectly, in the story. Revel Nation expands on the world building that stared in the first book. This is a dystopian that starts in an undetermined future when a virus and wars decimated most of the population in the US. The cure was achieved because someone found a portal to travel to the future and brought the ‘cure’ over to the present. The world changed a lot during that time. Not regressed, but most survivors live within walled cities and don’t have access to things that we take for granted, like electricity, phones and internet. Except, of course, if you work for The Company. So… no zombies or mutations, but instead a lot of discontent and political turmoil. The writing is so good! I loved how easy it is to understand and follow.
“Virginia City was like something out of one of the old Western movies they sometimes played at the library. “City” was a little ambitious, Clover though, but guessed that when it was built, the name fit.”
Holy cliffhangers Batman! What was that? The wait for the conclusion of the series will be torturous at best. ...more
4.5 Stars! I received this book from the author in exchange of my honest review.
Wow! I’m glad to report that Shudder did not suffer from the second b4.5 Stars! I received this book from the author in exchange of my honest review.
Wow! I’m glad to report that Shudder did not suffer from the second book syndrome. It had many twists and turns and many surprises that kept me at the edge of my seat for most of the book.
Shudder starts where Stitch left off. Isaac and Alessa are outside or Paragon looking for a rebel base. They have a really hard time trudging through the ‘outside’. They are afraid of the virus that took most of humanity, they are hungry, and to top it all they find some weird ‘creatures’ that are following them. I don’t want to spoil the book for you, so let me just say that it was quite the quest. This time served to tried and strengthen Alessa and Isaac’s relationship.
I like Alessa and Isaac because they are strong, but flawed characters. They are deeply in love and they are fiercely loyal to each other and to those they love. Even if Isaac felt helpless at times to help Alessa with her newfound abilities, he still sticks with her and tries (typical of a man!) to find an explanation and cheers her on. One of the things I like the most is that we find out a lot more about the post-war, post-virus world. We understand what happened to our characters and to humanity as a whole and why. We get many answers (even if we don’t like them!), and still have many questions.
Stitch read like a paranormal contemporary (a ghost story) and then switched when we know what was really happening. In contrast, Shudder’s story is told in the third person point of view, from different perspectives. We have the distinct voices of Alessa, Isaac, Nikhil, Phoenix, and at a lesser degree 14. Surprisingly, this adds a lot of depth to the story without making it confusing. There seems lot be a traitor in their mist and I hope that she knows better.
The writing is good, and easy to understand. To me, the best part of the series is the plot and world building. It is a testament to Ms. Durante’s imagination that when came up with this dystopian world and all its evils. I suspected some things and others had me fooled until the end. Let me just tell you that Paragon is a bad place :)
I can’t wait to read Stuck, coming out next year!
About the cover: I live the cover a lot. It has the illusion of a ‘break’ with neurons behind and Alessa and Isaac’s hands reaching for each other. ...more
What a different take on dystopia! I’m always amazed by the vision, imagination and invention of authors everywhere, that’s why you are so awesome! SkWhat a different take on dystopia! I’m always amazed by the vision, imagination and invention of authors everywhere, that’s why you are so awesome! Skylark is a testament to that :)
There are books that, for whatever reason, stay with you and Skylar is one of those. To me, the best components of the story are the story building, the setting and the writing. The story is very slow to build and I have to confess of losing interest at the beginning, I’m glad I persevered though! The world created by Spooner is nothing short of magical. It has been ravaged by wars 100 years ago and the survivors have either mutated to almost monsters, or banded themselves in walled cities that are powered by the ‘resource’, what we know of as magic. I think one of the biggest lessons that Lark learned is that evil could be found inside and outside the walls equally and that she had to be very careful to survive. The setting comes alive by the description of Lark experiences. The writing is poetic and lyrical, rich in metaphors and simile; truly exquisite. I wish I could include some quotes here, but alas, this is harder to do when listening to an audio book.
Now that you read the paragraph above, you might be wondering why I haven’t mentioned that characters yet. I’m getting to that part now. It’s not to say that the characterization was poor, but to me, it takes second place to the story itself. Lark is strong, loyal, but misguided and very incapable, at least at the beginning. Since the story is told from her POV, we get to experiences all her ‘first’. The first time she sees the outside world as she leaves her domed city is traumatic. She’s starving, tired, and scared. She makes many mistakes and is saved a few times by Oren. I loved that Lark is aware of her shortcomings and wants to earn some independence and sense of belonging.
Oren is, as Lark initially called him, a wild boy. However, he is taken with her and helps her many times, showing her how to survive in the ‘real’ world. Oren is mysterious, stoic, strong and closed off, but I liked him immediately. I have faith in you! Nix is a pixie (a machine created by the institute to track magic), that is Lark’s other companion on her travels, I loved her evasiveness and her loyalty. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t like Kris from the beginning. The other characters, such as Dorian, the renewable leader, and others are not memorable.
The plot is different and so full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and left my head spinning. I hope that Lark learns to take care of herself and finds her missing brother Basil. I can’t wait to read Shadow Lark, the next book in the series that will be released in October of this year.
About the cover: The cover is pretty, but doesn’t give a lot away. I guess the woods are prominent and that the swirls gives it a sense of whimsy. ...more
Amazing? Wonderful? Marvelous? I wish I could find the right words to describe, not only how good this book is, but how good the series is. Into the SAmazing? Wonderful? Marvelous? I wish I could find the right words to describe, not only how good this book is, but how good the series is. Into the Still Blue is the perfect ending for what has been a worthy addition to the YA dystopian genre.
Into the Still Blue starts right were Through the Ever Night ended and finds Perry planning a rescue mission for Cinder. The Dwellers and the Outsiders are having a really difficult time getting along and getting past their views and prejudices about each other. An unlikely group is pulled together and off they go. Everything that could go wrong probably does, and the Tides and the Outsiders that escape band together in an attempt to survive the worsening ether storms.
Aria and Perry are a perfect example of a couple that not only complements each other, but they make each other better. There is no love triangle, there’s no unreasonable jealously; just love, understanding and absolute trust in each other. I can really appreciate this. They keep growing as individual and leaders as well and don’t strangle each other.
The road to the Still Blue doesn’t come without sacrifices and many give their lives (some unwillingly and some not) for the good of the tribe. What happens next is a combination of war, scare tactics, strategy and stealth. Sable is one of the best villains that I ever encountered in literature. Like a typical dictator, he forces his will unto others, all the while pretending that it’s for their own good.
Roar remains one of my favorite characters; he still mourning, but by the end I saw a semblance of his old self and I’m happy for it. Brooke, Cinder, Hess, Sorren, characters old and new join our beloved couple. I have to say that the characterization is phenomenal. I felt so close to these characters. Aria and Sorren go through one of the best character growth that I’ve read about lately.
