I am sorry. I have better things to do than read this. Like clean my bathroom with a toothbrush, get a root canal, or slowly kill myself by mixing DraI am sorry. I have better things to do than read this. Like clean my bathroom with a toothbrush, get a root canal, or slowly kill myself by mixing Drano in my soup. Peace outs....more
I wasn't going to review this book because it meant taking an extra five to ten minutes thinking about it, which should, essentially, convey exactly wI wasn't going to review this book because it meant taking an extra five to ten minutes thinking about it, which should, essentially, convey exactly what I thought about it. I'm also flabbergasted as to how the rating on this book could be so high; I feel as though it's my civic duty to rate it appropriately so that maybe someone somewhere won't make the mistake of picking up this novel to read.
Let's start with the Becca Fitzpatrick's most cardinal sin. Hush, Hush is a blatant rip-off of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga which is a blatant rip-off of L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries. Here's the one question that I have: how in the hell do you rip-off a book like Twilight and make it suck worse than the original? I mean, a person has to have a special kind of talent in order to borrow a plot from a terrible writer and make it even worse.
For your pleasure (or, you know - abject horror), here are a few similarities between the two novels:
1.) The main character is a girl so stupid that she makes Paris Hilton look like a member of MENSA by comparison.
2.) The love interest of the main character is a rapey, pervy sicko that outright says multiple times that his base instinct is to kill her.
3.) What little plot and back story there is in this novel doesn't appear until approximately page three hundred; it's as though Becca was so focused on writing about her 'hero' (I use this term incredibly loosely) sexually harassing Dumb Girl that when she got to page three hundred and realized there was no plot to speak of, she shoved in a whole bunch of confusing, stupid mythology and hoped that no one would notice.
4.) Annoying supporting characters, holy shit. Dumb Girl's best friend is a girl named Vee. I remember her name distinctly because every second I saw it in this book, I fantasized about there being a real Vee so that I could hit her with my car and/or maim her to death with a golf club. Vee essentially forces a creepy, rapey guy (not the love interest; you heard me - there's more than one rapey guy in this book!) into Dumb Girl's life and Dumb Girl basically allows her to do so instead of telling her to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Dumb Girl, you should have let your friend die.
There were several scenes in this book that mortified me to my core. Really, Becca Fitzpatrick? Writing a scene in which an educator essentially harasses a student into talking about 'attractive traits in a mate'? Really, Becca? Letting that same educator ignore another student's overt sexual harassment of another student?
I can appreciate a good hate/love relationship as much as the next girl, I really can, but this love story wasn't a hate/love sort of thing. This love story was about a controlling, perverted guy taking advantage of a girl that clearly lacked the spine to tell him to back the hell off. This was a story in which girls are supposed to swoon because even though a foul, lascivious jerk-bag of a guy wants and needs to kill a girl but doesn't because it's 'so romantic'. It's not romantic. It's scary that this is what publishers are impressing upon young girls. I don't have a daughter, but if I did, I definitely wouldn't want her to read this and love a guy that embodied all of these qualities; that's just dangerous....more
Could it be? Is this really a zombie novel with two bad ass heroines kicking butt and taking names? Oh. No. It isn't.
I'll give Frater credit where creCould it be? Is this really a zombie novel with two bad ass heroines kicking butt and taking names? Oh. No. It isn't.
I'll give Frater credit where credit is due: this story starts off like a really awesome slap in the face. We're introduced to Jenni, who is staring at the tiny baby fingers of her toddler son reaching under a crack in her door. Why? Because her abusive and zombified husband is having him for a snack. Her other son has been bitten by her husband, too, and is trying to claw out of the house via the window to take a chunk out of mommy. Jenni is only saved when Lesbian Katie (more on this in a minute) rolls up and gets her into the truck before she becomes zombie lunchmeat. Then, I'm afraid, begins the agonizing spiral into What The Shit Is This Land.
