//I received this book at ALA in exchange for an honest review//
I went into Flashfall knowing next to nothRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
//I received this book at ALA in exchange for an honest review//
I went into Flashfall knowing next to nothing about it. I hadn't seen any reviews and only really knew what I had read in the blurb. Then I saw the trailer and I was sold!
Here's what I thought I was going to get from Flashfall based on these two pieces of information: a story about a guy and a girl who learn that their oppressive society is based on lies, they escape, and survive on the run in the outside world. What I got: not that, but still something really cool.
Orion is the main character of this story and she is a total badass. Orion, the lead ore scout in her community of miners, is incredibly resourceful and strong, but not unrealistically so. She has had a rough life and has lost several people who she loved, but is determined to mine enough cirium to buy passage for her and her father into the protected city. And she's very close to her goal. Dram is her caving partner and long-time friend. Together they begin to uncover truths about their home and the world outside that they had never dreamed of and work together toward escape.
I loved the relationship between these two! The fact that they had known each other for years made their quick romance totally believable and not at all insta-love-y. They were totally dependent on each other, but not in a vomit-inducing romance kind of way - in a life-or-death kind of way. I loved the way they constantly risked themselves for each other because that's just what their dangerous world called for. Oh, and there's no love triangle! Hurray!
There are several other characters who are also important to this story, but the most interesting are the Conjurors. They have mysterious magical abilities which they use to make natural things... grow? get bigger? change shape? I dunno, they do stuff with rocks and trees and water and stuff. Honestly, this is one part of the book I could've used a lot more information on. They are kind of randomly introduced and don't seem to have a real purpose other than to help move the main characters along, helping them in difficult situations. I'm really hoping they're expanded upon in the next book.
The world, while fascinating, also had some issues for me. There is a somewhat helpful map in the front of the book, but I was still very confused about the area inside the flashfall. I wasn't really sure what cordons were as opposed to compounds. I wasn't sure how big each cordon was. The characters moved across them fairly quickly (I think?), so they couldn't have been all that big, but they couldn't see from one to the other. It was definitely unsettling though, so I thought that the world building was still okay.
I'm still not sure quite how to classify this book - strict sci-fi or dystopia. There seemed to be some elements of earth as we know it, but there wasn't enough backstory to really be sure. I did get kind of a Maze Runner feel from this one. Still, the story was amazing! Orion and Dram start moving on page one and don't stop until the last chapter. The plot moves at a breakneck speed and there are always new pieces of information being revealed. I loved the twists and finding out just a little more at each reveal.
Flashfall is a great, fast paced (possibly dystopian) science fiction story that did not disappoint, despite having some downfalls. I would definitely like to hear more about the Conjurers in the next book and hopefully get some more backstory. But the characters and romance was really well done and realistic and the twists are totally worth picking this up!
Stranded first caught my eye because of its gorgeous, haunting cover. Then I read the synopsis and I was toRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Stranded first caught my eye because of its gorgeous, haunting cover. Then I read the synopsis and I was totally hooked! I don't read much adult fiction, but when I do it's usually horror or survival stories. This one was an incredible mix of both that kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish!
This story is about Noah, a Merchant Mariner who is literally having the worst luck. He's a deckhand stuck with a captain who just happens to be the father-in-law who actually hates his guts. The past year has been incredibly rough for him, at home and at work, and now his ship also happens to be heading into some really weird weather. Noah was an extremely sympathetic character who I just wanted to succeed and come out okay. Fun fact about me: my husband is a Merchant Marine and this added to my feelings of sympathy towards Noah. I know how difficult the job is in the best of times and this poor, poor guy just could not catch a break.
Stranded is literally about a ship being stranded in the middle of nowhere - in the middle of a sea of ice, to be exact. The ice is way thicker than it realistically should be and it's difficult not to panic right along with Noah when the crew realizes none of their equipment is working, with no apparent cause. Even worse, the entire crew seems to be sick (other than Noah). With no way to call for help and with physical and mental capacities failing, Noah is unwittingly thrown into a position of leadership in an attempt to find help.
I felt like I was in The Twilight Zone (one of my favorite shows of all time) reading this book and it was amazing. There isn't much I can say about the plot without giving too much away, but Stranded is an absolute roller coaster. There were moments I was shocked into putting the book down and staring into space for a minute, trying to wrap my mind around it all. The not-quite-right atmosphere of the icy landscape added to the sense of unease I had throughout the story and I loved it!
Towards the end of Stranded everything unraveled a bit for me. The characters became more volatile and the action definitely picked up, but this kind of book doesn't necessarily need a ton of action, in my opinion. It was much more unsettling when the characters were just trying to figure things out. I also didn't love the ending and didn't like that there really wasn't much to explain what had occurred. I can understand why the author ended things the way he did, but I would've appreciated at least some kind of answers.
Overall I really enjoyed Stranded! It was a thrilling ride and I loved that it kept me guessing. This isn't the kind of horror I usually gravitate to and there weren't any real scares, but I will say that it made me feel more uneasy than most of the horror books I've read this year....more
Last year a friend introduced me to Sleeping Giants and sparked an obsession. This year I heard there was aRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Last year a friend introduced me to Sleeping Giants and sparked an obsession. This year I heard there was an opportunity to read Waking Gods early and tripped all over myself trying to get a copy! Although I wasn't sure Sylvain Neuvel could deliver a second book as incredible as the first, I am excited to report that Waking Gods did not disappoint!
Sleeping Giants was a well-wrapped package. While there was a mind-blowing revelation near the end, there was no giant cliffhanger, so it wasn't surprising that Waking Gods opened with a time jump. I'll readily admit I was nervous about this at first. I tend to despise time jumps just because I feel so disconnected from characters ten years after I last saw them. I'm not sure if it's the unique format of this series or if Neuvel is a magician, but he totally pulled it off and managed to suck me back in immediately.
Kara and Vincent have been living their version of happily ever after since the conclusion of Sleeping Giants and it's exactly what you'd expect from these characters. Kara is happily childfree, Vincent does what he can to make her happy, and both continue to travel around the world showcasing their robot. But when a new threat comes to Earth, they jump right back into the action, ready to do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of the human race. The mysterious man at the center of everything is also back and I was thrilled that there was much more to him this time! Even a bit of backstory. Although the format of this series could make it difficult to connect with these people, there is no shortage of character development.
Thankfully, Waking Gods isn't short on conspiracy or action either. While the first book revolved around the worlds' shock of finding an alien robot, book two is about the panic that follows when several more of them show up - this time in tact, in major cities, and with alien pilots. No one knows what they're capable of and good people of Planet Earth are intent on testing their boundaries (as they do), inciting chaos at every turn. Sleeping Giants was exciting in its own right although there were lags, but Waking Gods is fast and sometimes feels like an action movie. I was never bored with this book!
The format of the Themis Files was something I really wasn't sure about when I finished the first book. While it worked well in audio, I said in my review that I didn't know if I would've been as intrigued if I'd read it in book form. As it turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong! The interview and log format of Waking Gods ended up being incredibly immersive and made me feel like I was in the middle of the action right alongside the characters.
