When I decided to read Lolita this month, I had just one more thing in mind, its follow-up. I knew I wanted to read something leaps and bounds differe...moreWhen I decided to read Lolita this month, I had just one more thing in mind, its follow-up. I knew I wanted to read something leaps and bounds different from it and so decided on reading the much talked about 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. I am not much of a sci-fi fan but had heard a lot of praise for this book and had kept putting it off for as many years. Unfortunately I picked it up after I had wrapped up Lolita to give myself a break.
I had expected humor and do admit its there aplenty in this book, sadly though it isn't for me.
I am a fan of anything that inspires a laugh or a smile, and though I did crack a smile or two I couldn't relate to the book. I can do humor but absurdist fiction isn't really my thing.
"Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn't bother me. I was my father’s daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things."
Megan Shepherd...more"Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn't bother me. I was my father’s daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things."
Megan Shepherd' The Madman' Daughter holds an interesting premise. Its the thought that made me want to pick it up and give it a shot. Inspired from H. G. Wells' classic The Island of Dr. Moreau (which I haven't read so far) the book is a gothic dark thriller. Or so the blurb mentions.
The book begins so well, its first chapters are promising and the writing is quite engaging. The way the surroundings are written for each scene, is almost chilling and gives an eerie feeling to the whole thing. Your interest level is also aroused as Juliet' the book' female protagonist narrates her tale.
Fallen from privilege as she works as a cleaning maid in a university while trying to constantly ward off a lecherous professor you want to get to know Juliet. Her Story. The scandal that resulted in the downfall of her once prestigious family and the dark secrets held - by her as well as her past unknown to her.
Historical fiction always has held a charm for me. There is a certain enchanting quality, the old world charm as it's called that fascinates me when I read about the times gone by. It is easy to imagine things in a modern world scenario, and sometimes that' what takes away certain elements from the story for me. After all in the age of the world-wide web, smses, constant facebooking, skype and what-not things aren't hard to happen. The world seems shrunken as if truly in an oyster. All of this has become the norm off course. You don't wonder how to stay in touch with anyone anymore - chats, skype, Facebook all are just a click away. The journey across the world doesn't take months, you can book a ticket and catch the next possible flight if you want to the most remotest destination of the world. There is certainly no end to what technology holds for us in the future.
But to imagine a world where none of this could happen is riveting.
So take this scenario and throw in the elements - a world without the modern technology as we know it today, an island far-off from civilization, imagine the natives as deformed grotesque creatures. Imagine a girl who doesn't know the horrors that are in the waiting for her as she reunited with her estranged father. Add an old friend to the mix, spice up the plot with a lucky castaway and you have the perfect dark fantasy in the making. Or so it seems.
Like I said - the premise is interesting, the execution unfortunately after a few chapters slipping.
It doesn't take a genius to decipher the meaning of the title. Juliet, the heroine as is clear from the title is the daughter of a madman. Once regarded as the best physiologist in London, Dr. Moreau is now an absconding criminal. He has fled England owing to the arrest warrants issued against him and is not interested in returning ever again. His wife and daughter - Evelyn and Juliet, become unfortunate victims of the circumstances that arise out of the situation. They are driven to poverty owing to the scandal as well. Her mother, who was a lady in every sense of the word becomes a mistress to a wealthy old man to sustain their livelihood but unfortunately leaves Juliet orphaned at the age of 14.
As a 10 year old she was too young to understand what caused the downfall of her family exactly, though she perfectly remembers her father and his ways. His choice of tobacco, drinks, the way he dressed or put her to bed and the way he smelled. But most of all she remembers his lab and the screams that emitted from it late at night. As well as sneaking in to learn all that her father prohibits.
In a time considered as too weak to take up science, women were shunned in the medicinal world. Dr. Moreau is no different from the rest of the men, as he keeps his daughter away from his lab however takes his servant - Montgomery under his wing to teach the young boy all he can. It is from Montgomery that Juliet learns what she cannot overhear or see her father teach in biology to the boy.