Here are the problems with this book:
Jenni, you suck. After Jenni is rescued and she and Katie find a place to hole up for a while, she offers herself up to Lesbian Katie. I get it in a way. Coming from an abusive household, one might safely assume that Jenni has been brainwashed into thinking that she's nothing but a puppet for the needs of other people. Since Katie is the one that rescued her, it might be logical for Jenni to assume that sex is the price for safety and protection, making it really easy to not see this situation for what it is, which is just the first in a long line of scenarios in which Jenni thinks with her netherparts instead of her brain. Jenni's all-consuming goal of getting laid is so overwhelming for her that she forgets that she has a stepson that she needs to rescue (which, if I'm being honest, feels like just an impetus for Frater to insert a fancy action sequence into her story because her stepson is basically pointless after his rescue) and that she's lost her two sons less than a week prior. In short: abort, abort, abort.
Katie, you don't suck as much as Jenni. You're Diet Suck. I have dubbed Katie Lesbian Katie because ninety percent of the narrative about her is about her sexuality. In fact, the parts about her read less like a zombie novel and more like shitty dialogue in a Lifetime movie about gay acceptance. No, really, it gets so bad that Lesbian Katie goes out of her way to have a completely inappropriate and, frankly, pointless conversation about her sexuality with Jenni's adolescent stepson. She entrusted a fifteen year old the secret of her bisexuality; the whole bit felt more like an unnecessary scene for Frater to explain Katie's blossoming attraction with a man, when, if it had been kept out of the book, the story would not have been lacking.
Also, Frater's dudes sound like ladies. You know how annoying Bella Swan was in Twilight mooning over Edward? That was basically every male character in this book.
One thing that Frater did really well was make sure that there was a lot of action. I liked that part about her writing because with the limited wriggle room available with zombie lore, stories can become dull or repetitive, which makes interpersonal relationships between characters necessary. Here is the problem. Much of the story focused on a stupid love quadrangle - Jenni loves cock (Travis', first), Travis loves Lesbian Katie, Juan loves Jenni, Katie wants to mourn her undead wife in peace - which was given far more importance than it should have. I was much more intrigued with the politics of the little community that Jenni and Katie found themselves in instead of a dumb game of elementary school Love Connection.
- General issues:
Every single character says, "Gawd" instead of "God". So it was pages of, "Oh my Gawd," and "Gawd, that's terrible," from every single character. I realize that this was a stylistic choice by Frater, but it made me want to punch puppies when every single character started to sound like an unintelligent Scarlett O'Hara.
It was super cute when Juan gave Jenni the nickname Loca. It stopped being cute around the four hundredth time he went out of his way to call her Loca. It made me wonder if Frater has ever had a conversation with a real person because every single sentence was peppered with her name, unnecessarily. Things he actually said: "You're loca, Loca." Shut up. The only redeeming quality about Juan is that I couldn't unsee him as Kevin Alejandro in my head:
Execution of the story in general was pretty bad. I had comprehension problems with the way Frater described things, but I didn't expect so much when I realized this book was a self-published deal. And it's no wonder. Gawd....more
I either read an interview or saw one with Stephenie Meyer who remarked that she got her plot to Twilight from a dream that she once had. After havingI either read an interview or saw one with Stephenie Meyer who remarked that she got her plot to Twilight from a dream that she once had. After having read this, I can say in all certainty that if she got the idea from a dream, it was at some point after reading this series. Look no further for her source material, here it is.
Just a few of the parallels that I noticed: Stefan (Edward) can read minds. Stefan and Elena fall splendidly and exquisitely in love with each other despite the fact that there's little narrative to their love story. Stefan wants to stay away from Elena because he's a killer, and so on, ad nauseum. Credit L.J. Smith here, though, considering that she was the one that did it first and she did it better (although I'd say not much, since I'm being honest).
Particularly in the first novel, "The Awakening", I found the main character - Elena - to be selfish, spoiled, and revolting. Perhaps it's because the popular, pretty girl foil is simply something that I can't related to, or perhaps it's because the idea of making my friends swear in blood that they won't stop until they 'get me' a boy is totally and completely absurd.
In the second book, Elena is a touch more palatable, but that might have been because the story as a whole got marginally better, leaving less time (but still ample, believe me) for Elena to wax poetic about the unexplainable love for Stefan that seemingly flourished after one kiss.
I'll give this three stars because it did get better in the end, but a more realistic rating would have been two or two and a half....more
I will say it right now: I lament giving that extra half a star to Divergent, because book, oh, have you let me down.
There were problems all over theI will say it right now: I lament giving that extra half a star to Divergent, because book, oh, have you let me down.
