I first listened to Meat as audiobook in January 2011. I love audiobooks but I'm pretty particular about them - the narrator has to make me feel partI first listened to Meat as audiobook in January 2011. I love audiobooks but I'm pretty particular about them - the narrator has to make me feel part of the book, and the story needs to capture my attention enough that I'm not distracted by things around me. And the audiobook version certainly met my requirements on both, but it didn't feel quite 'enough' - I wanted to read it for myself. So although I rarely re-read books, I decided this one was good enough to get me to read it again.
Let me be completely honest - this book is grim, disturbing, gory and intense. There's not a spot of happiness to be found in its pages, perhaps with the exception of the closing pages.
Abyrne is a town that appears to be built out of the ruins of an apocalyptic event, which is never expanded upon. The town is now run by the Welfare, who are responsible for the moral purity of the townsfolk and a megalomaniac meat baron who controls the food supply with an iron fist. With the exception of rare few, the characters have no redeeming features - they are mindless, ruthless and slaves to their lust for meat.
The writing is intense and the pacing is non-stop - as the story unfolds and more and more disturbing events take place, I couldn't stop reading, just to see what happened next. And there were more than a few stomach-churning, brain-stretching moments. The 'baddies' are infinitely evil, and the characters that are fighting against them are down-trodden and outcast, but as they start to awaken to the true evils of Abyrne, they realise that there is only one thing that can be done - resist.
There is a deeper 'meaning' to this book - one of how we, as top of the food chain, treat our food sources. I wouldn't recommend this book to vegetarians unless they have a strong stomach- it's incredibly intense and disturbing, and it shows that Mr D'Lacey's inspiration came from the current and past practices of meat 'cultivation'. But if you can get past the horrific images that this book conjures up in the mind, it's definitely worth reading - Meat is a book that has stuck with me for a long time, and will continue to do so....more
The Children of Men is a book that paints a disturbing picture – if human beings ceased to be born, what would happen to the world? How would we contiThe Children of Men is a book that paints a disturbing picture – if human beings ceased to be born, what would happen to the world? How would we continue to function, knowing that as a species, we are dying out? There are some sad, touching moments in this book – the mass suicide of the elderly (willing or not), women cherishing dolls as if they were babies, and kittens being as the ageing population try to find a substitute for childbirth and child-rearing.
The main character, Theo, is not instantly likeable, seemingly happy to be self-reliant and distanced from the people around him, teaching history to bored middle-aged women and reminiscing on his earlier years with his cousin Xan, Warden of England. However, as the story progresses, through his willingness to become involved with the underground who are striving to make the dying world a better place, even although on the surface he seems to most unlikely candidate for rebellion, and his particular way of caring for Julian, he develops into an intricate, fascinating character. The writing is incredibly descriptive, perhaps for some readers overly so, and I had to call up my dictionary more than once.
There are some negatives to this book – I found the middle part to be incredibly slow-moving after a riveting start, however the action does pick up again. I also didn’t fully understand the relevance of The Painted Faces, and wanted to know more about what they represented and why they were terrorizing people so randomly.
However, The Children of Men is today also a relevant social commentary, as the average life-span of humans continues to grow, in places the elderly outnumber the young and in first world countries the birth rate steadily falls, how immigration is managed (or mismanaged) by wealthier countries and the trial and punishment of criminals is undertaken. Perhaps, after reading P.D. James’ dystopia, there could be some changed opinions.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was a little bit reluctant to start reading. Although dystopian fiction is one of my favourites, it allWhen I first read the synopsis of this book, I was a little bit reluctant to start reading. Although dystopian fiction is one of my favourites, it all sounded a little bit ‘YA-romancey’’ to me. However, as I skimmed through the first few pages, I decided maybe it could be better than it sounded.
Julianna Baggott describes the post-apocalyptic/dystopic world after The Detonations in a way that sucks you right into the story from page one. Mutated animals, disfigured humans, creatures that defy definition are all part of a world that is unrecognizable, yet recognizable at the same time. The characters, particularly Pressia, are so well defined and drawn I was immediately immersed into their lives, their feelings and their very different situations.
For me, this book is not YA in the traditional sense. It is brutal, ugly and beautiful all at the same time, and although the main characters are in their teens, their speech, thought and actions are for the most part that of older characters, giving a real sense that they had grown up in the world so intricately created by Ms. Baggott.
The science behind the Detonations and the Dome are examined and to some extent explained, but not in a way that is overwhelming for readers who may not be overly interested in that facet of the book – in fact, it is so well intertwined that at times I didn’t really even notice!