I also loved that, while science was a big part of this book, it wasn't over my head to the point where I couldn't understand what was happening. There are also philosophical issues brought up in Waking Gods that you may not expect. Certain characters have to contend with some huge, life altering questions, but I always felt able to identify instead of being overwhelmed. Neuvel has written this in a way that it's understandable without being dumbed down or spoon fed to the reader.
Waking Gods is an incredibly intense sequel that did not let me go until the last page (and not really then). So often sequels suffer from second book syndrome but that definitely didn't happen here. I laughed, I cried, and I was absolutely on the edge of my seat! If you haven't started this series yet, you really need to give it a try! I cannot wait to get my hands on book three!...more
Earlier this year I read Pines by Blake Crouch and LOVED it! Although I didn't know anything about this booRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Earlier this year I read Pines by Blake Crouch and LOVED it! Although I didn't know anything about this book, I picked up Dark Matter solely based on the fact that the author had really impressed me in the past. The cover isn't much to look at if I'm being honest, but the synopsis sounded super interesting! Based on my past experience, I fully expected to be blown away and I wasn't disappointed.
Jason is the protagonist of this story and he has a pretty all right life, thank you very much. No, he isn't a huge success in his field, but he has an incredible wife and kid and is quite content. Unfortunately, he's snatched from his world and unwillingly thrown into another one. Jason was an amazing character who was extremely intelligent but also able to explain all the science-y things in a way that didn't make him irritating. It was easy to sympathize with him as he did everything in his power to make it home to his wife and son.
From the moment Jason was taken, the ride was breakneck. I was constantly wondering what the heck was going on, which is honestly my favorite way to spend a book. We find things out along with Jason and there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding where he is, how he got there, and how he will get home. As things began to unravel and the twists were revealed I found myself truly shocked more than once - exactly what I expected in a book by Blake Crouch. Dark Matter isn't just your average mystery though. This book presents deep questions and explores them in thought provoking ways that may make you examine your own life.
Although this book has a contemporary setting, there were a lot of other components to the world building that the author really did a fantastic job with. I loved the way he melded the sci-fi elements of the story into the "real world" in a way that felt completely believable. A sense of unease surrounded everything and made the twists that much more exciting!
My complaints about Dark Matter are few, but I did feel that there was a bit too much repetition at times and not enough explanation. There were locations visited briefly on Jason's journey home that I would have loved to know more about. I also wish there had been some kind of follow up after he and his travel buddy went their separate ways. These issues weren't enough to ruin the experience, though.
Dark Matter is the kind of book that I really can't say much about without spoiling, so I'm going to have to cut this short. This book wasn't perfect (like Pines was), but it was immensely enjoyable and was really just a thrilling ride. I enjoyed going with Jason on his journey to find his wife again and loved figuring out the pieces of the puzzle along the way. If you're a fan of sci-fi and huge twists, this is definitely the book for you!...more
I decided to read Sleeping Giants on a whim when a friend mentioned that it sounded interRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I decided to read Sleeping Giants on a whim when a friend mentioned that it sounded interesting. I'd never heard of this book, being outside of my normal circle of YA, and I wasn't a fan of World War Z or The Martian. However... I am a huge fan of conspiracy theories as well as Ancient Aliens (which I had a hunch this might be related to), so I decided to grab the audiobook when I had the chance!
Sleeping Giants is told in the form of interviews and journal entries, which makes for a really unique reading experience. Listening to the audiobook was a fantastic idea because I got to hear this as if I was sitting in on the actual interviews as they happened. Many, many characters make appearances in this book. Some become important and some fade into the background quickly, but each one has something relevant to add. It's honestly such a weirdly written book that it's hard to connect with any one character, but at the same time I felt incredibly invested in each of their stories and outcomes. The one person who ties them all together is the man conducting the interviews, who we never do learn much about. He reminded me a lot of the Smoking Man from The X-Files, only even more mysterious.
There isn't much in the way of filler in this book because of the format and I really loved that! I wouldn't say the pace is necessarily fast, but there isn't much time wasted either. I loved following along as each new piece of the robot was uncovered and assembled and found myself on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen when it was complete!
My favorite part about this book is obviously the conspiracy! I love, love reading about conspiracy theories no matter how good or bad they actually are and Sleeping Giants has a good one! I'm honestly not sure why this was marketed as World War Z meets The Martian, to be honest. If I was the publisher I'd probably have thrown X-Files in there somewhere, although maybe that's just not what's "in" right now. Regardless, that's the vibe I got from this one. Although the pace isn't breakneck, I always wanted to know a little bit more. I wanted to know what the robot was, where it came from, what it was intended for, and I had a hard time turning the audiobook off when I needed to. This story is fascinating! Sleeping Giants is also loaded with twists, turns, and revelations!
Sleeping Giants was wrapped up well enough without a huge cliffhanger, then there was the epilogue which completely blew my mind and now I'm trying (and failing) to wait patiently for Waking Gods, which comes out in like a million years April 2017. Like I said, the pace was very steady and I'm not sure I would've made it through this book if I'd read the physical copy, but the cast who performed the audiobook made it come to life! Sylvain Neuvel has done an incredible job of putting together a story that's entirely unique and may produce mildly obsessive behavior. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of sci-fi or conspiracy theories!
Timekeeper is a book that I have heard a LOT of blogger friends talking about. Over the summer I finally reRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Timekeeper is a book that I have heard a LOT of blogger friends talking about. Over the summer I finally read the blurb and then I realized what all the fuss was about. There aren't many good LGBT fantasies out there and this one sounded really intriguing! Alternative histories? Clocks with hours gone missing? Clock spirits? Steampunk is not a genre that I have a lot of experience with, so when I saw Timekeeper I knew I wanted to read it, but wasn't quite sure what exactly I was getting myself into.
This book's protagonist is Danny, a young clock mechanic whose father is trapped in a Stopped town and who just wants him back. In fact, his entire life's work as a clock mechanic has been working towards getting on the crew of builders who will attempt to re-start the town, something that has never been tried before. Instead he is assigned to a clock that seems to be in constant disrepair and it's here that Danny meets Colton, the spirit of Enfield's clock.
I loved these two characters so, so much! I'll admit I was a little skeptical of how Tara Sim could make a relationship between a human and a spirit work, but she did a fantastic job pulling it off! I feel like Colton in this situation could have easily come off as too naive or helpless, but instead he was adorable and certainly able to hold his own. Although Danny had his problems, I ended up loving him as well. His problems were easy to sympathize with, even if they weren't always easy to understand. I also really enjoyed Danny's relationship with his his best friend Cassie and thought she was a fantastic secondary character! I can't wait to see what role she plays in future books.
While the characters are fantastic, the world building is where Timekeeper really shines. Like I said, I'm not incredibly familiar with steampunk alternate universes, but I really felt like I could see this one! The clocks and their mythology could have been really confusing and hard to imagine, but it's all so intricate that it seems almost like some forgotten piece of our own world mythology.
This book has a little bit of everything - fantasy, romance, mystery, it's all here. There were times when I had no idea what was going on and I was surprised by more than one twist! This book had me on the edge of my seat! My one complaint is that the writing seemed a little bit too simplistic. I loved the whimsical nature the story had at times, but it is almost written as if it is aimed at a younger audience. As a result it seemed too cute, losing some of the urgency that I think was intended. This didn't necessarily take much away from my reading experience, but it's something to keep in mind.
