SO DISAPPOINTED! I loved Arclight and couldn't wait to read this, but it let me down big time. Biggest issue: it wasn't very exciting for me. I don'tSO DISAPPOINTED! I loved Arclight and couldn't wait to read this, but it let me down big time. Biggest issue: it wasn't very exciting for me. I don't know if I was just in one of those reading slump moods, or if it was Meridian, but something wasn't working out. Everything moved so slowly and I found myself losing interest as the book went on. Quite a few times, I almost DNF'd just to spare myself, but I was really curious about the ending and if Marina would end up with the guy I shipped her with. NOPE. T_T
There's no doubt in my mind that most people are going to be captivated with The 5th Wave. It's engaging, features a witty protagonist, mystery, the r There's no doubt in my mind that most people are going to be captivated with The 5th Wave. It's engaging, features a witty protagonist, mystery, the right amount of anticipation and a romantic story line. Not to mention, it happens to be one of Penguin's big titles and had a lot of marketing money poured into it. It's not everyday that an ARC crosses my threshold with such a soft cover. Nor are they usually accompanied by beat up Teddies and survival bags.
I had seen the reviews surfacing and shouting praise left and right, including Kat. And for most of the novel, I was right there with most people who loved the story, rooting for Cassie. But somewhere around the 50% mark, I felt the book lost some of its original luster.
Yancey sets up the world perfectly and there's little fault to be found there. The narration is introduced by Cassie, who tells the reader of her life before the aliens came and the 4 waves that subsequently wiped out most of the human population. Her story, like the many others shown later, is not a happy one. She's suffered the death of both of her parents and the separation from her 6 year old brother, Sam. I quite enjoyed her as a main character and found her humorous despite her grim situation. Her fierce determination to save her brother from the unknown (to her, at least) horrors built just the right amount of anticipation to keep me turning page after page.
One thing I didn't expect was the multiple narrations: The Silencer, Zombie and Sam (though, he only narrates once, I believe). I'm surprised that I actually liked this style after a few reviews did mention it not working so well for them. I can definitely see it throwing readers off, but I thought it was pretty clever in the beginning. The way it switches back and forth, implanted a certain amount of doubt to the point where I there were times where I wasn't sure who was actually human or alien.
Still all of that just wasn't enough to keep away my rising disappointment. You see, The 5th Wave and I had a very interesting reading journey and I think I about expressed all of my emotions while reading it. There was the beginning where I'd learned about waves 1-4 and how horrifying they were. I had to take a moment and hug Sam's teddy. It was a depressing situation and I needed cuddles.
Then, Sam is taken away, Cassie is shot in the leg and I'm not sure if she's going to make it. And some Other Stuff happens, like a bunch of people getting all killed off at once, and I found myself flipping pages super duper fast. I couldn't wait to find out what the 5th alien wave actually was.
But that's when things start going downhill for me, because all of a sudden there's this weird insta-love romance that was, IMO, not done well at all. I get that Yancey was going for the whole "What really makes us human?" thing with this book. And having Cassie and The Silencer fall for each other was supposed to emphasize that, but c'mon. The whole "I shot you in the leg because I couldn't bare shooting you in the head. Can't you see I'm in love with you?" bit started sending off major weirdo vibes. Dare I say it? Yes, I think I shall. If Edward Cullen were an alien whose mission was to kill off remaining humans, but he instead falls in love with a girl, he would be The Silencer. The romance developed way too fast and had such a strange start (with The Silencer following her through the woods, reading her diary, going through her belongings and shooting her in the leg) that I just could find myself getting on board with it.
It was such a strange turn of events. One minute there's death, carnage and a struggle for survival and the next minute Cassie's in this farm with a guy who resembles Clark Kent from Smallville and he's baking her bread. This is also that part where the narrative changes really started to become jarring because we also were keeping track of Zombie (a nickname for the character in the novel). Every time we were in his point of view, I felt like I was in the midst of playing Call of Duty. So from going back and forth from those very different scenarios, I had to take a small break and ask Teddy a very frank question: "Are you fucking kidding me?"
