THE STARS NEVER RISE was brutal, gritty and entertaining as hell (ehehe pun intended), but just short of a really gripping, TAKE-MY-SOUL-GI*3.5 stars*
THE STARS NEVER RISE was brutal, gritty and entertaining as hell (ehehe pun intended), but just short of a really gripping, TAKE-MY-SOUL-GIVE-ME-SEQUEL-PRONTO 5 stars.
So as half any dystopians would go, Nina has a deadbeat mom and younger sister to feed. Katniss Nina thinks that life can't get any worse as she lets some store manager grope her so that she can steal some essentials for her sister, when:
1) She finds out her sister has been hiding a secret that will eventually lead to incarceration and maybe execution by the Church.
2) A degenerate (zombie-demon that eats flesh and soul attacks her in the cover of night.
3) Her mom comes alive again and reveals some godawful truth about the world and some nefarious, crazy-assed plan that she has planned.
4) She becomes a fugitive after having her world being flipped on her.
Can you tell I'm trying to be as cryptic as possible? Cause almost anything I say after keeping her sister fed will be a spoiler, and who'd love spoilers other than me? (Aha)
Apart from her dismal name (I'm sorry, but I'm superficial and I like fancy pansy names, ok?)
she was a pretty badass heroine, just like Feyre, and Katniss, and Penryn, and Alexandria Andos (Covenant series by JLA), and pretty much half the heroines from all the dystopian novels out there. Her character, the same strong-willed, resilient, loyal traits were the same, but the thing that distinguished her from the rest was her abilities. And that's where Vincent's brilliantly novel of a plot comes in.
**MILD SPOILERS AHEAD**
“The day the number of stillbirths officially surpassed the number of live births. A day of mourning the world over. The Day of Great Sorrow led to the realization that the well of souls had run dry, which led to the discovery of demons among us.”
Demons need human hosts to remain in this world, and they need to be able to feed on human souls to sustain themselves, so as they inhabit the human body, the soul of the body in question slowly gets devoured over the course of approx two decades, the soul will be completely gone and with it, the body will begin to rot. Once the body starts to necrotize, if the demon fails to find a next host, it will degenerate and become a zombie.
The only was to banish their souls to hell (therefore ridding their existence if only temporarily), was to exorcise them by an exorcist.
(view spoiler)[And that's where our heroine comes in. SURPRISE, Nina is an exorcist. It's kind of obvious right..? At least on hindsight. (hide spoiler)]
This is where TSNR stumped me. THE ALMOST-INSTA LOVE. UGH. ARGH. Nnnnsgsjalahshkshd BLEURGH. I can do love triangles, I can certainly do interracial, I can maybe do bad chemistry. But no. Instant. Loves.
Which brings me to the love interest and secondary cast. My feelings for any of them are lukewarm at best, cause other than Nina and maybe Mellie the sister, Finn the love interest and Grayson, the rest weren't really fleshed out. For the latter three it's actually a stretch to describe them as complex characters who are their own persons. They each definitely had their quirks and unique histories, but they're mostly told to us instead of shown. However some of the characters did have moments of selfishness driven by their individual motivations, and that humanized them enough to make them feel real to me. Also, Finn did grow on me, very surprisingly, and this complicated but super sweet relationship saved the romance for this romance-junky, so I'm mollified enough to give TSNR a solid 4 stars. ;) Don't get me wrong though; Finn has complicated issues, but he doesn't seem terribly complex or layered as a real person to me. But I'm hopeful about his development in the sequel(s).
Another bone I have to pick with TSNR was how in the first two fight scenes, Nina was naturally, understandably and inevitably slow on the uptake on the whole fighting jazz, but without further training (or perhaps Vincent forgot to mention any training scenes that did happen?), Nina was suddenly capable of taking on demons herself. Which was kind of a what in the world moment for me.
