This book blew me away with how emotional it actually is! Its a great story too- thrilling and action-packed, but I mainly loved the bon...more4.5 of 5 stars
This book blew me away with how emotional it actually is! Its a great story too- thrilling and action-packed, but I mainly loved the bonds between the characters, and the journey they take together. Its a fabulous sci-fi/ superhero journey. A great read- recommended.
Darkest Minds is a brilliantly written, exciting and moving sci-fi story. It's a book about teenagers with superpowers, the rest of the world who are afraid of them and want to contain them, and a world all gone to hell.
A mutated virus is spreading across the world infecting children, and around age ten either kills them or leaves them with dangerous and strange powers. This is a very pacy book- a real thrill ride- and there is always something going on, the characters escaping capture, or rushing here and there, or just trying to survive. And you are thrown into the middle of the story right from the first page.
What I loved most about it was the depth of the characters and the journey they take together. They all have such a complicated past, and issues. Ruby and the band of misfits that she falls in with- Liam, Chubs and Suzume are a great support to each other, and their skills and characters complement so well. They become like a little family and only trust each other. I liked the "us against them" sense about them- that they would rush in defend each other if necessary. You can't help but become attached to these characters and their quirks as they drive across America searching for answers.
Ruby has spent six years in a rehabilitation camp, so her knowledge of the politics of the world outside is very limited, and we find out everything that is going on with the world as she does. The story is told completely from Ruby's point of view, which I liked, but it still takes a while to understand exactly what she has been through. Her traumatic past is hinted at but not fully explained until later.This is a dark run-down world run by corrupt organisations, and Ruby is only just starting to get to grips with understanding her powers. I enjoyed this slow revealing of the whole story though, and was never left confused.
There is also a love story in this book and it is very sweet. I instantly liked the guy, and the good-hearted way about him. Their romance is slow to develop but had a real substance to it, and it was nice to see the attraction brewing between the two characters even in such extreme circumstances. There are no awkwardly forced conversations, they just fit, and I liked the easiness of the two of them together. He always made me smile, and is one of the bright sparks in a dark book.
Its a dark and gut-wrenching adventurous tale of survival through persecution and desperation. Quite harrowing and violent in parts, it can get quite sinister. The adults are afraid of the teenagers, but with the desperate circumstances and lack of any rules or guidance the kids can turn on each other as well. It's quite a long book and it felt like a heck of a journey that they all went through.
A haunting, emotional and beautiful crafted world and story. In a YA market saturated with dystopian stories, this is one of the better ones. It definitely stands out from the crowd and offers something a little different.(less)
This story is set in an alternate version of 1844 Philadelphia, where steam power has been rejected in favour of harnessing the power of...more3.5 of 5 stars
This story is set in an alternate version of 1844 Philadelphia, where steam power has been rejected in favour of harnessing the power of witches. It's a very unique and magical ride, and I really liked the witch-hunt idea turned into using them as a source of power. Families reputations could go down depending on whether magic (*gasp*) is found in a family member.
The bad points I thought that the book had a fantastic concept but I would've liked a little bit more explanation and world-building, as the reader is just dropped in the middle of events in this unfamiliar setting, and I spent a large portion of the book feeling very confused and trying to work out what was happening and who everybody was.
I would have liked a little more explanation, especially with the unfamiliar terminology. Bran is a Maker- but I couldn't tell you what this really means. We are told that Jordan is Fifth of the Nine which is important, but I'm not sure why, and there are sea monsters called merrows which are introduced as a threat part-way through the story and then disappear.
There are also multiple Points of View which took a bit of getting used to as well. This made the story even more confusing to me, as it often felt very disjointed. I never really felt any attachment to any of the characters either. In terms of character development I just never felt like I got to really know and understand any of them because the story jumped around too much.
The good points What I did like however, was the magic and the mystery in a uniquely almost-fantasy historical setting. Any books about witches I'm pretty guaranteed to read, as I love the idea of people with special powers and that sense that anything can happen. And this book mixes magic and an alternate vision of the past with an underlying sense of mystery very well. You get the impression that things aren't what they seem, so you want to keep reading to find out the truth.
