I loved this book, I really really did. But why oh why the cliffhanger ending?! Maybe I'm feeling particularly sensitive at the moment, but when I hav...moreI loved this book, I really really did. But why oh why the cliffhanger ending?! Maybe I'm feeling particularly sensitive at the moment, but when I have to wait ages to find out the outcome of of a Trilogy I get a wee bit antsy with cliffhangers.*bangs head of sofa in frustration* Right, feeling more sensible now :) On a more serious note though, that is not the reason it didn't get a perfect score.
I seem to differ from the majority of reviews on this book, in the way that I preferred The Iron Thorn more than The Nightmare Garden. In some ways, this was the better novel, there was less explanation and new Terminology and the world made sense more this time around. On the other hand, for the length of the novel not as much seemed to happen and I found my self confused by several events as to where they were going. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but a book this length is a long time to be confused (This is just my opinion though, so it may just be me that had this issue)
On a brighter note, it was great to be reading about Aiofe and co and though there is a heart-stopping cliffhanger and some tear-jerking moments I was pretty pleased with the ending overall, though I am currently bouncing like a loony waiting for The Mirrored Shard to be released. I must also add that in a world filled with faerie stories and steampunk it takes someone special to write a book that stands out with this amount of originality and Ms Kittredge has achieved that with this series and managed to capture the imagination of a 20 something woman who thought she'd read all variations on Faerie (so thanks for proving me wrong!)
As an aside...isn't the cover stunning too? Wow! :)(less)
Do you know someone who won't shift from their computer? Do you know someone who just doesn't get on with people? Hand them this book, it's a valuable...moreDo you know someone who won't shift from their computer? Do you know someone who just doesn't get on with people? Hand them this book, it's a valuable lesson in why it's important to talk to actual people and why people need other people. The irony being, that it's a robot that teaches the two boys in this how to feel, and boy does she do it well.
Rose was by far my favourite character though closely followed by Charlie. David annoyed me though I have to admit even he learned a lot from his experience with Rose as he did change in some respect by the end of the book. Rose's voice is honest, innocent and very earnest and though she's the robot in all this, I can't help but think that she was perhaps the most human in how she behaved, especially after the incident with David part way through. Though there are some valuable lessons to be learned about sex (and it's meaningfulness) in this book, the main focus is emotional attachment and it was wonderful seeing Charlie learn to how to form a connection with Rose and opening up a bit more, which really does beg the question...Just because Rose is a robot, does that make her feelings any less real? My personal opinion would be she is as real as the two boys, but I'll let you decide that for yourself.
I really really hope there's a second book because the way this ended will really bug me a bit if I don't find out what happens after the end of the book. Cliffhanger alert :) (less)
First of all I'd like to thank Heidi for allowing me to review her book for her and for asking me to do an honest review :-) I'll start, as usual, by g...moreFirst of all I'd like to thank Heidi for allowing me to review her book for her and for asking me to do an honest review :-) I'll start, as usual, by giving a brief synopsis of the general story: Sara Mendoza lives in a world where feelings and especially love is seen as an emotional fallacy and people are encouraged to have multiple partners in order to have more children. Infertility is seen as the ultimate shame, a caste system rules everyone and those who can't bear children are often encouraged to commit 'honorable suicide'. Having grown up with these beliefs Sara knows no different until she is captured and tortured and ends up caught up in events that she never could have imagined happening.
I was a bit torn about this novel and there are a few reasons why, so bear with me while I explain my reasoning for my rating. First of all I will say that the world building and the sheer imagination that went into this is incredible. It's been a long time since I've read about such a vastly detailed and completely different world in a sci-fi novel and I was fascinated by it. However, I felt there were a lot of new terms and ideas used in a short space of time and I felt slightly overwhelmed and a bit lost whilst reading it. I'm aware that other readers did not have this problem though, so I guess that this is more down to the individual reading it.
Secondly, because of the sheer amount of new terms, places and concepts, I found a little difficult to follow the plot at times, especially with some of the chapters jumping to a different place and focusing on a different character. It would make me stop and have to think about what had just happened and what was now happening. Having said this, it was different reading about so many unique places, people and ideas and I found myself torn between wonder and outrage at some of the things that happen throughout the novel.
Some of the concepts for example, having multiple partners, I found really weird and I don't think I could live in a world like that, I mean I'd get insanely jealous if my partner had another 3 wives. But that's what is done well in this book, because you can tell that to most of the characters this is perfectly normal and for a lot of people there are no emotions involved in that sense.