Timekeeper is an incredibly unique book in a sea of high fantasy, dystopia, and retellings (not that I have a problem with any of those, of course). The world building and characters were amazingly well done and the story kept me guessing until the very end! It wasn't a perfect book, but it was a really great read that I'd definitely recommend for fans of alternate history and fantasy. I cannot wait to get my hands on book two!...more
Change Places With Me grabbed my attention from the minute I read the description, despite the fact that thRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Change Places With Me grabbed my attention from the minute I read the description, despite the fact that the cover wasn't all that intriguing. I love, LOVE books where something just isn't right and you don't know what it is until the end. I love the feeling of unease that comes with not being able to put your finger on the problem and I had very high hopes for this book! Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations.
This book begins when Rose wakes up on a normal day in her normal room, but at first doesn't recognize where she is. Right away, her step-mother begins to act like something is a little weird about Rose's actions, second guessing many of her statements and decisions, but eventually just going along with her. It's all a bit unnerving, but Rose continues about her day. She knows that some of the things she does are not things she would normally do, but she does them anyway because that's how she wants to live now. People change, right?
I didn't really care much about Rose because I don't feel like I ever got to know Rose at all. I guess that kind of makes sense since this is a book where even Rose doesn't quite seem sure who she is, but I still hoped to find some way to connect to her. It's so hard to like a book when I can't connect to the characters. Speaking of, the secondary characters were just as flat as Rose, if not more so. Simply put, I just didn't like any of them because I didn't know who they were.
The writing was another area I had some trouble with. I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't enjoy it, but I just had a hard time getting into it. That's not to say that this was a difficult read, because it wasn't. I flew through this short book fairly quickly! I did keep turning pages to see what happened, but the writing style definitely was not my favorite.
Change Places With Me has amazing potential! I expected it to be truly unnerving and honestly I wanted a huge twist at the end. Instead, we find out fairly early on what the secret is. It isn't directly told to the reader, but it was basically dropped right in my lap and was impossible not to figure out. I'd really hoped for a lot more suspense and maybe this would have made it a more interesting story despite the flat characters.
The synopsis for this book had me totally, 100% sold and I expected to be totally confused throughout the entire thing and shocked at the end, but that's not what this was at all. To be totally honest, in the end (which was also strange and abrupt), I didn't quite understand what this book was trying to achieve. I liked some of the concepts presented in this book, but ultimately it just didn't work for me....more
Last year I listened to the audiobook of The Cage, the first book in this series, and was disappointed thatRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Last year I listened to the audiobook of The Cage, the first book in this series, and was disappointed that it didn't live up to my high expectations. I didn't plan to continue this story, but when The Hunt was released, I was in the mood for some dystopian fiction and I went for it. I have come out on the other side believing that one of the reasons I didn't like The Cage was the audio. I think the voice actors irritated me to the point that the book was even less enjoyable than it might have been, which is unfortunate. I went into The Hunt with no expectations and decided to read a physical copy for comparison.
This book picks up immediately after the first left off, with Cora and company having been trapped by the Kindred after their (ridiculous) failed escape. Cora, Lucky, Nok, Rolf, Mali, and Leon have now failed out of their enclosure and are being placed in the menageries as a result. Obviously, none of them can abide their new settings and have to come up with a new plan to get away from the Kindred. I hoped that this time the plan would be a little less, well, stupid.
Thankfully, each of the characters were somewhat less irritating in book two of this series, which I am attributing to not listening to the same actors reading the parts this time. Still, I didn't find myself loving any of them... Leon wasn't such a jerk this time, so I really appreciated that. Mali was still weird and I never felt truly connected to her. Lucky was just kind of there and I didn't feel anything for him, really. I didn't hate Nok and Rolf and felt kind of sympathetic for them. Cassian wasn't terrible to read about and I did feel like I understood his motivations a bit more. Overall though, I just didn't care about any of them. Even when something terrible happened near the end, I just kind of said, "Oh, okay," and kept going.
And then there's Cora. Cora who sent me on a rant in my last review. Cora still made lots of decisions that made little sense and was still really wishy washy about which guy she was actually in love with. And then Cora made the most idiotic move ever in the history of idiotic moves, which is saying something considering her decision making skills in The Cage. Cora has no regard for other people and basically just does what she wants, consequences be damned.
Like in The Cage, the strong point of this book is its world. I loved the descriptions given for the different menageries and actually wish there had been more of them. The way Megan Shepherd has written this Kindred world is extremely unique and she has a way of making me feel like I could step into the book and see exactly what she was describing.
The plot itself, unfortunately, is almost as problematic as that of the first book. The Gauntlet was not explained very well, in my opinion, and Cora's "abilities" manifested way too sporadically and conveniently to be believable. She always managed to suddenly learn something new just in the nick of time in order to get herself out of a sticky situation. Once, maybe, but when it started happening repeatedly it just got ridiculous. In fact, almost everything in this book just kind of happened conveniently at precisely the right time. (Deus ex machina, anyone?)
Overall, I disliked The Hunt slightly less than the first book, but I still can't say I enjoyed it. The characters are severely lacking and most of the plot is just a little too convenient for me to get into. The world is really gorgeous and the ending did leave me wanting to know what happens next, so I'll probably read the next book just because I'm 2/3 of the way in at this point, but I'm really not sure I would recommend this series to anyone else.
Ready Player One is a book I have heard about EVERYWHERE forever. Since "soon to be a motion picture" got pRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Ready Player One is a book I have heard about EVERYWHERE forever. Since "soon to be a motion picture" got plastered on the cover, I feel like I can't look anywhere without seeing it. Even friends who don't usually care about hyped books have hyped this book to me! When I picked it up, I didn't know much about it except the synopsis for the hardcover, which is considerably more vague than the one I chose to include in this review. The description I read pretty much said the world sucks, everyone spends all their time in the OASIS, and there's a huge prize that everyone is trying to win, but it's dangerous. I went into this one pretty blind, but I fully expected to love it!
This story follows Wade, a down-on-his-luck teenager living in the year 2044, when the world has run out of energy so everyone lives most of their lives inside of virtual reality. Unlike a lot of teenagers, Wade has dedicated his life to learning 80s pop culture inside and out. That's pretty much all I can say about Wade because that's literally his entire life. For the majority of Ready Player One, Wade is totally alone, holed up in an apartment and playing inside the OASIS, throwing around 80s pop culture references. He does go to school every now and then and has a crush on a girl he's never met, but I can't say much about his character other than he's a geek who knows a lot of things about the 80s.
The OASIS itself was interesting, if problematic. (I'm not even going to get into how this thing runs in a world with such a huge energy problem.) As someone who has dabbled in a MMORPG or two, I could appreciate the vastness of the world, although it did seem a little too massive at times, at least in my opinion (having tons of copies of the same planet, for example). Still, it was really cool to see this author's take on virtual reality. I thought the idea of schools being inside of the OASIS was a really unique one and actually think it's something that we should even consider for ourselves in the future.