Main character Jordan goes through such an emotional journey throughout the book- from spoilt rich girl, obnoxious and privileged and superior, to defiant prisoner- and I grew to really admire her bravery. Many of the characters seem such a mystery, but I also grew to like Rowan, who in a very gentlemanly way journeys out to prove Jordan's innocence, and his flawed rescue mission is very endearing. I even rooted for initial bad-guy Bran, whose character alters for the better when he discovers he has a little daughter. It was these little details that helped give the characters that humanity and made everything have a purpose. parts of the book are very sweet.
Overall Part steampunk, park witches, part historical, part fantasy, Weather Witch has a bit of everything! The ending of this book never completely explains everything or is properly resolved. Nothing is wrapped up at the end which leads me to believe that this is only the first installment in a wider story still to be unravelled.
Magical, atmospheric, and very fresh and different I'd recommend this one to fans of the paranormal, or historical fantasy. (less)
Surrender is an epic and sweeping fantasy story- beautifully told and very richly described with a wealth of interesting characters. From the very fir...moreSurrender is an epic and sweeping fantasy story- beautifully told and very richly described with a wealth of interesting characters. From the very first page you are thrown straight into this unfamiliar world, that feels both magical and dangerous, and I loved getting lost in this fantasy setting for a time.
It reads very much like the style of an old, old fairy story, drawing on myths and legends that feel like they could have happened in a long-ago past. Kaliel and Krishani each have a specific destiny and they are not supposed to fall in love. This overwhelming sense of duty is harsh because they are both such strong-willed characters.
The changing point of view between Kaliel and Krishani, helps us the reader get inside both of their mindsets, but also shows us all about this world and it's different people from different perspectives. They both seem very innocent to me, and the start of their romance feels a lot like a teenage crush, but as the story moved on I found myself rooting for them and hoping for a happy ending.
Confusing in parts because of the wealth of information about all the different lands, races, and beliefs- it took a bit of time to catch hold of me, but the feeling that in this magical land anything could happen, and also the supporting characters really made the book for me. I love the sarcasm and jokes of the talking tree- the wise Great Oak, and Kaliel's friend Pux (half wolf, half man). There are evil kings and queens, assorted beasties, and an assortment of races and peoples that add to the richness of the setting.
It is a very emotive and passionate book, with this forbidden love story at it's heart. An imaginative and charming story, and recommended for fans of fairytale or fantasy. (less)
I had forgotten how much I lovedUltraviolet- the first book in this series, but it all started coming back to me once I started readin...more 4.5 of 5 stars
I had forgotten how much I lovedUltraviolet- the first book in this series, but it all started coming back to me once I started reading Quicksilver. This book is emotional, tense and mysterious and I was gripped all the way through. I so easily got lost in this world, and was right there with these incredible characters.
This companion novel focuses on Tori- a relatively minor character in Ultraviolet, and it's funny that when told from her perspective she is so much more likable! Her experiences have definitely changed her for the better. I didn't like her much at all in Ultraviolet, as she came across as the popular, bitchy high-school cheerleader type.
But all that is stripped away in this book, as she makes a fresh start in a new school away from her old life completely. Tori is a fantastic mix of strong and flawed, and I loved cheering her on. Her passion for engineering and creating things is admirable and she has a determination to leave her past behind, and make a completely fresh start. Tori is a very resourceful, smart, and interesting, crazily unique character and I loved rooting for her.
Quicksilver starts off a few months after the events of Ultraviolet. Although this is listed as a companion novel and not as a sequel, I would recommend reading Ultraviolet first, as Quicksilver dives straight in and references the events of Ultraviolet without much explanation. I think I would've been lost without knowing the background of the past events and the history between the characters.
