ASHES, ASHES is a terrifying reminder of how much I hate camping. Okay, personal bias aside, the survival aspect is a huge part of the story, and theASHES, ASHES is a terrifying reminder of how much I hate camping. Okay, personal bias aside, the survival aspect is a huge part of the story, and the details are so realistic that it didn’t take too much of a leap in imagination to envision Lucy’s harrowing life in post-apocalyptic New York. It’s not glamorized in any way; life is tough, and I loved how what she actually needs to do to survive isn’t just brushed aside.
It does take a while for the plot to kick in, though. While I appreciated taking the time to get to know our protagonist, the background information kind of all came out in one infodump instead of being revealed in a natural, gradual way; it was alienating, but nice to get the set-up out of the way, too. Once Lucy decides to join the other survivors, things start to get interesting. (It is a hundred or so pages later, though.) I thought that the secondary characters ranged from interesting/entertaining– Sammy, Grammalie, Henry– and boring/stereotypical: Aidan and Del being the main offenders. Aidan in particular was the ideal love interest and any love triangle that got in the way was pointless since we know it wouldn’t last.
One of the aspects I loved was the S’ans’ presence. There are the typical zombie-like victims of the plague, the Sweepers, but the S’ans were more unique; they humanized what could’ve been any old human-race-obliterating epidemic. I was genuinely surprised to discover that one of them was related to Aidan, and that familial relationship was touching, especially because having family was so rare in a setting like this. Henry was the typical charmer, but at least he was more interesting than Aidan. Ah well, at least Aidan wasn’t a rebellious bad boy; a little bit of complexity would’ve made his relationship with Lucy a lot more interesting, though. Del was the clingy jealous girl through and through. Even character development didn’t do much to change my opinion of her.
All in all, ASHES, ASHES is a well-written post-apocalyptic novel that doesn’t break new ground, but uses elements that know and love with some decent (if underdeveloped) characters and memorable survivalist details. The ending left me wanting more; and there’s just enough unanswered business for a companion novel, which I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up....more
Didn't really live up to the hype, but it was a fun read anyway! The ending (ie the last few paragraphs + last sentence) was the most perfectly writteDidn't really live up to the hype, but it was a fun read anyway! The ending (ie the last few paragraphs + last sentence) was the most perfectly written exchange ever. Loved how it summed up all of Saba's growth throughout the story (even though I never did care much about Saba, she was an all-round badass but cold and distant to the point where I never really liked her as a person. Emmi seemed to have the most personality out of everyone in the book). The plot is much more straightforward than I expected, but the western atmosphere was awesome-- it has way more elements of that genre than from the dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy conventions you might expect. Anyways, lots of strong female characters (and not just in a action-y fighter way) and really cheesy romance (still wondering why the heartstone needed to exist unless it's important in the sequel) but a well-written adventure story overall....more
I haven't ever actually enjoyed reading anything that was assigned by our curriculum... although this wasn't the worst (at least it was modern lit), II haven't ever actually enjoyed reading anything that was assigned by our curriculum... although this wasn't the worst (at least it was modern lit), I don't understand why we can't read something that has 'literary merit' or whatever and is still entertaining. >_>...more
I have to admit I was a little wary of this at first. But after finishing this in almost a single day, all I can say is that UNWIND is almost perfectI have to admit I was a little wary of this at first. But after finishing this in almost a single day, all I can say is that UNWIND is almost perfect in many ways: the plot is outstanding, and the buildup gets more and more exciting as the book goes on; there are answers to the questions it raises, and shocking twists that feel… right.
Characters are introduced who seem like stereotypes, and that’s all I expected them to be– but they turn out to be so much more three-dimensional than they initially appear. And it’s not as simple as that, either. The Admiral, in particular, is one of those characters. He’s set up like the one-sided dictator, and there are even subtle hints that he’s more evil than he appears, then everything changes again, flipping your perspective over and over until you don’t know anymore. Almost every event plays some sort of role, has a significant effect on the plot as a whole or the characters.
Connor and Risa nearly bored me to tears. (Why do I always feel like main characters can’t even compare to the complexity of minor ones? I adored CyFi and Hayden as well. Even Roland was more interesting…).
This is a dystopian society done well. The issue at hand is one that we deal with today, and it’s taken to a shocking extreme that is still somewhat believable (there’s definitely some willing suspension of disbelief though, too). But everyone has a reason for what they’re fighting for. There’s so much grey on gray morality, not the simple black and white you might see in Hunger Games or Matched. Unwinding is despicable, but it does save lives… it gets you thinking.
UNWIND is impossible to put down. It’s everything I could want in an action-packed thriller which brings present-day moral conundrums into perspective. It toys with your preconceived notions so expertly, and I didn’t start tearing up (i.e. bawling) until the second-last page. You probably know what scene I’m talking about, if you’ve read it already. That’s the one scene where I know that this is, and will be, one of my all-time favorites....more
I really can't decide between four stars or three. On one hand, I barely put this book down since I got my hands on it. It's entertaining as hell andI really can't decide between four stars or three. On one hand, I barely put this book down since I got my hands on it. It's entertaining as hell and there's some really brilliant moments here and there. But on the other, the characters are so underdeveloped that I just can't bring myself to care in the least what happens to them. Not a single one. Maybe it's the dialogue, which is probably the greatest weakness in a story filled with awesome-- there's something bland and wooden about the character interactions, which really hurts the high stakes action near the end. It feels like Christina, Will, Uriah, Al and co could've been removed from the story without affecting it at all. And the inexplicably bloodthirsty antagonist trio was just... *facepalm* But maybe *spoiler?* Peter could turn out to have more depth. *spoiler* But reading this was like a 500-page adrenaline high (even if 400 of it was just set-up) and I can't wait for more....more