The plot can make you dizzy because it’s so full of twist and turns! Really, the unexpected seemed to always be happening and I just enjoyed the ride and went with the flow. The writing is fluid, easy to read and understand, even if we are reading about a dystopian world.
Veronica Rossi has become one of the best author in my list and I will read anything she writes for sure! Into the Still Blue is the perfect end to one of my favorite series. I hope you give it a try.
About the cover: Perfect. Just like everything else about this book :)...more
Finally! Someone did what needed to be done! Let me now get ahead of myself, but Sever was my favorite of the books in the series.
Woo, hoo! I made itFinally! Someone did what needed to be done! Let me now get ahead of myself, but Sever was my favorite of the books in the series.
Woo, hoo! I made it to the end of the series :) I have to say that Wither was nice, but I really didn’t care for Fever as much (see my review here), since it seemed to be the narrative of one calamity after another. Sever was full of twists and turns and more action that we saw in the first two books. Also, Cecily and Linden are in this one a lot more, which I enjoyed.
The story starts where we last saw Rhine, in the hospital, when she is about to get discharged. Linden takes her to his uncle’s house to stay until she recovers. Reed is the complete opposite of Vaughn and I liked him a lot. Rhine finally finds Rowan, but the encounter is tainted by my last favorite person in the series. Rowan is strong, even if he places his faith in the wrong person.
Oh Linden! It was so hard for him to come to terms with what his father was and to put his wives’ wellbeing before his own blind faith in Vaughn. I admire how DeStafano made Linden, the presumptive villain and girl snatcher, into such an endearing character. I truly believe that Rhine loved him and if circumstance had been different, she could have been happy with him.
Vaughn keeps on being his evil and manipulative self and his reach is very far and wide, although we get to understands his motives in this book, I still hate him. Kudos to Cecily for doing what needed to be done! Gabriel is not in the book until the very end and I’m sad to say that I never really liked him.
The writing continues to be the most redeeming quality of the series. It is lyrical, beautiful, absorbing… listening for these books was almost like someone reading poetry to me. So full of feeling, whatever those were: sadness, despair, pain, fear and even love.
I don’t know how to describe the ending, other than DeStefano tied all the loose end rather nicely. It is, against all odds and the premise of the series, a happy ending.
Some quotes for you:
“We'll squeeze every second that we can from our lives, because we're young, and we have plenty of years to grow. We'll grow until we're braver. We'll grow until our bones ache and our skin wrinkles and our hair goes white, and until our hearts decide, at last, that it's time to stop.”
“Maybe hope isn't the most dangerous thing a person can have. Maybe love is.”
“I don't dare touch her. Loss is a knowledge I'm sorry to have. Perhaps the only thing worse than experiencing it, is watching it replay anew in someone else--all the awful stages picking up like a chorus that has to be sung.”
“It isn’t a perfect place. There are no perfect places. But nobody cares about perfection when there are sand castles to build and kites to chase, children that are being born, old hearts that are giving in.”
About the cover: The covers are all full of items that symbolize part of the story, but I’m sorry, I can’t get pass that awful green color (the color of hope?)...more
Just wow! I’m a lover of the dystopian genre and I really loved Viral Nation. What a fast paced, complicated and riveting read!
Let me start by tellingJust wow! I’m a lover of the dystopian genre and I really loved Viral Nation. What a fast paced, complicated and riveting read!
Let me start by telling you how hesitant I was to read this book, I wasn’t sure that I would understand the mindset of an autistic character, but I need to worry as Ms. Grimes is a master of characterization. Clover is brilliant, and has autism. She has dreamed all her life going to the Academy, but during her interview, something goes wrong and she is send to the ‘Company’. Clover’s character is fascinating to read about. The inner workings of her mind and her triggers and difficulties are understandable and part of her. Believe me when I tell you that her condition is in no way a disability. Mango is Clover’s dog and he’s been trained to help her.
West is so good. He has sacrificed a lot to keep Clover stable and safe, and although he might resent it a little bit, I think he resents more his dad for leaving them on their own. West is really smart, loyal, a natural leader, and very loving. I really admire him for what he did and still does for his neighbor, and almost mother Mrs. Finch, for his friend Isaiah, for Clover and even for Bridget.
Now, let me introduce you to the Freaks; that’s what they call themselves in the book, really! Jude is great and I hope he grows to be an asset to the revolution. Phire, Emmy, Christopher, Geena and Marta round up the rest of the Freaks, with the exception of Bridget, which accidently falls in with this bunch.
Ned Waverly is plain crazy, all I’m saying.
James, West and Clover father is haunted by a decision from his past that crippled him as a father. I really can understand his pain, BUT is just not right to leave his children to suffer because of it.
The plot is complicated, a tale of domination of the ‘Company’ after a host of natural disasters and disease. What they did to the surviving population and most of all, the children was despicable, and I’ll stop there because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I really can’t understand how the world turned out to be so messed up in such a short period of time! To add to the overall confusion of the characters, is the brilliant addition of time travel through a portal that looks two years into the future. The story is enveloped in a sense of mystery and suspense that had me reading non-stop until I reached the ending. This causes all sort of confusion of what was and what will be as time loops develop quite often. The story is told in the third person, from James, West and Clover’s points of view. This gives us a clear outlook of what all the characters are going through at different points of the story, especially when the characters are not together. The writing is really good, flows freely and it’s easy to read.
Overall, Viral Nation is a great addition of the YA dystopian genre, one full of twists and turns and a testament to Ms. Grimes imagination. I can’t wait for the next book in the series and see what’s in store for the Freaks! ...more
I’ve seen reviews of Rapture in other blogs and I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis, thus I juFind the review and more here:Reading with ABC
I’ve seen reviews of Rapture in other blogs and I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis, thus I jumped at the opportunity to review it for this tour. It wasn’t quite what I expected, that is to say, that I was pleasantly surprised.
Rapture is a post-apocalyptic tale with heavy religious undertones. The story begins when Sam is ready to start his quest, a few weeks after the rapture. From there, the story is comprised of mostly alternating chapters from the present to Sam’s past. The flashbacks give the reader an insight on Sam’s life, training, family and his responsibility. I rather like Sam’s voice; he is not perfect and doesn’t pretend to be. He had a sheltered life, but full of truths and a burden that’s not easy to carry. It’s refreshing that the main character knows exactly what he is and what his purpose is. I felt sorry for him at times; all in all he fought really hard to do the right thing.
