I loved this book from the start. It is good. No, it's great. It's Gothic and sassy and funRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog!
4.5 out of 5
I loved this book from the start. It is good. No, it's great. It's Gothic and sassy and funny and clever and thisclose to being perfect. I love it to pieces. I stayed up til nearly one in the morning to finish it, on a night where I had to get up at 4 the next morning. If that isn't a clear enough picture of how thoroughly entertaining and engrossing this gem of a book is, I don't know what to tell you. A surefire winner. Unspoken is unique, it's fun, it's populated with amazingly real, fleshed out characters operating with a strong plot about magic, and secrets, and history. It's a breath of fresh air in a genre that tends to stick to the same ideas and themes and plots. Even when Unspoken does veer into well-tread territory for YA, it ends up being the exception to the rule. The first novel I've ever read from Irish young-adult author Sarah Rees Brennan, it left me eager for more and unwilling to close the cover. The first in a new Gothic and paranormal series, despite a few flaws and missteps, the premier novel in the Lynburn Legacy sets a high bar for any of the other novels to live up to. It can be creepy, genuinely funny, and completely real - all often on the same page. A promising start to begin a new trilogy, I finished this impressed and anxious for more. This was my first Brennan, but it most definitely won't be my last.
It's always a pleasure when an author takes the time to create and develop a character with as much depth and personality as Kami Glass. It's easy to self-identify with can-do and hilarious Kami (even if I recognize I lack her original and hilarious way with words): she's a strong character with wants and desires all her own, she isn't defined by who she likes, but what she does, and she grows and learns as she works her way to the bottom of the twisty mystery and aura around the feared Lynburns. Diversity and wit are another two things sorely lacking in a lot of novels geared towards a young-adult audience, but that is not the case here. Kami's Japanese heritage is important to her, and the slight xenophobia shown towards her in her firmly English village help reinforce her uniqueness. I just loved Kami and reading about her. Even with the third person POV distancing her a bit from the audience, this is a perfect example of a well-written, realistic, concrete character. There were so many quotes from this girl that I either laughed at, or giggled at, or just plain amused me. Kami is one character that will stick out in my memory as wonderfully executed and developed.
Kami isn't the only standout character from Unspoken, amazingly enough. The secondary cast of characters are also distinct and well characterized. Kami's hilarious dad takes the award for second-funniest, but really, from sleepy, world-hating best friend Angela to creepy, remote Rosalind, this is a novel with a strong core of characters that all pop from the page. Even when I didn't like certain characters (Ash, etc.) I could appreciate the variety and originality they brought to the novel. Not just in tune with her friends, I loved the interactions of Kami's family - they aren't set pieces created for Kami to gloss over, but important and meaningful parts of her everyday life. Her mother is especially important to the plot of the novel, and the stumbles in the relationship between protective mom and curious Kami strike a delicate, but compelling, balance. Happily minus a lot of the tropes in YA used to get characters to operate autonomously, there are no Missing Parent Syndrome or abused/ignored/lonely kid ideas here; Brennan is too smart to fall for those overused plot devices.
The plot is strong, the dialogue pitch-perfect, and the mystery well-crafted, but there are certain sections of the novel where the tension seems to flag as the kids uncover more and more clues without any meaningful revelations. I didn't mind overmuch, because when the atmosphere matters, it's done well... and I always enjoyed the side trips and adventures Kami cooked up for her friends to get into. It cannot be denied that Unspoken is an entertaining and engrossing novel. The Lynburn family, once they come into play a bit more, supply a lot of the tension with the unexplained acrimonious interplay between the Lynburn cousins, Ash and Jared. I am most definitely not a fan of the love triangle, but as it is used here, I found it at least palatable. Kami doesn't fall into the trap of instalove - even though she's "known" and maybe loved Jared for years before meeting him, and she doesn't bounce back and forth between the cousins just to foment melodrama instead of plot momentum.
I did have a few problems with Unspoken as I progressed through its nearly 400 page length. Most notably: the end. A lot of reviewers have been disappointed with the way and place Brennan chose to end her story, and I am certainly one of them. It's a hell of a cliffhanger, and though I don't buy Jared's final words and attitude for a minute, Brennan certainly knows how to leave her readers wanting more. The plot extends eaily to book two, but it was an abrupt end to such a slow burn mystery. I also felt that the magic aspect could use some strengthening. What is explained is interesting, but I couldn't get a firm grasp a few parts of the mythology. A little more time and paragraphs to explore those elements would've been appreciated, but there at least will be two more novels to expand on what's been laid down here in the first novel.
