1. It is sometime in the future. 2. A deadly disease called the "Flare" has been spreading rapidly through the human population; a diseas...moreImagine that -
1. It is sometime in the future. 2. A deadly disease called the "Flare" has been spreading rapidly through the human population; a disease the attacks your brain and eats away at it, slowing turning you into a cannibalistic monster - called a Crank by the others - until you are no longer the person you had once been. 3. You are a sixteen-year old who is one of the very few people immune to the Flare. 4. You, along with a group of sixteen-year olds like yourself (who may or may not be immune to the disease as you), have been recruited by a mysterious Company who erase all your memories and subject you to a twisted experiment, watching you and noting down your reactions to the different "variables" they throw into the "experiment", and looking for some pattern, any pattern, that explains away the mystery as to how the disease doesn't affect some people. ALL done in the name of finding a cure for the Flare. 5. You can't trust anyone - not even your best friend. 6. You escape, and are on the run with your friends, fighting for your survival every step of the way. 7. One of your friends isn't immune to the disease and you have to watch him spiral rapidly into madness, and, in his moments of clarity, hear him beg you to kill him before the disease completely takes over. 8. The Immunes are being kidnapped by the mysterious forces and the world is slowly being taken over by the Cranks, who are attacking everything that moves, and then possibly eating it. 9. It's up to you to find the cure, the Death Cure.
This book scared the crap out of me. If I had a refrigerator in my room, I would've have gotten up and put this one in the freezer every few minutes! I stayed up all night to finish it and I'm sure I'll be having recurring nightmares for the rest of the week. Dashner doesn't mince words when it comes to describing Thomas's dystopic world. His words paint a vivid picture of the hopelessness and utter horror of the entire situation. Every time the Cranks come onto the page, you feel like you've been punched in the gut - the brutality, the violence, the nausea-inducing gore of it all, drains you emotionally.
Extremely well written, Dashner draws you into his world with his words. Throughout the book you're with Thomas - you see everything through his eyes and feel everything along with him. You share his confusion, his fears, his helplessness, his despair and his losses. Dashner doesn't hold back, quite a few people die near the end - and in the most brutal way possible. The ending is a bit LOST-like. Half of the questions you might have had from the previous books go unanswered, but I didn't mind it so much (It's not the "why" that's important, it's the "how").
I might need to re-watch all ten seasons of FRIENDS or re-read the HP series just to get over this book. Absolutely gripping! A fitting end to the trilogy.(less)
I had been hearing quite a lot about this book lately and finally managed to get my hands on it yesterday.
For a debut author, this book is good, and t...moreI had been hearing quite a lot about this book lately and finally managed to get my hands on it yesterday.
For a debut author, this book is good, and the story has an interesting premise. But, it comes across as a rip-off of the Hunger Games.
The main protaganist, Tris, is, again, a girl, living in a dystopic city which is divided into five "factions" - each favouring a particular human trait (Knowledge, bravery, compassion, selflessness and honesty). The children in this city, get to pick a faction once they turn sixteen, either choosing to stay in the same faction into which they were born or going into another, upon which they must forget their families and friends because, here, it is "faction before blood".
The reason given for Tris deciding on her faction is never really clear. And indeed, she spends the rest of the book wondering if she made the right choice. Didn't exactly give me much confidence in her character. There is also the mandatory romantic interest (called Four, if you'll believe it) who is supposed to be deep, complex and desirable but actually is none of those. I think the author, herself, realises this as she tries to convince us that he is, indeed, deep, complex and desirable, REPEATEDLY (I call it the "Meyer Complex"™).
The charcters of this book are its major falling. None of them are memorable and there is no depth to anybody apart from Tris and Four. That irks me more than I can ever explain! Random characters are unnecessarily introduced, they say a few lines and remain in the background! NOTHING is at all revealed about them! No explanations of any sort is given about practically anything - why are things the way they are, what made the society form those rules, what are they being protected against and why, oh why, do the Dauntless feel the need to jump on to and out of trains for every single thing - can't they climb in and out like normal people?
Tris is not likable at all. She goes through the entire book repeating phrases, going back and forth about which faction she really ought to belong to, being practically awesome at everything without any practice and showing uncharacteristic behaviour that just cannot be explained away.
(view spoiler)[Things that happen in this book that I simply cannot digest - - People behaving uncharacteristically out of the blue - Friends turning into foes before you can blink - Main characters being killed off without any rhyme or reason - Thinking it is OK to kill a good friend who has a gun aimed at you, in order to save yourself, even if said friend is SLEEPWALKING and being controlled by the bad guys - Thinking it is perfectly normal to proclaim your love to someone and makeout furiously, MINUTES after you've watched your own parents DIE right in front of your eyes. (hide spoiler)]
The initiation process was a bit interesting though, but the attraction lay in the mystery as to why they had to do all those things, but that, too, was never explained properly. A vague "to prove your bravery" was given as the reason.