There were problems all over the place in the book, some of which were new and some of which were the problems from book one redux. Basically, Roth still supplies an endless stream of tertiary characters without fleshing them out in the slightest, leaving me super confused about who everyone is. She also didn't really introduce much of a plot until the last fifty pages of the book, exactly like Divergent. Tris and Four are very cute together, but maybe I have a heart made out of solid ice, but I just didn't get it.
The new problems I've found in this book are that Roth didn't summarize the events of Divergent at all - not in memories, flashbacks, etc. If I hadn't read Divergent two days ago, I would have swan-dived into this novel and not really understood who was who or how they got where or whatever.
This book cast stark light on the fact that Roth has no real sense of how to construct a plot. I think I was blinded by Divergent; it lacked a cohesive structure, but in the context of reading Insurgent, it's plain to see that Roth has written two books that read more like a well-described list of subsequent events rather than a novel with any sort of cogent plot, which made most of this book migraine-inducing for me.
I did like the closer looks at the other factions. We're invited to see deeper inside the Candor, Amity, and Erudite factions and that was fun, but again, this felt more like Roth wrote a whole bunch of separate scenes she wanted to include in her book and just threw them in there in some order, while only really fitting the meat of the story into the last few chapters.
Tris is still a pretty amazing heroine, though - she's strong and selfless and obstinate, but not in the annoying way. I don't think there was a moment in this book that I didn't like her (though Roth has a preternatural ability to write hateable characters, though - FU JEANINE/PETER/MARCUS/ERRBODY).
I found the love story between Tris and Four more bearable in this book, perhaps because it's evolved more, but I think Roth needs to invest in a thesaurus or read that one book by Laini Taylor, because every time she described them kissing, it was Four, "touching his mouth" to Tris', which really sounds like it's one credit card away from a game of suck and blow, not kissing. I didn't count, but I'd say she used this at least fourteen times and it got so annoying that I had to angrily take my dog for a walk. I like Four and I like Tris individually, I do, but I just don't buy their relationship. Sorry.
Oh, and Uriah is the best character. I think I'm envisioning him in my head as a Stephen Colletti lookalike and that makes me happy. Anyway, this review is terrible. I haven't slept in thirty-seven hours SUE ME...more
Okay, it's official: I am the last person on the planet to have read Darkfever. I finished it the other morning at exactly four-seventeen and I remembOkay, it's official: I am the last person on the planet to have read Darkfever. I finished it the other morning at exactly four-seventeen and I remember that because I kept glancing at the clock going, why am I awake? and why did I have to run out of sugar-free Red Bull today?
A brief prologue tossed out a bunch of information with terminology that I didn't quite understand, but the first few pages beyong that were pretty great, introducing Mac as this Sookie Stackhouse type character - she's blonde, young, Southern, and she works in a bar. I like Sookie Stackhouse, so my interest was immediately caught. Moning writes about the South in such a way that you know that she's been there and she's not just taking her queues from redneck jokes she looked up on google. I like that. So when it came to the point that Mac decided to go to Ireland to investigate her sister's death after hearing her cryptic voicemail, I was kind of disappointed; I like the Southern aesthetic, okay?
So, Mac. She started off great and swiftly became almost unbearable; I don't think I've ever read a book with a more vapid character. Every other paragraph was about some dumb shade of pink that she was painting her nails or how awesome her legs looked or the flowery/rainbow skirt she was wearing to match her pink nails that made her legs look awesome. This goes on throughout the course of the novel. It's especially bad when Mac is forced to cut and color her hair. She went from vapid to whiny to whiny and vapid. It was bad. Not to mention, I kind of felt like Mac was stupid in a lot of ways. Some of the things she said made me want to punch her for being an idiot. Examples:
- "Should I be calling pubs poos?" - If you don't know what I mean or you think I'm being melodramatic, then you've never really loved anyone. - And then this narrative was just gratuitous and unnecessary: I felt as if he'd not only seen me nude but somehow knew I had a tiny heart-shaped mole on the left cheek of my behind, and another on my right breast, just east of my nipple.