Sam is a half demon, therefore he cannot rise to heaven regardless of how good he is. He’s not a normal teenager, he is socially awkward , distrusted and feared by most and really hard on himself. Other than Sam, we learn a lot about Hikari, his foster father and master, and Aimi, Hikari’s daughter and Sam’s only other companion. During his quest, Sam meets a few people, some better than others, the most memorable Joshua, Grace and Gabriel. I hope that at the end Sam gets a happy ending since he really deserves it.
The characterization is really good, even small characters are well developed and contribute to the story. The writing is articulate and eloquent; there is a lot of narrative to explain to the reader the background of the rapture and tribulation. The plot is original; the concept of the rapture is very interesting, as well as all the different nasty demons that invade Earth. I didn’t have an inkling about the twist towards the end, didn’t see it coming at all!
Overall, Rapture is a post-apocalyptic tale with paranormal and religious undertones that is fascinating to read. I will definitely pic up Tribulation, book two of the series very soon. ...more
Like the rest of the world I LOVED Angelfall. It took forever to get book two, and unlike it usually happens to me with sequels, I couldn’t w4.5 Stars
Like the rest of the world I LOVED Angelfall. It took forever to get book two, and unlike it usually happens to me with sequels, I couldn’t wait to read World After. It was not as good as its predecessor, but good nonetheless.
Penryn is still our kick-ass hero. Sorry, but there is no better way to describe her. She is loyal, stubborn, strong, fearless, smart, caring; in short, she’s awesome. After she comes back from the dead (almost literary), she is trying to reconcile her past with the crude reality of the world after the angel invasion and with Paige has become. Nothing is getting easier for anyone, but we learned a lot about angel politics, crazy scientists, Paige, and future plans.
Raffe (insert *sigh* here) is one hot angel. He’s loyal to Penryn (the only one on his side) and trying to find out what the heck happen with the rest of the angels, while still wearing demon wings. I think my disappointment with World After strives from the fact that Raffe and Penryn were NOT together for most of the book. It seems like once they were (maybe after 2/3rd?) the story became so much better.
The chemistry between Penryn and Raffe is absolutely amazing! Even if it is forbidden for an angel and a human to be together, and they are fully conscious of the fact, they can’t help what they feel. I hope that the next books have more time of them together.
The characterization is great. I love Dee and Dum, and their reliability to Penryn. Penryn’s mom is still crazy (there’s no cure for her kind of crazy!), but she’s still smart and her survival skills are uncanny; also she tries to keep her daughters safe the only way she knows how.
The plot and world building of this book is outstanding. You don’t know what to expect or when, it’s in constant horrific motion. This book is not for the faint of heart as the angels are even more ruthless and the mad science experiments are getting crazier by the minute. The writing is impeccable and easy to read (even when it’s not easy to digest what’s actually happening!).
It seems like Penryn & the End of Days will be a five book series, and of course it will take years for us to know the ending, but I wish the best for Penryn, Raffe and the rest of the World After. I can just hope that the next book won’t take two years to be published.
Some quotes for you:
“I look up to say something but he puts his finger to my lips and whispers, “Don’t talk. You’ll just spoil my fantasy of rescuing an innocent damsel in distress as soon as you open your mouth.”
“It is painful to see that people prefer a bad guy who looks like an angel to a good guy who looks like a demon.”
“I kick him in the face point blank with my high heel. He wasn't expecting that. The Angel flies back off the stage. "It really is you,"says Raffe.”
“My only thought is that I am not going to end up truly dead this time in Raffe’s arms. I am not going to be one more wound on his soul.”
“He glares at me. "I've had to watch you die once, isn't that enough?" "All you have to do is make sure it doesn't happen again." I give him a sunny smile. "Simple." "The only thing simple is you. Stubborn little..." His grumbles fades to a point where I can't hear them, but I suspect they're not compliments.”
About the cover: This one is not as pretty as Angelfall, but then again, these are Raffe’s new wings. Nothing is pretty in the World After. ...more
McGinnis’ Not a Drop to Drink is a raw and intense depiction of the life shortly after a catastrophic event takes place. This is dystopian at its bestMcGinnis’ Not a Drop to Drink is a raw and intense depiction of the life shortly after a catastrophic event takes place. This is dystopian at its best.
The story starts a few months before Lynn’s mother passes away and it gives the reader a clear idea of what life is like about 16 years after ‘it’ happened. What exactly happened? I’m not sure. It’s really not explained very well, but the gist of it is that water no longer flows through the pipes, there is no electricity, law and government are non-existent, production of essential items has stopped, and it’s an “every man for himself” kind of situation. That is, except if you live in a city, in which case you have to pay for everything and adhere to sever rules. This new life (the only that Lynn has known) is hard and harsh and reminds me of the Wild West of 100 years or more ago. You get the idea, right? The difference though is that the people retained knowledge and that makes this transition easier.
Lynn’s mother is a very hard woman. She opted to stay in her family’s farm house in Ohio, since she had a pond by the house and she was expecting a child. She raised her daughter to be self sufficient, but completely isolated and unprepared to deal with other people, and sorely lacking in the social graces. Thus, Lynn is very straightforward, rude, and even ruthless. She is self-assured and knows what’s right and wrong only in the context of the situation. I think the character of Stebbs, Lynn’s neighbor, acts like a paternal figure for her when she needs it the most. He shows her a quite sort of affection and kindness.
Lucy is a five-year-old girl that Lynn sort of adopts, which is surprising to me because it’s somewhat out of character for her. On the other hand, it serves for Lynn to find purpose; it reminded me to The Life of Pi in that regard. The other important character is Eli, Lucy’s uncle, which is about Lynn’s age and is the love interest. The romance is not a big part of the story and I felt indifferent towards Eli, that is to say that he didn’t blew me away and I think they ended up together because they were both there and there was no one else around (kind of like the way you gravitate to the last cookie in the box, you know what I mean?)
The story progresses slowly, and as stated in the blurb above the writing is evocative and spare. As I was listening to this book, I was not bored at all. You have to understand and feel the sense of complete isolation, where every moment is occupied with chores to do, with protecting the pond and the house, and with making sure that survival is achieved until the next spring. The ending was very unexpected, but realistic and I’m glad that some resemblance of order was the end result. There is certainly enough there for a short story or even another book about this world.
I will definitely read more from McGinnis. Not a Drop to Drink it’s not your typical dystopian, but a simple story of survival in a not too far future. All in all, a great story.
About the cover: The cover was one of the first things that I liked about the book. It portraits the house as I imagined it (without all the out buildings) and Lynn on the roof. It also has the coveted pond front and center. I love the play of the colors, how there is darkness and light that blend together. ...more
I was very excited when Ms. Durante contacted me to be part of the blog tour for Stitch, and I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed in the least!