The characters themselves are incredibly vivid though my opinion on them is once again divided as I found that I'd meet a character and not see them for a while despite having learned quite a bit about them and this threw me off a little bit or a character would be mentioned lots then hardly seen. On the other hand, the attention to character detail is fantastic and I feel like I know Sara and Sean like best friends because of how descriptive Miller is in this book. I loved Sean and Sara, they were fantastic and one of the best duo's I've read about in a while, although I flinched at some of the things they both had to go through and felt myself disgusted at what happens to Sara part way through the novel. As for the bad guys? Well I'm not going to spoil anything so I will just say that they're very evil and I was hard pressed to decide who I hated more; Faya or Simon as both gave new definition to the term 'bad guy' in so many different ways.
I will summarise by saying that although I had a few issues with a few areas this is a great example of sci-fi that will give anyone's imagination a run for their money. The writing quality is brilliant, characters are vivid and if you're looking for a bit of sci-fi escapism, yet still with a hint of realism and a healthy dose of romance, then most definitely give this book a read. (less)
I'd like to start by thanking Mr Hilley for asking me to review his novel and for allowing me to publish my review on my blog. I will now go on to say...moreI'd like to start by thanking Mr Hilley for asking me to review his novel and for allowing me to publish my review on my blog. I will now go on to say that this is a brilliant read and definitely one for lovers of sci-fi and horror, oh, and talking cats! Before going on I'll give you a brief spoiler-free synopsis and I am also going to warn that this book contains content of an adult nature and some bits that some teenage or younger readers may find upsetting.
Following a missile strike, the inhabitants of Pittsburgh now live in the research center hiding from monsters that now stalk the streets. These creatures known as Shifters are able to change shape at will and get stronger feeding off other creatures. Daniel, the leader of the group of survivors discovers that Pittsburgh is fenced off and that nothing is as it seems leading them all to question whether the Shifters were an accident or whether they were placed there on purpose.
This book struck me as very different from a lot of other horror/sci-fi novels I have read in my time and it really took me by surprise. I am going to be honest and say that It took me a few chapters to get into it and there was a strong macho air about the story (for example, women fighting to be with the men they wanted and men fighting to be at the top of the pecking order) but this was a minor niggle for me and it didn't take anything from the plot. The story moved quickly and without any jumping around, which was a relief and I was reading very fast towards the end as the pieces came together and everything made complete sense.
There were some instances that had me absolutely horrified and scared out of my skin. I have a very active imagination so anything I read I can picture very clearly and the thought of monsters running around eating people and humans becoming monsters terrified me to no end. The writing is very well done and I couldn't help but imagine how these people were living and I had a strong sense of claustrophobia just reading about the living conditions.
On a character front I have to say that there are a lot of them but only a few are looked at closely. Those few including Daniel, Lucas, Dr Helmsby, Julia, Johanna and a few others, the rest of them are touched upon but aren't focused upon as much. On the Shifter side of things very few of them are focused on and I can't say who or what without spoiling the plot for those who haven't read it, so I'm keeping my fingers away from the keyboard in that area. The thing I liked the best in this book though...the talking cat! Yes, there's a talking cat called Morton! This alone is a reason to read this book, he's awesome :-)
Anyway, in all seriousness, if you love your sci-fi, horror and a dash of romance and some truly creepy and scary scenes definitely give this a read. I will definitely be reading the next in the series.(less)
Running is pretty much that epic novel that we would all like to read but have yet to find, only in this case I have found it. The journey across the...moreRunning is pretty much that epic novel that we would all like to read but have yet to find, only in this case I have found it. The journey across the what used to be the UK is pretty amazing (England, Scotland and Wales are classed as Europe now) and it never lets up. There's fights, spies, a few who-dunnits to puzzle through and a few OMG moments that will leave you a bit stunned.
The setting itself is incredible and there's enough conspiracy theory involving tracing and following to keep any conspiracy fan entertained and thoroughly freaked out. I have to admit, the idea of being able to be traced and governments having enough power to close off whole roads and cities, to be truly terrifying. What I also found scary was the bad-guys ability to track Hilary and Scott using a tiny pebble sized tracker without them realising. The fact that they were never safe just added a whole lot of tension to the mix.
Perhaps the most fascinating thing though was seeing America as the outcast country which is unusual in books. As someone who reads a lot of books by American authors I'm used to everything being set there, so it made a change to have the book set, not only in the UK, but to have the main character American, and living in UK, unable to return to a country being blamed for something it may or may not have done. The affects of this situation were far reaching and although as the reader I never got to see the situation in the states, it would have been fascinating to do so.