Next, there's Jericho Barrons (or Barrens, as this ebook sometimes said - wtf, mate?). I've learned that Jericho, via several reviews, is the love interest. I was kind of disappointed to hear that. Mostly because he's a bag of assholes. After first meeting Mac, he shows up to her hotel room in the middle of the night, threatens her, and proceeds to push her up against the wall with his hand around her throat and kiss her neck. This wasn't sexy; this made my skin crawl. He doesn't get a lot better beyond that, either, considering he's also a giant misogynist. Examples:
- "Go home, Ms. Lane. Be young. Be pretty. Get married. Have babies. Grow old with your pretty husband." - "As if you could. You might break a nail." - "Just the latest piece of ass, McCabe." I no longer had to bite down. I was speechless. McCabe laughed. "She talk?" "Not unless I tell her to. Her mouth's usually too full."
There are other examples of misogyny throughout the book, both Barrons' and others, and it's all repugnant. Like I mentioned on some of my statuses, the only way that I was able to get through this book was to imagine Jericho as Colin Farrell. I know it's not supposed to be attractive when anyone treats women the way Jericho does, but for some reason, Colin Farrell makes it tolerable. Don't judge me.
As far as the story itself, I was reasonably impressed. I liked the fact that there was a plot exclusive to this novel, but there was clearly a developing arch that could be explored later. I liked reading about the different types of creatures that were presented, even thought the randomly masturbating many-mouthed one was again, really gratuitous and gross. Even the sex-fae wasn't all that bad, though the scenes in which Mac had to keep putting her clothes back on were ridiculous. The scene in the museum, particularly after Mac showed the spear to V'lane and the glamour dissipated, was horrifying and really triggery for me, but unlike similar triggery issues in Dead Witch Walking, I thought it was more integral to the story in that Mac could have a solid example of what these creatures were capable of. I liked reading about the shadows and the way that they killed, especially.
There's no doubt that the mythology used in this book is rich and explored pretty well. It makes me interested to read the other books in the series to see what other creatures Mac will encounter. I just hope that she's infinitely less annoying in book two than she was in Darkfever....more
Blythe, Haleema, and I gave each other the old internet elbow to the gut to get our shit together and read this book, finally. I'm glad that I finallyBlythe, Haleema, and I gave each other the old internet elbow to the gut to get our shit together and read this book, finally. I'm glad that I finally got motivated, because this is a pretty good read considering that Susan Ee published this shiz herself.
I didn't want to read this. I saw that it was about angels and, when you consider the quality of the existing breadth of ya lit with angels in it - for the record, I still hate your entire existence, Becca Fitzpatrick - probability was high that this was going to be another steamy, smelling thing to scrape off the heel of my favorite shoe. And to be honest with you, it kind of started out that way.
We're introduced to Penryn and her wheelchair-bound sister, Paige, and her paranoid schizophrenic mother. They quickly find themselves in a street where a bunch of muscle-bound angels are having a who's-got-the-bigger-sword contest. (A small note here: have any of you seen Tom Jones these days? This is him. I don't know how to explain this exactly, but he always seems to resemble a toddler in a suit to me - it's like his limbs are too short for his torso. I mention this because Ee's initial descriptions about the angels remind me of toddlers in suits. #kanyeshrug.) So, basically, one of the angels gets his wings cut off, Penryn gets herself involved and throws the dude his sword thinking that it would distract this other angel off of her family, and gets her sister kidnapped.
I don't know. I found maybe the first fifty percent of this book completely incongruent with the last half. The first half is your standard post-apocalyptic novel, complete with rebels in a sketchy camp constructing nefarious plans to 'get back' at the angels for the apocalypse they brought upon the world, but then things started to get good.
Weird creatures scramble around the woods trying to eat people. It's all very weird until Penryn infiltrates the aerie where her sister is being held and discovers how creepy the angels actually are. I don't know, read it. It's good.
So, basically, Ee did spin a good yarn, particularly given that she did it all by herself and I'm looking forward to book two. This is also the first book in a while where I both really liked the heroine (she decidedly did not suffer from the Bella Swan complex) and also the evolution of the obvious relationship with Raffe - they had good rapport with each other and he didn't have to be rapey in order to accomplish it (not that he was trying to).
What I'd like to see more from Ee is more of the weirdo stuff that was going on in that garage in the last half of the book. I'd also like some more back story on the evolution of the whole apocalypse, too, because she sort of dropped us in a world with absolutely no context as to how things started or got so bad. All in all, a good read, and I did sign up to get notice of when the next book is finished. Maybe angels can exist in ya lit.
