Quick & Easy Review The first part of this book was great nad had me eating out of the palm of Veronica Roth's hand. However, by the halfway point...moreQuick & Easy Review The first part of this book was great nad had me eating out of the palm of Veronica Roth's hand. However, by the halfway point I could see where we were headed in terms of pacing and I began to get discouraged. By the end, I was ready to climb through the pages of this book and mutilate all the characters in a fit of PMS rage. I was so disappointed with the decisions, the purpose, and outcomes. I can see why there was a backlash.
Total Thoughts If someone asked me if they should read this trilogy I would undoubtedly say, yes! If someone asked me if I liked this series I would contemplate and say yes. If someone asked if I were disappointed in this series, I again would say yes. When Veronica Roth released Divergent as her debut novel it hit the scene leaving a trail blazing behind it of awesome. It was the next best thing since The Hunger Games. While the hype remained in tact for each of the three books, the brilliance has faded.
The beginning of this book was fantastic. I was so excited to be taking the journey outside the city with Tris and the gang that I could barely contain myself let alone put the book down. I just had to know what was waiting for us. And what I found took me to a new level of disappointment. I was taken aback by the fact that within the city limits these people had no idea about the land surrounding them. When it came to light that they were unaware of what the United States was, I was shocked; I assumed that had been a given. They might not know what is out there know but surely they know where they came from. Regardless, I did not like having to drudge through an elementary level explanation of the rest of the country, its twisted government, and biased genetic wars.
Unlike any other book in the series this book is told in dual perspective from both Tris and Four Tobias This was a welcome change but not executed very cleanly. I really appreciated and loved how Tris changed fromInsurgent to Allegiant. She grew up, she figured out how to handle herself and her grief, and she developed a new foundation of strength. She was amazing in this and I am so glad she came back from the angsty twerp she was before. I also really enjoyed getting to know Tobias and being inside his head. This gave a depth to him and to his relationship with Tris which had not previously been present. With that said, these two individuals should each have very distinct and clear voices but the lines were very blurry in the alternating POV. There were several occasions where I had to reread passages after double checking the chapter heading to see who I was reading at the time.
My biggest problem with this book was the plot. Reflecting back, Divergent was full of intrigue and deception and it was powerfully awesome. Insurgent was just a lay-over for me in terms of connecting this series. But this, I had hopes for this and it comes down to America being Nazi-fied into genetic purity? This book loses points for its heavy descriptions of genetics, science, and continual use of GP/GD acronyms. This was a whole new aspect that had never been part of the story and it was handled poorly. The pacing of all the action was pitiful, by a certain point in the book you know the ending is going to be rushed and you’re thinking “How could this possibly be finished in 200 or less pages!” With that said, all this crafted action, tension, and intense plotting against the government the book just ends in this not-so-perfect-but-convenient ball. Sacrifices and decisions were made that had no outstanding resolutions and no evident spark of changing anything else.
Overall, I couldn’t imagine having not read this book and having the closure that I have now but in the end it was just another love affair that left me cold, lonely, and broken.(less)
As my first comic book, I went with something that was familiar (fan of the show and what not). I am going to go with saying that I liked it but I don...moreAs my first comic book, I went with something that was familiar (fan of the show and what not). I am going to go with saying that I liked it but I don't want that to be misconstrued. I thought the story was a little shallow and it leaves me unsure of whether or not I want to pursue reading more comics. At least Carl isn't a detestable in the comic as he is in the show. See, I can be positive! (less)
This was a stellar debut from Kristen Simmons. It was gripping and set in a new United States of America. I don't pretend to be a political...moreRating 4.5
This was a stellar debut from Kristen Simmons. It was gripping and set in a new United States of America. I don't pretend to be a political activist but I feel that the desperation and situation of the American people in this book is entirely plausible. The heartache and the struggled were clearly defined and helped give a significant depth to each and every character in the midst of a gut wrenching world.(less)
This book displayed a different Eve then the one that we were introduced to in the first book. The action and pacing of this book alo...moreRating: 3.5 Stars
This book displayed a different Eve then the one that we were introduced to in the first book. The action and pacing of this book along with the "new" Eve left me really confused about how I felt about this book. A good book that furthers the New America agenda but leaves the reader wondering what to expect from Anna Carey in the finale.
