This was an exciting story featuring a unique paranormal skill I’ve never heard of. Scarlett is a null, which means she basically cancels out paranorm...moreThis was an exciting story featuring a unique paranormal skill I’ve never heard of. Scarlett is a null, which means she basically cancels out paranormal abilities within her personal bubble of space. With this ability, Scarlett is a cleaner, getting rid of paranormal-related messes so regular humans and cops don’t find them. When a cleaning goes bad, trouble ensues.
Scarlett was a great character. She’s smart and logical and very careful with her life. She’s suffered a lot of tragedy, and is basically just going through the motions of living when the story starts. Getting thrown into a murder investigation with a new assistant and a curious human cop makes her really look at her life, all while trying to solve the mystery and stay alive.
There is a budding love triangle developing, and it’s done very tastefully. Both guys are so sweet and nice. At the end of the first book, I totally sympathize with Scarlett’s inability to decide between them. The pros for both look pretty good, and the cons are livable at this point.
The murder part of the story is solved in a logical manner, and made the story enjoyable as a stand alone. But the ending has a huge twist that will definitely affect the rest of the series in a very profound way. I really enjoyed this book and need to pick up the second one right away. I need to know what happens next.
I listened to the audiobook, and the production was great. The narrator had a voice that fit Scarlett, with just the right hint of emotion and humour. It was smooth and easy to listen too. I love the accent given to Jesse, it fit and made his character stand out. I’d definitely recommend the audio version. (less)
There was a lot going on in this book, and while the first half was a bit confuisng, the second half was smoother and more gripping.
I like the charact...moreThere was a lot going on in this book, and while the first half was a bit confuisng, the second half was smoother and more gripping.
I like the characters, especially Shiori. He is very noble, and is willing to fight for his beliefs, even when it hurts him personally. He looks after Minya as much as he can, and does his best to help anyone more unfortunate than himself. Minya herself is a mysterious enigma that I never quite got a handle on, and so I’m not sure if I like her or not.
I found the biggest flaw in the book to be the world building. I have so many questions that weren’t answered. Why are there 4 factions? How did the split begin? How does the Neutral zone survive if all the factions are hungry for every scrap of power? What is the war really about? Why is Minya so devout to a leader that doesn’t seem to look after her? Is she really so naive, or is there something else about her?
So many details seem to be missing from the story. This really hampered the first half of the story since I was just so confused by everything, I couldn’t really develop a firm connection with anyone. It was only when Shiori became a more prominent character that I was able to get into it. Once I formed that connection, the rest of the story flew by.
Overall, while I had a hard time getting into the story, once I was there, it was great. The struggle for survival in the later half was quite exciting. The story isn’t very upfront about it, but it seems like the start to a series. Hopefully one that develops Di’s character more as he is quite intriguing.(less)
This was an exciting, science based story about an epidemic with Mayan ties. It features several characters, but mostly focuses on scientist Dr Gabrie...moreThis was an exciting, science based story about an epidemic with Mayan ties. It features several characters, but mostly focuses on scientist Dr Gabriel Stanton and Mayan expert Chel Manu as they race to find the source and cure for the epidemic.
I usually love disaster stories, and this was no exception. An epidemic happens very quickly, and so the story must move along at the same speed. I thought that the ending seemed a touch rushed and a little too neat, but the rest of the story was smooth and exciting.
I found the science easy to understand, and thought it was explained at a good level. I learned enough to understand and believe the disease, but not so much that I was bored with the details. One thing I am left with is a desire to read more about Mad Cow disease, and a heighten awareness of how often I touch my face and eyes.
I listened to the audiobook version, and would highly recommend it. It makes the foreign names much easier to understand. For instance, Chel is actually pronounced like Shell, which isn’t how I would have pronounced it in my head if I was reading a print version. I’m sure the other Mayan names would have been butchered in my head as well. The narration itself was smooth and articulate. There was a great flow to the tone and speed.
The interludes with the codex translations were read by a different narrator, and I loved this as it made it easy to differentiate between these parts and the rest of the story. The codex narrator had a voice that was much older and accented, which fit the codex scribe quite well.
Overall, this was an exciting disaster story. I read the author’s other novel, The Rule of Four, before I started reviewing, and while I liked that story, I greatly preferred 12.21. There is a lot more excitement in this book, and while I disagree with some of the author comparisons in the summary, I do love the story. If you like epidemic stories or anything Mayan related, I’d suggest giving this book a try. (less)
I wanted to like this story, I really did, but it just didn’t happen. Orryk was a likable and sympathetic character. He’s all alone and looking for so...moreI wanted to like this story, I really did, but it just didn’t happen. Orryk was a likable and sympathetic character. He’s all alone and looking for something to give him purpose. He latches onto the idea that he should find out why his father left, and where he went, when he abandoned his family when Orryk was a child. The plot sounds good. So why didn’t I like it?
I think the main reason is that there is no resolution of anything in the book. A lot of time is spent introducing us to Orryk and his friends, and the antics they get up to together. The main purpose to the story seems to be that Orryk decides to look for his father. Not that he does look for him, that comes in a later book. This book is all about that decision. I don’t think it’s enough to base an entire book on.
The summary of the book makes it seem like there will be lots of action in the story. After reading the first book, it seems that the summary is for the whole series, not just for this one book. I find this misleading, and led me to be disappointed, to the point that I’m not sure I want to bother continuing the series.(less)
Picking up right after the first one ends, this story moves away from the immediate after effects of the disaster to more of a survival story. This sh...morePicking up right after the first one ends, this story moves away from the immediate after effects of the disaster to more of a survival story. This shift happens smoothly, and pulls you into the story.
While the first book was quite sad, this book did not cause the same emotions. I was more intriguing and entertained this time. The kids have adjusted so well, and are creating a life that is not just about danger. The older children on the island are trying to let the younger children still have a childhood, even though circumstances cause most of them to grow up too early.
The science in this story is just as believable as in the first story, and once again, the level of detail is very appreciated. This story moves quickly, and there is no end to the danger and disasters. The author even very bravely kills off some beloved characters.
Overall, this was a fun MG/young YA story, and was a great addition to the series. The story has a complete plotline, and while there is a cliffhanger at the end, there is definitely no second-book-curse here. I just wish the third book was available so I could move right to it.(less)
This was a natural disaster story aimed at MG or young YA readers. There is plenty for older readers, but I think the emotions generated would be quit...moreThis was a natural disaster story aimed at MG or young YA readers. There is plenty for older readers, but I think the emotions generated would be quite different for the different aged readers. As an adult, and a parent, I find the story very sad. Just thinking about children having to survive without anyone helping and supporting them breaks my heart.
The science of the story was explained quite simply, and in a believable matter. I really appreciate that it wasn’t dumbed down for younger readers. In fact, none of the story had any of the lacking that is present in many MG/young YA stories. The characters were well developed with unique personalities, and the plot had no major holes.
Overall, I was quite impressed at the story, even with the cliffhanger ending. It was exciting and very well developed, with believable science. I’m very happy I had the second book to start reading right away.(less)