From even pacing to creative plot to wonderful, zing-filled dialogue, Unspoken is a book I most definitely will be buying and rereading. Carried by a complex and brave protagonist, coupled with a thoroughly well-done Gothic vibe, there is much more to love about this novel than to lament. I for one, will be counting the months until the arrival in the next book of the series. Brennan has impressed me, and I can't wait to see what she does with the foundation she has laid down. ...more
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I normally try to refrain from all-caps declarations of love (exception: Christian BaRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog!
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I normally try to refrain from all-caps declarations of love (exception: Christian Bale), but it is unavoidable and White Cat is worthy of them. This was a quick read but I had so much fun with Cassel that I immediately bought book two, Red Glove, literally right after I finished the final page of this. It's addictive - an all-male POV ya novel that's entirely credible and authentic in its voice, set amid a unique and compelling plotline within a magically-infused world. Fast-moving and nearly unputdownable, this is the book newcomers should try for this author. After starting and DNFing the first Spiderwick novel early last year, I was nowhere close to expecting the level of reaction that White Cat caused within me - this is one that has rocketed up to be among my favorite YA novels of recent years.
Cassel was a strong, unique, male voice with a genuinely compelling and individual tale. This was just... so fun to read; an effortless reading experience as well- the pages flip by without even noticing. I loved the slow reveal of both the history of the 'dab hands' as well as Cassel's own personal evolutionary arc.This isn't a character or a world that you want to leave - both characters and world make an impression and it is a very favorable one. This is a lol-worthy novel, largely due to Cassel himself. He exhibits the trademark teenage self-deprecation and hatred, but unlike most teens, Cassel has the unhappy history to back up his darker emotions. He's quick, and smart but humanly and believably flawed, lonely kid. He uses a complex system of bets on other people's daily lives to feel as if he has some measure of control, as well as to feel like he has a life of his own. Cassel is easily the highpoint of the entire novel, through all his ups, downs, and quotable moments. (“She says that what you did was a cry for help." "It was," I say. "That's why I was yelling 'Heeeelp!' I don't really go in for subtlety.”) If he is occasionally a bit too. . . naiive. . at the expense of pacing and plotting, I'll take that bargain. He's a very relatable and often introspective character for a male teen (“We are, largely, who we remember ourselves to be. That's why habits are so hard to break. If we know ourselves to be liars, we expect not to tell the truth. If we think of ourselves as honest, we try harder.” and “The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.”) but it works, it genuinely does.
Everything is not perfect here, despite my overwhelming love for the first in the inventive and fun Curse Worker's series - Holly Black is a talented and humorous storyteller, but her expertise doesn't encompass all there is to White Cat. For a novel about con men and deception, several of the twists and turns taken throughout are thoroughly predictable and/or transparent. Not all reveals and outcomes are predicted but some are rather obvious from the get-go. Black takes care to show and not tell with her prose, but her foreshadowing could use some work. This is a novel that isn't full of surprises but one that leads you to a conclusion and then turns that predicted conclusion on its head. It's rather nicely done and impressive on the author's part. I wish that the Mafia families here had more bite and shows of power - I never quite bought the danger of the threat of the Zacharov family, for example. A larger focus on those in charge of the criminal curseworkers would be appreciated.
I was never bored while reading White Cat. On the contrary, I was constantly entertained by this fucked up family dynamic, the first I've seen to really match The Chronicles of Amber in the level of lies, manipulation, outright betrayal and felonies attempted. This is a series made of the winning mix of mafia and magic - intriguing in its conception and execution, filled with complex characters and just plain fun. I read this in early March and I think it will remain one of my favorite novels for the entire year.
First, immediate thoughts upon finishing this quick read of a teenage paranormal novRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog!
4.25 out of 5 stars
First, immediate thoughts upon finishing this quick read of a teenage paranormal novel:
That was a lot of fun! That was original and wholly compelling, and it managed to be all that and more without a love triangle or a heroine who is too stupid to live! It can be done!