From virtual reality, Aria's life is safe and pseudo. In her attempt to reach out for her mother...moreThis review is originally posted at The Fiction Pixie.
From virtual reality, Aria's life is safe and pseudo. In her attempt to reach out for her mother's safety, she risks it all and loses. It is through her loss, she gains everything. Dwellers are genetically enhanced and exist within the safety of their sanitization and virtual realities. However, the Outsiders are similar to the depiction of the human race in The Time Machine; they have developed ways to survive the aether and the dangers.
This is a strong and bold setup for the factions that are at odds in this trilogy. Each "race" has a deep and solid foundation for its existence in this world and as readers we are given the information in an easy welcome to the world. On the outside, Aria has no idea how to survive and neither do we, it is always an unique experience to be able to learn about the world with the characters. What a fantastic feeling to read a book where absolutely everything is explained.
The pace of this book was interesting; it was neither slow nor extremely well paced. I struggled to stay awake when reading this book nearly every time I opened it but when the book was closed, it was all I could think about. I had to know what was going to happen to Perry and Aria. That isn't to say that it wasn't still brilliantly written. The action was well timed, realistic and even dark at times. It was true and real which is something that tends to get lost in most places when it comes to "good" and "evil".
So much of this book is beautiful but the character creation and development takes the cake. Aria and Perry start as enemies, the dweller versus the outsider are only allies in attempt to reach an end; each of them desperately needing the other but despising that same need. Aria is desperate to survive but through her journey with Perry, she becomes the woman she is meant to be. While she rarely displays fear, by the end of the book she radiates pure strength to overcome the odds. Perry, strong and dedicated to his cause, struggles and waivers with his feelings for Aria but learns truths and finds loyalty to raise to be a hero.
It stands only to reason that the two of them will continue to blossom into bigger and better people in the second book, Through the Ever Night. In a vivid and strong ending, this book has a sense of resolution but also leaves you waiting and wanting for the next step in this journey.(less)
This book is thick and heavy with realistic ideas and concepts that could face the world's popul...moreThis review is originally posted at The Fiction Pixie.
This book is thick and heavy with realistic ideas and concepts that could face the world's population someday. In a dystopian environment, in a world where the government sets such beautiful imagery, the truth behind such ecstasy is ugly and harsh.
In this world, one of the ugly truths is that children are squandered into the unknowing labor to the King. Eve is one of these bright young girls to whom we travel through this story with. What we see about Eve is that she is unique in this world; her determination, her intelligence, her truth, her cowardice, and her hidden strength. Eve is an amazingly true heroine for teens reading Young Adult literature right now. She is well structured, entirely not prepared, and begins to question the reality of the world and the truths that she has always known.
The pace of this book is steady, even if the idea of staying on the run to merely survive is a little overdone. Books like this, regardless of the expertise in its crafting, can tend to lean the reader towards the hopeless side. The same struggles that cycle repetitiouslyare there and in this way, Eve isn't perfect; she doesn't have all the answers. That is what makes her realistic and true in my eyes.
Anna Carey has set us into a world of chilling truths and suspenseful possibilities. With a character as individually unique is Eve, it will continue to be interesting to see this fight for survival. Will Eve grow into a strong, defined heroine? Will she continue to be a budding but utterly confused by the truth teenager? What will book two in this trilogy hold? I'm interested to find out.(less)
In a world of devastation, Rhine and Gabriel have journeyed out to face the terrors with no plan...moreThis review is originally posted at The Fiction Pixie.