But let's jump into some of my bigger issues with this book, shall we? This book had so much potential to be an incredible treasure hunt set in virtual reality during a bleak, dystopian future, which was kind of what I was expecting. I knew that there would be 80s references - plenty of people warned me about that. What I was not expecting was the first 25% of the book being one huge infodump, which it was. Infodumps about the world, the creator(s) of the OASIS, their enemies, the game, and random other people, some who were not even important to the story. The infodumps almost made me give up on this book entirely.
Then there were the gratuitous references to 80s pop culture. I expected that the 80s would be a big part of this book, but the endless references were just too much. At times it seemed like Ernest Cline decided to write a book with as many 80s references as possible instead of writing an awesome dystopian novel with 80s references integrated into it. Many of them made sense within the story, but many did not. And many were so, so over-explained that I wanted to throw the book across the room. But I couldn't. Because I was listening to the audio.
The actual story beneath all the infodumps and 80s references was actually a really good one! During the times when Cline stopped throwing constant explanations of 80s bands, movies, and games at me and actually focused on the hunt for the prize, I was totally invested! I love the idea of one low level player going up against a massive corporation. I thought that some of Wade's plans were brilliant and I wanted more of THAT and less of the meaningless pop culture lessons.
I expected to love this book so much. Most people that I know loved this book. It has gotten rave reviews from pretty much everyone. Even Wil Wheaton loved this book enough to narrate it! I don't know what I'm missing. Maybe we're witnessing some kind of psychological phenomenon? In any case, I didn't totally hate it. I thought that the OASIS was a really cool concept and I actually did LOVE the actual story underneath it all. Unfortunately, the bad kind of outweighed the good for me on this one.
Recently the topic of books read on a whim came up in a top ten post and this one really sRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Recently the topic of books read on a whim came up in a top ten post and this one really should have made the list. I've seen this book around a lot, but it really came onto the scene long before I started reading young adult fiction regularly. I decided to give it a try when I saw the audiobook at my library after quickly skimming the Goodreads reviews and finding that most people seem to love it! Unfortunately... I'm not among those who thought it was incredible so this review will be pretty short and to the point.
The premise of Across the Universe is really interesting! There's tons of potential here! Amy was frozen and taken as cargo on a spaceship in order to start a new civilization on a new planet in a few hundred years. But then she wakes up and nothing is as it should be. In fact, everything is so, so wrong that Amy has no idea how to handle it, but quickly learns that she has no other choice. Amy is an okay heroine. I didn't feel strongly about her either way, but I didn't hate her, so I guess that's good?
Elder is the love interest in this book, because obviously there had to be one. (At least there's no love triangle though, right?) I did not care for him at all. Elder was a selfish, rude, naive character with no redeeming qualities. The romance between Elder and Amy was totally unconvincing, especially after the "big reveal" at the end.
The world was really interesting, sure, even if it didn't make much sense. There were rolling hills and cities with farms and fake rain on the spaceship, for whatever reason. I love the idea of an entire society existing on a spaceship! I loved picturing the world, as weird as it was. And I even love the thought of this crazy, dysfunctional, dystopian society. Somehow it just didn't all fit together well for me.
My big issues with this book (somewhat spoilery?):
* If someone was cryogenically frozen, they would not be conscious. They would not be conscious for 300 years. Wtf.
* How does someone disappear... to a prominent position... in a closed environment... never to be found? This makes no sense.
* Why the heck would there need to be hormones added to the water to keep people from inbreeding? Have things changed so much in 300 years that people are into their siblings like that?
*If a ship engine malfunctions in space, the ship does not slow down. I'm not even into science and I know this.
* If someone is cloned, shouldn't they be able to figure out that they look like another person? How could it possibly be a huge revelation that you look just like someone else?? How could a character live their entire life without realizing they look just like other people???
When you put all these things together, my main issue is actually this: everything in Across the Universe is done for shock value. Everything. And I hate that. Sure, I love a good twist as good as the next person. But I like it to be relevant. I like big, shocking moments to have a point. Rape, for example. If there's no point to it, it does not need to exist.
As you can see, I didn't like this book much at all, although I didn't hate it. It was a really interesting concept, it was just badly executed. I kind of wish someone could redo this book, actually, with less shock value and better characters. I honestly cannot recommend this book unless maybe you're a fan of science fiction with the ability to overlook bad science and needless shock value.
I was sucked into Endgame, err... The Calling (I mean really, why is the series title larger than the BOOK title?) because it's pretty and
DNF @ 25%
I was sucked into Endgame, err... The Calling (I mean really, why is the series title larger than the BOOK title?) because it's pretty and it sounded intriguing. I'd heard the comparisons to Hunger Games. I'd heard the controversy around James Frey. None of that bothered me. I'd been in a reading slump and needed to find something amazing! When this popped up as an available audiobook through my library, I grabbed it and hoped for the best. Nope.
I only made it 25% into this book before almost losing my mind and cutting my losses. I honestly couldn't tell you how many characters I met because there are TWELVE in all. Yes, twelve main characters. Twelve players. Too damn many for me. This is told in such a way that I felt very detached from all of the characters I actually met. At 25% into a book I should know all the protagonists and should at least care whether they live or die.
My main issue with The Calling was the writing. It was all choppy sentences and random numbers and repetition. Listening to this on audiobook, I skipped a solid five minutes of seemingly random noises, apparently some other language that I don't speak. Five minutes. Of another language. Is excessive. I've been irritated by audiobooks before, but I've never had to hit the skip button, even in Shatter Me.
I'll admit, I got a little excited when asteroids started blowing everything up, but that was literally the only time I felt anything about this book other than indifference or irritation. I really wanted to love this. I wanted it to pull me out of my slump. Unfortunately that didn't happen and the search continues!...more
One of my absolute favorite types of stories involves people who are confined to a community apart from whaRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
One of my absolute favorite types of stories involves people who are confined to a community apart from whatever is out there. The Village and The Forest of Hands and Teeth come immediately to mind. I will be the first to admit the cover of Floor 21 is not what caught my attention - it was the synopsis. I read it and I HAD to know what was outside of the tower and why Jackie was stuck on the inside!
As you've probably figured out, Floor 21 is about a society of people that lives in a tower. It's extremely tall, extremely old, and it's entirely built on secrets. No one knows how far down it goes, only that things get worse the further people descend. For this reason, no one but a select few are allowed past a certain floor, which doesn't sit well with Jackie, who desperately wants answers.
This story is told in recorded journal entries, which was a little weird to read, but made me feel like I was really able to understand Jackie and her fears and motivations. I identified with Jackie very strongly and found it very easy to relate to her skeptical nature. While everyone around her blindly accepts that the tower is the only thing left in the world and their only means of survival, Jackie is determined to know all of the facts that no one wants to share.
Floor 21 has one of the creepiest atmospheres I've come across, especially for YA fiction. Between the mysterious Creep that has overtaken the lower levels of the tower and the creepy guys on the top floor, it was hard to catch a break. I was literally on the edge of my seat almost from page one! So let's talk about the Creep for a minute. It's some kind of almost muscular substance that reacts to emotions and basically eats people. I have no idea where it came from or what it is, but I have a feeling that that'll all be revealed in book two.