Stitch is a clever mix of many genres. At the beginning I thought that this was a ghost story, but as the story progressed I found out that it is part mystery, part thriller, part sci-fi, part romance and most surprisingly a dystopian novel.
The main character is Alessa, who is a brave, confused, smart girl that is obsessed with an apparition (aka as ghost) that she starts seeing in her sorority house. As she searches for the truth about who her handsome ghost is, she unravels something much more sinister and harder to grasp. We get some clues as to what might be going on in the form of nightmares that plague Alessa’s existence. Issac is the ghost, but as we get a few chapters and sections from his point of view, we find out that Alessa is an apparition for him as well. This is when the plot starts getting much more interesting and the story picks up the pace. Is a little harder to identify with Isaac as he is not present on the story as much, but we do get a pretty good insight from Alessa’s point of view. I also liked Janie, Alessa’s best friend and her sole support system.
I am fascinated by the notion that two people are so attuned to each other, so in love with each other, that they can recognize each other on a deeper level, even if they cannot remember their past.
The story started a bit slow for me. It is hard to build the story line and the plot, and then include all the twists and turns that appear out of nowhere. The plot is, therefore, unique in its complexity and there is still a lot to be discovered. The writing is very descriptive and easy to read. I wish I could tell you more (and I know this sounds very mysterious), but you need to read Stitch, my lips, as they say, are sealed :)
Shudder is the second book in the trilogy and I will definitely read it.
About the cover: Isn’t it beautiful? I love the cover, both Alessa and Isaac are on it and you can see the ‘stitch’ and what’s in between them (which makes a lot of sense after you read the book). ...more
I love the dystopian genre and although this book wasn’t what I expected, PODs turned out to be a greatFind the original review here: Reading with ABC
I love the dystopian genre and although this book wasn’t what I expected, PODs turned out to be a great adventure.
The synopsis for PODs is very good, thus I don’t have to repeat these crucial points in the story. The book can be divided in parts: pre-virus, PODs, and live after the PODs. I have to say that the beginning of the book moved me to tears. I cannot comprehend the rapid spread of a fatal virus that wipes population so fast that there is no time to even study it and find a cure. I cannot imagine the pain of knowing that death is almost certain, except for the few chosen to be saved in the PODs. As a mother I understand Eva’s parents delight that she was chosen, I would have felt the same way. Nevertheless, it was heartbreaking to read.
I really liked Eva (short for Evangelina); she is feisty, stubborn, beautiful, intelligent, and has a great sense of humor. The part of the book I loved the best was the time that the group spends in the sub-POD. At the beginning everyone was scared, grieving, upset, but eventually they become a tight family (for the most part). Eva and David meet at the POD and the problems arise when they are relocated to different ‘villages’ at the end of their time there. I’m not sure if I would have made the same decisions they did, but I’m glad they found each other.
The romance is a big part of the story. I understand this as well; when everything familiar and everyone else is gone, finding love is like a lifeline. David is handsome, intelligent, loving, tender and very protective of Eva. I liked him, but for some reason something was missing. I also got mad that they never found a moment of privacy! Other characters in the story are not as well fleshed out, but I did like the group in the PODs better.
The plot is good, even if there are a few ‘holes’ in it. I know that the story moves really fast, but it would have been to understand more about the virus, the mutation and the government’s plans. I don’t understand where the PODs came from (were there build ‘just in case’?) and why the government made the decisions it did). The writing is straightforward, easy to read and at times a bit dry.
I was surprised to see in Goodreads that this is a series, as the ending of book one was quite adequate for me. I would recommend this book to dystopian lovers, please be aware that there are some gruesome scenes in here and it might not be appropriate for younger readers.
Some quotes for you: (please note these are form the ARC and they might be different in the final book)
“David. Where is he right now? Is he as excited as I am? MY heart is doing weird things and a million butterflies are inside me. I swear if I open my mouth they’ll fly out.”
“Sitting in a beanbag in the middle of the room was a boy with several piercing and tattoos; his blond hear was cut close to his heat in a military style… I dubbed him Beanbag Guy… there was a boy sitting against the wall, doodling in a notebooks. Brown hair fell all over his face. He didn’t look up as I came in. I named him Doodle Boy.”
About the cover: It gives an idea of what the book is about, although the PODs were underground....more
Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t find words to describe how awesome Angelfall is! Nonetheless, I will try my best to describe it for you.
Angelfall has been iOh. My. Goodness. I can’t find words to describe how awesome Angelfall is! Nonetheless, I will try my best to describe it for you.
Angelfall has been in my TBR list for a long time and then, last week I saw a great review in another blog (I can’t remember which) that made me put it on hold at my local library. I devoured it in no time :) Okay, let’s start with Penryn. First, let me say that I’ve ever heard this name before. Penryn is an amazing character, she reminds me a bit of Katniss (from The Hunger Games), in the sense that they are survivors. She will do anything to keep her loved ones safe in a world that’s been turned up-side-down in a very short span of time. Due to a schizophrenic mother, she was trained in different forms of self-defense from a young age; she also feels she is in charge and the protector of her little unusual family.
Raffe is the wingless angel that Penryn rescues in order to help her find her sister (no spoilers, this is in the synopsis). He is physically perfect, lighter and bigger than humans and willing to sacrifice a lot to get his wings back. Pernyn and Raffe form an uncomfortable alliance based on need and a sense of loyalty that grows between them.
The characterization is amazing. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Penryn and Raffe and suffer with them through every trial. Penryn’s mom is some kind of crazy and a little abusive, I cannot imagine growing up like that, but it does make for a good survival skills. My heart brakes for all of them, especially for Paige, Penry’s little sister.
The plot is incredibly good. This is dystopia at its best. A story based on angels that descend to Earth to destroy humanity. These are celestial beings that are not fluffy or angelic, but ruthless and cruel. The entire world goes to heck in a matter of weeks; with unreliable electricity, no food and gangs taking over the streets. It’s amazing how people go crazy so fast! The politics of angels is very complicated and I can’t wait to understand what’s going on (although I have my suspicions). Angelfall is not for the weak of mind. It is dark, way dark. The survivors have to see and suffer many horrors, not only from the angels, but from fellow humans. The writing is astounding; so, so good.
The ending was sort of a non-ending for me. I hope that Raffe and Pernyn find each other again and soon. I’m still reeling from the last few chapters, it’s all so unfair. I’m glad I read Angelfall this year, as book #2 in the series, still untitled, is not due for publication until the fall of this year (with the projected five books, it means I will be waiting for the series to end for a few more years!).
Here are some quotes for you:
“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you’re going to get stuck trying to walk between two trees. And then, I’ll have to rescue you” I give him a wary look. “Again” – Penryn to Raffe.