Anyways, Tom Jones thanks you for your time:
Edit #1: I FORGOT TO SAY THAT THE SCHIZOPHRENIC MOM NEEDS HER OWN BOOK SERIES. Okay, I'm done now, freals.
Edit #2: Another thing that I forgot to mention is that it always weirds me out how a centuries-old being (be it angel, demon, vampire, etc.) can have romantic feelings for a teenage girl who is comparatively an infant. Ee did a good job of making me forget that, but the thought burbled up a couple of times despite. Gives a new meaning to robbing the cradle....more
I picked up Dead Witch Walking in the wake of finishing Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. Having perused both Wikipedia and Goodreads for a geneI picked up Dead Witch Walking in the wake of finishing Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. Having perused both Wikipedia and Goodreads for a general synopsis of the story, I felt confident that I was going to love the series and that it would also soothe the ache of not getting another Sookie Stackhouse novel until May of this year. This was a bad idea for two reasons: 1.) Gauging the content of one set of novels, however similar, against another (especially since it was the first in a series - sometimes it takes time for author's to get their sea-legs with a new character or world), makes it impossible to do an objective reading and 2.) I was, naturally, completely disappointed.
I didn't violently hate Rachel Morgan as much as I've hated other female protagonists. Don't get me wrong. Rachel definitely had her annoying moments, namely whenever she grabbed on to someone and growled 'cookie' at them. I know that Kim Harrison was probably just try to emphasize Rachel's bad-assness or whatever, but I thought it was really annoying and stupid. If I met someone that did this in real life, I'd probably punch them in the temple. Something about Rachel that confused me was her inexplicable fear of Ivy. I get it, she's never lived with a vampire before, but as an IS runner, I have to assume that she had been in contact with all manner of dangerous creatures beforehand, which made the whole fear of Ivy thing really weird. Ivy was okay, too. I think I probably like her more than Rachel. The clear star of this whole book is Jenks, though. Jenks and Mrs. Jenks, and Jax, too. I want four hundred thousand words on the Jenks family in which they fight a fairy war and they decorate their tree stump with scrap yarn and cleaned lids of aluminum cans for mirrors!
Anyway, I think Rachel was kind of stupid. She would get injured, go out and get injured some more and go out and get injured some more. I get what she was trying to accomplish, so I don't know that I'd put her in the 'dumb heroine' category just yet, but she was really sort of moronic in places.
I didn't mind the lack of love interest so much. I can forgive a lot with a good plot. Unfortunately, lacked that, so it would have been nice to have some guy in the picture to make this book a lot less boring.
The world-building was okay. It took me a long time to get through this novel and I think it was because in places, Kim's writing was a little weird. And, for whatever reason, it bored me for about seventy-five percent of the book. I liked the witchy/spell-casting parts. I liked the general concept of a world in tatters because of a virus spread by genetically-engineered tomatoes since it's at least marginally plausible (seriously, kids, they're already selling genetically engineered fish at your local grocery store).
The biggest problem that I had with the book was the triggery content. The mink scene made me physically ill. I rescue abused animals. The dog that was formerly in my user photo was an abused dog, too. I got him from the kill-shelter on the day he was supposed to be euthanized. He had two broken legs and he was absolutely petrified of all people. He's great now. He's more than great, actually, considering he gets steak every Saturday night and we make him his own cheeseburgers whenever it's red meat day in our house. The point is, I can't stomach animal abuse, even in fiction. I'll stop watching films if animal abuse is even implied. This scene where Trent keeps Rachel locked in a cage and allows Jonathan to essentially poke, prod, and beat at this mink - even though she wasn't really a mink - disturbed me to the point of tears. Even more disturbing was the graphic violence described in the rat-fights; animal fighting is a particularly triggery thing for me since I just got two rescues that were used in dog fights. I just thought it was really unnecessary to the plot when Trent could have easily locked Rachel up as a human and tortured her. It was sick.
The second triggery thing was the shape-shifting demon, asking Rachel if she was afraid of rape. Enough said. I think it was disturbing and I think the book would have been better without it and the gratuitous violence against animals.