One thing I didn't love about this book is that it switches points of view pretty late. I do understand why the author chose to do this at the particular place where he did it, but it was somewhat jarring. Because of the journal entry format of the story I never felt really connected to any of the other characters, which made switching to another POV really weird. It certainly didn't ruin the story though - it's just something to be aware of!
When I was reading this I didn't realize it was a series. I was really confused the closer I got to the end wondering how in the world it could possibly be wrapped up so quickly. Well, IT COULDN'T and it ended on a major cliffhanger so now I'm dying to know what happens next! I can't say too much more about Floor 21 without spoilers, but suffice it to say it blew me away! This book is creepy and I adored the main character. I will definitely be continuing this series soon!
I read Alive last year without knowing anything, which is how the book was meant to be read, and I came out with my mind totally blown! While Alive k
I read Alive last year without knowing anything, which is how the book was meant to be read, and I came out with my mind totally blown! While Alive kept the reader totally in the dark about every single thing that happened until the end, Alight is much more transparent in the continuation of Em's story. That doesn't make this one any less amazing, though!
**Spoilers for book 1**
Alight picks up right after Alive leaves off, with Em and her group approaching the planet Omeyocan in their stolen shuttle. Once they land, they quickly realize that their situation is becoming more and more dire and the group is pushed to new lengths in order to save themselves. These teenagers are put through hell in Alight. Not only are outside forces making their lives pretty difficult, but there are also internal struggles that threaten to rip them apart! In Alight, each character is delved into more deeply as is their precarious situation and their new surroundings.
Em continues to be an amazing, selfless character who is most concerned with the well being of the people she has been chosen to lead. She is incredibly brave, sometimes to the point of recklessness. Throughout this book Em learns more about herself and the world her creator came from, and decisions have to be made, forcing Em to grow up incredibly quickly. Not only does Em have to grapple with her past and current selves and how they fit together, but she is also trying to navigate her feelings for not one, but two of the boys she woke up with.
I usually prefer my books with a little romance, but here it felt kind of unnecessary. The two love interests, Bishop and O'Malley are just about as different as two people can be, as are her reasons for having feelings for each. Both characters were amazing, don't get me wrong! I just didn't quite understand exactly why she had romantic feelings for either of them apart from (maybe?) raging hormones, having was born into an adult body. Luckily, the triangle bit of the romance is completely worked out by the end of Alight, so I don't think we'll have to deal with anymore of that.
A lot of people complained that Alive was a book about people walking. Alight is not that. This book is almost non-stop action from start to finish. The poor kids in this book cannot get a break for a second. There are multiple enemies working against them from the moment their ship lands - the adults, the planet itself and its inhabitants, as well as Aramovsky. (I can confidently say Aramovsky is one of my favorite villains ever.) Discoveries are made almost constantly and the mysteries seem to be unending.
The setting of Alight is also fascinating! The kids land on Omeyocan with absolutely no information about the history of the planet, which has obviously been inhabited before, but appears to be totally abandoned. I found the whole thing to be incredibly unsettling! Everything definitely gave off a very Mayan vibe and I don't know if you've ever seen Apocalypto, but no thanks.
With so many popular series suffering from second book syndrome, I thought Alight was breath of fresh air and I even enjoyed it slightly more than Alive. Did I think the romance needed to be there? No. But I didn't feel that it took away from the book either. Fair warning, this did end with a cliffhanger. The good news is book three comes out in just a few months! Alight was a solid second book with an amazing setting, some great character growth, and a quick moving plot. If you're a fan of dystopian fiction, this is a series you do not want to miss!
"It will get better," they said. "Warner is worth it," they said. "Juliette grows as a character," they said. They LIED.
I finished Shatter Me, consid
"It will get better," they said. "Warner is worth it," they said. "Juliette grows as a character," they said. They LIED.
I finished Shatter Me, considered for a few hours, and then got Unravel Me later that night because I really just wanted to know how the whole thing with Warner worked out. I was curious. I love a good villain and I needed to find out how he could become a love interest. Then Unravel Me finally ended and I was rooting for Juliette to hurry the hell up and die. To be honest, this was the first book that has ever made me regret keeping my reviews PG-13. There were many, many choice words I would love to say. For your sake, I'll try to keep it clean.
Unravel Me picks up shortly after book one left off, with Juliette and Adam at Omega Point trying to fit in with the other gifted people. Well, sort of. Mostly it's just Juliette and Adam making out and making huge scenes in public. But whatever. Throughout this book Juliette is attempting to discover more about her gift and what its properties are. She discovers that her super strength is pretty freaking super and attempts (poorly) to learn to control it. Mostly, though, Juliette spends the entire second book being a miserable human being.
Juliette is literally the worst heroine I've ever read about, which is saying a lot because I have absolutely hated some others. She is incredibly selfish and, despite trying to act like she gives a crap about other people, actually only cares about ALL HER FEELS and getting in the most make out sessions with as many people as possible. World needs saving? Make out. Friend is dying in another room? Better make out. When Juliette wasn't making out, she was crying, shaking, forgetting how to breathe, or counting something. She was literally useless.
Then there's Adam. Not quite as useless as Juliette, he's basically Bella from New Moon. He spends this book being pissed off or depressed, fighting or wanting to fight people, and begging Juliette not to leave him. The plot surrounding Adam in this book was one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in a book. (Guys, I am trying SO hard to keep this clean for you!) Remember back in Shatter Me when Juliette and Adam spent all night sleeping, cuddled in each others arms? Remember?? Their skin was touching all night long while they were ASLEEP? Well, just forget all of that because the author needs a convenient reason for them to break up so Juliette and Warner can be together!
Speaking of Warner, he is the least worthless of these three characters, although he still wasn't the incredible villain love interest I was promised. Yes, he has a tragic backstory. Yes, he calls Juliette "Luv" a lot. Yes, he has green eyes. That's about where it ends. I don't get it. I don't get why he's so swoon-worthy to every other person who has read this book. Despite his Big Bad status, Warner is weak and apparently "he's in love with [Juliette]" almost immediately for some reason. (WHY does everyone love Juliette??)
Kenji was honestly the only character in this book who I cared about at all. I mean, seriously, even the 10 year old brother got on my nerves. But Kenji seemed like a normal human being with normal human emotions and priorities.
I don't even have anything to really say about the plot of this book other than that it was worthless. I said it in my review of book one and I'll say it again: this is not a dystopian novel. This is crappy romance disguised as dystopia. There is zero world building and I give zero cares (I'm trying) about whether or not the world even survives. Honestly, just blow the whole thing up.
And who could forget about the writing? It is just as ridiculous in Unravel Me as it was in book one. I actually (seriously) had a headache by the time this book finally ended from rolling my eyes so much at the idiotic metaphors and descriptions. I counted at least 7 uses of the phrase "small smile" in this book and those were just the ones I paid enough attention to make note of. Of course I wouldn't leave you without a sampling of my favorite quotes from this book!
"Panic is doing backflips in my bones."
"My emotions jump out of a plane."
"He says it like it's a lit cigarette lodged in his throat."
"I am the incarnation of air."
Seriously, if it wasn't for all the ridiculous metaphors this book would be at least 100 pages shorter.
