Really, really enjoyable and original. It's wonderful to read a story like this with so much great character development. Melanie is one of my standouReally, really enjoyable and original. It's wonderful to read a story like this with so much great character development. Melanie is one of my standout characters of the year. Chilling and heart-warming at the same time, which is a tough ask. ...more
A really fast-paced, action-packed, enjoyable dystopian read. It felt very real at times, almost like social commentary. I thought the concep3.5 stars
A really fast-paced, action-packed, enjoyable dystopian read. It felt very real at times, almost like social commentary. I thought the concept was great, with people being too connected, the idea of being a hive mind, having your choices taken away from you, an all powerful corporation...this all rang very true with me. However, I didn't connect with the characters as much as I wanted to and none of them were particularly likable. Also it ended rather abruptly, where I would have wanted a little bit more closure in a standalone. ...more
This book was a phenomenal way to start off my reading year. Vicious, the debut adult novel from V.E. Schwab, lOriginally published at Winged Reviews.
This book was a phenomenal way to start off my reading year. Vicious, the debut adult novel from V.E. Schwab, lived up to all my expectations and more. It was a masterclass in pace, plotting and best of all, characters.
The story was wonderful—darkly funny, grim at times and with just the right amount of villainy. It starts off with a night at a graveyard and the book shifts back and forth between roommates Victor Vale and Eli Ever’s time at college and present day. As students fueled by alcohol, testosterone and scientific curiosity, Victor and Eli test and discover the catalyst for making someone ExtraOrdinary—a person with a gift. And yes, they have tested on themselves.
I loved the variety of the switching narrative and points in time. It highlights the book’s concept, that nothing is black and white—heroes and villains are labels that just depend on your point of view. The boys were wonderful examples of this. Victor has the misfortune of being labelled a criminal, and while his motives may be driven by revenge and selfishness, his goal is for the greater good. Eli is seen a public hero, a deliverer of justice and God’s will, but truly his acts and purpose are pure criminal.
In fact, all of the Schwab’s characters are absolutely brilliant. It’s perhaps the most well-crafted character-driven story I’ve had the pleasure of reading. No one was superfluous. I loved the care the author took in ensuring we would get to see the story through each point of view to understand motives, personalities, and history. Each character was interesting and important to the plot. Standouts for me were sisters Sydney and Serena, who got caught up in Victor and Eli’s respective quests, but made themselves integral to their success (and frankly, stole the show).
A friend I lent the book to almost immediately after I finished it said it best—she was in a dilemma about whether to read as quickly as she could to find out more, or to slow down and savour it. I felt the exact same way. Schwab’s writing has a way of immersing you completely in the story and hooking you in so you can’t bear to pull away from the book, but during the whole time I was reading I was checking to see how much of the book was left and found myself disappointed when I got closer to the end as I wanted to spend more time with this book.
The ending was phenomenally good and wrapped everything up perfectly. As glad as I am to read a standalone book however, I think what Schwab has created has so much potential that I would love to see more stories set in this ExtraOrdinary world. I am extremely satisfied with Eli and Victor’s story, but I’m sure Schwab would have no trouble dreaming up more wonderful, interesting characters for us to read about. ...more
When time travel is done right, it is phenomenal and Cristin Terrill got it absolutely spot on with her sci-fi,Originally published at Winged Reviews.
When time travel is done right, it is phenomenal and Cristin Terrill got it absolutely spot on with her sci-fi, time bending debut! All Our Yesterdays had me hooked from the start and took me on a heart-pounding, fast-paced dystopian adventure. I haven’t cared for characters’ survival this much since The Hunger Games—Em and Finn completely won me over and the ending absolutely blew my mind!
Em finds herself locked in a cell alone and next door to Finn, both of them being tortured for information. After finding a mysterious note hidden in her cell’s drain, Em decides there’s no other option but to break out, go back in time and do the unthinkable. The story took me on a rollercoaster of emotions! I want to heap more praise about the wonderful plot, but I think its best read not really knowing what’s going on and experiencing the wonder when it all falls into place.
The quality of the writing was superb, even more so if you consider that this is Terrill’s debut. Not only was it non-stop excitement (I had real trouble putting the book down once I got started), but the characters were all so incredibly likable. She managed to create someone real in Em, who I came to know and love within a very short space of time. I loved her tenacity, strength, and her ability to grow up and make near impossible decisions so quickly. I also loved sweet, kind Finn, who is just as brave, funny and most importantly, a good friend as well as a boyfriend. I loved seeing how their relationship grew ‘backwards’—knowing how they ended up and seeing their relationship dynamic change and grow. And their banter was glorious.
There were so many incredibly cool scenes in this book as a result of the way the plot was set up and it’s taking all my willpower not to hit you with CAPSLOCK giddiness, but in addition to that, it also had all the FEELS (ok, I hit you with one caps). I even cared about the supposed villain, but mostly I cared about Em and Finn throughout, future to past, even when they were essentially different people. This is what made it a winning combination for me. Also, Terrill really couldn’t have wrapped the story up any better. I was satisfied and a little hopeful, which is just how I love to be after reading a great book.
I highly recommend this book to anyone! You won’t be disappointed.
(Just wanted to say a quick thank you to Bloomsbury for my review being quoted in the UK paperback edition of the book! I'm extremely excited and honoured.)...more
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book because I thoroughly enjoyed Kiersten White’s debut Para4.5 Stars, originally published at Winged Reviews
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book because I thoroughly enjoyed Kiersten White’s debut Paranormalcy series. I purposely kept my knowledge of the book vague, but given both titles Sister Assassin in the UK and Mind Games in the US, I was generally expecting kick-ass sisters with cool mind powers. Instead I got so much more. The story was heart-pounding, dark action with an abundance of humanity.
I just loved it. It’s told from the alternating point of view of orphaned sisters Fia and Annie, both of whom currently reside an institution for ‘special’ girls. Annie, the elder sister is blind, but has visions of things to come. I thought it was really poetic that the only time Annie knows what anything looks like is through her visions. Fia on the other hand, has perfect instincts—she instinctively picks the right horse to win the race, or knows which direction to turn to avoid an accident.
It starts off with a bang, when Fia is sent on an assignment to assassinate someone. It then moves between Fia and Annie’s past and present until you get to the intense and pretty awesome climax ending. I loved how even though the plot was fast-paced and exciting, it slowed down through the shifting timelines, which revealed wonderful little moments in the past. Reading about when the girls lost their parents or Fia’s first kill made my heart ache for them and really helped me understand their motives.
I found both sisters’ voices to be very distinct. I absolutely fell into Fia’s erratic, somewhat careless and harried way of thinking as much as I fell into Annie’s more descriptive, thoughtful, sometimes anguished narrative. Both girls have their moments of pettiness and frustrations, but at the heart of most of their actions is the need to take care of each other—Annie, because she’s the older sister and Fia, because of Annie’s disability. At the end, my heart broke for Fia and Annie’s impossible situation and absolute care for each other.
There were some boys in their lives, namely the sweet genius Adam and anti-villian James, and numerous other peripheral characters and great big organisations. I’m almost sure there was a conspiracy theory in there somewhere, as well as a plot to bring down the man. I think I will care so much more about all of that when I read the sequel, and believe me, the potential of this series is phenomenal. But as for this book, the first in the series, everyone should relish it for the wonderful story about Annie and Fia and their inspiring sisterly love (ok, and maybe a few kick-ass moments)....more