more like 3.5, but I'm going to round up. Interesting development and ending, but definitely a case of middle book syndrome. Felt like a transition bomore like 3.5, but I'm going to round up. Interesting development and ending, but definitely a case of middle book syndrome. Felt like a transition book, not a unique story. There's absolutely no refresher on who people are and what they're doing at the end of divergent, so I really had a hard time connecting to the characters. I kept thinking, "who was that again?" Also the transitions between scenes were extremely choppy and hard to follow. There seemed to be a lack of editing in terms of continuity and flow....more
I didn't really like Wither, but I didn't hate it either. I was put off by the lack of scientific support for the world building but I was interestedI didn't really like Wither, but I didn't hate it either. I was put off by the lack of scientific support for the world building but I was interested in the characters and the drama that unfolded. I thought Wither presented some interesting topics on forced marriages and human trafficking as well as the ethics of genetic manipulation and that in Fever we were going to explore these themes in greater depths. Unfortunately these topics were barely touched on in this weak follow up.
Fever really suffers from middle book syndrome. It's almost like the wordiness and overly poetic writing is trying to make up for the lack of character development, world building, or any real plot. I feel like everything in this book, from the main character to the writing to the world building to even the book itself, is very surface level. Everything is pretty and shiny, but there's no substance, no meat, to anything. It's like this book is saying "Look at how beautifully I described these girl's dresses and hair! Ignore the fact that they are child prostitutes, let me wax poetic about the fabric of their sex tent!" The writing is very wishy washy, to the point where I wasn't sure what was happening (specifically with Gabriel and the cage and with Vaughn and his testing). We're never told clearly what is happening, and instead of creating tension, it only creates confusion.
It's all very disappointing because I really liked the idea of the sex carnival and I thought it was an interesting setting to talk about tough issues like child prostitution. But it's almost like the author presents these terrible situations but doesn't fully commit her writing or her main character to those situations. Rhine gets exempt from abusive situations again and again (not having to consummate her marriage to Lindon, not having to prostitute with strangers). Instead Rhine watches other children be victimized and doesn't do anything to help them other than feel kind of bad. I feel like there is some indirect victim blaming going on here, that the child prostitutes are dirty and bad for having sex and that Rhine must stay pure and good because she is the main character. I do not know if that was the intention, but that is the road Fever heads down and it is a very damaging and dangerous path.
Fever is a truly disappointing novel not just as a sequel, but as a missed opportunity to actually say something of value. It just flits from topic to topic without fully committing to anything. ...more
Blood Red Road is an action packed debut novel that is sure to excite readers and have them jumping for more. Blood Red Road is like a combination ofBlood Red Road is an action packed debut novel that is sure to excite readers and have them jumping for more. Blood Red Road is like a combination of Mad Max and The Road Warrior and The Road by Cormac McCarthy; thrilling kill-or-be-killed post-apocalyptic narratives that had me on the edge of my seat. I literally could not put this book down (I've gotten pretty good at doing everything one handed...cooking, brushing my teeth, showering...).
One of the most interesting aspects of Blood Red Road is the writing style. This book is written in the dialect of the narrator without softening her harsh voice or using quotation marks. While it may be difficult at first, I found myself completely engrossed in the experience of reading this language after only a few pages. I think the language really lends to the overall feel of the book and helps the reader become fully immersed in Saba's bleak world.
The action in this book is fantastically written. There is a little bit of everything. High speed chases, cage fighting, fire and explosions, fist fights, knife fights, and oh yeah, human sacrifice. These action sequences are everything they should be, exciting, dangerous, and unpredictable. The setting of the book is also fantasticlly described and takes place in a whole variety of terrain. The land is dangerout and brutal, and so are the people who live in it.
The slower parts of the book were also very well done. The growth of Saba throughout this books is fantastically handled. In this book she grows into her own independent self and also learns how to trust her instincts and appreciate the people who are willling to help her. There are also some very well done romantic aspects that aren't overplayed. They are subtle and provide a nice break from all of the hardcore action.