SPOILERS AHEAD: But I went back to reading because I really wanted to see what this 5th wave was all about. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the most disappointing aspect of the novel. Up until I found out what the 5th wave was, I thought these aliens were pretty badass. They came to earth with a plan and they knew exactly how to kill off humans very effectively.
1st Wave: Take out human technology - Humans rely heavily on this for almost everything. I'd take this out first too.
2nd Wave: Natural disasters - You can easily wipe out most of biggest cites by taking out the coasts with tsunamis.
3rd Wave: Plague - One of the most effective way to kill off a bunch of people: poison them with disease. You don't even have to do much here. Just wait for them to die off.
4th Wave: Silencers (basically, think snipers) - Pick off all the survivors.
5th Wave: Kidnap all remaining children, including toddlers, nurse them back to health, feed them, train them military style and send them out to kill all the adults who they think are aliens but are really human. (UMM. What?)
The aliens had a good thing going for them. Every thing made sense up until the 5th wave. But why would they go through so much trouble for the 5th wave? The Silencers would have been just as effective or even more so, considering how fast they could take people out. They are faster, stronger, can see in the dark, etc. So, what's the point in wasting resources and years to train human children to kill human adults?
My final verdict: The 5th Wave is definitely a page-turner and has plenty to offer a reader who enjoys science fiction. Even though the romance fell flat and the plot's logical inconsistencies kept me from dishing out all my stars, it was still an enjoyable read. But despite the very strong start, ultimately, The 5th Wave didn't live up to the hype for me.
Sorry, Kat. I fully expect your declarations of Review War in the mornin'.
ARC and teddy was received via the publisher for an honest review. No monies or favors were exchanged for a positive review, though, the teddy does look cool on my bookshelf.
I feel like I'm in a slump right now. I've been craving some sci-fi, but they last two books have done less than impress me. What is going on? What do I feel like I'm in a slump right now. I've been craving some sci-fi, but they last two books have done less than impress me. What is going on? What do I have to do, start lowering my standards? Is it too hard to ask for a dynamic cast of characters, action, drama, mystery and romance?! Oh...wait. Didn't this book promise me that? Huh. Well, let's get one thing out the way right now. That blurb is misleading.
But before we get into all that, I want to take you on a flashback. Yes, a flashback. Back to yester-year...
I don't know why, but I have this soft spot for robots. Perhaps even more than the average person should. Every time I see a book or TV show about them, I have this strong uncontrollable urge to read/watch it. Now, a few years back, there was this show that came on FOX called The Sarah Conner Chronicles that showed John Conner's life as a teen on the run with his mom. I faithfully DVR'd it every week. I thought it was gripping and amazing. Though, clearly my opinion mattered very little because the show was eventually moved to Friday night - which is the kiss of death in TV land - and then, later cancelled. I was pretty bummed out about it. I mean, why do they cancel all the good shows? WHY?
Right, so about Revolution 19, because I'm betting you didn't click this review to find out my life story and robots (or did you?). Believe it or not, the above paragraph had a point. The point being, when I heard about Revolution 19 I knew I had to have it. I was SO excited and hoped that I could somehow fill the void in my robotic heart that FOX left in my chest like a leaking hole of utter despair. But I was failed again! A-a-and the hole just keeps getting bigger with every awful YA sci-fi book I read until I feel like it's just gonna swallow me whole and I can't breathe and I'm sitting in a corner, singing a Justin Timberlake song, crying a river and, and, and.... oh dear. It's like I've become the Anti-Steph: Bella Swan. I've become emotionally compromised. Quick! Someone get Spock!
Long story short, Revolution 19 disappointed me for three very good reasons.
So the blurb says, "With a dynamic cast of characters..." Okay, yeah. Let's go with that and pretend that was the case here. Maybe, just maybe this book could have gotten 2 stars from me if I cared about one character. But the truth of the matter is that none were developed enough. Ever heard of the phrase 'one track mind'? That's similar to how I found these characters. They were all 'one track-traited'. The three protagonists are each given basic traits that they embody throughout the novel. Kevin (13) likes technology, Cass (15) is athletic and Nick (17) is brave/stubborn/fearless/determined/stupid?
