Okay, first of all, I don't know how Jennifer Armentrout makes aliens so appealing. I mean...really? That's a gift.
Second, I don't know how she has the ability to make these books, and this story, get better with every installment. Usually there is much more of a lull or plateau in greatness for book series. But somehow, This just gets better.
Third, I love all the young adult references - she is keeping up with not only her own stories, but with what other books are popular in young adult literature. And how exciting is it to read about your favorite alien friends reading the same books as you? Pretty exciting.
Fourth. Wowza. Lots of action, lots of intrigue, and still, a unique spin on the apocalyptic trend that is still sweeping young adult books. Can't wait for the next one!(less)
I knew there was a reason I didn’t use that quote in my review for Onyx, because now I need it.
I lovedOpal....more”Oh holy alien babies everywhere!” (Onyx)
I knew there was a reason I didn’t use that quote in my review for Onyx, because now I need it.
I lovedOpal. It had the same spark of the first book without the drama of the second book. In Onyx I had complained about the love triangle and Katy’s character (who I felt was being irritating) but I feel SO much better about both those things in this book. Seriously – all problems resolved.
The characters are much more secure in who they and what they are doing but now…its time for action. So yes, there is a lot more action in this book; there are more characters, meaning there are also more hidden agendas and more lies. It is true that you must be careful who you trust, but what do you do when you don’t have a choice and you are forced to rely on people you can’t trust?
Beth still needs saving. And, as you might have guessed, it’s not going to be easy. And even though you know something just terrible is lurking around the corner, just like Katy feels in her gut, you are not going to know what it is until its too late. But the question is, was it worth it? And unfortunately…that part is left for the next book (I KNOW, PAINFUL!)
I will be squirming as I wait for book four. Then book five, because I think it’s safe to say there will be another cliff hanger. Oh, Jennifer Armentrout…what’s a girl gotta do to get some alien love? (less)
Extras took me by surprise, because I thought it would center around Tally and her new fight to protect/save the world. Instead, we foc...moreRating: 3.5-ish
Extras took me by surprise, because I thought it would center around Tally and her new fight to protect/save the world. Instead, we focus on a new character: Aya.
Aya lives in a city that thrives on reputation that is given through how many people read someones kicks (stories). Aya is determined to be famous, no matter who she may have to scramble over in the end. So what happens when Aya is sworn to secrecy about a clique who discovers something that may change the world forever? And how much is Aya willing to risk in order to achieve her fame?
So no, this story does not center on Tally, although Tally and the old gang is in it. Although that disappointed me, it was still overall a good book, but I think this series may have been stronger with a little more of an epilogue after book 3 and no book 4 (but that also might just because I'm not a huge fan of Aya).(less)
Okay, so I suppose I can admit now that I'm slightly addicted to this series...
I didn't mean for it to happen, and I'm not even sure how it happened....moreOkay, so I suppose I can admit now that I'm slightly addicted to this series...
I didn't mean for it to happen, and I'm not even sure how it happened. There isn't any solid foundation that is pulling me towards the characters like for a lot of other books I love, but Tally just keeps finding herself getting re-wired over and over and over again and I just HAVE to know what happens. And what about David!? He's been my favorite since the beginning of the series...I need to know that he ends up right where I want him. So? Alas...three out of the four books in less than twenty-four hours and now I need to sleep...but, book four will be accomplished tomorrow.
Yes. Tally is now a Pretty. She is popular and completely adopting to the superficial hype of the pretties. But, she's met a new friend, Zane...moreBook TWO!
Yes. Tally is now a Pretty. She is popular and completely adopting to the superficial hype of the pretties. But, she's met a new friend, Zane (who you will LOVE). What becomes amazing is that Zane isn't like the other pretties; in fact, he has a secret. He is a Crim, but he is a Crim who has actually managed to evade the superficial vibe that takes over in New Pretty Time and find ways to stay bubbly all the time, and as such, stay much more alert and like himself. Once he manages to break through to Tally, they begin the fight from the inside that Tally had undertaken before.
Loved book two - so excited for book three. So much in this book in terms of plot and development, and a lot of cleverness. Fantastic. :)(less)
Two very strong thoughts passed through my head when I started this book. 1) Really? Pretties and uglies? Can you get anymore stereotypi...moreRating: 3.5 - 4
Two very strong thoughts passed through my head when I started this book. 1) Really? Pretties and uglies? Can you get anymore stereotypical? 2) What? Attraction? Psychology? This is evolutionary psychology! Scott Westerfeld is a nerd like me! This is what I have been studying the past four years of my life!
