This post-apocalyptic for young readers was a bit too heavy handed for my taste. We have a society that only values inventions, since the explosion thThis post-apocalyptic for young readers was a bit too heavy handed for my taste. We have a society that only values inventions, since the explosion that caused everything to fail to work left them in a semi-pre-industral environment. The science didn't sit well with me, the obsession with inventing as the only way to make a positive contribution to the society, and then the threat that shows up demanding "all the medicine" just made me want to quit reading. So I did. The characters weren't compelling enough for me, and the story was driving me bonkers. For younger readers, maybe 12-15, this story might resonate well. But for those of us who have been around the post-apocalyptic block a few times, it feels trite and uncompelling. ...more
What happens when you mix time travel, a mad scientist, two teenagers-turned-assassins, and a love triangle? Well, when done well, you get All Our YesWhat happens when you mix time travel, a mad scientist, two teenagers-turned-assassins, and a love triangle? Well, when done well, you get All Our Yesterdays!
I really enjoyed Terrill's offering, which I got to preview through Netgalley. The writing was clean, the plot was solid (except for the tiny question I still have about the ending...but hey, it's a series, so there had to be something that didn't tie up nicely, right?), and the characters were well-crafted.
Readers of YA and readers who just enjoy a good adventure/mystery/time-traveling tale will enjoy this book....more
We read this one as part of our book discussion group "From Page to Screen". I enjoy a good Western from time to time, and L'Amour's are always good.We read this one as part of our book discussion group "From Page to Screen". I enjoy a good Western from time to time, and L'Amour's are always good.
Shalako is a great main character--quiet, things in his past he doesn't talk about, other men respect him, and he's rugged. I enjoyed seeing a character who is okay with walking away when people don't want his help, but he doesn't wander far.
I found L'Amour's treatment of the Apaches to ring true to history rather than the movies (which was nice), and I really enjoyed the complexity of relationships.
The movie version changes a lot of elements, and honestly, as a story, it wasn't nearly as impactful. It does have Sean Connery, so that makes up for a lot, but still....more
I wanted to like this one, but I just couldn't. It might have been a little bit the narrator (Gerard Doyle) and how he was reading it, but it was alsoI wanted to like this one, but I just couldn't. It might have been a little bit the narrator (Gerard Doyle) and how he was reading it, but it was also a good deal the writing. First, Sage is a bit lazy and uses -ly adverbs like they are going out of style (and at the rate she uses them, they DID go out of style). While a well-placed adverb can help, too many of them slow down the pace, they leave nothing to the imagination, they suck dry any chance for description and good writing, and they just kill. The second issue is that several characters crossed the line from interesting and quirky into overdone, annoying, and just plain frustrating.
I made it through the first disk and then a few tracks into the second, I just couldn't stand it anymore. My interest in the characters just wasn't strong enough to outweigh the annoyance at the writing and character flaws. ...more
I read this one to preview it for a book club on post apocalyptic novels. This was by far the bleakest and most depressive of the thrTalk about bleak.
I read this one to preview it for a book club on post apocalyptic novels. This was by far the bleakest and most depressive of the three I've read (the other two being Alas, Babylon, and The City, Not Long After), and McCarthy manages to be bleak without really giving us details.
We don't know what the apocalyptic event was, nor do we know exactly where this story takes place, we don't know the age of the father, we don't know when this is supposedly set. I think the lack of these big picture details make the story a little less impactful for me. While I can relate to certain aspects (wanting to protect your child, especially), I was otherwise not able to attach as deeply to the main character nor the boy.
The thing I found most intriguing is that on the one hand, McCarthy left out a lot of the grammar and punctuation that should have been here (I'm guessing he did so in an effort to convey the way the world was unraveling), and on the other, the vocabulary gives the story a refined, literary tone. The two elements were constantly at odds for me (especially the lack of apostrophes, since he would use them for some words and not on others), and I found both more distracting than helpful.
Overall, it's a well-written story. It ended pretty much exactly as I expected it to, and I likely won't ever read it again--no one needs to dwell in such bleakness more than once in a lifetime. ...more
My boss wants to do a mini-book club series on post-apocolyptic literature, so I'm pre-reading selections.
I had heard about this one from my dad, andMy boss wants to do a mini-book club series on post-apocolyptic literature, so I'm pre-reading selections.