In case you hadn't guessed, I hated this book. I try not to hate many books because I understand how hard authors work to create them, but this one had not one redeeming quality. The writing was painful, I was screaming for characters to hurry up and die by the end, and the world building is non-existent. I am aware that a lot of people adore this series, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone....more
Warning: This review might be slightly spoilery, but I think pretty much everyone but me has read it by now anyway.
Shatter Me was recommended to me b
Warning: This review might be slightly spoilery, but I think pretty much everyone but me has read it by now anyway.
Shatter Me was recommended to me by approximately 17820183 people when I asked for a series where the bad guy gets the girl in the end. I went into this one knowing the ultimate romantic outcome, which I'm totally fine with. I didn't know a whole lot about this series other than that though, except apparently every person on the planet loves it. I didn't have super high expectations, I just wanted a good love story. Coming out on the other side, I'm thinking it's a good thing I wasn't expecting much.
This story is about Juliette, a girl who has super scary powers and hasn't seen another person in 264 days. Her entire life has been terrible up until the point when she suddenly gets a roommate (which never happens) at the mental institution she's currently locked up. Her roommate, Adam, happens to be a guy she knows and she immediately starts swooning over him. Juliette is a little messed up in the head after having such an awful life, which is understandable to an extent, but this book takes it to a ridiculous level and Juliette ends up being the kind of speshul sneauxflake character I wish I could just put out of her misery. She is weak and pathetic and is almost constantly crying, shaking, or gasping. The declaration in the synopsis that Juliette has to make a choice to be a weapon or a warrior is totally misleading.
Adam, the love interest, is a Gary Stu who is super swoony because... why? I never quite figured it out. I know he apparently has super amazing blue eyes. Other than that, I don't get it. Of course, he wouldn't be a true sneauxflake if he couldn't do something extra amazing which, in this case, happens to be touching Juliette. He is the only person who can touch her without dying. Awfully convenient, eh? I'm going to jump immediately into one of my main issues with this book here. The descriptions that Juliette used for everything were so ridiculous, even when they weren't completely insane metaphors. She used the term "small smile" to describe Adam's smile at least 278 times. I swear to you, this
is how I started seeing him after the 10th time she said it. (Go ahead and bow down to my mad photo editing skills. I laughed so hard, I cried.)
And then there was Warner. He's about the only character in this story with any real depth and honestly the only one I had any real interest in getting to know. IF I continue with this series, he'll be the only reason. I'm not really clear on how Warner is going to become a love interest, but he HAS to be better than Adam.
The world building in Shatter Me is almost non-existent. This book markets itself as dystopian, but it honestly isn't. It's a romance novel barely, barely passing itself off as something more. But hey, I wanted romance, right? I definitely got it!
As I've already mentioned a little bit, the writing was really my main issue here. It tried really hard to be unique but came off as really, REALLY annoying instead. Part of the problem is that I listened to it rather than reading a hard copy. If I had a copy in my hands, I would've skimmed a lot of the repetition, but I couldn't really skip past it. The absolute WORST was when Juliette repeated "I am not insane" at least a hundred times. I was ready to put my fist through a wall. Several other people have already listed some of the cringe-worthy metaphors, so I won't go into much detail there. Here are some of my personal favorite quotes, though:
"My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps."
"I am an old creaky staircase when I wake up."
"I'd like to cry into his eyes."
"My jaw is dangling from my shoelace."
I just literally cannot deal with this writing. At first it was unique, but by the end of the book I was rolling my eyes at least once every 5 seconds. I actually have a headache.
Tahereh Mafi tried so hard through the writing style to make this book unique that I was honestly shocked when, near the end, this became an actual ripoff of X-Men. Seriously. The whole gang was there. Rogue, Professor X, (male) Storm, and others. They had Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters Omega Point. They even had the suits! The only difference was that Rogue's Juliette's suit was purple. I swear to you, Adam actually told Juliette that she looked like a superhero at the end.
I didn't completely hate it. I just didn't like it and probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone over the age of 15. I will probably still read the next book just because I know how the romance ends and I'm interested to see how it gets there, but that's honestly the only reason. Morbid curiosity....more
Uglies is a book that I've had my eye on for years, but just never got around to read it, despite the fact that it's one of my brother's absolute fav
Uglies is a book that I've had my eye on for years, but just never got around to read it, despite the fact that it's one of my brother's absolute favorites. When it came up as the Dystopia Challenge group read for February, I knew it was time to take the plunge!
This is a story set at some point in the future when age (quite literally) comes with beauty. As children, everyone is an ugly, also known as normal. Everyone has nicknames based on their "ugly" qualities, but no one cares because they all know it's only a matter of time before they're made pretty with a complex medical procedure and moved to the pretty side of town.
Tally is very close to the day of her procedure when this book begins, before she makes friends with Shay and her whole world is turned upside down. Tally is also one of my issues with Uglies because I just really didn't like her very much. I tried to cut her a little slack, knowing that she had been brainwashed from birth, but I had a very hard time liking her. Her loyalties were disturbing and her insistence on becoming pretty even after she'd started to learn the truth made her difficult to sympathize with.
The story itself was definitely unique and had the potential to be great. The technology was cool and I found the ruins themselves fascinating! I thought the idea of this kind of "pretty" conformity was an interesting one and I wish it had been better fleshed out. Instead, I had problems with the world building and the writing, finding it slow even when it was supposed to be exciting. I really wanted to know more about the why and how of the current state of the world. Maybe that's something that will be further explored in the remaining books.
I really expected more from Uglies than what I got. I think part of the problem might be that I waited too long to read it. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more ten years ago? The concept was interesting and there were certainly some bits that were enjoyable, but I probably won't continue with the series.
Are you a fan of crazy conspiracy theories? Do you enjoy reading about secret experiments carried out by various governments? Then you should probabl
Are you a fan of crazy conspiracy theories? Do you enjoy reading about secret experiments carried out by various governments? Then you should probably get your hands on this book because crazy conspiracy theories and experiments are what it's all about. It's not often that I read adult fiction, but I've been in a weird, conspiracy kind of mood lately (it might have something to do with binge watching Making a Murderer). When I stumbled across this one, I knew I had to make some time for it and I'm glad that I did!
Island 731 is about a group of sailors and researchers who are unfortunate enough to find themselves stranded on an uncharted island during a brutal storm. Strange things start to happen and the crew comes face to face with a series of extremely disturbing life forms. From there the mystery begins to unravel slowly as the danger grows more real and tension builds.
Mark Hawkins is the main character in this story and he was a pretty decent one, in my opinion. Mark is a prior park ranger and was raised to understand the importance respecting nature. This makes him the obvious choice to lead the team when they land on the island and start to lose people to its inhabitance. I enjoyed Mark overall and found him to be a believable character for the most part. He was a smart, strategic, and likable character, but with one really annoying flaw. Remember how I said he respects nature? Well, it is taken to almost a ridiculous level at times. There were a lot of flashbacks to his upbringing and I was honestly waiting for him to break out into song with "Colors of the Wind." I honestly feel like pointing out his background as a ranger would have been enough.
I really enjoyed the conspiracy plot of this book a lot. It was extremely reminiscent of The Island of Doctor Moreau but with even more crazies! Each time another part of the big picture was revealed, I was a little bit shocked. Even the big reveal, which I thought I had figured out early on, caught me completely off guard. Still, my suspension of disbelief can only go so far and the experiments on Island 731 actually took me past my threshold somewhere around 3/4 of the way through and the end actually had me rolling my eyes.