In a world of devastation, Rhine and Gabriel have journeyed out to face the terrors with no plan and no resources. Danger seems to lurk at every turn while the invisible dangers of starvation, sickness, poverty and more rack our young survivors. This book didn't not fit into the same mold that its predecessor, Wither, had set. Previously, Wither had a very rigid setting and it was a unique approach for a setting of such a desolate world; this book however, was an open world. A world that allowed Rhine and Gabriel complete exploration of its depravity and desolation.
I went into this book expecting the terrors of the carnival to be a persistent problem. The cover eludes that it will be a significant part of the story and even the synopsis sets up that same expectation. With that in mind, the plot of this book fell a little short; I feel like this may be common in terms of a trilogy's middle read. The creepiness and haunting experience of the carnival was limited and extinguished early and set up for only a few major plot points following its end. It left this book feeling oddly paced and hopeless.
The characters made up for a wavering experience because in this book we get an intense look at Gabriel and his love for Rhine. Gabriel's love is different from the shallow, naive love that we saw from Linden in the first book and it really grows into major focus and safe harbor for Rhine. Rhine on the other hand doesn't grow and expand in this book the way a hard-knocked survivor would. I think that is accomplished through the overtone this book starts early on with intense yet unintended drug use. It inhibits Rhine from really becoming a thoughtful character that would perhaps have had the opportunity to devise plans and concentrate on truly surviving.
The villain of this book, House Master Vaughn, is incredibly well crafted and has a haunting and invisible tie that leaves Rhine and the reader increasingly terrified that he is lurking and watching every move she makes. It is a thrilling twist to really understand how twisted and determined he is without the use of common means such as guns and violence; his presence is always surrounding the escapees even if he is not.
Though this book was languid in its pacing and climax, it brought out a lot of characteristics about the characters that pull the reader in and leave us wondering where we will find ourselves and our little heroes in book three.(less)
While lackluster in comparison to The Hunger Games, this book still has all the rights of being the s...moreThis review is originally posted at Within Pages.
While lackluster in comparison to The Hunger Games, this book still has all the rights of being the sequel. The first thing that you notice about the first book is the thrill of action and it maintains that theme throughout the whole book. The first thing you notice about this book is that the beginning is a complete opposite.
With no further creation and depth of characters, we stay on the mainstream plot lines that were established for the characters through and at the end of the first book. We know that Katniss is strong, fierce, and independent but this book doesn't really continue to nurture that side of her; instead it takes her down the path of confusion and unable to bolster the responsibility of her actions. The same lack of definition exists with Peeta and Gale as well. What was once a carefully constructed and fragile love triangle is now a mash up of teenage confusion and anger.
However, once being able to get past the first half of the book and into the action heavy part, we are introduced to thick plot of conspiracy and rebellion all the while we are set in an amazing new arena. While the deaths were not as thrilling or unique, the remaining support characters that we witness were interesting and mysterious which adds a connection to the action.
Overall, this book was considerably slow in the beginning and the characters lacked further growth and depth but we were still thrown into the dystopian world of Suzanne Collins that we grew to love in the first installment. In this book, we got a new concept aside from a misconstrued existence in Panem; we were thrust into the middle of the underground, of the rebellion, of the conspiracy and what an intriguing place it is to be.
The Hunger Games (Book 1) 5 Stars Catching Fire (Book 2) 3.5 (less)
After spending some time reading this book, I was disappointed in the writing style and abandoned the selection. As a dystopian world, I didn't feel l...moreAfter spending some time reading this book, I was disappointed in the writing style and abandoned the selection. As a dystopian world, I didn't feel like I was being introduced into the world at all and there was a LOT of jargon and situations that left me confused and upset. There are simple things about this world that shouldn't be left to be explained later like the explaination on acronyms like FELS, PAV, AV, or terms like NonCon and verts and why they are so pivotal. I also didn't feel like the book was taking one the unique theme that I was expecting given the concept of XVI and the sex-teen. (less)
Divergent was a gripping and brilliant debut from author Veronica Roth. Insurgent, as her sophomore novel, holds true to her genius writing ability. T...moreDivergent was a gripping and brilliant debut from author Veronica Roth. Insurgent, as her sophomore novel, holds true to her genius writing ability. This book is riveting with action, lies, bright twists, and so much more that by the end you have to pick your jaw up off the floor. In its astounding plot solidarity, I found myself disappointed in our brave heroine in this book. The author has done a brilliant job at her voice and realism, but that didn't change the fact that I wanted to slap Tris across the face and that annoyance brought down the experience.