Compelling in places but could have been so much better. 2.5 stars for this one.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Oh Lord, this book! It was unbearably frustrating! It just didn't make sense! The setting was interesting enough - In a dystopic city in the future, e...moreOh Lord, this book! It was unbearably frustrating! It just didn't make sense! The setting was interesting enough - In a dystopic city in the future, everything is controlled by the Society (duh) - what you wear, what you eat, what you do, when you die - and who you are "Matched" with. Intriguing, yes? Unfortunately the author takes this and mangles it up into a rage-inducing mess of a story.
Cassia is matched with her best friend, Xander (And she is very happy about it - as the author clearly writes in the first few chapters) but then later, while viewing details of her match from a microcard or some such, another boy's (Ky's) face pops up instead of Xander's and Cassia begins to wonder if Ky is her match after all and if the Evil Society is up to no good.
The book stops being even mildly interesting here.
After we learn about Ky (that he happens to be one of the most BORING and CRINGE-WORTHY fictional romantic interests in the history of forever), we find out that Cassia has know him since childhood but has had NO romantic feelings towards him whatsoever UNTIL she saw his face via that microchip thing. All of a sudden we are bombarded with Cassia's memories of Ky which crop up out of nowhere and after a LOT of excruciatingly painful chapters where NOTHING happens apart from the two spouting random poetry to each other (really?), Ky teaching her HOW TO WRITE - 'cause, apparently, in the future they don't do that any more - and exchanging a large amount of drawings of Ky's "mysterious past" on some paper napkins, Cassia realises she has fallen in love with him. BUT (*le gasp*) it is forbidden (!!!!!!) because he is an "Aberration" (Vampire, Aberration, Possibly-own-brother... who can tell the difference anymore?)
And now, the ending. I won't hide this as a spoiler, because, trust me, you'll thank me for saving you the trouble of reading this book. Turns out, the Society had orchestrated this love affair all along. She was MEANT to see his face "accidentally" and they were MEANT to fall in love with each other for NO reason whatsoever - all as a part of an "experiment". About what? Nobody knows. The Officials take away Ky to some strange place called the Outer Province and Cassia decides to set out and find him, as, according to the author, finding him will SOMEHOW cause the destruction of the Society - which they are ONLY NOW realising they don't like. How is finding Ky going to solve their problems? Nobody knows.
I know, right?! And I didn't even have to tell you about the absurd plot line of poetry being banned and dangerous. You're welcome.(less)
When the story begins, we are shown a perfect Utopian world, where life is organised, well thought out and taken care of. Everybody know...moreI...liked it.
When the story begins, we are shown a perfect Utopian world, where life is organised, well thought out and taken care of. Everybody knows and respects the rules, and is happy and content, which is what sets it apart from the other dystopic fiction novels out there - the people aren't living in fear, they aren't following the rules out of fear, they want to follow the rules, they like following the rules.
Jonas, the twelve-year old protagonist, receives his Job Assignment on his birthday - that of a Receiver of Memories. The Receiver's job is to get the memories of generations past from the Giver and store them all himself on behalf of the rest of the people in community, so that he can help them with his vast wisdom gained from those memories, when in need, and they won't have to be burdened by negative feelings such as pain, hunger, loneliness and death. But this means that they don't know any positive feelings like love, contentment and sense of individuality either.
(view spoiler)[While receiving these memories from the Giver, Jonas comes to realise that while the negative feelings are suppressed for a reason, he would rather have them than live without feeling anything at all. He is shocked when he stumbles upon the way in which the community disposes of the old and the inadequate newborns, by means of a "Release ceremony". When he finds out that a newborn he has come to care for is to be "released" as he is not growing up well enough to the required "standards", he decides enough is enough and runs away, along with the newborn, to another community, Elsewhere, with the help of the Giver. (hide spoiler)]
The writing is amazing, Lowry draws you in with her words. In the beginning of the story, though she talks about a perfect life, there's always an eerie undercurrent to it. (view spoiler)[I absolutely loved the twist that these people live without colour in their lives (hide spoiler)] I wasn't that horrified by the dystopic aspect of the story, but that might be because I read the Hunger Games before this (where **SPOILER ALERT** KIDS actually kill each other in the most vicious way possible - nothing can top that for me as 'dystopia')
The first half of the book is really good, but the second half felt kind of flat to me. It felt rushed through and the ending left me vaguely dissatisfied. I hear there are two more books following this so I'm hoping Lowry ties up the loose ends there.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
My eyesight *may* be in danger after last night where I stayed up reading the book into the wee hours because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.
What a fantastic...moreMy eyesight *may* be in danger after last night where I stayed up reading the book into the wee hours because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.
What a fantastic ride!
Sure, I found it hard to digest that six year olds went around killing each other and planning battle strategies, ten year olds went around commanding entire battle fleets and thirteen year olds went around plotting to take over the world, but I cheated and made them age a little in my head while reading, so it's all good!
I confess I did NOT see the shocker of a twist coming but I also confess that once I digested it, it sort of felt a bit - flat? It was THAT easy? THAT simple so a ten year old could do it? What sort of a future is this anyway, where the adults are SO helpless that they need to take help from kids who are NOT EVEN IN THEIR TEENS?