Despite its eventual unbelievability, Island 731 was a quick, creepy read with enough twists and turns to keep it really interesting. I'd definitely recommend this book to fans of The Island of Doctor Moreau or The Madman's Daughter trilogy! I do think I'll be checking out more of Jeremy Robinsons books in the future.
I read an advance copy of Illuminae last year and totally loved it! I could not wait to geRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I read an advance copy of Illuminae last year and totally loved it! I could not wait to get my hands on Gemina and when I found it at ALA over the summer I was SO excited! Gemina is told in the same unique format as Illuminae, which I was really looking forward to. It also did a lot of other things the same as Illuminae, which I didn't love so much.
Gemina introduces two new main characters - Hanna, the captain's daughter, and her drug dealer, Nik. Hanna was a great character, strong and fully capable of handling herself. There were times when I wondered why a spoiled captain's daughter would know so much about certain things and she seemed a little too knowledgable at times. Her backstory mostly explained these things, thankfully. Nik was also a fun character, although he seemed very similar to Ezra to me. One thing that I noticed throughout both books is that every person in this universe seems to have taken sarcasm classes at some point because almost everything they say is snarky. It is amusing though. The romance between Hanna and Nik was cute, but it just wasn't on the same level as Kady and Ezra.
The storyline of Gemina crosses paths with Illuminae, which was awesome! I was concerned about a second book not having the same main characters as the first, even though it worked for the Starbound Trilogy. The big bad was also really different. Instead of a terrifying zombie virus, this time we have some kind of weird space worm parasite thing. While kind of scary in concept, it didn't end up packing the same punch as the virus from Illuminae. I did think the invasion of the ship by unknown troops was really well done, though. Like with Illuminae, I never felt like I knew exactly what was going on until the end. I love to be kept guessing!
Unfortunately, the rest of the story was quite predictable. I was really disappointed to see that Gemina used many of the same tricks as the first book in the series. There were several times when something happened that was supposed to make me sad or anxious where I didn't have much of reaction at all because I already knew what was going to happen (and I was correct). I'm sorry to say that most of the big reveals were extremely predictable because they followed a pattern very similar to Illuminae.
That isn't to say the book was a total loss though! World building is definitely where this series excels. The format that the book is written in makes it extremely easy to feel like part of the world and it's really easy to picture the ship that the characters are running around. I'm sure it'll be much better once the final art is included too!
Overall I liked Gemina but it did not blow me away like Illuminae did, mostly because it felt much to similar. I did enjoy some of the new characters and there were a few reveals that did surprise me. I also loved being immersed back in the world the authors created. I will definitely still read the next book to see how it all wraps up, but I'll probably go in with lower expectations next time. ...more
Pines is a book that I wasn't quite sure I wanted to actually read. After seeing the mini-series on Hulu last year, I was obsessed with the story! St
Pines is a book that I wasn't quite sure I wanted to actually read. After seeing the mini-series on Hulu last year, I was obsessed with the story! Still, I already kind of knew what happened, so would I really enjoy rehashing details? As it turns out, the answer is a resounding YES! I picked up Pines on a whim at the library and devoured it in a day. This book is incredible!!
The first book in the Wayward Pines trilogy tells the story of a secret agent named Ethan Burke and his strange experience in the small town he finds himself in after a car accident. Ethan has no idea what's going on, but slowly his memories start to come back to him. He tries to make sense of his situation while navigating the town of Wayward Pines, but the extremely creepy residents and authority figures make it difficult for him. I really liked Ethan a lot! I felt like he was a believable character and I could feel his emotions as my own as he panicked through each day in Wayward Pines. His despair as his predicament became more apparent was palpable.
One thing I enjoyed about Pines versus the show based on it was getting to know Ethan's wife, Theresa. I really felt like the book did a way better job of making her a sympathetic character by making her story more of a focal point. I won't spoil anything here, but there was a major change made to her situation in the show and I definitely enjoyed book Theresa better. That being said, I do wish that she had a little less time in the book because Ethan's story was much more exciting! I can see how explaining her situation will be important to the next two books though.
And then there is the absolutely incredible story! Sometimes in mysteries/thrillers like this one, the characters can come off as kind of stupid and I often find myself wanting to yell at them for not figuring things out when they're obvious! That was not the case here. Blake Crouch has done an incredible job of keeping the twists and turns truly shocking. Honestly, if I hadn't seen the show I would have been in awe. I was actually really shocked a couple times, even knowing what was going on! This story is just completely insane, but in an amazing way! I can definitely see why M. Night wanted to get in on the show. There were certainly some differences between the book and the show, but most of them were subtle. The one major difference is near the end where there is a majorly different setting, but I really liked it!
Pines is the kind of book that I can't really say much about without giving things away, so I'm sorry for being vague! The first book in this series roughly lines up with the first five episodes of Wayward Pines, so that means that there are many more details in the book and a lot more time to get into Ethan's head. Reading the book was in no way a waste of time after seeing the show first. Every bit of it was perfectly creepy! I highly recommend this book to fans of horror with absolutely insane twists (so basically fans of M. Night's early films). I cannot wait to get my hands on book two!
Although I purchased Fairest way back when it was first released, I put off reading it because I just wasn't in a Lunar Chronicles mood. After finish
Although I purchased Fairest way back when it was first released, I put off reading it because I just wasn't in a Lunar Chronicles mood. After finishing Winter, however, I was in dire need of more of this world! And although I hated Levana with a passion, I was really curious to discover what made her so very evil. I'd heard around from several people that I might come to sympathize with Levana. I'm not sure I feel sympathy for her, but it's definitely complicated.
Having read Winter before Fairest, I already knew some of Levana's backstory, but getting the full story was a much more emotional experience. I did feel for her, my heart breaking a tiny bit while reading about her need and constant search for love. At the same time, I found myself extremely uncomfortable on multiple occasions, which I suspect is what Marissa Meyer was going for with this story. The romance between Levana and one of the palace guards was downright creepy.
(view spoiler)[I mean, okay. I haven't seen this in any other review for Fairest and I'm wondering if no one else really put it together or it's just that no one wants to say it. Levana was essentially raping Evret, her one true love. She was forcing him to be intimate with her against his will. I felt pretty gross just reading about it. I understand that Levana had some insane desire to feel loved to the point where she forced a marriage with a recently widowed man, but ugh. *shudder* (hide spoiler)]
The conflicting emotions that I felt for Levana are similar to what I experienced with Winter's character. Meyer definitely has a lot of skill when it comes to developing complex characters.
I loved getting to dive back into the world of The Lunar Chronicles for a couple hundred more pages, although I'm really sad it's really (almost) over this time. I also really enjoyed the little tidbits about Cress, Jacin, and their families. In this regard, I feel like reading Winter first actually helped me because I was able to pick up on adorable clues that I might not have noticed otherwise. It was interesting to read about all of the truly terrible women in Cinder's family. How lucky that she ended up on earth...