So alas, the fact this whole series is based on ideas from evolutionary psychology made me VERY excited in my combined geekdom of psychology and YA books.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book; I always admire stories, especially that take real facts and knowledge that we know, and show the extreme of what would happen if we completely focus on those ideas because yes people, this is possible. (As terrifying as it is).
This is definitely a series I see myself getting really into; the reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because: a) I really got into it but I didn't fall in love with it; b) I'm trying to be a more critical rater/review because I give out way too many high starrages (my new word pronounced "star-id-giz"), and c) Tally was really starting to bog me down with how much she lied; her teenage hormone-y things I could handle just fine, because they made sense, but the lying just really got to me by the end.
Really though, it is a great futuristic world where everyone is considered ugly in their natural state (I know, very depressing). When you turn sixteen, you get to be turned into a pretty; an operation that essentially transforms you into what evolution and psychology demonstrate we are attracted to (symmetrical face, small nose, pouty lips, arched eyebrows, etc). What we consider beautiful in this day and age, may be a not quite so terrible ugly in this world. But, as Tally approaches her birthday, things start to go a little off plan and she finds her long-time dream of becoming pretty threatened, and becoming pretty is all she has ever wanted in life.
This is the vanity of humanity multiplied; great book about beauty and what it means to be beautiful, and how our motivations towards appearance may destroy us.(less)
Those of you who know me or have read my previous reviews know that one thing I can't stand in YA lit is a love triangle - I don't unde...moreRating: 2.5 - 3
Those of you who know me or have read my previous reviews know that one thing I can't stand in YA lit is a love triangle - I don't understand why they have become the more common go-to symbol of drama. Now, what drove me a little nuts about this book was that not only did it have one, but it started with the first few pages. Now, normally, there is at least a little time, at least 1/3 of a book before boy B enters, but this one just started it right off the bat.
Because of this, I started off not attached to the characters; eventually, I became attached to Kieren and began to really like his part of the story. Waverly gave me trouble not just because of her immediate move to the who-do-I-like-more/I'm-betraying-him thing but also because her character's waving personality - I felt like her values and her characteristics weren't stable throughout the book. Seth's character, also gave me that questionable vibe and so by the end of the book I was completely confused on if I was supposed to like them or not, and if I actually did like them at all; they both seemed to be a collection of multiple types of people.
However critical I sound about the characters, I really did like the plot. Two large space ships are on their way to New Earth. When suddenly they come into contact despite the years that took place in the span of their launches, a civil war breaks out between the passengers of both ships. At first, fertility became a problem on the journey; nobody was able to reproduce which would have been a problem upon landing at New Earth. But somehow, Empyrean sovled the problem aboard their ship, and New Horizon didn't. It became a war of which ship would survive the next generation.
Although it may sound a little odd, the plot really does pick up and there is some interesting developments within the story. I'd describe it as Gone meets Across the Universe.(less)
Shadows is the slightly-more-than-amazing prequel to Obsidian about Dawson, Daemon and Dee's brother.
Dawson, despite looking exactly like Daemon, is the complete opposite. He's kind, gentle, generous, and not nearly as arrogant. It takes less than 30 seconds for Dawson to start falling for Bethany, and although she is a human he knows that it will be impossible to resist her, so he doesn't even try. Quickly, she learns about Dawson's world and Lux, and her life, as well as all the others, is threatened.
For those of you who have read Obsidian, you know how it ends (or do you...). Its a love story completely different from the one that surrounds Daemon and Katy, and helps to explain a lot of Daemon's behavior.
Normally, I say read the original book before reading the prequels, extras, or novellas in a series. In this case though, I don't think that Shadows gives anything unnecessarily away that is later in the series. It might be a little easier to understand if read after the first book because this one doesn't go as into depth about what Dawson and his family are, but I think either order is fine.
Definitely a must read for fans of the series.(less)
Okay, so here’s the deal…I LOVED the first third. The middle third I got really really annoyed. The next sixth I hated Katy. With a passion. A fiery o...moreOkay, so here’s the deal…I LOVED the first third. The middle third I got really really annoyed. The next sixth I hated Katy. With a passion. A fiery one. The last sixth was kind of awesome.
The Lux series is one of my favorite, because of a passion I can't put into words. It makes my imagination go wild. Crazy creative premise, interesting vibrant characters, and purely genius writing. I love love LOVE the first book. But...
...I had a few issues with this one. Granted, I still really really liked it (hence the four) but right now I have a need for catharsis, so I'm going to rant...
1) I’m so sick of love triangles. What was especially evil about this one though, is it really didn't have to be a love triangle, and it kind of wasn't, but since Katy didn't ever admit how she felt about Damean to anybody, everybody ASSUMED a love triangle.