Though Transcendence inevitably hits a few bumps that keep it from being perfect, it was perfectly enjoyable and fully diverting for the few (far too short!) hours it took me to consume all 300+ pages. This was one of those all-too-hard-to-find novels that combined my desire to see how everything ended while contradictorily, not wanting to finish and end the fun. With welcome infusions of ideas and themes from some of the more underutilized mythologies (Egyptian symbols! Reincarnation!), Transcendence is unique, entertaining and compulsively readable experience. This is my first exposure to this author, but I can guarantee that it will not be the last time I read her work. I've added Omololu's YA contemporary novel, Dirty Little Secrets, to my TBR just based off of the many strengths of this novel, despite the extreme difference in the genres of the two novels, as well as initiating a countdown for the inevitable sequel to this one, Fated. I cant believe how unfair it is that I have to wait another entire year, until June of 2013!, to escape back into this exciting story.
First-person POV works really, really well here in Transcendence, for both Omololu's easy style and for the strong, believably teenage voice of Cole, the main character. Cole is a wonderfully realized character: she's smart, flawed, funny and all the more real for the care that evidently went into her development. Plus she admits Harry Potter is her favorite book, so she gets +100 for that alone. Cole is a strong character, one that is self-defined and one that wants to save herself. When she says to Griffon: "Just because I don't want to be the helpless female in his hero movie doesn't mean I want him to go," I cheered for her. Mentally. I totally did not say "hell yeah" out loud. Noo. That would be embarrassing. Anyway. Love isn't dependence, kids. Love isn't someone rescuing you and making your decisions. It is is so nice (but sadly rare) to read a teenage protagonist without that misconception; one that can accept help without being helpless or brainless. It's a fine balance but one that is well-struck here with Transcendence's Nicole. She doesn't depend on or live for a boy: this is talented, well-drawn, full-realized character and her love for music is one of the most defining aspects of her multi-faceted personality. Even just talking about music, it's obvious how much love Cole has for what she does ("My heart races as his bow glides over the strings, an unspoken communication that fills the room, replacing the air with sound and emotion." p. 51 ARC), as well as showing that this isn't a character that is defined by anyone else.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the infinite kudos deserved by this author for the variance of races among her secondary cast. White-washing is a horrid, horrid trendin young-adult book publishing, one that needs to stop. Griffon is an African-American (and is shown on the cover too!), and there are other characters that aren't uniformly Caucasian or European that actually participate in the novel. I wish Gabi had played a bit more into the events of the novel, but an Indian close friend and a black love interest is a lot more diversity than most books ever do. It's obvious early on that is author isn't interested in doing what others are: her vision for her novel is unique and fresh and that's how it reads, from plot to themes to characters themselves. I mean, at just first glance, this book contains: Egyptian mythology, a racially diverse cast, an aware and self-confident protagonist, no instalove, no random girl-on-girl hate, AND no love triangle? It's refreshing and it's over all too soon. Other authors: please take note. I want more of ALL THIS.
The idea of reincarnation is not one I've seen too often in this particular genre, so straight off the bat Omololu gets major points for her originality. YA paranormals tend to stick more toward the vampires, werewolves and ghosts of the supernatural spectrum; the only other novel I can recall that focuses on immortality without those genre staples was Avery Williams's short but fun The Alchemy of Forever. Both Alchemy and Transcendence use their originality and fresh perspectives to their favor; this never has the echoes of "been there, done that" storylines that so many other YA novels often do contain. I mean, really: how long can we read about the ordinary, beautiful-but-unaware of it mortal girl in the thrall of a vampire? Using such a fresh concept like essence transition really does make Transcendence stand out. Omololu isn't afraid to face the questions at the core of her characters' soul transmigrations - when one can remember lives upon lives for hundreds of years, what do you take with you to each new experience? Love? Guilt? Intelligence? Responsibility? Revenge? How can you justify a romantic relationship between someone who's aware of his hundreds of years of life and someone who only has 17 to recall? It certainly feels a little squicky at the outset, but all is not as it seems. And, CJ Omololu actually takes the time to explore and answer these questions, all nearly to satisfaction.