“I lean into his strength until I realize what I’m doing. I pull back abruptly. I don’t have the luxury of leaning on anyone’s strength, least of all an angel’s. My shoulder feels cold and vulnerable once his warmth is gone.” – Penryn
“You should know” he says. His whisper is low enough that even angels probably can’t hear it beyond the background noise of conversations in the corridor. “I don’t even like you”. – Raffee to Penryn
I must be the last person in the universe to read Wither. I also have a confession to make: I started reading Wither and only couldn’t get pat to theI must be the last person in the universe to read Wither. I also have a confession to make: I started reading Wither and only couldn’t get pat to the first few chapters because I thought the pace was too slow to hold my interest. A few months later I decided to check the audio book from the library and give it another chance. I’m glad I did.
As you know, Wither is a dystopian and I do love this type of book (who wouldn’t love The Hunger Games and Divergent, for example?). The premise of the book is very different, depressing and catastrophic, I mean, it’s like walking around with an expiration date. There are many things that I liked about this book. For example, I like Rhine, Cecily and Jena. These characters were literally thrown together in a very difficult situation and each chose to handle it in a different way. I don’t want to give much away, but I think their backgrounds and their ages have a great impact in how they deal with the situation.
The story is told in the first person, from Rhine’s point of view. Rhine is a character with a strong set of believes, smart and a tender hearted. She tried to hate both her marriage and her husband (Linden) and at first glance I guess I would have too. However, she grows fond of her sister wives (the very concept makes me shudder), the staff at the mansion and even of her husband. To me Linden is a victim of his father, and his upbringing; in short, he doesn’t know any better. It is hard to miss something that you never had or to question something when there is no doubt in your mind. However, Linden was weak, but nice, he really did care for is wives in the best way he know how and tried to make them happy. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t care for Gabriel much. I think the reason is because I didn’t get to know him well. Gabriel is almost a slave (yes, he was purchased) and hardly has time to talk to Rhine. He is shy, careful, reserved; I just can’t find it in me to like him. On the other hand Linden is constantly in the story and there is much more depth to his character. Vaughn is our villain, and he is indeed the typical bad guy, again we don’t get to really get a feel of what exactly is going on, although there is a lot of guessing from Rhine’s part (and mine as well!)
As I mentioned before the story is good and original. I think the biggest appeal of Wither, at least for me, is the writing. Lauren DeStefano sure knows how to put a sentence together. Although the story is indeed very slow paced and there is no much action, I can see the appeal such beautiful writing has on the reader.
I had a lot of personal issues with the world of Wither. For example, if there were so many orphans and even “bride schools” why was there a need to steal girls? Why couldn’t they ask for volunteers? I’m sure that Rhine would have been much more open to the idea of being a bride if given a choice and if she was able to bring her brother along. Why did the wives had to be locked up all the time? Why did Linden and Rhine’s relationship seemed much more stronger than her relationship with Gabriel? And what on earth is Vaughn doing in that basement? I will definitely read Fever as soon as I can.
About the cover: This cover is a work of art. The link between the wedding ring and the caged bird is obvious. The colors and font are also beautiful...more
What an awesome book! I started reading Black City a while ago and for some reason I stopped about 2/3s oFind my original review here:Reading with ABC
What an awesome book! I started reading Black City a while ago and for some reason I stopped about 2/3s of the way. I want to kick myself now for taking so long to read it!
Natalie is only 16, but she’s had a difficult life. She has seen death, betrayal, loss, love and what politics and lies can do first hand. Natalie is brave, loyal, smart, and tries to do the right thing. Ash is a half-blood Darkling, is in the Black City side of the wall that divides humans from Darklings, and is the only of his kind there. Ash had a very hard and lonely life, full of loss and discrimination. Neither of the characters is perfect, far from it; and the fact that I like them and was cheering for them is a testament to the Richard’s writing.
Other characters are well developed and add a lot of depth to the story. I liked Natalie’s friend Day, Ash’s friend Beetle, Mr. Fisher. I distrusted Sigur and despised Sebastian and Ms. Buchanan. However, Puritan Rose sounds a lot like President Rose from the Hunger Games and, like him, is both vile and charismatic. I reserve my judgment about Evangeline until later.
The relationship between Ash and Natalie develops really fast, which normally is very off-putting to me, BUT I loved it in Black City. The reason is that this fact is a critical point in the plot and part of Darkling’s believes (and even anatomy); it is a beautiful concept. I’m glad that the couple felt deeply in love with one another, enough to overcome incredible opposition.
The story is told in alternating points of view, thus we get to know both Ash and Natalie quite well. I really like this format as it allows the reader (me!) to be in more than place at a time and to understand the characters better. As you can tell form my incoherent gushing, Black City has incredible characterization, not only regarding the protagonists, but also secondary characters. The writing is well paced, fluent and descriptive. The plot is a gem. I have read many vampire books and this one is unique. There are different types of Darklings (‘vampires’) that not only look different, but have their own language, culture and rituals. Richards creates a unique world, which undergoes the same struggles and problems of modern society, namely racism, discrimination, segregation and the aftermath of war. Please note that there are very mature topics in here, such as addiction, nudity, discrimination, and sex (even though is not graphic).
Black City made me cry and I’m happy with the ending (thank goodness!). I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Phoenix from Putnam (thanks!) that I plan to read very soon!
Some quotes for you:
“I love you, Ash,” she says. “I love you too,” I say. “So begins my heart…” “So begins our life,” she whispers back, remembering the words I told her the night we first kissed… “Everlasting,” we say together. The Blood Vow…
“What was it like not having a heartbeat?” I say softly… “It was hell.” He eventually says. “It was like being stuck between life and death; I could walk, talk, breathe, eat, but I never felt truly alive. I never felt part of this world.” “And now you do?” “Yes. Because of you.”
About the cover: The cover is breathtaking! A flower (I presume is a rose), a thing of beauty violently exploding and in the background the city....more
I enjoyed Blood Red Road and I was eager to know what happened after Saba finds Lugh and here we have our answers.
Let me start by saying that I likedI enjoyed Blood Red Road and I was eager to know what happened after Saba finds Lugh and here we have our answers.
Let me start by saying that I liked Rebel Heart better than its predecessor. Overall, I liked the story and the world building. The story starts where BRR ended. Okay, here we go…
Saba is a puzzle to me. On the one had side she is ferocious, like and warrior; on the other hand, she is a big mess of impulsiveness, whining, superstition and lack of common sense. What on earth happened to her in the beginning? It reminds me of Katniss at the end of Mockingjay, she kind of lost it! Luckily it only took a session with a ‘seer’, Auriel, to get magically cured (*sarcasm indented*). She has a blind faith in Jack, but then something happens (see spoiler below if you want to) that sucks out all common sense and she turns into a B*%#! Sorry Saba, but I just don’t understand what happened to you.