Needless to say for the most part the mystery is solved in the end and wow is it a twist. Nothing is what it first appears to be and that's what I like in a book and as for the actual ending, I honestly didn't see that little twist coming at all. There are a few loose ends, and I wouldn't mind a sequel of some sort just to see how things turn out. Fingers crossed!(less)
First of all I'd like to thank Jennifer for sending me this book for me to read, one because I love reading and two because this was one of my favouri...moreFirst of all I'd like to thank Jennifer for sending me this book for me to read, one because I love reading and two because this was one of my favourite books of the year so far :-) I read a lot of fantasy, dark fantasy and dystopia novels and this one managed to blend all of this with a healthy dose of romance.
Beautiful Sins starts with a young girl called Leigha who moves with her mother and her mothers new boyfriend to Banks, Oregon where the skies are covered in dark cloud and myths and superstitions are everywhere. Leaving her home behind, and starting a new school, Leigha quickly finds out that things aren't as they seem and soon finds herself attracting the attention of Prince Alexander, son of the ruling king of the dark coast, and as time goes on she realises that there's more to her new home than she realised.
There wasn't one bad thing about this book, it was well written and very easy to read. I was so absorbed in the story that I lost track of time really quickly and had to remind myself that I was due at work :-p
Leigha was a wonderful main lead, although she strikes me as a magnet to accidents since I lost track of the number of times she lost consciousness, but in honesty with the things that happen to her, I'm not really surprised, and it was a relief to have a character reacting normally to stress rather than being super strong and resilient. I mean, I'd like to see any normal person stay conscious on having your whole world tipped upside down.
The story itself was fantastic and I loved all the twists and turns and the each revelation, I found the world that Jennifer has created to be truly fascinating and I found it easy to imagine the world in the way it's described. Part of me would love to visit Banks as it is in this book, just to see it for myself, I imagine it would be pretty exciting and yet very scary, If you want to read a book that takes old ideas of Vampires, Were's and dystopia worlds and then breathes new life into them...Read this book! It's fast paced, a little scary, romantic, has some seriously hot men in it (swooning for Alex here!) and has a cliffhanger that will leave you on the edge of your seat. An excellent novel, and I can't wait to read more of Miss Hampton's work.(less)
When i first started reading this I wasn't sure what to think. I think the main issue was that I'm not used to the particular writing style that was u...moreWhen i first started reading this I wasn't sure what to think. I think the main issue was that I'm not used to the particular writing style that was used, but once i did get used to it I fell in love with story and I completely understood why it had to be written the way it was. In fact, I'm going to have major trouble writing a review that doesn't give away spoilers because a massive part of the book is such a surprise that i was left completely stunned, and in honesty, I wouldn't have seen it coming even if I'd dared to let my imagination look that far ahead.
In summary, If I Could Fly is about a young girl called Calypso who finds herself alone and in a deserted area with no memory of how she got there at all. All she knows is that she's hiding and running from something but she isn't sure what yet. She remembers her mother, her father and that she was part of a free-running gang, and her past, but nothing recently. The book itself unfolds as Cali remembers things, and yet this does nothing to give away the big twist at the end, and i loved that about this novel. The way the truth comes out is beautifully and cleverly done and Jill deserves an award for her writing skills. When the twist is finally revealed, your jaw will drop (probably literally) and you'll then think back the earlier events and think, Why didn't I think of that? But in honesty, the clues were so cleverly hidden and well woven throughout the novel that there is no way of deducing the truth.
Since i can't say anything else about the plot without giving away the punchline (so to speak!) I shall delve into the characters. Calypso, or Cali, for short is a wonderful heroine and i loved the way she dealt with everything she encountered. There were many incidents that would have caused a full grown adult to panic, yet Cali doesn't falter. Don't get me wrong, she isn't perfect and she makes some strange choices and decisions at times, but to me, her mistakes give her character a humanity that a lot of other characters across other books, lack. Cali's mother, although not very present in the story, was a major focus point for Cali. She was the reason she kept going a lot of the time, and i found her cultural background fascinating. I learnt a lot about Thailand and Cali's and her mothers beliefs simply reading this book. Also, the love that her mother had for Cali is truly beautiful, and i gained the impression that she would have gone to ends of the earth for her daughter. My other favourtite characters were Alfie and Dair, both of whom are completely different to each other. Dair is a bit crazy (but very amusing) whereas Alfie is a loyal and amazing friend who helps Cali make some very difficult decisions.