There is a lot of hype surrounding this book and the movie that is in development; a lot of times, th...moreThis review is originally posted at Within Pages.
There is a lot of hype surrounding this book and the movie that is in development; a lot of times, that can deter someone from reading or simply put a lot of unfair expectations on a book. This book lived up to all of its expectations and far surpassed them. From the moment the book begins, we are thrown into the world that Collins has created and I didn't want to leave.
The book picks up on an event called The Reaping where the children/teens are selected to attend the Hunger Games. From the moment it begins, to the moment that it ends this book is action packed and an emotionally packed thrill ride for heroine, Katniss. The plot of the story didn't seem like it would be as riveting as it was but the story is gripping and full of action that is used to develop Katniss as a character.
From other blood-thirsty teenagers to deadly mutations, Katniss faces it all in The Hunger Games; but away from the games, she fights the system. We are introduced to the world of 12 districts, hers being the Slums and scum, and a ruling government body that repeatedly reminds the citizens of its domination. The Games cannot be turned down, watching and attending the Reaping is obligatory, death is required; these are all ways the government beat the people down. It is depressing and maddening to consider life in that world, and yet it is so wonderfully addictive thanks to the work of Collins.
Through all of the negativity, doubt, and hardships we still manage to see Katniss survive. There are times we are afraid for her, there are times we shout her name, there are times we wish to sponsor her, and sometimes, we just give up hope; then, she prevails. She is a strong willed and powerful standing sixteen year old, carefully and expertly created with incredible depth.
The love interest(s) and male protagonist(s) Peeta and Gale form a carefully constructed, yet unique, love triangle. Peeta, the baker, the chosen...the enemy... Gale, the brother, the hunter and the one who got left behind. Katniss struggles in her search for emotion, never trusting the feelings Peeta displays and in turn, never seeing Gale a romantic light. She falls into emotional traps of loving both without realizing she feels for either. This triangle is so carefully connected that the slightest breeze could send it shattering to the gound and that makes it so uniquely intense.
Overall, this book was spectacular. From the characters, to the story, the history, and the emotions it elicited in me were all wonderful to experience; so wonderful in fact, I bought the entire box set days after reading the first book. I cannot wait to continue this series and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian settings or simply phenomenal books.(less)
A lot of times, the excellence that is Divergent, is compared to its 2008 predece...moreThis review is originially posted at Within Pages.
My faction: Erudite
A lot of times, the excellence that is Divergent, is compared to its 2008 predecessor The Hunger Games. Having never read The Hunger Games, I was able to give Divergent its ability to wow me own its own, with no competition and it set an amazing standard. This book was artfully crafted to give you a fully created Dystopian Chicago setting in a world where true human nature is always prevalent.
In Divergent, Roth has created an immense set of sound and solid characters including the main heroine Tris, the male protagonist Four, and a slew of other support characters. The depth and connection that Roth provides to these characters is miraculous and fine tuned to include a beautiful array of personal and familial details.
The concept of the Divergent is unique and one that helps round out the idea of the factions that she has created for the founding of the society. The society forces each person to look deep within themselves to fit into a model, a cookie cutter, of their personality and be manipulated into world peace but this book clearly and intelligently illustrates that that is not always possible and adds a realistic feel with the play on humanity.