That's all we know about these characters and it seemed that was all they knew about themselves too. Take, for example, Kevin. Everything was going to shit and all he could think about at times was, "Oh! Is that a 3D TV? Check out the resolution on this!" He did this every time and new, shiny piece of equipment was introduced like clockwork. Nick chose any and every opportunity to do something stupid at the personal risk of people trying to help him. He displays a blatant disrespect for the family that takes him and his siblings in by sneaking out and disobeying their rules of remaining hidden from the robots. But he's labeled as being brave. Is he remorseful for the trouble he causes them? Not in the slightest because he does it over and over again. I have a feeling that this novel was extended thanks to the sheer stupidity of most of his decisions. Don't get me wrong, I expect a certain level of mistakes being made by a teen cast (or any cast of characters for that matter), but I also expect common sense to be utilized.
And then there is Cass, whose role I'm not entirely convinced was needed besides Rosenblum throwing an athletic girl into the story just to say, "Hey, look! Progression!" Great. She can run. But, of course, she gets subtly sexually harassed by two characters, one of whom throws so many sexual innuendos at her, that she later ends up liking. Of course. The other one really disturbed me: The kids find some guy living in the woods, who stares at Cass the entire time, licking his lips. She folds her arms over her chest and the narrative alludes to her being uncomfortable. Who wouldn't? That was the book's first biggest strike for me. Some dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels do this thing that irritates me:
Female character + sexual harassment (minor or on larger scale) = LOOK HOW BAD MY WORLD IS!
I just do not like how female characters are used like that. And one could argue that her role will be larger in book two (based on the ending), but it just feels like a convenient way to include her into the story line. Or better yet, move the plot along when it's clear her role serves no other purpose.
The supporting cast only serve to provide a way out to the main characters. Every time they get in trouble we are then introduced to another character that has just the skill set needed to get them out of the fix they're in. They have no substance, especially Lexie, who claims she risks her life for them because she is bored and is looking for some fun. -_- Right.
Furthermore, there is no romance. A couple of smiles dispersed throughout the novel and two kisses made of random, do not equal romance.
Definitely not my cup of tea. I like my narrative with a little more depth and complexity than Revolution 19 offered. Have you ever read a movie script before? That's how this book reads. It's very fast paced and not in the sense that things are just happening rather quick. It's more of an issue of things not being properly explained, giving off an over all rushed feeling. Though this should not surprise me since Revolution 19 was planned from the beginning to be both a YA series and film. And in that respect, I could see this working well on-screen with good actors, but it didn't translate well in book form. For example, there is virtually no world building and it feels like the author is heavily relying on the reader's knowledge of The Terminator to build his story. There is a brief prologue saying robots took over world and that's pretty much all you get. Let me not forget the weird slang/terminology of the time period that seemed entirely forced and distracting.
I knew going into this book that the author and company was pulling heavily on The Terminator to create this story. And I was okay with that because in my mind I got to see scary robots destroying things, chasing little humans around. Not unreasonable, right? Well imagine my surprise when robots are described as having flat and featureless faces except for rectangular openings for their eyes. Oh and did I mention they roll? So basically, the world has been taken over by a bunch of Wall-es, huh?
Oh, whoops! They are also 8ft tall. So the more accurate depiction would be Number 5 from Short Circuit.
Awesome. Mankind gets enslaved by evil robots, whose true crime will be reminding us forevermore of bad 80's movies. The world is so screwed. (Okay, so I totally loved that movie, but that is besides the point, people!)
I mean, is that even remotely scary? The other 'bots' are no better as just pieces of metal that hovers. But the thing that gets me, is that the robots take themselves so seriously that they TALK IN ALL CAPS. All the while, I'm thinking why are humans afraid of these robots? Oh, right. Their "lasers". *snort* You remember that moment in Toy Story where Woody is chewing out Buzz at the gas station? Well, every time one of those 'bots' came rolling around I'm like:
Random Thing that Has Nothing to do With the Story, but Still Annoyed Me:
Why is the cover model a girl? (Yes, it's a girl as she is wearing eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara on the cover.) In the novel, it's Nick that has the robotic eye and I'm pretty sure he is of Y chromosome variety. Cover, y u lie 2 meh?