As for the romance, I admit I was veeery hesitant and wary of where that could go with Cole and her love interest, Griffon. Clearly with the theme of reincarnation, a lot of writers would go for the star-crossed instalove connection. It almost begs for it with a set up like a time-slip novel - a love out of time is a romantic idea and one that understandably holds appeal to a variety of audiences. However, Omololu doesn't go that route, skipping immediately down Romance Avenue and happily-ever-afters. Wonder of wonders, this is an author that takes time, care and detail into crafting a real, believable connection between the two "teens", one that is not wholly based on who they were before, but on who they are now in the present. Their romance is sweet, frustrating and above all - credible. No instalove here just a relationship that slowly blooms into a natural and endearing partnership. Love in all its forms is shown throughout the novel, actually, and this is one of the few YAs that takes the time and effort to feature a functional, if not traditional, family life. The mom may be the most one-dimensional character of the whole novel (and brought back unfavorable echoes of Diana in Virtuosity) but even she grows and changes a bit over the book.
I enjoyed a lot about this, but it is not without faults. The plot can be weak in certain sections of the novel, some twists and turns of the plot feel and can come across as very contrived, and one of my least favorite plot devices, the "I have a super-sekrit, dangerous plan I can tell NO ONE about" comes out to play late in the course of the book. I wish the plot had a been a bit stronger, but my enjoyment of the characters, the mythology, and Cole's inner monologue keep the deficit from being a glaring issue. These are minor complaints in the shadow of all the AWESOME that is in play for this book - they detract but a little, and I still feel all fangirly about Transcendence. With several big twists I really did NOT see coming and more late-in-the-game open-ended questions than answers, Transcendence leaves the door wide open for its sequel without sacrificing satisfaction for the readers and fans of the first.
Though Fated is more than a year away (nooo) and I can see the love-triangle brewing with a vengeance (nooo!), I can't wait to get back to this uniquely paranormal series, and these delightful, rounded characters. If you're looking for an engrossing, easily readable YA with lots of action and a hint of mystery, look no further....more
My first -- and far from last -- Richelle Mead novel, Gameboard of the Gods could not have bRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog
4.5 out of 5
My first -- and far from last -- Richelle Mead novel, Gameboard of the Gods could not have been a better or more fun introduction to this popular author. A mix of futuristic science fiction, mystery, old school mythology, dystopia and post-apocalyptic genres, this book is weird and odd, and above all, really, really good. It takes a while to build into the tour de force of awesome it is, but the slow start is more than worth the time and wait. Gameboard of the Gods is creative, fast-paced, full of action and just plain fun. As the first in a new series, it's a promising beginning and one that leaves the reader eagerly anticipating what else Mead will cook up next for her adaptable protagonists.
The first hundred pages present the hardest challenge - there are a lot of terms, ideas thrown around and this is an author that doesn't believe an infodump of explanations are the way to immerse her readers into a new world. Rather, Mead doesn't immediately lay out her worldbuilding, but slowly reveals it through the characters' dialogue, actions, and inner monologues. And this created world, post-"Decline" - is a fascinating, thoroughly original one. There are still some gray areas left in how the Republic of United North America formed and operates, but with the first in the series, a remarkable amount of information is subtly dispensed to the audience. I have faith and the patience to see how Mead further carries the ideas she's laid the foundation for here with the sequels that are forthcoming.
Character-wise, this book is just as strong as it is in writing and plotting. Lead characters Mae and Justin complement each other very well, despite (or maybe because of) their many differences. They have palpable chemistry, and a complicated relationship that evolves just as much as the two of them do individually. Tjeir interplay and banter are consistently top-notch. I loved the typical-role reversal between the two as well. Usually it's a strong man protecting a brilliant woman, but Mae is the muscle (and has her fair share of brains), with Justin relying on her to protect them as they race to solve a mystery that tests everything both of them have been raised to believe.
If you like a well-crafted mystery, with two likeable and flawed protagonists (with intense chemistry), or if you like mythology with a fresh spin, or if you like well-done and thought-out dystopias with a side of post-apocalyptic world-building, Gameboard of the Gods is your newest best book friend. Great action scenes, a clever mystery and two great characters make this a very involving and compelling book. If this is how the series begins, I am very curious to see what happens next for the praetorian and the servitor. I only hope the next book isn't too long in coming!...more
I want to explain those 2.5 stars - I did like this. Marginally. But there are a lot of things that could've been done a whole lot better.2.5 out of 5
I want to explain those 2.5 stars - I did like this. Marginally. But there are a lot of things that could've been done a whole lot better. The characters need work. The writing needs polish. The storyline was better, but not as good as it could have been.