One of the things that I loved the most from BRR was Saba and Jack’s relationship, and that is missing for almost the entire book :( However, Jack is as infuriating as always with his own brand of layback mocking intensity. I love the first part of the book from his POV. There must be a shortage of woman, because not only is there a love triangle, but a square, and let me tell you that Saba IS NOT a lovable person, like AT ALL!
DeMalo, is the bad guy and leader of the Tonton, BUT he is a very different type of ‘bad guy’. He is so kind and sweet to Saba, even if he is a bit condescending and presumptuous. Of course, like many antagonists, he deeply believes that he is doing the right thing (and in part he is), but going about it in the most appalling way possible.
I know that Saba went through a lot of trouble to save her twin, Lugh, but honestly, I can’t stand him! He is critical, annoying, an impossible know-it-all an unreasonable need to hurt others. We don’t know yet what happened to Lugh while he was in captivity, but it seems like it affected him deeply. In spite of that, instead of being grateful to Saba for saving him, he didn’t care that she had to kill for him and treated her very badly. Emmi is as sweet as ever, she is gentle and good natured and tries to balance the darkness of Saba and now Lugh. We see a host of characters, new and old. My favorites of the new are Molly and Slim and the old are Mauve, Creed and Ash. I did enjoy the big part that all the animals play in the story as well.
The writing, in the dialect of the time, didn’t bother me as I was listening to the book and by now I’m familiar with it. The plot was slow at the beginning, but picked up quickly, even if it was all over the place!
Spoiler: I typically don't do this, but I can't help it! What the heck happened to Saba? Emmi is kidnapped so she decides to act like a toddler with a tantrum, take her life, and ends in bed with DeMalo willingly! The only think I can think of is that she was still ‘too open’ like the Auriel kept saying over and over and couldn’t resist DeMalo’s power of suggestion and charisma. And then the very next day she does the same with Jack. She has lied to EVERYONE! Poor Tommo! This cannot end well! End spoiler. (and end of venting!)
Overall, Rebel Heart is a good addition to the series, and I will definitely read Raging Star, the last book of the series, due to be published in April of next year.
Some quotes for you:
“What happens to you changes you. Fer good or ill, yer changed ferever. There ain't no goin back. No matter how many tears you cry.” – Saba
“He’ll banish the shadows. He’ll silence the whispers. An the wounds of my soul will heal.” - Saba
“All the time I’ve knowed you, Jack, you kept the door to that heart of yers locked up tight an the key hid away. Looks like she found it. He says nothing. Molly waits. Then: Keys ain’t her style, he says. She kicked the door down.” – Jack and Molly
About the cover – I liked original cover for BRB better, but this one is nice too. I guess this is Lugh, surrounded by light, just as Saba sees him....more
Poison Princess turned out to be surprisingly good. I use the word surprising because it started rather slow and scary, and turned out to be awesome.
This book probably had one of the most disturbing beginnings ever! Five minutes into the book I was tempted to quit listening. Thus the story starts on a creepy note with Evie telling her story to the Alchemist. Most of the story is told by Evie in the first person, in a flashback to her life before and after the apocalyptic events that took place. We have the chance to learn, as she does, what is happening with the world and the inexplicable things that are happening to herself and her fear of going crazy. I have to confess that I was very confused for a good portion of the book and I did believe she was loosing her mind.
Evie is not easy to identify with, but I did like her at the end. It is nice to see a popular, rich, and beautiful teenager that is not mean and a bully. She is loyal to a precious few, she is suspicious of everyone and doesn’t have the survival skills needed in the post-apocalyptic world. She doesn’t know what is going on with the world and with herself. Her grandmother was supposed to be her guide, but she was sent away to an institution, thus leaving Evie unprepared.
Jack is a conundrum to me. He is rude, protective, and cautious to the point of paranoia, with strong survival instincts. In other words, exactly what Evie needs. The problem is that he strives to be as unlikable as possible. He’s also fully convinced that Evie could never like, love or understands him because he was poor and lived in the bayou. It seems like he’s more prejudiced than he is. As a couple, they are attracted to each other, but have a lot to learn about communication.
Other characters are Selena, Matthew, Finn and death. They are all Arcana, in other words, cards of the tarot deck. They are interesting, especially as they learn more about each other and their powers. I cannot say much more without spoiling all the fun for you.
The pace, at least for the first half of the book, is really slow. The plot is very original. Who would have thought to create such a fascinating and harsh story around tarot cards? The writing is really good, straightforward, and easy to read. It would not be the last book I read by Kresley Cole. I do have to warn you that Jack as a heavy Cajun accent that might aggravate some readers (I was fine with it.)
Overall, Poison Princess was a really good book and start to the Arcana Chronicles series. I already purchased Endless Knight for my Kindle and I’m half way through it and I can tell you that it gets better and better! Dead of Winter, the next book in the series will be published early next year (why on earth did the change the beautiful covers?)
About the narration: I didn’t care for the narration too much. The part of Evie was good enough, but I didn’t like Emma Galvin as Jack. The only thing distinguishable was Jack’s accent. I had difficulty figuring out who was saying what. Keith Nobbs narrated for the Alchemist and he did a great job.
About the cover: The cover is what made me want to read the book in the first place. It is gorgeous. I love the way the couple looks, the background clouds and fire, and the font too....more
First, let me start by saying that I listened to Blood Red Road. I clarify that because I have seen some comments about the dialect used in the book,First, let me start by saying that I listened to Blood Red Road. I clarify that because I have seen some comments about the dialect used in the book, but since I listed, not read the book and from my point of view it was perfect. Although there are some parts of this book that I didn’t like, I really enjoyed Blood Red Road.
Saba is our protagonist and she is not very likeable. She is rude, has no manners, is stubborn, opinionated, violent, ungrateful and more. Saba’s fixation with Lugh was a little hard for me to identify with. I have siblings and I love them dearly, but Saba’s feelings for Lugh seem extreme (then again I don’t have a twin.) It seems to me that Saba was a mix of Katniss from The Hunger Games and Katsa from Graceling, but not getting quite there yet. I found hard to believe that a girl that was so sheltered and isolated could be this violent and resilient. Some of her faults can be attributed to said isolation, I mean when you live with only three other people as companions, I guess manners are not necessary. On the other hand Saba is strong and inspiring to others, and she did changed and grew up a little.