In conclusion, I'm sad this didn't do much for me and I can't say I'd really recommend it to anyone either. When it all boiled down to it, Revolution 19 is a lackluster novel with a premise that had potential, but instead yielded a boring plot, boring cast of characters and equally boring robots. I will have to continue on my search for fabulous YA Sci-Fi reads. Unfortunately, this was not one of them.
ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
EDIT: So the cover is up and I'm actually happy with it. I'm very please Harlequin dropped the model from The Immortal Rules who wasn't Asian and went EDIT: So the cover is up and I'm actually happy with it. I'm very please Harlequin dropped the model from The Immortal Rules who wasn't Asian and went in a different direction. It's not my favorite cover in the world, but it's not bad either.
If there is anything good coming from the newer crops of dystopian fiction these days it's one thing: Evil, ravenous vampires are back. With books lik If there is anything good coming from the newer crops of dystopian fiction these days it's one thing: Evil, ravenous vampires are back. With books like The Immortal Rules and now The Hunt, YA thiller fans are sure to be pleased by this turn of events. I know I am. Unfortunately, The Hunt failed to WOW me on that factor alone.
In a nutshell, The Hunt is like an inverted Immortal Rules with a Hunger Games-esque twist. Instead of our young, male protagonist, Gene, being the only vampire among humans, he is one of the only humans living in the lion's den. In order to pull this off he must shave off all his body hair, clip his nails, polish his fake fangs, and bathe rigorously every single day. In addition to the intense grooming, he must suppress his basic human mannerisms such as laughing, sweating, singing, flinching, clearing his throat, ect. when in contact with "people." All of this is done because Gene lives in a world where he is considered a "heper," barely a step above a farm animal. In order to survive he has to hide who he truly is or risk being eaten. So when he is chosen for the Heper Hunt (think Hunger Games arena), you can only imagine his uneasiness. "Awkward" is an understatement.
The Hunt has a lot of potential because regardless of how I feel about it I can't deny that it's creative. It features an entirely different spin on vampires that both intrigued me and weirded me out. It's also very readable and easily holds a reader's attention. I also felt myself enjoying Fukuda's prose as well, especially when Gene thought of his past memories of his family. That's the main reason why I ended up giving the book two stars instead of one. But like I said earlier, that alone won't win anyone points with me.
*sigh* I feel like a broken record saying this, but if we are going to write a dystopian novel, please supply some background info. I don't need to know everything under the sun, but I'd at least like to know how your world ended up in its current cesspit state. Is that too much to ask? How did the vampires come to take over the world (literally)? Where did they come from? They managed to eat almost ALL the humans? Why did Gene even bother to try to blend in with vampire society? Why not run away? Have vampires taken over the entire world or did only the U.S. go to hell? Again. Is the rest of the world still partying like it's 1999? Why does Gene know so little about his world? Did the humans - excuse me, hepers - not pass any knowledge of their histories down to their children? So many question, with too few no answers.
I think I hated almost all the characters in The Hunt, but Gene? He takes the number one spot on this here shit list. My biggest issue of the book resides with him because he was an idiot. A very selfish idiot. At the Heper Institute (where the hunters stayed and "trained" for the Heper Hunt) he begins to go thirsty since vampires don't need water, but there was a lake right in front of him the entire time. He talks about it and never thinks to go drink from it when the vampires are sleeping during the day. *facepalm* The plot twist - if you can even call it that - was so easy to guess, but guess who was incredibly shocked? Ding, ding, ding! Gene. And no, this was not a case in dramatic irony because everything that was revealed to the reader, Gene already knew. Hell, he's the one who narrates the story!
But that's not even the half of that. I could deal with a slow main character, but what I couldn't deal with was his "I'm better than these dirty hepers!" attitude. When Gene first arrives to the Heper institute and finds out the heper can talk, read, write, comprehend things, he is blown away. Shocked! This does not compute. I just wanted to yell at him, "YOU ARE A HEPER! If you can bloody do it, uh duh, so can they, genius." But it gets worse. Gene knows the hepers will be hunted, but they don't. Does he tell them? Attempt to help his people? NO. He just goes on business as usual, thinking that once the hepers are sent out to their deaths he can sneak away. That made me so angry. These are your people - perhaps the last humans alive - and you are going to sit and let them be eaten without doing anything about it? No, instead, you drink their water, eat their food and work their deaths into your escape plan. (view spoiler)[Even by the end when Sissy ("Head Heper in Charge") tells him, "We don't abandon our own" all he is thinking about is Ashley June. Not one single shred of remorse for his original plan to lead them to their deaths. Unbelievable. (hide spoiler)] Cast him out of the human race. He is not one of us.