All in all, it wasn't as bad as I feared, but nowhere near as good as I hoped....more
This is the second novel in Duvall's creative series centered around Chalice, a member of an order of knights (The Hatchet Knights) who have been around since the Crusades and mate with the Arelim, the lowest form of angel, to propagate their order. The same original and quirky ideas for magic present in the first are contained here in second, but I have to say that overall, Ms. Duvall definitely got off on a better foot with this second effort in her UF/PNR offering. While the plot I thought would be the center of Darkest Knight (restoring Aydin back to humanity from his cursed gargoyle form) wasn't at all what this novel was about, I wasn't disappointed. The antagonist created for the events of book two neatly tied in with the mythology and lore of the first and was on the same malevolence level as the previous antagonist, the evil sorcerer-kidnapper Gavin. And while I wasn't as surprised as I could've been at the "reveal" of the Big Bad of the book and the heart of the murders/mystery, I thought it left an interesting possibility for the plot of the sure-to-follow third installment.
I felt tepid and 'mehhh' about the first (Knight's Curse) when I read it last year and a large amount of my dissatisfaction had to do with and centered around the main character Chalice. I liked it well enough, was certainly entertained by it but the knight had a way of frustrating very simple situations, either by not listening or assuming she knew all the answers. Chalice in book two is a bit more aware, a bit more intelligent and a whole lot easier for me to like. I despise when heroines are convinced they shouldn't let allies into their plans because only they can do it, only they know the risk, etc and so on! And while Chalice was like that in the first, I found that her uneasy relationship with guardian-angel Rafe brought out a more mature side to her. While I still didn't wholly invest in Chalice or closely identify with her, I do like several aspects of her personality: her independence, her openness to magic finally, her fighting abilities; I love a heroine that can fight well and Chalice is one those few. Her martial skills complement her prickly personality quite well. One of the few major issues I had with Chalice here in this was her "instructing" the new squires of her order when Chalice has been a knight for less than three months, known of the order for only that long, has never had any formal training herself and there are older, more indoctrinated knights able to do the job....so why pick the newbie who is clueless to teach new members?
What also improved my experience the second time around is the romance of the novel. Or, to be perfectly clear, the lack of stressing the romance and love between Aydin and Chalice. I didn't buy their almost insta-love connection from book one and since they're separated more often in Darkest Knight, I actually got to see them on their own for extended periods of time. They both actually have to work for the relationship (and get over their dumb decisions, like Aydin's particularly stupid rejection in the beginning), and work together to fix Aydin's curse. It brought out another dynamic to their relationship and also helped to flesh out Aydin a bit more independently. I truly like that both people fight and struggle for the other: Aydin wants Chalice just as much as she wants him. Another bonus originality point for this series? Aydin is the swoon-worthy love interest and he is not a typical WASP. Diversity brings a lot to the table and for Aydin especially, it sets him apart from the thousands of UF/PNY love-interests out there. The whole 'gargoyle' thing doesn't hurt, either.
Back to the mythology of Darkest Knight: the world Duvall has created for her novels is a potent one. There are charms, magic, sorcerers, gargoyles, curses, guardian angels and Fallen angels - all with their own conduct, rules and uses. While the lore behind the angels can be confusing sometimes, it is unique and presents an interesting structure for the Hatchet Knights to find mates within. While the charms didn't impress me as much as the creativity shown in the first seems to have waned a tad (except for a pen with ink that makes the writer invisible - not the words being written. That's creative.) with a few exceptions: the "soul-stain" (which reminded me of Lord Denbury's condition in Darker Still), the non-dead non-living "life" of St. Geraldine, the half-sylph half-necromancer exorcist that I picture as an English man who says things like, "My dear chap, I daresay I couldn't possibly...." I also really liked that that the plot of the second book could be found mentioned/hidden within the first; there are references within Knight's Curse that, in hindsight, seem to set up the stage for book two perfectly.