Unwilling suspension of disbelief aside, the entire duration at Battle school was fascinating and kept me turning pages till the end of it. I do believe the ending could have been a bit better (I still don't know the reason why they were attacking the buggers when there was no provocation from their side) and the whole Locke and Demosthenes bit was unnecessary, but that's my opinion. (less)
How do I begin to review this book? Is it enough if I say - "IT'S FRIGGIN' AWESOME WHAT ARE YOU DOING WASTING TIME READING THIS REVIEW GO READ THE FRI...moreHow do I begin to review this book? Is it enough if I say - "IT'S FRIGGIN' AWESOME WHAT ARE YOU DOING WASTING TIME READING THIS REVIEW GO READ THE FRIGGIN' BOOK INSTEAD!!!!!"?
I though not. Fine.
It's the year 2045. The world as we know it no longer exists - the ongoing energy crisis has driven everybody poor and on to the streets. Unable to afford a roof over their heads, people are living in trailers stacked on top of each other and sudden gunshots in the dead of the night surprises no one. Wade Watts is a broke, 19-year old orphan who lives with his aunt in one of the trailer "stacks" and hates every minute of that life. To keep his sanity, he regularly escapes his reality and, like millions of people on Earth, enters the OASIS.
OASIS, which started out as a massively multiplayer on-line game, is now a global Virtual Reality which allows people to, literally, have a second life - for free. In the OASIS you can be who you want to be, travel to where ever you want to in the blink of an eye, go on quests (it still retains certain aspects of its original state), get credits for winning them and then trade those credits to buy whatever you want either in the OASIS or the real world, and make friends and interact with other OASIS avatars, all without leaving your couch.
The creator of the OASIS is the eccentric multi-billionaire James Halliday and our story beings when he dies. In his will, he states that somewhere deep within the bowels of the OASIS, he has hidden an Easter Egg and the person who finds that egg will inherit OASIS as well as his vast fortune. Now Wade just happens to be an avid gamer and worships Halliday. He takes it upon himself to find that egg and joins the quest as an egg hunter or "Gunter". He now has to traverse the length and breadth of OASIS, filled with hidden meanings, 1980's pop culture and video games references, and find that egg before millions of others like him, all hell bent on getting there first.
I LOVED it. You can see by my status updates that I devoured it. Never before have I come across a book plot based on video games and it thrilled me to bits! The book is filled with references to possibly every video game created before the 90's. Now I'm no gamer geek but I did enjoy Dave and Prince of Persia during the days and I can still whoop anyone's ass at Super Mario Bros. It was sheer fun to read about Wade (or Parzival, his OASIS avatar name) solve the clues set by Halliday and advance through the quest one vintage video game at a time.
One of the things that irked me about the book was the ridiculous amount of name-dropping (Spielberg, Tolkien, Gaiman, Douglas Adams, AC/DC, WHAM!, Rush, Matthew Broderick - you name it!), it got a little too much. Also, the author needs to work on his tension-building skills (between two crucial moments in the book, he wasted about a 100 pages just describing stuff and it threw me off a bit). The evidence of that is in the climax which is a tad, well, anti-climatic.
But you cannot NOT enjoy the rest of the book! You'll want to BE IN the book yourself and solve those clues along with Wade and the rest of the gang. Speaking of which, I loved all three main characters - Wade, Aech and Art3mis. I could relate to Wade and his need for an escape and was rooting for him from the word Go.
I was sad to finish it. I want more! I need more! Gimme a sequel! GIMME A GODDAMN MOVIE!(less)
A bizarre plot with a terrible beginning. Without any sort of background we are plunged into action. It works for Riordan but unfortunately not here....moreA bizarre plot with a terrible beginning. Without any sort of background we are plunged into action. It works for Riordan but unfortunately not here. Could not bring myself to read past the first 20 pages.
P.S - Mr. Patterson? Kids do NOT speak like that. You just sound like an adult trying too hard to talk in a way he thinks kids these days might talk. Bad sentence formation just now, you say? Yeah, that about sums up your book.(less)
So there's this city, right? Every person in that city is a reincarnated soul, right? Except for this one g...moreGah. No no no no no NO!
What was this mess?
So there's this city, right? Every person in that city is a reincarnated soul, right? Except for this one girl, let's call her Bessie (I forget her name), who is a new soul - she was born in place of a to-be-reincarnated soul. So everybody hates her, including her own mother. So, the girl leaves home on her birthday to find out the truth behind her birth and what went wrong with the other soul, then runs into some shadow monster, then falls into a lake and gets rescued by this guy (let's call him Bob). And then they talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. About nothing. In very stilted dialogues. (I started skipping pages after this). Something something about a Heart, how Bessie thinks EVERYBODY hates her, how Bessie thinks there's something odd about Bob, but oh, she might be falling in love with him...followed by more something something...old libraries, dragons, Bessie's Dad...
I stopped reading right about there. And all this happens in the first 30 pages.
In summation (only because I want to post a gif of the beautiful, beautiful, Benedict Cumberbatch) -