I mean, what did he expect he would do after the Heper Hunt? Go on living in his fake life where he could die at any moment? Who would want that kind of life? That makes not sense. If the world happens to end with vampires devouring humans and I'm left with an idiot like Gene, I'm tripping him as I run from the vamps. And don't get me started on Ashley June. She was just as bad as Gene and can die in a fire for all I care.
The Hunt reminds me a lot of another book I've read called Glimmerglass. Not because they are similar in plot or anything, but because the reader must abandon a certain amount of logic and "just go with it." If anyone is familiar with me, they will know that it takes a lot for a book to convince me to "just go with it."
A list of things Fukuda expected me to buy:
-Vampires only eat bloody meat and can't stomach other foods except for ice cream. Wait, what?
-Gene never got sick from eating raw bloody meat.
-Gene has learned to suppress basic human instincts like smiling, laughing, coughing, squinting, flinching? How the hell is that possible? So what happens when Gene gets sick? He stays home? And what would be his excuse for not being in school? The vampires don't appear to fall ill in this world.
-Sex by armpits? I'm sorry, that one, while creative, was a little too hard to swallow. Or were they making out?
Before she could regain her footing, I shoved my elbow into the socket of her armpit. The way I had read about in books, seen in movies. I had her. Her body tensed in anticipation as my elbow locked into her armpit. And just like that, her body lost all tension and softened. I swiveled my elbow in long, luxurious circles, and her body moved in rhythm. Salivary wetness slivered between and around her snarling teeth. I concentrated hard after that, keeping up with appearances, making sure that the snarls came out in the right fevered pitch, that my body oscillated with enough passion and frenzy.
-Vampires couldn't tell Gene was a heper just because he shaved all his body hair off. Really? He still had hair on his head. Does that somehow smell different than facial, leg and arm hair? If they could smell the hepers in the dome even when they weren't sweaty, then they should have been able to always smell Gene is school.
It left me dangling of the edge of a cliff with three words. *tries to repress a very human sigh* *doesn't work* *LE SIGH*
I'm sure there are a lot of people who will love The Hunt. It's different, interesting, creative and action packed. And while it didn't really work out for me here, I'm tempted to check out book two to see where the story goes. But as I say in the rest of my two star reviews, the next book can hang out on my "You're on Probation" shelf.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
More reviews and other fantastical things at my blog Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["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
I was rather disappointed with this sequel because I didn’t find it as exciting an action packed as Angelfall. This may have something to do with RaffI was rather disappointed with this sequel because I didn’t find it as exciting an action packed as Angelfall. This may have something to do with Raffe and Penryn not being very exciting apart from each other, because for the first half of the book, I struggled to stay interested. On the positive side, the second half does pick up after Penryn and Raffe reunites and the horror aspect that we saw at the end of Angelfall really starts to shine through. I’m curious to see where this series is going, because a large part of World After was about Penryn — once again — going off into danger to save her sister, who seems to now have a larger role in this whole Angel Apocalypse thing. I really hope books 3-6 don’t follow similar plots. There are only so many times Penryn can save Paige before it loses its appeal. ---------- So I read on Susan's blog that there will be 5 books total!!
OMG! I CAN'T WAIT!
But I don't know how I'll be able to wait so long. *sigh*
This is my favorite book of 2011! This review may contain extreme amounts of gushing!
The above was my immediate reaction after finis This is my favorite book of 2011! This review may contain extreme amounts of gushing!
The above was my immediate reaction after finishing this book. There simply were no words to describe how much I loved it, how it horrified me, shocked me, tore at my heart again and again. Brilliant.
2011 turned out to be a great year for Angel books for me. I know that might seem strange when you think of the more popular horrible ones **cough* Hush, Hush*cough*Halo*cough*Fallen*cough**. But there is indeed hope for this paranormal genre. I thought this genre couldn't get any better than Unearthly, Angel, or Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Then, I read Angelfall. Are the literary gods playing a joke on me? How ironic for me to find my favorite book of 2011 in the last week of the year.