The writing style was pretty spot-on except for some inconsistencies, such as alternating between using Maddock and Maddy for this character IN THE SAME PARAGRAPHS and it always stumps me for 3 seconds that it's pretty pissing. Like Maddock said this, then Maddy did that. JUST DECIDE AND STICK TO ONE. And there's this weirdly but characteristic way of writing her action scenes that after I got used to it, worked really well and quite sophisticated IMO.
I've only ever read one of Vincent's works in the past, BLOOD BOUND, first in the Unbound series. I don't remember much of it, but I have an impression that I wasn't very taken with it. I read TSNR in 3-4 sittings and will definitely be continuing this series cause the gory action and blood-pounding excitement, and maybe a good dose of romance is kind of what is dystopian fans are looking for right? And I'm pretty sure there will be more gore and warm-and-fuzzy Finn moments in THE FLAME NEVER DIES. Teehee.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I don’t know why I dissed this 3 years ago when its Goodreads page just went up…BUT OMG REBOOT WAS ZOMG AMAZING. It’s like the miracle chil*4.5 stars*
I don’t know why I dissed this 3 years ago when its Goodreads page just went up…BUT OMG REBOOT WAS ZOMG AMAZING. It’s like the miracle child of Warm Bodies, Graceling and Divergent. But darker and better. It’s the darker, better-looking sibling of the miracle child. You get my point.
I wasn’t sure why when the synopsis said died and reboot (uh huh), my first thought wasn’t ZOMBIES YAY, my thoughts were more on the tangent of The Young Elites by Marie Lu where some disease sweeps across the nation (check), but instead of rebooting, the kids in TYE gained some incredible powers. They don’t gain incredible powers, but anyone who gets the KDH virus in the REBOOT world will die a horrible death and after all their organs wink out, the “lucky ones” wake up stronger, faster and with crazy regenerative powers. The longer they’re out, the better they are. But the longer they stay dead, the less emotions they’ll be able to feel when they wake up.
They’re not zombies; zombies will come later, and TINTERA DID IT SO INGENIOUSLY. But it was subtly ingenious. Let me explain. (SPOILERS AHEAD.)
So you see, people started freaking out about their loved ones coming back cold and unfeeling, rejected them and wanted to exterminate these “monsters”. This facility thought it was a waste to let such God-gifted resources go to waste, so they recruited them, sheltered them, and used these reboots to police the city. By police I mean bagging and/or killing. Mmhm, no surprises there.
Apart from being the Samaritans, the facility, called HARC, (view spoiler)[also used them for experiments. Their aim was to make the lower numbers more obedient and stronger. But a side effect started manifesting in experiments that go awry, that made the reboots crave, uh huh, meat. (hide spoiler)] I really liked how Tintera didn’t clearly separate zombies and humans. She added an in-between, sort of like a purgatory (though personally I think rebooting is awesome).
Ok, maybe ingenious is pushing it, but I still like it for novelty. Sort of. That’s where my Warm Bodies reference came in. Rational zombies. But a hundred times more badass. With a gafhajkfhdskjillion times better ending. (Sorry, Mr. Marion…but it’s true, ok?)
This is where Wren One-seventy-eight and Callum Twenty-two comes in. THEY ARE SO ADORABLE AND KICKASS. Both of them. It might seem weird to compare REBOOT to Graceling, a dystopian/post-apocolyptic novel to a high fantasy one, but the similarities are more on the characters, their personalities, the dynamics between them, maybe even their abilities. Wren is the best. She was dead close to three hours, an unheard of timing and no precedents even close to her number. She is an emotional graveyard (or so she thinks) and she doesn’t get friendly with anyone. (KATSA FTW!) Callum was a loser. The moment he stepped through HARC’s doors, the nineties broke some of his bones and generally roughed him up a little bit, but nothing gets him down.
“Are we doing my legs next?” he asked. “Can I get some warning next time? A quick ‘Hey, I’m going to snap your bone with my bare hands right now. Brace yourself.’”