I'm giving this a two. Had it not been for those specific scenes, I'd give it a three and I'd be mildly interested to see what happens next in the series. That said, I sincerely doubt I'll be reading the next book in the series or anything else Kim Harrison has written....more
Eff you, book cover. Why are you so pretty? And book, why are you called Across the Universe making me think there would be some remote collation to tEff you, book cover. Why are you so pretty? And book, why are you called Across the Universe making me think there would be some remote collation to the Beatles and peace and love?
I don't know why I read this. I hate space-related stuff ever since I was a wee Andrealet and my dad told me that outer space wasn't just about floating around and playing trampoline on the moon and that you'd actually suffocate to death from the lack of oxygen. But I read it because the cover spoke made me go, "Ohhhh, pretty colors," and because I still haven't overcome this disease I have where I can't put a book down once I've started.
Anyway, the book starts with a rather graphic, horrifying description of a family of three going being cryogenically frozen (personally, I think fam nights should include DiGiorno's and movies with talking guinea pigs, but what the hell do I know) to prepare them for a three hundred year trip to another planet which they'll help repopulate and colonize. Interesting plot to start, but through the intense descriptions of the freezing process, I was CRINGING. To make matters worse, the book contains a dual perspective narration, flopping from Amy (the girl in the icebox) and Elder (future captain of the ship 250 years after she's been frozen like a fish stick), creating the impetus for about ten chapters of popsicle person nightmares. Do not want. And if it freaks me out, any novel deserves a big thumbs up on the creep factor.
Then the worst thing begins to happen. SOMEONE STARTS TO THAW PEOPLE AND LEAVE THEM TO DIE. Fortunately, Elder finds Amy just before she drowns in her own cryo-juices and she's left to wander around the ship and come to grips with the hinky way people on the ship have evolved and the fact that she might be dead before her parents are ever resuscitated.
I give Revis an A- for world-building, but maybe a C+ for execution. She definitely brings up a lot of interesting concepts - the way that people farm on the ship to create nourishment, the way that the language and the the people evolve, and mostly, she acknowledges how easy it is to go cray-cray in a ship knowing you might never see home again.
That's when it starts to get even creepier. I won't go into details because I want this whole thing to be generally spoiler-free, but a huge caveat that I have with this novel is that it was more of a series of creepy events that Beth Revis wrote, but there was not really a discernible climax. Or, there was when the perpetrator was found, but I feel like there were creepier moments in the book - like when Amy discovers who really pulled her plug. (And FYI, the scene in which she finds out is ridiculous - she's not even angry about it; why would you not beat someone to death with the closest blunt object?) I think that maybe I was expecting something more plot-based than character-fueled and I got the opposite of what I wanted. Not to mention there were waaaaay too many unanswered questions at the end. Do they ever get to the planet? Is there going to be a follow-up? Will the cover be just as pretty. THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
Whatevs, 2.5 starts and I'm feeling generous, so watch me round this up....more
Divergent sort of reminds me of the Hunger Games, but not in an obvious copycat kind of way. Divergent introduces us to a world where the people in itDivergent sort of reminds me of the Hunger Games, but not in an obvious copycat kind of way. Divergent introduces us to a world where the people in it are broken up into five separate factions - Abnegation, Erudite, Candor, Dauntless, and Amity - individually created because of their prospective opinions on why the world went wrong. Abnegation believe it was selfishness, Erudite believe it was ignorance, etc.
We are introduced to Abnegation member Beatrice Prior who is unhappy with her own ability to obey the regulations of her faction. During the traditional aptitude test - a simulation in which her decisions were supposed to indicate her innate competency for one faction out of five - it is discovered that she's Divergent, meaning she possesses qualities of more than one faction. We find out that this could get her killed. On the day she chooses her faction, she makes the decision to shirk her own faction and join Dauntless.