The story could have easily ended with Ultraviolet as everything was wrapped up, and seemed to be starting a new phase, but I really loved catching up with Alison and Sebastian again, and seeing exactly 'what happened next' for each of them. There are also new characters introduced- like Milo, who quickly becomes one of Tori's best friends and someone that she feels she can confide in. He is very sweet and I smile whenever I think of him, but he is a very interesting contrast to Sebastian.
This book is very intense, very clever, and bursting with tension and suspense. The tone of this book is slightly different from this book to Ultraviolet but only because of the change in perspective from Alison's experiences in a mental hospital to Tori's snarky world view in her new town. Both books are slightly different but highly enjoyable.
I also love that nothing is ever predictable in these books. There are plenty of unexpected twists and the author doesn't shy away from presenting tragedy and heartbreak, so there is never any guarantee that there will be a happy ending. Tori lives in constant fear of being discovered and that tension rolls off the pages.
This is a boldly different YA series, with such great characters. A sci-fi novel with a streak of realism through it. I raced through it, and I think it's fantastic.
More of my reviews can be found on my blog- Always Lost in Stories
If you haven't started this series yet- what are you waiting for??! Read it! Daughter of Smoke and Bon...moreBook 2 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series
If you haven't started this series yet- what are you waiting for??! Read it! Daughter of Smoke and Bone was easily the best book I read last year, and reading the new sequel this year has just reminded me why. Definitely darker than the first book, but still, this story- and this unique world pulled me in and gripped me- I couldn't put it down... and even when I did I'd be dreaming of deserts, monsters, and teeth.
So many times I would stop and re-read a page again just because it was so beautiful. There is a very lyrical quality to the writing that makes you feel like you are in a old fairy story. But I loved the combination of the old-world charm and fantasy of the world of Eretz, and the modern world.
Karou and Akiva's story seems to be the most impossible tragic romance, and their actions have consequences for the whole world. The Angels and the Chimera are now at war and their war is leaking into the modern human world as well. There is a constant sense of doom, and impending disaster, and I loved the building tension and the unravelling of events.
This book is packed with so much tragedy, emotional upheaval and surprises! I don't know how I can be reduced to tears, be hopeful, despairing, terrified, and giggling with laughter all in one chapter- but apparently I can.
Much of the humour of the book comes from Karou's best friends Zuzana and Mik, and can I just say how much I LOVE them! The book would be a darker place without them in it. They are both so sweet, funny and completely supportive of Karou despite everything she drops on them. I adore their relationship, and Mik's attempts to complete Herculean-type tasks to win Zuzana's hand just had me "aww"-ing and melting in a soppy puddle of goo.
As well as sticking with the familiar characters from the first book we also see a wider cross-section of Eretz and it's peoples, and I really enjoyed getting more deeply emotionally involved in this story and the characters' lives, plus the shifting perspectives between different characters gives us a glimpse into the bigger picture of what is happening across the world.
All I want to say shout from the rooftops to everybody is "read these books!" The story is just epic and incredible, the dialogue and descriptions are sublime, and I swear the pages drip with magic as you read them.(less)
I was really in the mood to read something easy and light, and this book hit the spot perfectly! Girl With The Iron...moreBook 3 in the Steampunk Chronicles
I was really in the mood to read something easy and light, and this book hit the spot perfectly! Girl With The Iron Touch is cheesy, light-hearted, and fun, and I just love it.
A Victorian steampunk setting full of clever mechanical gadgets and automatons, and a wonderful gang of friends (with powers that remind me of the spirit of the X-Men), that have an evil super-villain to stop- this is an entertaining and heart-warming read.
I love how fiercely loyal they all are to each other, and how all the different personalities complement each other nicely. In some cases affection even developing into romance. I am talking about Emily and Sam here- they are the absolute sweetest couple and so protective of each other. I love getting sappy at their banter and declarations of love for the other.
Plenty of action, thrills, peril, romance and magic- this is my kind of book! Love these characters and this world, which is very easy to imagine. Sticking to a similar theme from the first two books only this time the gang is all back together again in London-they work to develop their technology, solve mysteries and protect London, but when one of their own is taken as hostage the situation becomes really desperate. The mysterious and charming Jack Dandy is also back on the scene, providing information and hilarious back-chat. I had missed him from book 2- he is such a colourful character!