I'm going to do this review a little differently. I'm not going to go in some extreme in-depth talk about how awesome this book is because there are a few other reviews that do that and I don't think I could do the book any justice even if I tried. Instead, I'm going to give you ten reasons why you should go purchase this book RIGHT NOW.
1.Angelfall kicks off right from the start with plenty of action and never settles down. Expect little to no sleep until you've finished.
2. Penryn is my pick for strongest heroine of 2011. In fact, I created a new shelf just for her: "Ass-kickin' heroine." Between how she sticks up for herself and her awesomely cool, Kung Fu Panda-type skills, she's a fuckin' boss. Bet on it.
3. Witty Dialogue. There are so many quotes I could paste into my review, but I can't because I'd end up just pasting the entire book. But I will paste my absolute favorite:
“My friends call me Wrath,” says Raffe. “My enemies call me Please Have Mercy. What’s your name, soldier boy?”
Yeah, he's a badass 'G.' Susan, how do you come up with this stuff? I was thoroughly entertained!
4. The post-apocalyptic world. It's shocking, horrifying, and any other adjective you can possibly use to describe the emotion you feel while reading this book. It's a world I could never live in. I'd pretty much put my head between my legs and kiss my ass goodbye.
5. Susan did her research. Angel books run the risk of not being true to their mythological "rules." I think you know what I'm talking about here. Halo: Only eight angels fell from Heaven? Let's get real. The Mortal Instruments: Nephilim are the good guys? You've got to be kidding me. The Succubus series: Angels hanging out with Demons playing cards? Really? Really, dude? Susan created a realistic world of angels while somehow managing to not sound preachy and staying true to their original mythical cannon.
6. Because I said so.
7. The plot twists will leave you twisted. You will never see the climax or the ending coming. It blows you away.
8.Angelfall is like a weird mix between Planet of the Apes, Resident Evil and Frankenstein. Yes, it is possible for a book to be that awesome. This is that book.
9. Did I mention the dialogue? I did? Oh, well...it was so amazeballs that it deserves another separate reason. Annnddddd...I quote:
I never kid about my warrior demigod status. "Oh. My. God." I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. "You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I'll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That's what you are.
“You're like a little girl demanding answers to questions during a covert operation. Why is the sky blue, daddy? Can I ask that man with the machine gun where the bathroom is? If you don't stay quiet, I'm going to have to dump you.”
“Leaking sacks of mutated maggots?" He raises his perfectly arched eyebrow as though I'd just failed my verbal insult exam.”
“Oh, please. Your giant head is getting too big for this forest. Pretty soon, you're going to get stuck trying to walk between two tress. And then, I'll have to rescue you." I give him a weary look. "Again.”
“Those pigeons couldn't take us out if they send their entire chirping flock.”
10. Let us not forget the most important reason of all: NO INSTA-LOVE FOUND HERE! I like my romance slow burning and taking a backseat to the plot and action. Angelfall did just that. I likey. I likey a lot.
It is only $.99! You have no reason NOT to buy this book! Go do it now!
And I know I say reviews are not for authors but for readers. However, Susan, if you happen to read this review I just have two things to say to you:
I was really, really excited to read Ashfall. I've been devouring dystopian novels left and right recently. I'm always itching Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I was really, really excited to read Ashfall. I've been devouring dystopian novels left and right recently. I'm always itching for my next fix. Seriously, I think I have a problem at this rate, I might just have to check myself into some sort of program. Ashfall is a bit different from the current slew of dystopian novels. For one thing, it is written from a male PoV. These seem to be in slow supply these days, sadly.
Ashfall tells the story of 15 year-old Alex traveling from Cedar Falls, Iowa to Warren, Illinois after the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park unexpectedly erupts.
Let's pause for a bit:
If you are like me and didn't really pay close attention in school about volcanoes, or skipped science class, or slept your way to graduation (view spoiler)[(hide spoiler)], you may be asking, "What is the likelihood of a supervolcana erupting without notice?" And I would tell you, "How should I know?" But thankfully, this discussion was hashed out over at Anila's review in the comments for your viewing pleasure. Mike Mullin was even kind enough to pop in and answer a few questions.