Now as a 16-year-old Juliet works hard as a maid for a living thinking her father is dead as well, but hoping for the contrary in some part of her mind. And to her surprise and horror her wishes are granted. She finds a piece of evidence that leads her to Montgomery, who went missing all those years ago along with her father and is led straight to her father across the world.
You would think this is where things finally get interesting but you couldn't be any more wrong.
The book becomes focused on the love triangle more than it does on the horror part. Though it does spring up every now and then but it becomes clear even in the midst of living with monsters and a father who is clearly in need of help, Juliet is more attentive of her love life.
Clearly the focus was shifted on trying to create a romance in midst of all the horror when it should have rather been on the characters trying to I don't know - stay alive and get the hell away while at it. And maybe fall in love somewhere around that time.
More than the struggle to stay sane and/or alive the characters, well those involved in the love triangle at least, seemed more focused on the conflict of their feelings here. With Juliet getting drawn to Edward' golden eyes - nope not starting on that one. This will all be sidetracked if I began on that rant; while once again, she is attracted to Montgomery, whom she had a crush on as a little girl. And the boys feeling jealous of each other and trying their best to win the affections of their lady-love.
It is more important for them to win the girl than to stay alive or maintain their sanity. After all what is it but insanity when a man who has been shipwrecked for almost twenty days finally is rescued and instead of trying to thank his lucky stars and not waste their job walks into a tropical island full of horrors to protect an unknown girl just because she appeared to be more beautiful when he was dying. And he knew - even before she did what she was heading into and wanted to save her. Clearly the man knocked loose a few screws when he survived while he had the chance to do so.
The insta-love really doesn't help the plot as per me and after a while where all I read was about ripped corsets, roaming hands and warm bodies I gave up on the book.
I would have mentioned the bits about the vivisection of this book but it seems in the next parts of this trilogy even the author will conveniently use them only as and when necessary - the gothic part is only a plot device here, not the focus of the book as it should be.
This is in a way a Twilight where there are no vampires and werewolves but creatures out of the norm - and where the hero named Edward, will get the gal in the end even when he doesn't have fangs, sparkle or can jump across trees or read minds or do anything that is extraordinary except be a hopeless loverboy. Though Montgomery does have a penchant for taking his shirt off as and when he can just like Jacob.
Ever read a book so bad it momentarily blinded you and then somehow made you feel as if you had bloody spots dance before your eyes? I just did - the...moreEver read a book so bad it momentarily blinded you and then somehow made you feel as if you had bloody spots dance before your eyes? I just did - the worst book of my life to date. Honestly I can't for the life of me fathom how can crap such as this even get published really.
Set in a town called Blackwater this book deals with an experience that Ray, the book' hero went through as a child and for some reason can't remember what it was, though it affects his whole personality and in extension his life.
Recently dumped for being the dumb looser that he is, Ray tries to find closure to the biggest mystery of his life. A call from his childhood buddy Kevin, who went through the same thing acts as a catalyst for him as he packs his bags and gets ready to know the truth .
And it is from this point on that shit hits fan.
Ray on his arrival comes across strange characters, has some pretty weird experiences and for half of the book just sits on his ass waiting for his friend to disclose the big secret. And yeah in between the waiting he crosses paths with the richest guy in town Crawford and his business associate Lily, who are interested in him because he is the last piece of the dumb puzzle that is the mystery of this book. Also for a brief breather bumps the uglies with the town' local diner' waitress Emma.
Coming across as a Sci-fi book in the beginning how the hell does it even cross territories and delve into paranormal, voodoo or some other shit is beyond me. Really I am not making this up, the CIA, NSA - Russian & American governments trying to one up each other to gain the powers of the occult is just about the most bizarre thing I have ever read. This book makes freaking twilight & fifty shades seem like literary masterpieces. And that's saying something.
I have come across fanfictions better written than this piece of crap.
Over halfway through this book and I just wanted to scream at someone.
I dint care what the hell the big mystery was, if Ray was kidnapped by aliens and made to watch endless reruns of Kardashians or if he had to listen the whining of every Twihard gal .