Beatrice isn't your cookie-cutter doormat of a heroine. I like that she's not written as preternaturally beautiful or Bella Swan-plain. She's normal and not much about her looks - aside from her evolution from Abnegation Beatrice to Dauntless Tris - is mentioned. Another appealing thing about her character is that, though she does develop a crush on a boy, the boy isn't the absolute epicenter to her universe when there are bigger problems to deal with. I found Beatrice/Tris to be really frustrating in certain areas, however, but maybe it was important to her character. I liked that when terrible things happened to her (Peter beating her half to death during a Dauntless initiation, for example), her instinct was to hold her head high and appear unafraid. Sometimes, I felt her fearlessness bordered on stupidity. When her mother visited and distinctly told her to make sure she ranked somewhere in the middle of the other initiates so her Divergence wouldn't be detected, Tris essentially ignored this in favor of her own egotistical need to be number one, despite nudges from various characters (Tori, Four, and even Jeanine) that she was making herself obvious. I found this really annoying.
As for the love interest, hurrah for this novel being an elite part of young adult literature in which the heroine doesn't start crushing inexplicably on a complete douchenozzle. Four was kind and Roth did flesh out the details of his past well (though I guessed who he was almost two hundred pages before he revealed himself), though the romance between him and Tris felt rushed and subsequently made me wish that whole aspect of the story didn't exist.
Some characters were better written than others. Ultimately, I feel like Roth wrote in a bunch of names in case she needed a character to write into an important scene in the future. Peter, Al, Christina, Eric, and Tori were the only ones that really stood out for me. The rest sort of got muddied together for me.
When it came to the nature of the story, I was really impressed. The world-building was above and beyond what I'd normally expect from a ya dystopia, but, to be fair, I am not entirely sure I would consider this much of a dystopia at all. I am not sure the average reader would have recognized the city in which these people live as a worn-down Chicago - I only noticed it at the mention of Navy Pier. Instead, this specific story in the series seems to focus more on the initiate process of a Dauntless with only brief winks and nudges to what I'm assuming will be the overall arc to the series throughout until the last few chapters when the action started to commence.
Don't get me wrong - I love Roth's action-packed writing and I loved her imagination when it came to testing initiates and her exploring the innerworkings of Dauntless headquarters, but at the end of the book, I found myself wanting more of the meatier stuff that came at the end of the book - the Erudite's plot to inject a mind control serum into the minds of the Dauntless in order to have them attack Abnegation. I'm not entirely sure why fifty percent of the book was dedicated to tests and a romance-too-soon when there could have been better construction with that plot instead. It made the ending of this book seem incredibly brushed - less than ten hours passed between the injection of the mind control serum and the entire mind control of the Dauntless faction. Would it not have made more sense to foreshadow this with showing some in-faction test subjects of the Erudite?
To summarize, I like this book and I will continue the series, but these are the flaws: - Boring, pointless, rushed romance that would have been better had it been drawn out or completely omitted from the book. - Too many named characters wandering around and muddying up some of the story for me. - This book is three hundred pages of introduction with a hundred pages of actual plot.
But here are the good things: - A heroine that doesn't ignore the world crashing down around her for a boy. - The love interest isn't a bag of dicks. - The world-building, prose, and imagination of Roth is pretty rad and it almost makes up for long-windedness. - Action-packed, though it has me worrying that follow-up books won't follow suit.
Additionally: - WTF is so wrong with being Divergent? How is a direct answer to this question never given? - I would kill baby jack rabbits to read about the initiation processes/innerworkings of other factions. (Except Candor, because lie-detector tests are for Maury Povich.)
Conclusion: - This is probably a three and a half star book, but I'm rounding up because I had lemon cake this morning and I'm in a good mood....more
It's always pathetically sad for me when I spend a couple of days hoovering down a novel and in summation the only conclusion that I can come to is thIt's always pathetically sad for me when I spend a couple of days hoovering down a novel and in summation the only conclusion that I can come to is this: eh. It was so eh that it's difficult for me to review it thoroughly and I can talk about everything - so says the guy in the doctor's office waiting room the other day that went home with a skeletal outline of my entire life story.
So, there's a girl. This girl isn't particularly memorable except in the fact that her name is Remy, which reminds me of Gambit from X-Men; maybe I would have liked Amanda Hocking's Remy more if she could throw playing cards charged with kinetic energy at zombies. So, there's Remy. Without much narrative on how she got there, it's mentioned that Remy is in a government facility that's presently being overcome with a herd (Is there a proper term for a group of zombies - a herd? a flock? a school? I'm going go go with a murder, since it seems apropos for zombies.) - nay, a murder - of coordinated zombies, which is an interesting addition to the existing zombie lore, but it's not anything I haven't seen before either. Remy escapes the facility with one goal in mind - to retrieve her little brother who had already been evacuated from the facility for mysterious reasons. Oh, the mystery!