Back to the review:
So, what happens when a supervolcano erupts? How much damage does it cause? It causes tons of damage! I have to give it up to Mullin because he did some serious research for this book. Alex was able to hear the volcano erupting for days and he lives over 900 miles from it. Enough ash to cover a car on the street fell in his state. Animals died from breathing in the ash. People were starving from lack of water and food.
Alex couldn't walk on it, so his journey is done primarily on skies. On his way to Warren, Illinois, Alex encounters some true crazies. BUT Alex knows Taekwando! Until the eruption he has never had a reason to use his skills against a person for survival. But as we all know disastrous situations have a tendency to bring out the worse in a person. As a scared kid, he is forced to used his skills in the beginning. However, as he grows throughout the novel he does not hesitate to do what he needs to. I found myself shouting: Truly, I promise, I'm not a violent person
Ashfall was very realistic in depicting the populace's reaction to the eruption. At times it was really graphic. This book had the ability to make me feel ashamed of the human race at times.
The one negative I can think of, that ultimately is the reason why it did not receive 4 stars, is that a good chunk on the beginning felt slow to me. The book opened strong and I was really happy to see that, but hit a small plateau.
Alex is at one point traveling on his own for days. As a result, there are pages upon pages of inner dialog. But I persisted! Thankfully, the book picks right up after Alex meets Darla. One thing I really loved was that Alex and Darla were neither over powerful or weak. The characters, settings and situations were all very realistic.
There is a bit of romance in the book and I think it was very well done. It was a breath of fresh air to see romance brewing from a male PoV. I read one review where they say all Alex does is think about sex. He does think about it, but I don't think it was an unreasonable amount. You can really tell how much he cares for Darla.
For a first time author, this wasn't bad at all. So, if you are into Dystopian novels, you should check out Ashfall. I know I'm really looking forward to the sequel.
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["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
Enclave was a breath a fresh air. If you are looking for a book with lots of action, a strong, ass-kicking heroine, and romance that takeUmmm....WOW.
Enclave was a breath a fresh air. If you are looking for a book with lots of action, a strong, ass-kicking heroine, and romance that takes a back seat, Enclave is your book.
This book is marketed towards, "Fans of The Hunger Games." Ummm...why? The only similarities I can possibly see is the strength of the main characters. Katniss and Deuce (how awesome is her name?!) are both hunters and get into a lot of fights. And both books do feature dystopian societies.
Enclave is very fast paced in the beginning. The book begins right before Girl15's naming ceremony. She finds out her name is Deuce and she officially owns the title of "Huntress." As a Huntress, it is her job to brave the dark tunnels and bring food back to the enclave. It is a very dangerous job. Why? Because there are Zombies Freaks! The zombies in this world are rather interesting. They do not seem to infect anyone, they just want to eat you.
Deuce lives in her enclave which is underground. She has never seen the sun and no one in her enclave lives very long. They are lucky to live to be 25. (view spoiler)[lack of vitamin D, perhaps? (hide spoiler)] No one seems to know how they ended up there and where the freaks came from. The enclave has strict rules that she firmly believes are there to protect everyone. However, after she is paired up with Fade, a boy who grew up Topside, she slowly begins to question everything she is taught. One day Deuce and Fade are exiled from their enclave and forced to live Topside where vicious gangs battle it out over territory. Add in the zombies and you have one hell of an adventure!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE strong heroines. I can not stand a damsel in distress. Thankfully, Deuce can hold her own and then some. Seriously, the girl was a badass. She had me sooo happy at parts, I found myself saying, "Oh Hells yes!" during the battle scenes.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was the question of, "What is strength or weakness?" In the beginning of the book Deuce measures that with how well a person can defend themselves. As a huntress, she was always taught showing emotion was a weakness. However, she later learns that strength can be measured with ones ability to endure. This proves especially true for the character Tegan. She is viewed as a very weak character, but IMO was the strongest of all. Deuce realizes she doesn't possess the physical strength of most fighters, but Tegan has a mental strength that keeps her pressing forward. Deuce later acknowledges that those emotions are not a weakness, and that causes her to reassess her own character.