One of the trainers behind me snorted……I joined the trainers, taking a quick glance at Twenty-two as he plopped down in the circle. He was still watching me, his eyes sparkling, and I quickly looked away. What a strange newbie.
And I loved how their friendship-slash-relationship developed:
“Do it again,” he said, bouncing up and down in happiness.
“Make you a deal. If you’re able to punch me, I’ll laugh.”
“You’re so weird.”
Callum is forever the optimist, or he is most of the time; he’s the light to Wren’s darkness and broodiness, and he subsequently became her moral compass. Their banter and relationship was so similar to Katsa and Po’s it was pretty captivating and addictive, but they were also slightly different with all the darkness going on in their lives, which inevitably cast big shadows on them individually.
And as all good ol’ post-apocalyptic novels will have it, Wren and Callum must up and oppose all thee who spread e-veil upon thine world!!
I’m not kidding. But even with the predictability of the plot, I did still love it. Tintera has the awesome writing down pat. Everything was incredibly vivid, the action scenes were exhilarating, the Wren-Callum scenes were ADORABLE, I mean, even when Wren was queuing to get food in the cafeteria I was eyeballs-not-blinking excited. There was literally never a dull moment.
The only things I can nitpick on, are the secondary characters. Not much about any one of them were developed. They are their own persons and I can differentiate them, but not many of them have any backgrounds or any real complexity or depth to them. Maybe one or two, but that’s it. I’m not complaining though, because if culling the histories is what it takes to have a novel that delivers like REBOOT did, then why not? I mean, as long as the main characters are really fleshed out, that’s absolutely fine by me. One more thing, a lot of things nearing the end was pretty conveniently solved, like the author ran out of creative brain juice. It was really one of the most convenient endings I have ever read, or the most cause I can’t think of one off the top of my head right now. Funny thing is though, that although it was convenient, I was still about to pee my pants cause it was so MOTHER exciting.
Loved, loved, LOVED REBOOT. Absolutely recommend it to any YA dystopian fans out there.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Best shit I've had the pleasure of reading in a long, long while. Scratch that, best freaking debuts I have ever read!! Saw on AEITA's official websitBest shit I've had the pleasure of reading in a long, long while. Scratch that, best freaking debuts I have ever read!! Saw on AEITA's official website that the book has been optioned for film, and I think that it's going to be a really big hit. In the bookverse if not in the Hollywood-verse.
It's not like any other book I've read before, but I wouldn't call it 100% unique. It's set in an Ancient Romanesque world, but the politics and atmosphere resemble Leigh Bardugo's Grisha world and Jay Kristoff's Lotus War trilogy's Asian martial-samurai system. But very complex. So much more depth and breadth to it all its almost staggering. Almost. Nothing can beat Game of Thrones.
THE BONE SEASON was AMAZING!! Samantha Shannon has crafted a wonderfully intricate and complex world of clairvoyants (oracles, augurs, sQuickie Review
THE BONE SEASON was AMAZING!! Samantha Shannon has crafted a wonderfully intricate and complex world of clairvoyants (oracles, augurs, soothsayers, etc), the amaurotics (normal people without voyant abilities like you and me) and Scion London, a London that is ruled under the iron hand of the government and brutal law enforcers, and a London that hates, discriminates and arrests voyants.
There was so much tension and suspense, action, plot curves, and an unexpected but sweet romance. The textured and layered worlds that Shannon built was incredibly real, each character had a distinct personality and depth, especially Paige and Warden. They've lived rough lives and as the story progressed, you'll learn bits and pieces of them that you'll feel like you really know them when the book has ended. Paige isn't just like any other strong, gutsy heroine out there. She has her own unique voice and struggles.
Paige is a dreamwalker, one of the rarest abilities and also the highest order of clairvoyancy. Clairvoyants can't survive in Scion London, not unless you count living like a fugitive hiding from the SVDs and NVDs (said brutal enforcers) all day and the low-paying jobs acceptable. The only place with better employment prospects is to work for Scion, but if you work as a clairvoyant in thei employ, you might as well sign away your life cause now they'd own you. But if you sign on as an amaurotic, you'll run the risk of getting bagged and hanged. So Paige works for a mime-lord of the Underground. She's one of the top dogs and she's found a family of sorts there, and she's happy, until the day she accidentally killed an Underguard (just another Scion guard) in self-defense and she was hunted down.