There's not really anything new to see here. It's a formulaic plot with a few surprises, but the surprises don't do much except confuse me. A big for instance: at one point, Remy and Harlow stumble upon a lioness who is being attacked by zombies. The lioness will attack any zombie within three feet of her, but throughout the course of the book, the lioness acts like a giant tamed golden retriever for Remy, which is stupid and unfeasible, no matter how well the lion has been trained.
More hilarity: at some point during a raid of a house for supplies, in stumbles a guy and a rock star. I get it. Even before the existence of Zombieland and the whole Bill Murray thing, I was like - what if Jake Gyllenhaal and I were the only two people left in the world after a massive apocalypse and we somehow stumbled upon each other in the canned vegetable aisle at my local Wal-Mart? I don't think that the existence of a rock star bothered me as much as Amanda sort of smushing them together at every corner even though for me, Remy had more chemistry with the creepy dude that was collecting little girls to rape.
The book was okay, but it was never going to be good. There was very little plot aside from Remy's mission to get her brother back and it read like a series of events, not a novel, which is only exacerbated by Hocking's uninteresting prose. The characters weren't unlikable, but they were distinctly amorphous and boring. That's all I got. 2 stars. If you want good zombie lit, read Zombicorns. John Green 4 lyfe....more
When I first heard that there would be a new series to follow Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I was like: uh,Oh, Rick Riordan, you've done it again.
When I first heard that there would be a new series to follow Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I was like: uh, no. After closing the Last Olympian for the first time (because it's not the kind of book you read only once), I had two thoughts. The first: holy crap, that was awesome. The second: no way will Rick Riordan ever be able to top this. Shame on me for not having enough faith.
The Lost Hero is about a kid named Jason who, inexplicably, has no memory and knows more about Roman mythology - as opposed to the Greek themes previously explored in the Percy series - than he rightly should.
There are several things that I love about this book. The first is that it's not a view from a single person that we receive - we get into the individual headspaces of each member of the trio - Jason, Piper, and Leo. This is good for several reasons - one, it allows the reader to explore more of the camp, two, it allows the reader to get to know other godly parents.
I almost hated reading this. After doing so, it make the Percy Jackson series feel a little myopic by comparison. That's not to warn anyone off of reading either series, but reader beware. Rick Riordan is just going to get bigger and better. Deal with it....more
I'm definitely upset that I read this after Lost Hero - it was a dwindling let down in the wake of such an awesome novelI don't even know what to say.
I'm definitely upset that I read this after Lost Hero - it was a dwindling let down in the wake of such an awesome novel.
Red Pyramid was conceptually genius: a starter novel in a new series involving - you guessed it - children and mythical Gods. As an occasional googler of Egyptian mythology and the owner of an honest to god Eye of Horus tattoo and the Mummy boxset, I decided to consume this book after Lost Hero. I was under the mistaken impression that I was saving the best for last.
Look, it's not bad. The characters are likable enough. We're introduced to a brother and sister duo that scarcely know each other who are forced to follow home their Uncle after an explosion of the Rosetta Stone unleashes an evil Egyptian god. We learn that the siblings have until the Demon Days to rescue their entombed dad and send this fiery fucker back where he came from and that baboons only eat foods that end in the letter O.
So, yeah. Theoretically, it should be good. It doesn't lack for adventure or action, but for some reason, reading this book was like wading through quicksand. It might have something to do with the amount of information that you were inundated with. Perhaps this is because we're more familiar with Roman and Greek gods - that is, if your school made you read the Iliad like mine did - and the tidal waves of information are too much to handle without multiple readings. Perhaps it's because I can only count the truly enjoyable moments of the book on one hand (the Elvis suits coming to life, fo' sho).
I'm not a slow reader by any stretch of the imagination. Rick has always left me angry that I've finished his books so quickly because I always want more, more, more. I only got through this book, I'm afraid, because I entertained myself by reading the whole thing out loud to my dog in a Scottish accent (he, too, was bored to sleep).
I don't know if this book deserves three stars, but I'm maintaining hope that book two doesn't leave me feeling like I could have better spent my time listening to the Slap Chop rap on youtube....more