Overall, i was left very impressed with this book, and i was amazed by the authors writing talent and her ability to write in such beautiful prose. The ending left me feeling pretty happy and hopeful and with room to imagine what happens next, which is how i like to leave a book sometimes. Imagination, to me, plays a very important part in reading. I will most definitely be checking out whatever Miss Hucklesby writes next! (less)
After waiting quite a while, Outside In finally appeared in the UK bookstores so I snatched it while I could. Was it as good as it's prequel? NO! It w...moreAfter waiting quite a while, Outside In finally appeared in the UK bookstores so I snatched it while I could. Was it as good as it's prequel? NO! It was much BETTER!!! I don't know what it was, but despite the fact the first book was very tense, this was even more so. There were so many twists and turns and accusations thrown around by the characters that I didn't know which way to look next!
Outside In is set a little while after Inside Out. Trella is part of a committee along with several others, but Inside is still restless and a lot of the citizens still see themselves as uppers and scrubs. As unexplained incidents continue to happen, and Trella gets caught up in the middle of it all, it soon becomes clear that there is an outside force at work, and they want to come in.
I loved the tension in this book and it kept me so strung out that I couldn't put it down and with so many different things happening I found it impossible to judge what was happening next, who was causing what problem and who were the good guys and bad guys. At one point I even thought Riley might have been up to something! Maria's writing ability is second to none and she is an incredible story teller. So few authors have had me so all over the place when reading a novel and yet I still had no desire to flick to the back and find out the what happened in the end. In some books this may have been a bad move and have caused a loss of interest, but in 'Outside In' it just creates more tension and pulls you deeper into the story. I lost count of how many times I guessed wrongly who was behind the sabotage (much to my annoyance because I love to guess right!)
The characters stayed very true to form in this novel, but having said that there was still some development. I got to see Trella making changes, bad guys doing good things and apparent good guys being bad guys (I won't say who since I pride myself on being spoiler free!) I also managed to go from hating Dr Lamont to loving her which is odd for me; I'm a pretty stubborn person and to do a complete opinion change on a character take a lot of persuasion, but having said that, she does redeem herself pretty well. Trella and Riley also face challenges and I found it fascinating to watch how they both changed by the end of the novel, both for the better and I'd definitely consider the ending amazing. Whether it's happy or not, well I'll leave that for you to decide, but I loved it.
If you like science-fiction, romance, exploring tunnels, being sneaky and a great thrill-ride of a novel then give this a go, but make sure you read 'Inside Out' first or it won't make sense!(less)
I wasn't sure what to think of this at first and since I don't have as much time now, all my reviews will be pretty short. But I don't think I need a...moreI wasn't sure what to think of this at first and since I don't have as much time now, all my reviews will be pretty short. But I don't think I need a lot of words for this to be honest.
Sitting here nearly two months later I honestly can't say I remember much of what happened. So anyone reading this needn't fear the wrath of spoilers. Honestly, If I remember correctly there was one major revelation and then nothing and I felt like I was reading a lot of stuff that I found irrelevant.
I'm really sorry to sum this book up into one word, because god I loved Matched, but I found this book, well, boring. It wasn't all doom and gloom and the writing was well done and the characters portrayed brilliantly but it lacked a lot of depth, action and development of plot.
Will I read Reached? Of course I will. I have high hopes for it and I really want to know how this trilogy ends so yes I'm hoping really badly that Miss Condie can pull off an epic third book.(less)
This is the third in the Numbers series and yet this installment is as original and as enthralling as the other two! I have tried several times to rig...moreThis is the third in the Numbers series and yet this installment is as original and as enthralling as the other two! I have tried several times to right my own synopsis but I keep failing to sum it up so for once I'm going to use the synopsis on Goodreads to avoid any spoilers:
"Post-Chaos 2029. Adam, Sarah and Mia are living together, struggling with the fame of seeing numbers - the dates when people will die. But something is about to tear them apart. During The Chaos Mia swapped her number for another. Suddenly her powerful new ability makes her a terrifying target. Everyone wants to live for ever."
So that's the story in a nutshell but there is so much more to it than that and it's going to be difficult to review without spoiling anything. It almost makes me wish I could go back to the days when I did post spoilers and put a warning on the post, but I don't want to do that with this because I think everyone should be able to read this. So...what can I tell you? Two years have passed since The Chaos and things in the UK still haven't picked up, most of the cities have emptied and civilians are living in tents in the country and some people are law unto themselves and I found this terrifying especially considering what then happens to Mia, Sarah and Adam and what they go through in this book.