Each book is a self-contained story which I like, but there is still more of the wider story to tell, more bad guys to defeat and more Finley and Griffin I'm sure- so I'm certain there will be more to come from this series. Fantastically fun and feel-good- I love these books.
More of my reviews can be found on my blog- Always Lost in Stories
I have loved Libba Bray's other books, so I had high expectations when I started this one. And in all honesty... I think this is the best one yet!
The...moreI have loved Libba Bray's other books, so I had high expectations when I started this one. And in all honesty... I think this is the best one yet!
The Diviners is set in glitzy New York in the 1920s, and I loved how "big picture" the story is- it really gives a slice of New York life from characters from all parts of the city, and from all walks of life. There are so many great characters I can't mention them all, but the author brilliantly gives life to a rebellious 17 year-old girl, a cocky thief, a hardworking African-American teenager, a shy museum assistant, and a sinister serial killer determined to fulfill a religious prophecy.
The fantastic snapshots of the pasts of various characters gave them such a depth, and made the book even more emotional. (Flapper dancer Theta's back story especially made me tear up). And it was interesting how all the characters began with their own stories and then seemed to move together as the plotlines converged.
The portrayal of vibrant 1920s New York is also fabulous- the fashion, the changing attitudes, and the glitz and glamour of it all. I really enjoyed Evie's passion for life, the flappers and the speakeasies, and of course her 1920s lingo. It always made me smile every time she exclaimed that something was "the cat's pajamas", or something similar (I think my favourite one was "the elephant's eyebrows"!)
But it also shows us the darker side of New York, the poverty and the characters who are scraping together a living on the fringes of society. This book has so many layers to it, it has so much depth, and unexpected plot twists and turns, with Libba Bray's trademark ability to weave together a wonderful and complex story that keeps it's witty side element of humour to it as well, with some excellent banter between Evie and Sam, that shows off their larger than life personalities.
Featuring a seance, a serial killer, ghosts, and people with special powers, this book is spine-chillingly creepy in places (terrifying actually!) but it also manages to be heartbreaking, fun, kooky, magical, and a little bit romantic as well.
I don't think a review can do this story justice, because there are so many wonderful things about it- from the fantastic mix of vibrant characters, the depth of the narrative, the beautiful writing that really transports you into the world of the book, and the atmospheric historical New York backdrop. I was mesmerised and enchanted- and despite this being quite a long book at around 600 pages it never dragged or felt dull.
This book makes it into the ranks of my favourite books of all time. I cannot recommend it enough- a dazzling masterpiece of a book. (less)
Book 2 in the Ashes series Either I've forgotten how gory the first book is, or this book is even more gory. It is definitely very tragic, extremely bl...moreBook 2 in the Ashes series Either I've forgotten how gory the first book is, or this book is even more gory. It is definitely very tragic, extremely bloodthirsty and harsh. Prior warning- characters will get murdered and tortured in the most horrific ways.
Alex has to be one of the toughest heroines I have ever known. She has some serious survival skills, and an unwavering determination to overcome any obstacle, whether enemy, illness or injury.
This is quite a traumatic story. Nevertheless I loved this book, and I just love this series. These character's hardships and struggle to survive, to bond together and strive to find each other again in a world gone to hell made such a compelling and emotional read for me.
Most of this book is told from different perspectives, as different characters travel their own journeys toward each other again. There are so many layers to the book, and so many turns in the story, that you never know where it's going to take you next, and it has such a compelling cast of characters that you really root for.
After THAT shocking cliffhanger ending in Ashes I was dying to get ahold of this next book, and it didn't disappoint- I was gripped. But there is another shocking and dramatic cliff-hanger, and it's a long wait to book 3!
I know now that Ilsa Bick's books are real character driven page-turners, and this author is an auto-buy for me. (less)