The only negative for me is that I found the book to be slightly long, perhaps 50 pages longer than it could have been, but that didn’t dampen my enjoyment of this book.
I highly recommend this book to fans of YA-dystopia, dystopia and post-apocalyptic genres. ...more
World-Mart is the story of a very possible future reality – class segregation, failing energy supplies, food shortag(Would be 4 1/2 stars if I could!)
World-Mart is the story of a very possible future reality – class segregation, failing energy supplies, food shortages, global warming, anti-biotic resistant viruses and governmental control over every action and choice made in life. Your background, upbringing and ability to follow without questioning dictate whether you thrive or simply survive in the world.
This is a thought-provoking and quite frightening book. I particularly found the idea of euthanasia of the ill and voluntary euthanasia for people who have found themselves, for whatever reason, demoted through the class ranks to be very disturbing and a reflection of the importance we place on bettering or at least maintaining our own statuses in life.
World-Mart also contains some wonderful poetry written by one of the main characters, Shelley, which I found particularly moving.
My only negative with this book was that some scenes played out way too quickly and could have been fleshed-out a little further, particularly to give a little more life to some of the characters. However this does not mean that the characters were flat or one-dimensional, simply that I wished I had gotten a chance to know them better, and particularly to know how the world came to be that of World-Mart.
Shining in Crimson has two kinds of vampires – the natural vampires (the ancients) who are just what vampires were meant to be – lean, mean, blood-sucking machines – and human vampires, who are the members of the Vampire Federation, trying to preserve their little corner of the former USA in agreement with the Empire.
The way this story is told is interesting – the history of the vampires and the humans is told via a series of flashbacks during the book which gives a feeling of history and provides the backgrounds of the characters gradually. Flashbacks can be difficult to write and meld into a story, but in Shining in Crimson it is done seamlessly and doesn’t detract from the current day story. ...more
I love dystopias, and I loved the idea of 'factions' based on personality traits and actions. Plus, the hype surrounding the release of the second booI love dystopias, and I loved the idea of 'factions' based on personality traits and actions. Plus, the hype surrounding the release of the second book, Insurgent, had me curious.....
Divergent is a page turner, no doubt about it. By about page 5 I just couldn't put this book down - fascinated by the idea of factions, of making choices about where you belong in the world, and Tris's initiation into Dauntless had me gripping the sides of my sofa (figuratively, not literally, I can't read without my hands!).
I really liked Tris - although she made a choice based on a spur-of-the-moment decision, she threw herself wholeheartedly into Dauntless, despite her own misgivings about whether she had made the right choice and whether she could actually cut it in that faction. And I can completely see how so many readers fell in love with Four - tough and mysterious, all the while trying to help Tris succeed in Dauntless in his own unique, tough-love kinda way. The supporting characters, particularly Christina, also had me intrigued.
The world of Divergent is enthralling, but that's also where I found something missing - although the world-building is good for the time in which the story is set, unless I was so caught up in the story that I missed it, there wasn't enough 'why' and 'how' for me. I wanted to know the how and why the world came to be divided into factions.
Divergent is action packed and Ms. Roth's writing style is highly addictive - there's no putting this bad boy down to watch the evening news that's for sure. I will definitely be reading Insurgent and hoping for a little more history of the factions along the way.
The synopsis of Revealing Eden sounded fascinating – a girl in a post-apocalyptic world where class is determined by the color of one’s skin, a littleThe synopsis of Revealing Eden sounded fascinating – a girl in a post-apocalyptic world where class is determined by the color of one’s skin, a little lurve, some science – what more could I want?
Well, a little more actually. The idea of Revealing Eden is a good one and there are so many themes that could be explored and the writing is good and flows easily, but at times a little too easily – scenes change quickly in the first part of the book and several times I found myself thinking “Huh, what just happened?”.
I also didn’t really take to Eden – I assumed she would be a strong, independent girl who wouldn’t be easily convinced, but instead she came across as needy, whiny and manipulated at every opportunity. The relationship between Eden and her love-interest could also have been fleshed out more – it felt a little bit too “insta-love” (or maybe I’m just a cynic!) to really pull me in.
Revealing Eden for me needed a little more world-building, there is so much potential that isn’t really tapped into apart from the opening chapters.
But there are definitely some positives to Revealing Eden, interesting science and biology, characters just waiting to be explored further, a beautiful setting in the second half and references to Aztecs and Mayan traditions and beliefs.
Would I read the next book in the series? Maybe, but only if I could be convinced that Eden matures as a character. There is a lot of potential in Ms. Foyt’s writing and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of her work in the future.