As with the other books I was stunned the issues that Miss Ward manages to tackle in here while still being sensitive. In the last book we saw Child abuse and rape among other things. In this we see some truly horrifying and sensitive topics handled very carefully and yet in such a way that they are still able to shock and stun the reader without being overbearing. For some people these issues may be too hard to handle, but for me it highlighted some seriously twisted aspects of human nature that are more common than most of us would care to admit or see even when faced with them. You may be reading this thinking: 'Why would I read this?' Simply because this is a fantastic story and in the end this is a story of Good Vs Evil and despite the horrifying and gut wrenching parts you will feel so warmed by the ending.
If I were to generalise this novel I would say it's a thriller set in a dystopian world, but in fairness there is much more to this than meets the eye. This isn't just a thriller, it's a story of desperation, human nature, survival but also love, hope and family something that becomes all the more important in the world in which this is set. The characters are fantastic, especially Adam, Mia and Sarah and we see some new ones too (not all of which are good) including Saul, Daniel and a rather irritating and evil man named Newsome and they all play their parts in the events that occur.
All in all this is a powerful and emotive read which will have your heart racing at a ridiculous speed. It has an amazing ending, one death scene you will never forget and a heart wrenching twist that will shock you to the core. Amazing novel and full marks! (less)
I had this on my Kindle for about a year and didn't read it and I was very glad of that because it meant I only had to endure a month or so of torture...moreI had this on my Kindle for about a year and didn't read it and I was very glad of that because it meant I only had to endure a month or so of torture waiting for Insurgent to be released (which is also awesome by the way!)
It's been a while since I read a book that gripped me from the start and didn't let me go so it was great to have that feeling again. The world building in this is exceptional and detailed and it was easy to imagine the world Tris lives in. For those looking for insta-love, there isn't any here. There are well developed and very heart warming relationships and love of a more realistic variety (yes, I know it's fiction, but without some realism, it would just fall apart)
The plot itself is pure genius and the action scenes are amazing. If you really like your books with a bit of heart-racing peril thrown in, there's enough of that in this book to make you fall off the edge of your seat, never mind sit perched on the edge.
No matter where you sit on the dystopian fence, whether you like it or loath it, I think this book is worth a go. It's exciting, original, action packed, a bit romantic (in a good way) and it has Four in it! As in a person called Four, not the number!
I'd heard raving reviews about this novel for so long and it took me ages to get a copy. It wasn't until I was going bowling in Ashford that I happene...moreI'd heard raving reviews about this novel for so long and it took me ages to get a copy. It wasn't until I was going bowling in Ashford that I happened to drop by the Waterstones in there, and found it sitting on the shelf. I mean, I was on a 'book buying ban' but it was looking at me, and I couldn't stop myself :-) Anyway, it does, for the most part, live up to the hype and i found myself eerily entranced reading this as well as horrified in certain instances. It was so captivating, for example, events would be pretty steady and then some tragedy would suddenly pop out of no-where and make me feel like I'd been kicked in the gut.
But before I go any further i'll give a brief synopsis, just to give you an idea. Life As We Knew It is set in modern times and the world is about to watch a meteorite crash into the moon, seemingly with no side-effects. Focusing on Miranda and told from her point of view in the form of a journal, this novel describes the events that occur after the moon is knocked closer to earth, and the tragedies that unfold, changing life on earth forever.
The actual blurb on the book is short and too the point, which, is definitely a good thing as it leaves a lot more to the imagination before you read it, which is very important when it comes to the surprise factor. It isn't just the shock/surprise factor that this book has down to an art, but the author has managed to create a tense environment through Miranda's diary entries. As in the way of a teenager, some of her diary entries are very angst ridden and might seem selfish, but then I remembered that she's living in a changed world and dealing with unusual circumstances.
The only issue I really had with this novel was the lulls in the story. Sometimes, it would seem to drag in parts and certainly some of the entries did tend to ramble a little and maybe it's just me, but I guess I have difficulties with that type of writing style, but it hasn't put me off enough not the read the next in the series, as this is a truly extraordinary novel. Moving swiftly on, I found the atmosphere truly electric reading this, I could almost picture some of the things as they happened and each and every disaster that occurred made me feel like I'd been kicked, and each death made me feel like my stomach dropped a few inches inside of me. One disaster in particular really cut me deep and I found myself fighting tears, I won't say what happened, but the worst part was the character was in and out like a yo-yo, yet it still took me by surprise.
I will say that the tension never seemed to break at all whilst reading this, it was terrifying at times, and the fact that this could actually happen is insanely scary. Anyway, I'll finish this review and say that this is a really really good read. The ending is very well done as well and it gives, not exactly closure, but some sense that things might get better. Anyway, go read it!(less)