I couldn't give a damn if Santa himself abducted him, tied him down and made him listen to endless Justin Bieber tracks. Frankly if it had helped speed up the slow death that is this book I would have had someone shoot Ray in the first 3 pages itself.
The plot never escalates and by the time it does I had lost the will to live or at the least read this awful book. The character of Ray doesn't connect at all - he certainly is the most boring protagonist I have ever encountered.
Definitely the worst book of 2013 in my list. Never in my prior experience on Goodreads have I ever wished for a negative rating system as I have for this book.
I had to endure this torture because Netgalley provided me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book isn't coming out for another month so I am gonna avoid the spoilers in my review here as much as I can. But since I damn loved this book so...moreThis book isn't coming out for another month so I am gonna avoid the spoilers in my review here as much as I can. But since I damn loved this book so much I can't simply not write something about it.
My first crush as a 12 year old was a guy who dies at the end of the movie, and all I could think about for the next few weeks was darn, he is such a cutie. Why? Why did the director have to kill him? Why couldn't they have had a happy ending?
It was for the first time, that I can think of that I can remember I was rooting for a happy ending, that I was sad about a fictional character' death. That I couldn't stop thinking of a smile that made my heart skip a bit.
The movie - Titanic and the guy .... Jack Dawson, played by the oh so cute Leonardo Dicaprio.
Yep, still makes me feel like a 12 year old.
TBS kinda reminded me of Jack & Rose' love-story. Their lives couldnt have been any more different.
Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the richest man in the universe doesn't lack anything, but couldnt be any more lonely. Major Tarver Merendsen is a celebrated war hero at eighteen and cannot bring himself to like the ways of the rich and famous.
Together on Icarus, the most expensive luxury spaceliner their paths cross and before they know it, their life is about to change.
The Icarus is yanked out of space and Tarver and Lilac, find themselves to be the sole survivors of the catastrophe when they crash land into a strange planet.
As Tarver and Lilac, deal with the consequences of the incident and try to find a way to get help, so that they can be rescued and in the course of trying to survive, fall in love.
And since I cannot spill the beans, I won't say much but just this. For once, I am partial to a heroine of a YA book and am so glad that Kaufman & Spooner have wrote Lilac as someone I truly loved a lot. She wasn't your average annoying YA heroine, but someone to reckon with.
All I can say is pick up the copy of TBS as soon as it hit shelves people, you shouldn't miss this one.
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
It’s not everyday that you get a story that i...more“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
It’s not everyday that you get a story that is told from the perspective of a shadow and its precisely the reason which made me request an ARC via Netgalley of the Pentrals. It did not turn out to be what I had expected, but I am not complaining, there is certainly no disappointment.
Crystal Mack’ debut offering – The Pentrals, is based in a city Talline, a metropolis of mirrors, where shadows and reflections are more than they appear to be. They aren’t just a part of you, they are individual sentinel beings called the Pentrals. Divided into four classes, these Pentrals have duties assigned to them as befitting their class. Though it has yet not been stated how the Pentrals came into existence or how they are divided into shadows and reflections. And while there is practically close to zilch info on the reflections, we do learn shadows are assigned classes based on the severity of their crimes as punishment. A class one pentral is assigned to any random object which, is basically a way to drive anyone crazy, a class two pentral is assigned the duty of being the shadow of a person. To perform any mistake while on duty may result in serious consequence to the Pentral concerned.
Antares’ a class two pentral, is the assigned shadow of a girl known as Violet. Needless to say Antares, has been with Violet from day one and has performed her duties to the best of her abilities.
At age 17, an incident causes Violet to spiral out of control, as she hits rock bottom. When Antares, who has always been the silent spectator of Violet’ life watches her destroy herself she cannot take it. Antares always found Violet a lovely girl and has been proud of her artistic abilities, of watching her grow each day into a talented young woman. She cannot mutely resign and allow Violet to throw away her life.