The plot of this book was riveting; there was actually a point when I could not put it down. I understand a lot of people say that quite often but I say it with the utmost honesty. Once I was thrown into the whole plot of the book and the excitement built towards the climax, my heart was racing for Tris and I could not physically put it down because I had to know what was coming and by the end of the book I was exhausted. I felt like I had been on a nail-biting roller coaster for the thrill this book gave me.(less)
With intelligent and beautiful prose, the reality that DeStefano creates in her debut novel, Wither,...moreThis review is originally posted at Within Pages.
With intelligent and beautiful prose, the reality that DeStefano creates in her debut novel, Wither, is remarkably intense. On the brink of perfection, disaster strikes and now plagues the children of the children of the world and perpetuates the forced action of young girls to become mothers.
The characters, starting with Rhine, are all completely well rounded and very solid. Rhine's strength is something that is immediately demonstrated in the book and her will to survive and be free is a constant theme. DeStefano has created a strong history for Rhine, we are always learning about her parents and her twin brother Rowan. Through her connection to her family, Rhine is caring and open to people that she begins to interact with; Linden, Gabriel, Cecily, and Jenna.
Her sister wives are indivually crafted to be unique. I loved Cecily, it was such a nice turn of events to see a girl, a child in fact, be so willing to partake in the customs or lifestyle that is set before her. Cecily was such a complex support character, her changes through the book were astounding and a central part to Rhine's emotions. Rhine's love of her new family ebbs and flows as she struggles with adapting and craving freedom. She worries and cares for the well being of all of her family, including Linden.
Against most odds, I was "Team Linden", his sincerity towards all of his wives was not fake or covered in chauvinism, he was genuine in his care for all three of the girls and his son. He is not at fault to fall so unknowingly to the cruelty of the world; Rhine can see and understand his naivete, making her only more lost in her emotions. Linden's depth is so profound, he would have given Rhine the world on a silver platter and there are times I thought she would let him.
The story in this book has a rigid setting, taking place almost entirely in the manor, though it doesn't hinder the progression, pace, or entertainment. It is so carefully constructed that there are times the plot doesn't seem linear, that there will the surprise ending. There are clues to the mystery, the confusion of emotion, the devotion amongst wives, etc. All these things are circling one another, turning on top of each other, until the end. There was no way to predict the choices that would be made until the moment of decision.
This book leaves plenty of mysteries to be unravelled in the remaining two books and ends with a gentle setup rather than a cliffhanger. I am very interested in seeing where DeStefano takes the story of Rhine in Fever. (less)
This series has been a roller coaster of instability; I didn't enjoy the first book, it didn't grasp...moreThis review is originally posted at Within Pages.
This series has been a roller coaster of instability; I didn't enjoy the first book, it didn't grasp me and I had no empathy for Mary. But then, the second book suprised me and I loved it. I thought that the series was going to take an upturn and that the remaining book(s) would be just as spectacular. Then I read The Dark and Hollow Places and my book high was over. That isn't to say this book was terrible, in fact I did like it, but it let me down in some ways.
Annah, for one, was not a character that I seemed to have any connection to or empathy for. Regardless of the situation, she found away to turn the emotions negative, therefore dampening the entire idea of hope that Gabry is still trying to instill. Whether it was her twisting Catcher's words and going back to her scars and her brutal looks or she was taking the time to blame Gabry for her mistakes, her thought processes kept reverting to redundant remarks and she never grew past them.
This book hints at betrayal and character assassination, but aside from Annah, I still had a very warm spot in my heart for all of the remaining characters: Gabry, Elias, and Catcher. They were all still very integral to the story in their own way, and I was happy at the continuation between the two books.
The remaining aspects of the book kind of tainted my hopefulness a little bit. In survival horror, the aspect of hope is a very fragile being, and there is hope that these teens can survive and that we won't have to suffer any more tragedy, but the more we find out about the infection (and we find out quite a bit) the less we feel we can believe. But all hope is not lost yet...