The very best aspect of this book is that it is an introduction to the series while still being a complete and full story within itself. There is a distinct beginning, middle, and end with problems that are encountered and resolved by the end of the book while at the same time introducing a greater story arc that will be carried throughout the series. This is a difficult task to accomplish and I think that many first books in a series fall short of that goal. Blood Red Road achieves this effortlessly.
Overall Blood Red Road is a thrilling science fiction novel that is a stand out among the recent crop of YA dystopian novels. Blood Red Road is a satisfying adventure novel set in a gritty world that will have your heart pounding with every page.
Oh also, did I mention GIANT KILLER WORMS OF DOOM!? Because they're in this book too.
Let me start off by saying I freaking LOVE zombies. They're my favorite horror genre, and I am very protective of them. I'll pretty much read or watchLet me start off by saying I freaking LOVE zombies. They're my favorite horror genre, and I am very protective of them. I'll pretty much read or watch anything that has to do with zombies, but I'm also extremely critical. With that said, Bad Taste in Boys is a super cute zombie read (how often do you get to say that?). I'd say it's more of a middle grade book that is great for kids who want to read a zombie book but don't want to read anything too scary.
There are lots of cliches and over-the-top dramatics, but I still really enjoyed this book. I think if you go into Bad Taste in Boys wanting a serious and scientific book you will be sadly disappointed. I'm surprised I liked it as much as I did because I am usually a huge stickler for proper science in a zombie novel. I would recommend taking this book for what it is, fun and light hearted. Don't try and read too much into it or think too hard about how ridiculous the science is. Just go with it.
Overall Bad Taste in boys is a silly little zombie romp. Definitely more Shaun of the Dead then Dawn of the Dead. There are some great quotes from the book, and one of my favorites is “Excuse me if I feel skeptical,' I said. 'Coach's foot fell off. How exactly do you propose to cure that? Superglue?”. LOL!
Bad Taste in Boys is the first in a series, with the second book Bad Hair Day set to come out November 2012. I will definitely be reading the next one! ...more
Divergent is an action packed adventure about a young girl who learns to follow her heart and be true to herself. Divergent is the first of a trilogy,Divergent is an action packed adventure about a young girl who learns to follow her heart and be true to herself. Divergent is the first of a trilogy, and I think it does a wonderful job of setting up the world and the overall setting of the trilogy while still being a complete story within itself.
The strongest part of Divergent is the action sequences. The writing is excellent. The trials Tris goes through are adrenaline fueled and make you keep turning the page. I also thought that the development of Tris's character as she learns to adapt to her surroundings and listen to her intuition was very well done. Tris is a very well rounded character who constantly surprised me with her choices and reasons behind them.
There were a few stylistic choices that Roth made in her writing that didn't sit well with me, but also did not detract from the story. I also thought there could have been more development of Tris's past and her family, but I also suspect that there will be more revealed in the coming books.
Overall Divergent is an exciting debut dystopian novel that brilliantly introduces the story of Tris. Divergent intrigues from the start and will stay in the readers head long after they have turned the last page....more
I was really excited to read the maze runner after having met James Dashner at a book signing for his newest series, The Infinity Ring. He had such enI was really excited to read the maze runner after having met James Dashner at a book signing for his newest series, The Infinity Ring. He had such enthusiasm for writing for kids and encouraging them to read that I wanted to read all of his books right now! However, I was really disappointed with a lot of what happened in The Maze Runner. (sad panda!)
The one thing that got really old with The Maze Runner was the withholding of information from Thomas just because "you don't need to know that right now greenie". UGH WHATEVER! I hate books that try and create tension by purposefully keeping the main character in the dark. It's one thing if the character has amnesia, that I don't mind, but it's when they ask a specific question and are told "you don't need to know that" or "I'll tell you later". No. NO! TELL ME NOW!
This is especially true in a dystopian type setting. Like ok, if it's a contemporary and the reason you don't want to tell the main character something is because you have too many feels and you're just not ready yet or whatever ok. I get that. BUT in a dystopian kind of setting information is how you survive! Why would you with not tell someone some vital information for no reason other than you think it doesn't matter or they don't need to know? That's crazy talk! And yet this went on for pages and pages during The Maze Runner.