An incident finally allows Antares to voice her opinions to Violet, when they switch places and Antares finds herself, her essence/soul in Violet’ body as Violet takes her place and becomes the shadow.
What I had expected was a plot where Violet finally realizes how her self-destructive behavior was ruining her life, even a love triangle (quadrangle) of sorts.
What I had not anticipated where the themes Mack has used which become clear slowly page by page. And I must admit it definitely took me by surprise.
In a world that is obsessed with looks today, and especially with every girl trying to be as skinny as possible. oft-times at the cost of her health, Mack has woven the ill-effects of these body image issues by depicting not only shadows as sentient beings, but reflections as well.
While shadows suffer in the mute lost in their darkness, the reflections wreak havoc in The Pentrals, portraying grotesque monstrous images when anyone looks at their own reflection.
I have seen a few cases where image issues have led to depression as well, which is what Mack touches upon next in her book, as people start relying on drugs which are sold freely called Lift!, to help them tackle their anxiety and depression which stem from their body image issues.
Slowly but steadily, Mack reveals how an entire city is enslaved to the deviousness of one person.
Personally when it comes down to it, I prefer good old stories of wizards and witches, over anything sci-fi since it is kinda associated with my childhood. I love reading about dragons, wizards & witches and all sorts of fantastical creatures, over reading about aliens and stuff. But every once in a while I do get an urge to tread the road less taken, when the subject of a book, grabs my attention.
Having said that I am happy, that I gave a chance to the pentrals.
Though I have my share of grievances. To name a few – Violet’ annoying way too-clingy boyfriend Thomas, Antares repeating time and again how she has felt lonely. Not that I dont get it, but that thing is repeated one time too many. Also whenever Antares and her love interest Ben have any sort of physical contact it results in sparks. Literally. That I believe could have and should have been avoided. They have a connect and are soul mates, I get it but literal sparks really ?! Mack could have chosen a different approach in this regard to establish a romance between the characters. An approach which did not involve them zapping each other and leaving the reader utterly flummoxed, which should have been based on depicting the potential these characters have to become & make it as a couple.
The story is a slow burn, people looking for a pacy book will be disappointed. But if you can stick around and don’t mind the time ‘The Pentrals’ is a unique read, which could be worth a shot.
I was provided an advance readers copy for reviewing courtesy of Apologue Entertainment via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review of the book. This review is in no way influenced and is solely based on my opinion.
I am quite fond of reading dystopian novels, that they deviate from the norm is what works for me as a reader when I pick a good one...moreRating - 2.5 stars
I am quite fond of reading dystopian novels, that they deviate from the norm is what works for me as a reader when I pick a good one up. When I learned about Rivers by Michael Farris Smith and read its summary I was hooked.
Unfortunately the excitement didn't translate to the book. Set in the future where a climate shift has caused massive damage to the Southeastern United States. The coastlines are eroded and people made to evacuate their homes by government, those that stay behind do so at their own risk.
Cohen, the book' protagonist, is one such survivor of the horrible tornadoes that have wrecked everything. He chooses to stay behind to honor his wife' memory and complete the nursery they were planning for their baby.
I liked the start of the book, it's an unusual read for sure. However this book is slow..... really slow for the likes of me and may be it works for others but I cannot bring myself to like it.
I did enjoy Smith' writing and the concept is admittedly novel to me but the book literally put me to sleep almost every time I picked it up. It was a challenge in itself to finish it. Rating purely for the concept and the writing not the matter.
Atwood' A handmaid' tale is a book I have heard about so many times and yet failed to comprehend the horror it could invoke. Based in a distant future...moreAtwood' A handmaid' tale is a book I have heard about so many times and yet failed to comprehend the horror it could invoke. Based in a distant future in the Republic of Gilead, Atwood dystopian novel paints a horrifying picture where woman have not only lost all rights and freedom but have also been stripped off of their identities with their names.
I don't need to narrate the plot here since its already known what I can share is my reaction, my opinion for this book.
Atwood needs no introduction and its the first time that I have picked up any of her works, something which I had been meaning to do for a very long time now but somehow never got a chance to.