She thought her life was over, but then she was sent to another place, a place not on the London map and a place ruled by creatures called Rephaim. Amaurotics and voyants that are captured are sent there. Each of them will belong to a Rephaite that will train them to fight the Emim, terrible creatures that feed on human and Rephaim flesh. Thing is, humans are second class there; They're beaten and given tests, if they fail, they'll be forced to live like slaves. Paige doesn't want to live like that. She wants to go home, to her makeshift little family. But no one's ever managed to escape the Rephaim.
I've grown so attached to the world that Shannon had built, and to the characters!! GAH, there's still no news about book 2, but at least in the "Note from the Author" page there's this part where they said "The Bone Season is the first in a projected series of seven novels". :)) THE BONE SEASON is officially my favorite read in 2013 and I can't recommend it more to all fans of Dystopia and maybe even Fantasy.
P.S. This is a quickie review cause I really don't want to spoil anything from TBS! Coming from a fan of spoilers, that's saying something. It's THAT good!
P.P.S. For those of you who've read TBS, AHHH THERE WAS THIS PART around 85%, the scene under the stage!! I swooned and sighed so many times!! And and and my other favorite scene was Paige running away during her first assignment and Warden and Nick were there. Wow. *End of Gushing*
P.P.P.S. Thanks Kara-Karina for recommending this to me!!...more
It's just some bird flying by, that's all. That's all. But I'm already panting with panic. I force myself to look up. All I see is endless dark sky.
It's just some bird flying by, that's all. That's all. But I'm already panting with panic. I force myself to look up. All I see is endless dark sky. But then, I do see something. Another, larger feather floats down lazily toward my head. Sweat prickes my brow. I break out into an all-out sprint.
ANGELFALL is nothing less than YA Dystopian at its best. It has everything this genre has to offer, and it gives back ten-fold. The action, the tension, uncertainties, the start of a budding rebellion, and the unlikely romance between mortal enemies when circumstances thrust them onto an adventure that'll blow all yer little asses off yer seats!
*Many spoilers ahead!*
A Summary The apocalypse came, harolded by beautifully terrifying angels of destruction. Buildings collapsed or decayed, connection lines are a thing of the past, the streets are ruled by gangs that loot and kill in the day and by nightmare creatures in the night, and your home is not your haven anymore.
Penryn, her little, crippled sister, Paige, and their slightly unstable mother have been delaying migrating to a safer place for quite some time, but they have to get out now. When they set off at sunset, they're risking a lot by being out that late, and as they made their way hastily down El Camino, through Silicon Valley to Page Mill, things were still looking hopeful. They were doing fine, until a white feather, soft as down, floated down from the sky. That's when they knew that they were going to get screwed ten times over.
An epic - albeit gruesome - angelic battle was going on, and though the angel who had wings of such magnificent white was heavily outnumbered 4 to 1, the others are still wary of him. When Snowy Wings (as Penryn calls him in her little funny inner commentary) looked like he was about finished, Penryn and her family were spotted and Penryn did something to distract the other angels, unwittinly helping Snowy Wings turn the tides and angering one of the other angels enough to kidnap Paige as he flew away.
Penryn managed to get Snowy Wings - which turned out to be Raffe (Rah-fie) - to tell her that Paige was most probably taken to the angel's aerie. Raffe's wings had been brutally amputated in the battle previously, needs Penryn's help to travel on the ground, and Penryn needs Raffe's help getting to the aerie and getting into the aerie. So for now, they're on an uneasy truce, and set off for an amazing and heartpounding adventure.