The abrupt ending seemed slightly rushed to me, but definitely did not pull any punches. Characters die, lose their powers, fight and have an all-might brawl that made this quite hard to put down. This is action-packed and though some of the fights seemed redolent of earlier clashes (Evan and Zee, both specifically seemed to pop up for an altercation one too many times - especially Zee!) the pages turn quickly and Chalice's story is amusing for an hour or two. Though I found the uncovering of the Hatchet murderer to be too drawn out and arduous for how obvious it was (view spoiler)[(C'mon now guys: who has acted weird and sketchy and arrived just before the murders? Who repeatedly lies and sneaks around, getting into forbidden areas and trinkets? Come on now, it shouldn't take 300 pages!) (hide spoiler)]. Darkest Knight is a fun and enjoyable read. The ending leaves several key plotlines open for a continuing third volume and since this is one of the few series where I've liked the second more than the first, I can guarantee I'll be on the lookout for more from Chalice, Aydin, and my favorite: Ruby.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Meh. I'm certainly in the minority for this UF favorite, but Hounded just didn't do anything it for me. Maybe it's another case of it's-me-not-you, buMeh. I'm certainly in the minority for this UF favorite, but Hounded just didn't do anything it for me. Maybe it's another case of it's-me-not-you, but I was disappointed with this hyped up first in the Iron Druid series.
Lauren Oliver is a truly talented writer, be it in the young-adult field, or when writing for a youngerRead This Review & More Like It On My Blog!
Lauren Oliver is a truly talented writer, be it in the young-adult field, or when writing for a younger audience, like here in The Spindlers. I was impressed with Before I Fall, and I am even more so after reading this richly imaginative, darkly creepy, and thoroughly lovely middle-grade novel. I'm in my twenties and I loved every page - I can't imagine what this book would have meant to me had I read it when I was at the age of the intended audience. It's wonderful, magical, creepy adventure all about the power of love, family, hope, and believing in yourself. It's a quick read, but the beauty of Oliver's prose and her feisty main character Liza will leave a lasting impression long after the book is finished.
The Spindlers is a highly imaginative novel with echoes of some beloved favorites - Labyrinth (the abduction of a loved/hated younger brother), Alice in Wonderland (a hidden magical world Below filled with anthropomorphic animals), and Coraline (the dark, sinister aspect of a lot of what Liza uncovers.) Despite being vaguely reminiscent of those loved novels, Oliver's The Spindlers is a unique adventure filled with both wonder and magic. This charming tale of a young girl who uses stories and her vivid imagination to escape her tension-filled house (the casual hints of money problems at home - the overdue bills and shout-off notices, the broken plates and furniture, her mother's constant worry and pacing) is filled with creative new spins on monsters, what it means to be a friend, and the fun of seeing what weirdly beautiful creations Oliver can come up with next.
The illustrations are few - at least in the ARC edition that I was granted - but they are both lovely and easily capture the feel of what Oliver creates with her words. I fell in love with how this author writes because of this book. I loved Before I Fall but had some issues, but The Spindlers is truly engrossing and immersive, and a lot of that is down to how well Oliver can spin a tale. This fable-like story is imaginative, interesting, and above all, entirely fun and over too soon. I highly recommend this to anyone searching out a quick but moving read. My favorite quotes from the novel:
"The spindlers had gotten him: they had dropped down from the ceiling on their glistening webs of shadowed darkness and dropped their silken threads in his ear, and extracted is soul slowly, like a fisherman coaxing a trout from the water on a taut nylon fishing line. In its place they deposited their eggs; then they withdrew to their shadowed, dark corners and their underground lairs with his soul bound closely in silver thread."
"The world is a freak, she should have said. Everything that happens in it is strange and beautiful."
"This was what her parents did not understand - and had never understood - about stories. Liza told herself as though she was weaving and knotting an endless rope. Then, no matter how dark or terrible the pit she found herself in, she could pull herself out, inch by inch and hand over hand, on the long rope of stories."
"Liza stared at her. 'Impossible.' Mirabella swept her tail around her wrist and gave an imperious sniff. 'That is a human word,' she sad. 'And a very ugly one at that. We have no use for it Below.'"
"Liza felt she now knew many things she had not known yesterday. She knew, for example, that even rats could be beautiful, and hope grew from the smallest seeds, and sometimes there was great truth in made-up stories."
This is an absolutely wonderful middle grade novel, one that holds vast appeal for older readers no matter what their age. Lauren Oliver is a wonderful storyteller and she proves it once again here, with a unique way with words that can evoke pathos as easily as breathing. I was caught up in this story, anxious and excited to see what new ideas and creatures this able author would throw my way. From nids to troglods to the nocturni, this is a world alive with promise and horror, and all the more unique for it. ...more