To say I was repulsed, intrigued, angered and disturbed by this book would be an understatement. It' sad that even now in 2013 years after this book was published it' content and subject seems just as relevant today if not more. With the increasing number of crimes against women, it strikes a chord.
I am moved beyond words by Atwood considering when I start thinking about this book all I can think of is the horrible scenario that's around these days. Not a day passes when you can read a newspaper which lacks any sort of an article, a story where a woman has been violated/murdered or been through some or the other horrible experience.
I am honestly at a loss of words to write more about this book.
Remember the time as a kid you would change your mind about your future profession? And becoming an astronaut was one of those options you considered?...moreRemember the time as a kid you would change your mind about your future profession? And becoming an astronaut was one of those options you considered? Like really what could be cooler than the great beyond out there and imagining yourself there is a thrill like no other. Yeah I did too, when I picked this book up to read.
The plot of the book is somewhat this:
In the year 2018, in what is touted as a dream come true opportunity, NASA has announced a new mission to the moon with a worldwide contest that will allow 3 teenagers between 14 - 18 years of age, the opportunity to become the youngest people to have traveled the moon ever. In what the world sees as an incredible opportunity at worldwide fame & recognition and a chance to make history, NASA has its own motives.
Down on funds and sinking in popularity, the trip to the moon is a desperate attempt made by NASA to stop its sinking.
The three protagonists, Mia from Norway, Midori from Japan & Antoine from France are announced as the winners of the fantastical contest.
The story behind each teen is revealed in the beginning of the book starting with Mia, who is a high school student and couldn't care less about NASA' announcement. All she wants is to make music, have her band become famous and tour places while getting away from her parents, especially her mom, who constantly annoy her. It is her parents who slyly enter her name in the contest without her consent and knowledge and her band-mates/friends who convince her to go on the trip when its announced she has won.
Midori, the second winner wants to get away from her parents as well but not because she is pissed at them, rather because she doesn't wish to lead her life in the conventional way that is expected of her as a Japanese girl. One who has to marry by age 25, quit her job once she is married off and become a housewife who takes care of her home, husband and children and has no life beyond that. Midori' elder sister is a student in London and she thinks her sister is happier in her life that way. Midori wishes to carve her own path and make a life in the big apple as soon as she turns 18 and never look back. Of course, she isn't thinking about cutting ties off with her parents completely, only she wishes to follow in the footsteps of her sister, who makes it home twice a year and that's about it.
Antoine isn't dealing with parents, but a case of heartbreak when he participates on a whim in the win a trip to the moon contest. His girlfriend Sophie hasn't just dumped him, she has moved on with another guy and all Antoine wants is to get away from her. As much as possible. He figures the trip will either get Sophie back with him or allow him a chance to get away from her as far as possible and what could be further away than the moon.
The three teens view this trip as an opportunity to attaining things in their life, not while once considering that all their plans could be for naught.
Looking up for some titles in the YA horror genre I came across Harstad' 172 Hours on the Moon, the summary was impressive and I was intrigued about this trip to the moon that was a disaster in the making.
And quite honestly after having finished the book, all I can think is this is one of the eeriest books I have ever read. What I think is the scariest and yet the coolest part of this book is that the author has managed to scare the crap out of his readers but not giveaway the mystery at the core of all the horror.
The weird signal, the creature that ultimately wrecks havoc on every character is never explained, not explicitly revealed. The who, why, what and how is left unanswered, unexplained. In a typical book that would have been a bummer but the sci-fi element of the book allows the author the liberty of getting away with this and not undermining the plot of the book while at it.
If freaky, sci-fi is your thing go pick a copy of 172 Hours on the Moon asap.
Gave up on this one about 25% into the book couldn't find myself liking the main character Sophronia, so dint see the point of wasting my time at all....moreGave up on this one about 25% into the book couldn't find myself liking the main character Sophronia, so dint see the point of wasting my time at all. The cover was about the only thing likable about this book as per me.