My Thoughts I had to put off writing this review because of my Term exams, but a week later and everything is still fresh in my mind! All that emotion and mindblowing awesomeness. If you'd known me before, you'd know that I was a huge hater of Dystopian novels because the first Dystopian I read (coughReaperscoughArecoughThecoughcoughcough) was SO BAD. But just recently, Julie Kagawa made me a believer, and now Susan Ee has made me a FAN. They're really amazing writers.
There's so much development and depth in ANGELFALL. All the characters, Penryn and Raffe especially, had their own personality, their own history, and their own distinct way of thinking. A few pages of Raffe talking and you know he's just not like us. He's proud and strong even when he's down on the ground or lying face down on a couch with his hands and feet tied and taped together. However as the book progresses, you see how he gains a little humanity while retaining his mysterious, very-sexy immortal persona. (view spoiler)[AND OMG, Raffe is...*hyperventilates* Raffe is...His true identity is OMG-ly cool. (hide spoiler)] Penryn is a girl who had to toughen up due to very shitty circumstances, but when things got too much, she let her body handle it the way it knows, puked in some bushes and gathered up her Big Girl Panties. She's smart and resourceful in a very funny, sarcastic way that I liked her immediately.
Along the way, we meet characters like Obi and Boden. Obi's the rebellion leader while Boden's the rebellion thug. They're cool. Obi's the typical inspiring, good-looking military leader who has to make unpopular choices for the good of the rebellion, and Boden's the typical thug with the snarl and always picking a fight with the new kid on the block - in this case, Penryn. (view spoiler)[I liked that scene where Penryn was expecting help from Raffe when Boden picked a fight with her and Raffe not only didn't rush to her aid, he started betting with the other guys on who'd win! Haha, oh how Penryn pounded Boden to the ground in her anger! (hide spoiler)]
I loved seeing how the arc unfold and how all the characters changed.
THIS is so true for Angelfall. Ee's descriptions are so vivid it's literally a movie in my head!
Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious. Outside our condo window, the sky flames like a bruised mango in vivid orange, reds, and purples. The clouds catch on fire with sunset colors, and I'm almost scared those of us below will catch on fire too.
~Para 1 of Chapter 1
When you see a starting like that, you know that you can expect some badass writing.
I loved the final battle. I loved how the humans made their stand, how they showed a united front in the face of such adversities unlike how most fiction novels protray humans as weak and expendable and ugly. Ugh. The ending was so, so, terribly bittersweet. What happened to Paige and all the other kidnapped kids was...disusting, inhumane and... Ee is one author who doesn't mind killing off some of her characters and roughing up most of the others. That's all I have to say about this. And poor Raffe! However, I did like how the story started and ended with Penryn, her sister and mother being together on the road, only with all the wounds and scars - both mental and physical - at the end.
Anyhoo, this review is getting long and all I have to say now is, if you're a fan of YA Dytopian novels, or not a fan at all, just as long as you can stand a little Dystopian, you'll 99.99999999% fall IN LOVE with ANGELFALL.
P.S. THERE IS NO DATE OF RELEASE FOR BOOK 2. OMG I CAN GO KILL ME AN ANGEL NOW.
P.P.S. Y'know that part where Penryn was at the rebellion camp and was talking to this woman called Dolores about training domestic dogs into a tracking/police/army one?
"This is the reason the guards are dog-free. It's hard to patrol when your K9 partner keeps running off to chase after rodents and barks all night long."
P.P.P.S. Thank you Donna (@ The Happy Booker) for introducing this book to me!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
*4.5 stars* One of the best fairytale retellings I've read thus far! Finished it in one sitting even though I'm sick and supposed to be sleeping like*4.5 stars* One of the best fairytale retellings I've read thus far! Finished it in one sitting even though I'm sick and supposed to be sleeping like the dead! I'm so epically glad that SCARLET (book 2) is out already. Hehehe, but people who've read it are all practically dying with the wait for book 3, which will only be out in 2014.. Dilemmaaaaa. To read or not to read?