I had heard about this one from my dad, and he had made several comments about how Frank had thought of things no one else had (like how coffee might be a hot commodity).
Considering I'm going to have to read at least 3 such books, I was worried about being mired in ultra-depressing worlds, but I found Alas, Babylon to be more hopeful than one might think.
I fell like Frank did a good job balancing the realities of such a situation with the enduring hope that mankind seems to find in dark time. The narrative flows well and quickly, and this was an easy book to keep reading. ...more
When I saw this available through Netgalley for pre-read, I jumped at the chance. Just last year I read Impossible and really enjoyed it. This secondWhen I saw this available through Netgalley for pre-read, I jumped at the chance. Just last year I read Impossible and really enjoyed it. This second offering did not disappoint.
I have to admit, it was a little odd to have the original Scarborough girl still alive and thrust back into the world, but it worked. I really liked Fenella, I liked how the tree fey played a part in the story, and I liked the struggles that several characters went through. It was a well-crafted plot that blended myth, legend, and the frail strength of the human spirit.
If you like speculative fiction that brings the world of the fey into the human realm, if you like a little bit of romance, heartache, and challenges, then you'll love Unthinkable! ...more
A fun little fantasy novel, sure to be a hit with the younger crowd (15 and below).
I enjoyed the story (this was an audio book for me, so I was listenA fun little fantasy novel, sure to be a hit with the younger crowd (15 and below).
I enjoyed the story (this was an audio book for me, so I was listening), and the characters. The writing was pretty basic, but the characters were interesting and it kept me guessing.
Sadly, the writing in the second book got worse, and I just couldn't handle listening to yet another string of adverbs instead of seeing a picture, so I did not finish the second one and probably won't every pick up the books to read, but kids looking for some fun fantasy, I'd include this on the recommendation list....more
The second book of the series, this story picks up a year or so after the first book leaves off. Our two heroes return to Medford House to check on GwThe second book of the series, this story picks up a year or so after the first book leaves off. Our two heroes return to Medford House to check on Gwen, only to find out she doesn't want to see them. As they seek to find out why Gwen has a change of heart, trouble is brewing in the castle.
There are two story-lines here, and both are done well, I just wish they had been fleshed out a bit more. I know the series is a prequel to another series, and maybe we learn more in that series, but I wanted to know what happens with the king, prince and princess. Even though I don't care much for political intrigue, I do want to know if the betrayer gets his comeuppance.
I got to pre-read both books in this series through netgalley, and I have to say, I'm pleased to have discovered a solid fantasy writer. If you like fantasy and adventure, check out this series....more
This futuristic sci-fi tale weaves adventure, a bit of paranormal, romance, and intrigue into one entertaining tale. Cassiel Winters has had strange mThis futuristic sci-fi tale weaves adventure, a bit of paranormal, romance, and intrigue into one entertaining tale. Cassiel Winters has had strange moments of deja vu most of her life. After losing her parents, her older brother raises her, and he tells her to never tell anyone about her "ability". When he goes missing, Cassiel takes it on herself to find out what happened. She joins the same agency her brother is a part of, and that's when the fun begins.
My main complaint is that we have a race of humanoid creatures who are just so perfect--the men are all good looking, buff, hot, etc. And Cassiel herself (though she doesn't really think of herself as beautiful) seems to garner the same insane sort of attraction from all the guys she meets (human and alien alike). It would be so refreshing to have a story where everyone is not beautiful physically. It's cliche and boring. But other than that, I enjoyed this story.
I would caution my younger readers--this is NOT suitable for teens. There are just a few times when Young crosses the line into adult situations, but they are a tad graphic. The sad thing is, the story would have been just as good or better if she had left some of that to the imagination.
I do like this one enough that I'll be watching for the next book in the series. ...more
This alternative history by Kay Kenyon offers a nice balance of adventure, romance, and intrigue. Kenyon did a decent job of world-building, though atThis alternative history by Kay Kenyon offers a nice balance of adventure, romance, and intrigue. Kenyon did a decent job of world-building, though at times I felt she was trying a little too hard (since it was very clear that we have England and India, just renamed Anglica and Baharta). Considering the amount of vocab she pulled from India, she probably could have been a little less overt in trying to make it different (yet the same) as our world and it would have worked fine.