2) Katy. a. Katy’s character, about 1/3 of the way through, got to be very frustrating. I loved her because she stood up for what she believed, she loved books, she’s very smart, and she’s a strong independent women. However, she was a little dense in this book…I mean honestly, how can she not admit how she felt, even to herself when she basically gave every synonym for love there is? b. She was a jerk (to put it somewhat nicer then the word I envision). She was a complete jerk to all her friends, especially Damean. I mean, seriously? She’s a good, person, why did she suddenly become so cruel? c. She lies…a lot. Like, she lies such an obscene amount, and to the very people she shouldn't lie to, that I just wanted to smack her so many times, but my computer is so frail I was afraid I’d break it instead of her, then just be sad. But seriously…she lied…way too much. d. Katy makes some really poor decisions, that I didn't feel were in character, and that just kind of annoyed me. (view spoiler)[For example, giving up Damean to train with Blake? I mean…seriously? That doesn't even make sense especially since Damean can train her better than Blake, seeing how they are his powers. (hide spoiler)].
All of that being said, fantastic ending, and now I feel a little less hateful towards Katy (catharsis - an amazing thing). It was really well written, LOTS of new information about all the crazy bee's wax happening with the DOD, and so much that is left to be uncovered. Really, great book, and still one of my favorite stories (just beware of an I-must-slap-Katy feeling that will be lurking in your hands while you read.
But seriously. Jennifer Armentrout. I love you. Does Damean exist? If so, please forward him my address.
Bring on book 3!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book was fabulous, and I was much happier with it than I expected. I, probably like many others, kept putting it off because I read the descripti...moreThis book was fabulous, and I was much happier with it than I expected. I, probably like many others, kept putting it off because I read the description and thought "Aliens? Really?" Eventually, I decided that I had begun the Lorien Legacies series (I Am Number Four) and enjoyed that, so I should give this book a chance. I think, just like vampires came in and swept paranormal YA lovers away, werewolves, then angels, aliens may be next. It sounds silly, but then again, did you ever think you'd fall for a vampire?
Katy is new and town, and her neighbors are strange to say the least. Dee and Daemon are twins, and while Dee seems kind and energetic, Daemon is shut off and arrogant, and unhappy that Dee has decided to be friends with Katy. Usually, Katy is happy to be on her own, write book reviews, garden, and spent time relaxing around the house with her mom. But, having a friend, especially Dee, is a nice change especially after moving. Dee and Katy quickly take to each other, although by the time Katy starts school, she realizes that its not only Daemon that doesn't like Dee and Katy together, its everyone. Blending in just got a whole lot harder.
This book will sweep you off you feet before you expect it. I'm not sure why I was so reluctant to read it (besides the hesitancy of a young adult romance about aliens), but once I started I couldn't put it down. I absolutely LOVED the characters, especially Daemon and Dee, whose sibling banter is irresistible.
Although I say it is a young adult romance, there is an element of delayed gratification, so be ready for that. There is definitely an element of pursue & resist, but unlike many young adult books, it seems to work really well in this story and persists for much longer. In a lot of paranormal teen fiction (especially), the characters will resist each other than go to the opposite extreme of unconditional love. This is different; there will be a lot of sarcastic comments, anger management drama, pushing away, and an underlying wave of attraction that can't be ignored but can't really be accepted either. Jennifer L. Armentrout is very consistent and all the characters are kept to their true natures, and not changed under the possible gush of romance (I hope that all makes sense.)
The writing is very addicting, especially in terms of dialogue. I kind of love Katy's mom (very quirky sense of humor) and Katy's exchanges the most. And of course, no scene is complete without Daemons cocky remarks (although I recommend you read the extras from his POV - quite interesting).
Great read, don't be frightened away by thinking about UFOS and little green shiny men, because neither of those things exist in this book. Thing extreme light (not sparkly) and superhero powers. (less)
As the last book in the series, this was completely and utterly amazing. I loved it even more than I loved the first one, and I thought the...moreRating: 4.5
As the last book in the series, this was completely and utterly amazing. I loved it even more than I loved the first one, and I thought the first one was pretty great. Alexander Gordon Smith does a great job of making what we think its predictable, into a completely twisted and slightly antagonizing ending where you have no idea if the main character, Alex, is going to be a good guy or a bad guy, and you have no idea if the bad guys are really bad. It will completely corrupt your mind because there will be a moment or two when you doubt the malice behind the awful world that is being created by the destructive creatures that are slaughtering millions.