Emmi is Saba’s little sister and she is very sweet and a saint to put up with Saba! Lugh doesn’t take a big part of the book, so I’ll reserve my judgment for the sequel. Other characters were very well developed and are abundant. Now it’s Jack’s turn. Jack is kind of hard to figure out. He is a handsome dare-devil and knows a lot about everything (I think he thinks he knows it all). He is very easy going and doesn’t know what to do with Saba, but he is very good with people and especially with Emmi. I really liked Jack and I hope we can see more of him in the series.
Other than my few issues with Saba’s character the story is fantastic. It takes place somewhere in a distant future, where people don’t read (can you imagine?) and where people are very violent and life is hard and short (sort of like living in the wild west). The writing is beautiful, well paced, with enough for us to know the setting and background information, but keeping an air of mystery at the same time. I really enjoyed Blood Red Road and I am looking forward to book two, Rebel Heart, to be published in October of this year....more
I have to confess that I’m a little ambivalent about this book. In most aspects a really liked Darkness Before Dawn, but I had a few ‘isGrade rate: B-
I have to confess that I’m a little ambivalent about this book. In most aspects a really liked Darkness Before Dawn, but I had a few ‘issues’ with it.
Dawn promised to be an excellent female character, and mostly she was exactly that. She is beautiful, loyal, respectful, with a big sense of responsibility, and self-preservation. She is being trained to be a delegate for the city of Denver, and she tries her best to perform a job that by all means is really dangerous. She has been taught how to fight and she is willing to go down fighting. What I had an issue with is how helpless she seems to become as the book progressed, letting Michael and Victor fight for her. Also, she kept denying Victor’s worth, in light of plenty of evidence, just because of what he was.
I adored Victor. He is a swoon -worthy vampire, he is good, restrained, and he really cares for Dawn. He reminded me a little of Edward from the Twilight Saga (just a little, mind you). I found that Victors was sure of what his actions and his feelings were, and he never lied to Dawn. Michael, I did not like at all. Although at the beginning he seemed to care for Dawn (and maybe he does), he is too volatile, and has a big ego problem. I didn’t like the ‘triangle ‘either, it seemed unbalanced and unfair for all involved. How do you become to love two men in the same week is beyond me.
Tegan is Dawn’s friend, but she likes to get her way, even when it’s dangerous. I don’t think that she is a good friend to keep around. Sin is not likeable, and his relationship with Tegan is way too rushed, to the point that it becomes incredible.
The plot was original and I loved the story itself. The premise of the world after a 30-year war between vampires and humans is very unique (at least to me). The writing was straightforward and easy to read. The plot was a bit predictable, but I enjoyed it. The ending was a big cliffhanger, guaranteed to leave the reader wanting for more.
Although Darkness Before Dawn was not as good as I would hope so, I still enjoyed it and I will definitely read ‘Blood-Kissed Sky’, the second book in the series that will be published in December of this year.
About the cover: The cover is beautiful. Dark colors contrast with the girl’s skin and we can see a desolated landscape in the background. I also liked the font used on the cover. ...more
Well, Article 5 is a very different dystopian, actually the worst imaginable future. I did enjoy the story though.
Overall I liked Ember’s character. SWell, Article 5 is a very different dystopian, actually the worst imaginable future. I did enjoy the story though.
Overall I liked Ember’s character. She was resourceful, brave, and loyal, BUT I had a few issue with her. She was impulsive and did things without thinking that nearly got her killed and certainly got her in deep trouble. The inner workings of her mind were strange. I mean, anyone could see from a hundred miles away that Chase was crazy in love with her (but her, of course!) I don’t want to spoil the book for you, thus I will restrain myself of telling you the specifics of the dumb decisions she made. I am glad that she seemed to be more mature by the ending of the book.
On the other hand, I LOVE Chase. Ember and Chase were next door neighbors and have more or less been in love with each other forever. For reasons unknown Ember figures out that he stopped loving her after being drafted; I don’t think she ever thought of what poor Chase had to go through. Chase is loyal, loving, practical, capable and gorgeous, his one and only focus is Ember and how to keep her safe. I love knights in shining armor, and Chase did not disappoint. Other characters are transient and minor, but very well crafted.
The story is disconcerting. From all the dystopian books that I’ve read this is by far the worst imagined post-war ever. I’m not exactly sure about the war itself, but the world after is awful. There is a president that seems to think that reverting back about 100 years ago (in mentality, family structure, and women’s attire) and talking away all the citizen’s liberties was a good idea. This new world is violent, full of injustice, starvation, want, need, and dictatorial. I do hope that the resistance can do something about it and I’m looking forward to that. The plot is really good, and the story is full of action. The writing is very good, well paced, with enough background for us to understand and follow the story.
About the cover: Yep, that’s about right. All major cities are gone; here we see a ravaged city with Ember and Chase looking down. I love the red elements of the title and Chase’s shirt. ...more
don’t even know how to start this review. This book was SO good that it leaves me speechless. If you have not read Rot & Ruin you are missing on don’t even know how to start this review. This book was SO good that it leaves me speechless. If you have not read Rot & Ruin you are missing on an incredible series (go on and get these books now! Caution: not for younger readers)
The book starts seven months after the end of Rot & Ruin and Tom, Benny, Nix and Lila are getting ready to leave Mountainside for good. As always Benny is so funny and endearing to me. I absolutely love these characters (yes, even Chong), Jonathan Maberry is a master storyteller and he knows how to create characters that elicit strong emotions: love, hate, disgust, apathy, etc. The bad guys this time are so awful that I don’t think there is a word strong enough to describe it. We also meet a lot of new characters from Benny’s zombie cards. Happy journey Benny, I hope you find what you are looking for.
The story is told from the third person POV, and we know what is going on with most of the characters all the time, which is a nice change since a lot of YA books are written in the first person. I wish I could tell Mr. Maberry how incredible he is (obviously I am not a gifted writerJ). His writing is so lyrical, so personal, that the words strung together in a sentence have such a deep meaning that I can’t help but to wonder how he does it. It reminds me a little of Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. The plot is so good, the zombies are more and more gruesome, and the bad guys are SO bad it is kind of incomprehensible.
Cannot wait for the sequel!
On a final note, I apologize to all the people that saw me driving while I was listening to this book. I must have looked like a lunatic, what with all the frowns, mouth hanging open in surprise, and even openly crying so hard I was sobbing (why ,oh why, did that happened? [Sorry, trying not to spoil it for you])
About the cover: Isn’t it just a combination of beautiful and creepy / disturbing all at once? That is what the book is like. Love it! ...more
I’ve had an amazing luck with my reading choices lately, I haven’t graded a book below “B” for a while noFind my original review here:Reading with ABC
I’ve had an amazing luck with my reading choices lately, I haven’t graded a book below “B” for a while now and this one is no different. My only question is: why did I wait this long to read it? Under the Never Sky is SO INCREDIBLY GOOD!
