Why is it that dystopian YA featuring boys always seems to read like a Lord of the Flies rehash? I mean, come on, these dystopian worlds had William GWhy is it that dystopian YA featuring boys always seems to read like a Lord of the Flies rehash? I mean, come on, these dystopian worlds had William Golding, right? So why would they ever think it was a good idea to throw a whole bunch of boys together?
Okay, okay, so these boys actually do quite well with their keep calm and carry on attitude about the Glade and the Maze, but still...
This is a fairly solid piece of YA set up for a tidy little franchise, but let's face it: Thomas is no Katniss Everdeen - and don't even get me started on bloody Teresa with her big baby blues, perfect legs and feeble protests that, hey, she's really smart and tough too. Show, don't tell, Dashner. And it's okay for Thomas to be in love with a girl whose legs are not perfect and smooth. I know I sound bitter, but she really was the most poorly drawn character in the book. I hope she gets a chance at better development in the future instalments. Half a star came off for that and for the insanely predictable fate of one of the characters. Sigh.
Nevertheless, The Maze Runner does a fairly good job of hooking you in and getting the heart pounding at times. Plus there's that little cliffhanger that leaves you saying, "What you mean, there's a (view spoiler)[Group B (hide spoiler)]?!"...more
It is difficult to know where to begin this review because feelings - my tears have barely dried from reading the final pages.
By changing only a singlIt is difficult to know where to begin this review because feelings - my tears have barely dried from reading the final pages.
By changing only a single detail of the world that we know to be true - the earth's rotation - Thompson Walker succeeds in upsetting the entire world, but it is the small changes in the life of eleven year-old Julia, the narrator, that prove to be more heart-breaking than the slow destruction of the world. This reminded me very much of Steven Amsterdam's Things We Didn't See Coming and even his What the Family Needed, wherein he uses the extraordinary to explore the ordinary in such a beautiful way. This is what Thompson Walker also achieves, aided also by a beautiful, lyrical and concise writing style.
The 'age of miracles' refers, as is explained at one point, to the changes of puberty experienced by middle-school kids like Julia. It is the perfect age for the narrator of this kind of story; Julia is struggling with the social and physical changes amongst herself and her peers while the very rules of the physical world and the society that inhabits it is also changing. Her awkwardness is often painfully familiar; Julia is perhaps one of the most likeable and sympathetic narrators I have encountered for some time.
I felt fully immersed in this book, reading it over long summer days when I could almost believe that the world's rotation was indeed slowing, that this was the new reality in which I was living - this is such a rare feeling, and it was glorious....more
Having already seen the film I knew what to expect plot and character-wise (although, on an adaptation side-note, it must be said that I now find theHaving already seen the film I knew what to expect plot and character-wise (although, on an adaptation side-note, it must be said that I now find the casting of Andrew Garfield rather odd, even if he did a good job of Tommy, simply because the physical description of the character was so sporty and, in my head, big), but this was nevertheless touching and bittersweet the second time around. Kathy's narration is clear and intelligent, with a complete and consistent sense of character. I haven't read any Ishiguro since The Remains of the Day many, many years ago, but there is a crisp Britishness to his writing that I like very much, and that actually makes his stories all the more moving than if he indulged in any over-sentimentality. The brilliance of this story is that it is set in a version of our own time that is not so very different, except for the fact of the donors, and not too far-fetched, so its disturbing effects lie in the subtleties....more
There is a lot that is fun about this book, but then there is a lot that is just eye-roll-inducingly crap. It certainly gets points for taking the welThere is a lot that is fun about this book, but then there is a lot that is just eye-roll-inducingly crap. It certainly gets points for taking the well-known vampire/werewolf genre and setting it in Melbourne, and for adding the futuristic, sci-fi feel to this. But then it gets points taken away for being utterly ridiculous. Riley is a likeable enough character, as is Quinn, but the other characters are not as fully-formed yet for my liking. The sex is ridiculous, including several jaw-dropping borderline-if-not-actual-rape scenarios. It got to the point where I was sick of hearing about the moon rising in her blood, or whatever because she was at it on every other page. I get that this is the timeframe for the book, but it's really quite a confronting introduction to this world - and I'm not a prude! In many ways, I just don't know what to make of this series - does it get better? I may try to find out....more
This series continues strong. The action moves at a cracking pace - so fast, in fact, that I have completely lost track of the timeline, but I do notThis series continues strong. The action moves at a cracking pace - so fast, in fact, that I have completely lost track of the timeline, but I do not think Tobias's hair can grow as fast as seems to.
Even when suffering PTSD, Tris is a tough little heroine, and she seems to be developing quite nicely. It is also rather blissful not to have a romantic triangle - the tensions with Tobias are far more interesting than the tired old jealousy plotline.
My eyes are still a little damp from finishing this book, the final in the Chaos Walking trilogy. Wow, what a ride this has been. Through this dystopiMy eyes are still a little damp from finishing this book, the final in the Chaos Walking trilogy. Wow, what a ride this has been. Through this dystopic world, Ness has fairly successfully explored gender politics (particular kudos for the very subtle normalisation of homosexuality), religious fanaticism, political tyranny, colonisation, slavery, genocide, war and environmentalism. And allowed us to watch the coming of age of two (or three) young inhabitants of this strange planet. Ness creates three very distinct narrating voices in this final book, never wallowing too much in unnecessary exposition, allowing the reader to experience the complexity and confusion of the events for ourselves as they unfold. Gone are the days of the scrawling, overlapping typeface, but Ness's writing still has a beautiful texture and elegant starkness, and a willingness to use the page as a canvas, adding an extra visual element to the experience of reading this book. I am exhausted, exhilarated and a little bit sad that it is all over now, but I am so glad these books exist....more