However, a pretty interesting story did develop. While I wasn't a huge fan of the majority of The Maze Runner I like where it's going. I was really drawn into the story in the last 25% of the book, so that's where the 3 stars came from. So while the second book, The Scorch Trials, isn't very high on my TBR pile, it's in there. I'm not giving up yet! ...more
The Iron Thorn was my first jump into a real Steampunk novel, and I loved the world it created. I honestly wish it was a movie because I wanted to seeThe Iron Thorn was my first jump into a real Steampunk novel, and I loved the world it created. I honestly wish it was a movie because I wanted to see Lovecraft and how the city worked as well as the fashions of the people living in it. This is definitely the strongest part of the book for me. The fantastic world building which includes one of my favorite settings, mansions with hidden passages and rooms! It's totally awesome.
I also really enjoyed the characters. First off, Aoife (pronounced EE-fa) is a fantastic name for a fantastic character. Lets just hold up for a minute and recognize that this girl is an ENGINEER! HOLLA! Being an engineer myself, it was absolutely awesome to read a character like me! We aren't just told that Aoife is smart, we see her intelligence when she creates solutions to problems like a lady Macgyver. There's a lot of sexism in Lovecraft's society, and I like how Aoife starts to stand up for herself and is all "You know what? Women can be smart AND hot and STILL save the day!" I also loved the swoon worthy Dean. Like for serious, he is a fantastic hottie bad boy. Their romance developed at a good pace and, yes I'll say it, smoldered all over the place.
Now onto what disappointed me a bit. If you took out the fantastic steampunk elements, I would have to say this story is not very imaginative. It's got a very generic adventure story plot. Girl and friend and hot boy go off to save something, run into problems, discover a much greater problem, go on mission to solve it, almost get thwarted by bad guy, beat the bad guy at the last minute, but then something totally unexpected happens and cliffhanger ending. I really enjoyed the story up until the fey were introduced. I just don't see why they had to be in the story. I would have been down for the "weird" magic, but I didn't want it to go that far into fairytale, I wanted it to stay more science fiction. I also didn't really like what happened to Cal, it felt too convenient of a twist that was too forced.
Overall The Iron Thorn is a great introduction to the steampunk genre, but still has a bit of magical fun for people who like a little fantasy. While the story can be paced a little slow and some of the magic lore a bit confusing, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes alternative histories with beautiful imagery. ...more
I don't know how to rate this book. I love the cover, so it gets at least 2 stars for the art alone. But then it loses stars for the completely ridicuI don't know how to rate this book. I love the cover, so it gets at least 2 stars for the art alone. But then it loses stars for the completely ridiculous science/economic/social inconsistencies that make the premise for the life of the characters. But then it gains stars for the characters themselves, which I really loved. It also gains stars for the descriptive and impressive writing style. I'm torn!
*********UPDATE WITH SPOILERS*********
ok after much consideration here's how the star math goes. (Don't read if you don't want spoilers)
+2 for the cover art -1 for the illogical end of the world scenario -1 for the illogical "virus" that comes from genetic manipulation +1 for pretty dresses (whatever, don't judge) +1 for addressing polygamy in a way that isn't 100% vile +1 for a female character sticking to her ideals -1 for not consummating the marriage (doesn't make any sense) +1 for Jenna being a bad ass prostitute +1 for elements of subterfuge and conspiracy theory (just what exactly was going on in that basement?) -2 for then not answering questions raised by said subterfuge and conspiracy theory. +1 for making me want to read the next book in the series.
TOTAL= 3 stars
Overall, this book is an awesome romance/stockholm syndrome book, but a really shitty science ficiton book. However, I think the positives of the narritive outweigh the pretend science.
***UPDATE re-read 6/25/2013***
I Just finished re-reading this after 2 years and I still agree with my original review. The writing is very well done, but the science fiction and dystopian society is inconsistant and really takes me out of the story. Also (view spoiler)[ I forgot that then went to the movie theater at the end of the book. I do NOT understand that in the slightest. You've spent 300+ pages trying to escape and the chances of you getting caught (and killed) are really high so you decide to hang out at the movies only a couple of miles from your captor's home? DOES NOT COMPUTE. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more