If this is the conclusion to the series, it doesn't leave any sense of resolution for a happy ending, tragic, or even just surviving.
Comparison Rating: Forest of Hands and Teeth (Book 1) 2.5 Dead Tossed Waves (Book 2) 5 Dark & Hollow Places (Book 3) 3
In a simple comparison, this book is the complete opposite of its companion, The Forest of Hands and...moreThis review is originally posted at Within Pages.
In a simple comparison, this book is the complete opposite of its companion, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The most profound change is the character construction; all of the characters were created differently in this selection than before. Each character has a better connection, a deeper story, and more intriguing mysteries and destinies.
Gabry's story is intricately woven throughout the entire book. The connections that this book has to the first are so well written and important to who Gabry is; we begin to unravel the secrets of time along with her, and it is an intimate discovery of self. Gabry is such a timid character, a welcome relief from the standard rebel who is strong and can defy odds.
This book has a delicately crafted love triangle but, unlike its companion, doesn't centralize its importance; it is developed and featured as part of her journey as she survives with Elias and Catcher. This book is full of lies, confusion, mysterious cults, secrets, growing up, survival and so much more wrapped securely in the blanket of wonderful writing. Carrie Ryan uses this book to provide more insight into the infection which helps us understand more of the world that Gabry, Mary, and the others are living in. That was something that was absent from the first book, and now we have the opportunity to see and construct the timeline, the world, and its inhabitants.
In a dystopian novel, the why is the most important question and having that answered somewhat was a relief. Then to have that paired with beautiful character creation, this novel opened up with propelling action and ended in the same context. It was an edge-of-the-seat read from start to finish; I recommend having Dark and Hollow Places (Book 3) on standby.
This book didn't leave me with the sense of hopelessness that I was expecting. Unlike Mary, Gabry wasn't fighting for her selfish reasons to find something, she was fighting for others. Fighting the unknown, the mudo, and fighting for her life in the sheer hope that she could save them all...even...Annah.
Comparison Ratings: Forest of Hands and Teeth (Book 1) 2.5 Stars Dead Tossed Waves (Book 2) 5 stars(less)
I can't say that I didn't like this book because there were things that made me like it overall but I ha...moreOriginal posting can be found at Within Pages.
I can't say that I didn't like this book because there were things that made me like it overall but I had to much of a blaze feeling about reading this.Overall, though I did like the story, this book has left me feeling too disconnected to say that I legitimately enjoyed it.
The setting for the book is a world consumed by death, America unknown years into the future, where only the fence protects Mary's village from The Unconsecrated. The survival aspect of this book was considerably well written; if you take but one step too close to the fence, you are forfeit if you are bitten. The religion, The Scripture, upheld by The Sisters is overwhelming in Mary's town; the connotations are that God chose them to be the only humans, to save humanity. The religious weight was just as heavy as trying to survive, The Scripture is all they have ever known for truth; but Mary heard stories that drove her to question these truths.
But even in her not-so-quiet determination to find the world outside the fence, the world untouched by death; I felt so far away from Mary. I thought she was selfish in her determination. Her connections to both Harry and Travis put too much emphasis on love and I felt like this was a romance novel with a terrible setting; it was always about Travis, the one she loved but she couldn't have.
I was also disappointed in the lack of information provided by this book. I am a strong lover of zombies (and vampires!) but my favorite part of it all is learning how they came to be. We find out what happens in some of the favorites like Resident Evil (T-Virus) & I Am Legend (virus but I won't spoil it!) but in The Forest of Hands and Teeth we get nothing except for it was a great Return of the dead. There is no known cause, there is no history of the world before or how this village came to be.
Why were outsiders forbidden? What was the significance of Gabrielle? I had too many questions unanswered even for this to be the first book in the series.
In the end, this book was very well written even though I feel it was undeveloped in terms of content; I will continue to read the rest of the series, in the hopes that I find the answers (as I hope Mary does) that I am looking for.(less)