I have to confess that I picked this book from the library months ago and after reading the first chapters, I called it quits. I wasn’t interested in the characters and the story was so strange and that initial chapters were kind of scary. After so many blogger raved about this series, I decided to give it another try. I’m glad I did! I really enjoyed the audio book and it made the “reading” more entertaining for me.
Besides the characters, I think what I loved the most was the world that Rossi constructed. I like that the current generation know why the world is different now and how things used to be before the Aether storms. The survivors also preserved their technology, which is often not the case in dystopia. I loved the new concepts, such as Dwellers and Outsiders and the evolution and de-evolution of each of them. It was a fascinating world and I hope to visit again soon.
The characterization, as I mentioned above was outstanding. The story is told in the third person, from alternating POVs, form Perry and Aria’s perspectives. I really enjoyed this style as it allows me a better insight of the characters and their surroundings. Aria is 17 and she has lived in a domed city all of her life, visiting virtual places and having whatever she needs at hand’s reach. On the opposite side Peregrine (Perry) is an Outsider and brother to the Blood Lord of his clan. These two unlikely characters meet and unite out of necessity; they each need to find someone and also their survival depends on it. I simply loved brave and pragmatic Aria. I would not have been able to walk all that distance with blisters on my feet for sure! Perry is so brave, so tough, loyal and just plain awesome. I am glad that their ‘liking’ for each other came gradually instead of being instant. The character I loved the most after our protagonists was Roar (I can’t wait to meet Liv!)
The writing is brilliant and although I found the plot to be a bit slow at first, I understand that the world-building was necessary for the reader to understand this new world. The plot itself is full of twists and turns too, I did not see any of it coming ;) I cannot wait to read Through the Ever Night, book two in the series, which I already got for my Kindle.
About the cover: Love it!! It portraits Aria and an Aether storm in the background. ...more
OH WOW! I started to read this book on Saturday evening and finished it last night. If you have kids, you know that this is quite the accomplishment.OH WOW! I started to read this book on Saturday evening and finished it last night. If you have kids, you know that this is quite the accomplishment. I just couldn't put in down or stop thinking about it. This a dystopian series that takes us to the Chicago of the future, to a world that is recovering for war and trying to re-invent itself. It is difficult to imagine that your life depends on choosing a faction, and that its ideology is ingrained into your thoughts, ideas, your sense of self and your value to society. Ms. Roth has created a world that we get to know well, her descriptions are excellent as well as her characterization.
Divergent is a wild ride, is a thriller that takes you to the difficult roller coaster that turs out to be Tris's life. Tris is a kick-ass heroine that reminds me a little of Katnis from 'The Hunger Games' (if you haven't read this series you are missing out too!) We can se,e as the novel progresses, how Tris grows in her new faction, the conflict within herself, and her interactions with Four and her classmates and new friends and enemies.
The novel is action packed and even the all the descriptions necessary for us to understand Tris's world are so interesting and well written that you don't feel like the book is as long as it is. All the characters are well crafted and they all have their strengths and weaknesses, which makes them feel more real. Four is combination of tough, sweet, maddening, violent, and so much more; I really loved him and I am glad that Ms. Roth didn't leave the story with a big cliffhanger.
This is by far the best book that I have read so far (so many good books this year, right?) 'Insurgent', the second book in the series comes out sometime next year ...more
I’m not quite sure what to make of Fever. I liked Wither more (see my review here) because of the plot and Rhine’s interaction with Linen and her sistI’m not quite sure what to make of Fever. I liked Wither more (see my review here) because of the plot and Rhine’s interaction with Linen and her sister wives and that part was missing from the second book in the series.
Fever starts right after the end of the previous book and finds Rhine and Gabriel in a big mess. It seems like they cannot manage to get out of trouble. For all the time that Rhine spent plotting her escape, she did a really poor job of it. I just can’t get over the fact that the book was an (extensive) narrative of one calamity after another. I don’t want to tell you of all the details, but it is very clear what the virus has done to society as a whole, not only to the ‘first generations’, but to everyone. Seeing so many people die and the short life expectancy seems to create a complete disregard for life, feelings, and rights. It is a very dark, hopeless world.
I’m sorry to say that I really don’t care for Rhine. I find her selfish and unprepared for the life outside the mansion. I don’t know what it is about her, but there is something that doesn’t ‘click’ with me. I’m also sad to say that Gabriel is the same way. I can find any depth to his character; Rhine and him as a couple is just plain unappealing to me. They don’t even act like a couple, and there had been not declarations for feelings. What’s even worse is that Rhine is constantly missing and comparing everything for the easy life of her year as Linden’s bride.
What I missed the most was the interaction of Rhine with her sister wives and with Linden. I know he is supposed to be a ‘bad guy’, but I just don’t see him that way. Sure he’s lost, gullible, and lives in ignorance (or pretends to), but he has his share of sadness and he truly cares for his family. I think that Rhine should have trusted him more instead of assuming the worst. I’m curious to know what will happen with Rowan in the last book of the series. Cecily makes an appearance during the book, which I really appreciate. Of course our villain and mad scientist, Vaughn, has free rein during Fever and he is truly an awful human being.
As I’ve mentioned before, I just didn’t like the plot; nothing really happened besides all the catastrophes. A good portion of the book was spent on Rhine’s disease and the experiments she was subjected to. It would have been nice to shed some light into the importance of Rhine and Rowan and what is really going on in the rest of the world. The best thing about the book is the writing; which is, in a word, exquisite. The expert use of simile, metaphor, and images gives the book an almost lyrical feel.
Even though Fever was not my favorite, I am now invested on the series, and I will definitely read Sever, the last book in the series.
About the cover: I like Wither’s cover a lot more than this one, but it is still very pretty and full of clues about what the book is about. ...more
**spoiler alert** Overall, I liked the book. It was a little slow at first, as it required a lot of background infomration about the Godspeed and the**spoiler alert** Overall, I liked the book. It was a little slow at first, as it required a lot of background infomration about the Godspeed and the 'future' I didn't find a strong connection to Eldest and Amy, but at the end I hoped that there would be more of a romance. Instead, we were given an opening for the future books to come (see, dumb me didn't know this was a series)
I don't think that I would have been able to make the decision that Amy made. I think I would have preferred to stay with my family on Earth and live a happy life, that beein frozen in limbo for centuries. Her experiences before, during and after being frozen would drive crazy a leser mortal.
As for the life in this space ship, I don't know where to start. To be honest I guessed most of what was happing or happened, but it was still a sick thing to do to drug so many people into submission.
I will definitely pick up the rest of the books in the series....more