Really great ending to the series; wraps everything up nicely at the end but doesn't make it seem like a summary; you really wont feel satisfied until the last few pages, and then the world is a better place again.(less)
As book 4 of the series, Fugitives matches if not exceeds the legacy of the first book. Because now the horror of the Furnace seems minuscule, and t...moreAs book 4 of the series, Fugitives matches if not exceeds the legacy of the first book. Because now the horror of the Furnace seems minuscule, and the Warden seems like an annoying fly on the wall. There are much larger, more grotesque things in the world, and Alex doesn't come out the person he went in; not even close.
This book has a lot more action and a larger fight between the real world (the outside) and the Furnace. Civilians become involved, and even the un-infected are driven crazy by the madness that is taken over the world. There is a lot more gore in this book than previous books, and it becomes a lot more relate-able to current world issues involving reactions to panic.
Definitely the most intense in the series so far (although it rivals the first in terms of overall quality).(less)
Note: I marked the summary as a spoiler from here on but it...moreRating: 3.5 - 4ish (I'm being picky today)
Life just gets creepier as the series continues.
Note: I marked the summary as a spoiler from here on but it doesn't spoil anything from this book, just the previous two in the series.
(view spoiler)[Alex almost led a second successful escape from the lower levels of the Furnace, but it didn't work. Now, he is caught, and the venom that destroyed Donovan is running through him. As the Warden continues his experiments and tries to turn Alex into a tool of his own, Alex is forced to battle the poison of the nectar that is being pumped through him in order to remember the one thing that can keep him connected to humanity: his name. But when his own face becomes a stranger to him, Alex has left his prison-self behind and has become one of the blacksuits he detested.
This book takes you through Alex's transformation, and how his friends either life or die in the process. Most of the book is dedicated to life on the lower levels and the Warden's creepy experiments, but in part of the novel, you will get another glimpse back of what life is within the prison part of the Furnace where the inmates are still living in complete fear. (hide spoiler)]
This one has a little less action in it, and a lot more of the intellect behind the experiments and the larger plans that the Warden and Alfred Furnace have for the inmates. There are a couple scenes that talk about how the experiments had started as part of WWII, and explain more about what the goals of them are. Throughout the story and as Alex changes and transforms, there are sporadic scenes with more of the action, fighting, and fear but the majority of the action comes near the end (which is very cool!).
I had also mentioned in my last review that it was hard to get attached to some of the characters (in the last one I was mostly implying Simon) but in this one I think there is quite a bit of improvement with that.
P.S. - As most books have webpages of some sort, and in the back of this book they listed it, I decided to pay it a visit. It is very creepy, and at least when I was reading I could eat a croissant and pet my cat and try to avoid complete encompassing of my mind into the terrifying world Alexander Gordon Smith creates, but once I visited the webpage I was a goner. The sounds alone scared the ba-jeeb-as out of me. But now I'm all the more motivated to keep up the series! I recommend checking it out if you decide to read the series, although I would read the first book first, because as scary as the site is I promise they are good books!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Solitary begins where Lockdown ended(view spoiler)[ (after Alex led Zee, Gary, and Toby down the river) (hide spoiler)]. It is full of the same mixture of action, suspense, and intellect as the first one, as the Warden demonstrates not only the hell that is the Furnace, but the hell that surrounds it.
Not all the characters from the last one are continued in this installment, although a few are introduced. In terms of characters, I did enjoy the first book more because although some of my favorites were continued (I'm being vague on purpose because things happen so quick I don't want to give anything away) a lot of them weren't. Although the new characters were protagonists, I didn't become very attached to them, and I missed the spark and wit that had been ignited in some of the supporting characters in Lockdown.
The writing is still awesome, and the plot was surprising and exciting (although you must know by now, nothing is ordinary in the Furnace) and it was cool in an extremely creepy way that the Warden had a bigger role in this novel. There is also a slightly larger psychological presence in terms of the writing in the sense of how Alex needs to deal with solitary (aka, the hole, aka, being stuck by himself in a miniature prison in the ground). Where the last book focused largely on finding hope in an impossibly atmosphere, this book focuses on staying sane when darkness tries to reach in.
This one, like the first installment in this series, is also a fast read, so its a fun little series for relaxing (in a slightly terrified state) reading.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is a fun little ebook about Cinder. This explains more about Cinder's life and how she became part of the family with her step mother and step si...moreThis is a fun little ebook about Cinder. This explains more about Cinder's life and how she became part of the family with her step mother and step sisters - it helps explain the progression of her going from a daughter to a worker and the emotional costs of losing her father figure.
Definitely worth reading (although I recommend you read it after reading the book).(less)