I found Tori to be slightly annoying, and yet, I still liked her enough to read the entire work.
The story was interesting, though I have to admit, I tended to zone out a bit in any action scene. I just don't care enough for war and battle, and when those scenes came, I tend to wander. I found the other storyline a tad more compelling, and that's what kept me reading.
Overall, a good alternative history--not quite steampunk, but interesting to those who want to explore the dual mystery of science and faith. ...more
An interesting premise, a "soul" who wakes up every day in the body of someone else. Our soul is a teenage, so thatListened to this as an audio book.
An interesting premise, a "soul" who wakes up every day in the body of someone else. Our soul is a teenage, so that brings even more interesting situations.
And then our soul falls in love.
The main character (the soul) doesn't have a gender, which made it harder for me to identify with it. I ended up feeling like it was more he than she.
The story tries a little too hard to be politically correct and hip, all while trying to justify the way the main character ends up making a mess of multiple people's lives just so it can pursue this first love.
Nothing spectacular, but it was interesting to see how it played out....more
So far, I haven't come across a Dick Francis novel that I haven't adored. I really liked this one because in addition to the stock (and loveable) mainSo far, I haven't come across a Dick Francis novel that I haven't adored. I really liked this one because in addition to the stock (and loveable) main character that is Francis' hallmark, there was a fun element of the rich father. The cast was a bit bigger than normal, with the main cast being all related. As usual, Francis kept me guessing, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened.
Quick plot rundown: someone is trying to kill a rich man, so he asks one of his sons (he has a bunch of kids from three marriages...but only one he trusts) to help protect him. As they work to figure out who wants them dead, the danger grows daily. There is horse racing (our favored son is a jockey), travel around the world, explosions, and maybe even a happy ending....more
I received the ARC through NetGalley, and unfortunately, the ARC ended in mid-sentence before the story was finished. So I am having to give a reviewI received the ARC through NetGalley, and unfortunately, the ARC ended in mid-sentence before the story was finished. So I am having to give a review on a partial read, something I don't like doing.
Doon, loosely based on the musical Brigadoon, is a story about a magical kingdom that is accessible a short time each year. Teenagers Veronica and Mackenna find their way there thanks to the help of some magical rings. And of course, there are very handsome princes on hand to fall in love with.
I have to say, the story was fun. That's not to say it was well-written, but it did have a humorous element that kept me wanting to turn the page. The writing itself is clean but nothing fantastic, and the development was lacking in a lot of areas (character development, world-building, even basic descriptions were missing).
What we have here are two teenage girls who are beautiful (but neither, of course, realizes it), two princes (who are rugged and handsome and who do realize it), and a world of beautiful people (the most description found is in the physical beauty of the characters). We have a mythical world, that other than being called "breathtaking," we have no solid descriptions of to know what sort of breathtaking it is. And we have a lot of teenage romantic angst. As long as you go into it thinking it will be a fun teeny-bopper love story, then you won't mind the missing elements so much.
There is some potential here, and I'd be interested in reading the last bit of the book to see how the story ends. ...more
This futuristic tale was charming and fun, if at times a bit didactic and corny. The story is of Elsa, the typical "invisible" girl who decides she doThis futuristic tale was charming and fun, if at times a bit didactic and corny. The story is of Elsa, the typical "invisible" girl who decides she doesn't like the status quo of the school science club and decides to start her own club.
A few times I felt like I must be reading an abridged version of the book, because so of the transitions were abrupt and shocking (especially in character emotions--not quite enough support of changing opinions). And there were a few very annoying things that drove me batty.
First, the author has THREE male characters with the same initials and similar names (Jimmy, Jason, Justin, all with last names that start with B) AND a teacher, Mr. Brown. And since these three are all teen-age boys, and not overly developed, well, that made keeping them straight a bit hard at times.
Second, the overuse of the words "slice," "twerp" and "macabre." Yes, Lange was trying to establish the culture of this slightly future world, but a little can go a long way, and she went way too far. She put in a cup where a sprinkle would have worked nicely.
There were a few other annoyances, but at least they were just here and there and not constant through the text.
Overall, this was a fun story, and I would recommend it to those fans of fun YA. ...more