I really liked how this book moved fast. It is a quick read, but the way Ann Aguirre writes it, it feels longer. There were a lot of unanswered questions about the world they live in and I expect it will be answered in the next book based on how this one ended. I can't wait!
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When I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous. I mean, vampires have been written about ovActual rating: 3.5 stars
When I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous. I mean, vampires have been written about over and over in the YA world and I wasn't sure what could be added. I had imaginary conversations, pleading with her, "Julie, are you sure you wanna do this?" And in all her awesomeness she pretty much told me, "Steph, chill. I got this." Do you know what I love about Julie Kagawa? I love how she can take a completely overused paranormal creature like fairies or vampires and create a whole new spin on them. Just when I was starting to lose faith in the Children of the Night, The Immortal Rules comes along and makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about vampires.
The Immortal Rules tells the story of Allison Sekemoto living in a future where most of the human population was killed by a disease called Red Lung. But that's not the only problem. Vampires now rule their world and have caused the human race to become their pets, scavengers, and monsters themselves. And let's not forget about the Rabids that stalk the earth just waiting to take a bite or two out of a human. Allison hate vampires, but when faced with the choice of death or becoming that which she has always loathed, she chooses the latter. When she flees from New Covington, Allie runs into a group of humans. She decides to travel with them, hiding her true nature from them as they travel searching for Eden (and yes, there are Christian themes in the book), a human city not ruled by vampires. She's always thought being a human was hard, but she quickly learns that being a vampire isn't exactly a walk in the park either, especially when you're wanted.
The best thing I loved about The Immortal Rules were the vampires. These aren't the cute sparkly vamps that try their hardest, fighting their nature, by feasting off animals instead of humans. Oh, no. These bad boys are vicious killers, just like unlike 'em! It is made very clear early in the novel that vampires have to drink from humans in order to survive and that one day Allison would kill a human no matter how hard she tried not to. Hell to the yeah. Real vampires! They're back!
That's what I'm talking about!
I also really enjoyed the creativity in this novel. Do you know what happens when Underworld and The Forest of Hands and Teeth have a baby? The result, if you didn't guess, is The Immortal Rules. It was a really cool mix of both flesh-eating, zombie-like creatures and bloodsucking vamps, surrounding poor, defenseless humans. Kagawa wasn't afraid to kill her characters off and show Allison some tough lovin'! I really hate when authors attempt to give every lovable character in the book a "hall pass" from death. The impact of the scene and story usually suffer, but not here. People died, viciously. Such is the way of the circle of life.
My biggest and only issue with the book was the extremely slow first half. It just felt like it dragged on and on. I just wanted to bang my head against a wall. And because of that, I can't give this book 4 stars. However, where the beginning was boring (to me at least), the second half makes up for lost time. Because this is another thing I love about Kagawa: Her action scenes and endings are kick-ass. I was getting major Underworld vibes from Allison and it was awesome. Every time she cut someone's head off, I got ridiculously giddy. I'm not lying when I say the second half saved this book.
Characters: In the beginning I really disliked Allie. She and I weren't getting along very well because she had an attitude and personality that gave Oscar the Grouch a run for his money. I get why she was like that, but that didn't mean I had to like it. Thankfully, by the end of the novel, I did end up connecting with her. It was very subtle and snuck up on me. Of course, it didn't hurt that she was a badass, katana wielder either. "Useless," she was not! Kick some ass, she did. Lol. Okay, I'll spare you with my Yoda talk, but seriously the second half was a lot of fun.
Zeke, the love interest, was just okay for me. He was very sweet, caring, loyal, all those things you love to see in a person. While I did like him, I feel like I need to see more of him it the next book before I make up my mind.
Kanin (P.S. was that derived from "The land of Canaan?"), Allie's mentor was my favorite character. We didn't see a lot of him and that made me a bit disappointed, but things are looking up for more page time in the next novel.
So overall I did enjoy the novel and I'm looking forward to book two. It looks like Kagawa is planning on kicking it up a notch, so she can count me in. ;D
*A note on the cover: DISLIKE! Allison is of Japanese descent. Thus, the girl on the cover disappoints me for obvious reasons. -_-