Levana is a difficult character to read about, but I definitely recommend Fairest for every single fan of this series! I think it goes a long way toward explaining her often disturbing actions.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Over the last year I have been amazed by the epicness of the Starbound series. I started with These Broken Stars at the beginning of the year and was
Over the last year I have been amazed by the epicness of the Starbound series. I started with These Broken Stars at the beginning of the year and was just blown away. I laughed, I cried, and I didn't think any other book in the series could live up to it. I was kind of right. Book two, while also amazing, wasn't quite -as- good as the first. Still, I really loved the story and characters. Now it's on to book three and I was really hopeful for an amazing ending to an amazing series!
Their Fractured Light was kind of a unique book in the series. While both of the first two books were mostly focused on one couple, this one was very evenly split between a new romance and the two old ones. While this does appear to be Sofia and Gideon's story on the surface, it wasn't quite. Sofia and Gideon are the primary focus of about the first half of Their Fractured Light. Sofia is a con artist and Gideon is a hacker and they are honestly adorable together. Unfortunately, I didn't connect with them on the same level as I did Lilac and Tarver, or even Jubilee and Flynn.
I think my primary issue with Sofia and Gideon is that they didn't have nearly as much time to grow to love each other. It seemed that they went very quickly from completely distrusting each other and never planning to see each other again to being in love. It just wasn't quite believable enough for me. That being said, they both had very interesting backstories and were very sympathetic characters. I also enjoyed how their stories connected to the other books in the series.
The final installment of the Starbound series nicely wraps up the mystery of the whispers. I really enjoyed reliving certain aspects of the first two books in the series from the whispers' perspective. I hadn't anticipated coming to care very much about the whispers as characters, but that's exactly what ended up happening.
Obviously all four characters from the earlier books were present in the last half of this book and I loved ever second of having them back! My biggest disappointment after reading These Broken Stars was not having Tarver and Lilac in the books, but they were a huge part of this one, and it was amazing! Lilac's relationship to the whispers is a major plot point in this one and it was super interesting to see how that all played out.
This book is action start to finish (so basically like the other two). There were a few lags that really slowed down the reading for me, but the abundance of action made up for those. The mission to destroy LaRoux Industries and the man at the helm was a big part of the story and the main point that brings Sofia and Gideon together. LaRoux has been such a villain from the beginning of the series, so it was obviously great to see someone go after him with a vengeance!
One of the things I really liked was getting to explore the amazing city on the planet of Corinth. I honestly can't quite picture it in my head, but it sounds incredible! There's an upper city and a lower city and it kind of reminds me of The Fifth Element, but I wish I had a picture! Fan art, anyone?
Overall, I thought this was a great end to the series and it wrapped everything up in such an amazing, interconnected way! My main complain is the way the relationship between Sofia and Gideon was sped up to the point of not being believable. Although neither of the subsequent books lived up to These Broken Stars, this was a completely amazing, incredibly unique series! I'm not normally a huge fan of sci-fi, but these books made me a believer! The Starbound trilogy is definitely a must-read and I recommend it to basically every reader I know!...more
Despite my love of the Star Wars films, Lost Stars is actually my first adventure into this literary galaxy. There were quite a few books I could've
Despite my love of the Star Wars films, Lost Stars is actually my first adventure into this literary galaxy. There were quite a few books I could've chosen from. Obviously, there's the original trilogy and literally hundreds of canon and "Legends" books that have been released over the years. Lucasfilm has also begun releasing children and adult books in their Journey to "The Force Awakens" series. But when I saw a YA Star Wars book written by an author I knew, I jumped at the chance to read it!
The first thing I will say about Lost Stars is that this.book.is.long. It's really, really long. Okay, so it's only a little over 500 pages (or 12 hours of reading). I think it's actually the content that made it seem to go on forever. I feel like a normal YA book spans maybe a few years. Maybe. But this one spans 20 years! We see Ciena and Thane as small children when the Empire is brand new, as students, as officers fresh out of the academy, all the way up to the rise of the New Republic. And perhaps because of that it seems to drag in a lot of places. On the flip side, this also gave me a chance to really get to know the characters, which may or may not have been a good thing.
I had a really hard time identifying with Ciena and understanding her motives. I feel like Claudia Gray tried really hard to explain Ciena's backstory and the customs on her home world, but I found myself being really over her constant talk of honor fairly quickly. I love some Darth Vader, so I can understand a little devotion to the Empire, but her choices just did not make sense at all. Thane, on the other hand, seemed to have a solid head on his shoulders. His motives made total sense and I think he was the far more sympathetic character. If I had been Thayne, I would have given up on Ciena long, long ago.
One thing I really enjoyed was getting to experience all of the classic battles and characters from a new angle. I appreciated the fact that this wasn't a strict retelling and the main characters of this story weren't overshadowed by more well-known faces. I did love Thayne's snide comments about Luke Skywalker (I was never his biggest fan)!
I really did enjoy this book a lot, just because it allowed me to explore the Star Wars universe in a new way! I think I would probably be easily bored with the "adult" Star Wars books, so this was a great fit for me. There were some downfalls, but overall it was a good read. I'd definitely recommend this to any fan who wants to get a little extra reading in before Episode 7!
This review will have to stay really vague because, trust me, you do NOT want to know what to expect in Alive! As I tend to do, I went into this one
This review will have to stay really vague because, trust me, you do NOT want to know what to expect in Alive! As I tend to do, I went into this one not knowing very much about it other than the Goodreads synopsis. This is the kind of book that keeps you totally in the dark (pretty literally in this case) until almost the very end! It's not for the faint of heart though - this is definitely one of the darker dystopians I've read.
Alive begins with our heroine, Em, waking up inside a coffin. Yes. Insid of a coffin. As in buried alive. As in nope, no, thank you! Right away this book is immensely creepy. This book also immediately made me think "Maze Runner." The beginning of Alive is almost identical to the book the synopsis actually compares itself to. M wakes up in a box and doesn't know where she is, has no memories, and doesn't know her name. Sound familiar? At this point I was creeped out, yes, but I was also really skeptical. Luckily, the similarities are far fewer after this first scene.
But back to Em. She's the group's leader, although she can't figure out why and everyone who hears this thinks it's a joke. She's brave when she has to be, a fighter when she needs to pull out the moves, and she doubts herself constantly. This kind of character can really go either way, but I feel like these characteristics worked in Alive. I liked Em and felt like she was a really strong character, but with flaws that made her human. I could understand her doubts and her fears freaked me out too.
I also really enjoyed many of the other characters. Each had a distinct personality although none of them had a clue about anything either. I did feel like there were too many names thrown around without people to attach them too, but perhaps more of those personalities will come to the forefront in the next book. There was no real romance in Alive - more like a few butterflies here and there - and, given the circumstances, I can really appreciate that.
I can't say much about the world of Alive without giving things away, but I will say that it was amazing! Some authors have the ability to make their readers -see- their settings, and Scott Sigler has that. I felt like I was right there with M and her companions and it made this book that much more unique! From the very first page, the action is non-stop and I was constantly on my toes, not knowing what to expect next.
My only real (minor) complaint is that I feel like it could have probably been a lot shorter... There was a lot of walking through hallways, which I DO understand based on things that are learned throughout the book. I just remember finishing it and thinking that they could have left out some of the group marches.
While Alive started out on shaky footing because of it's uncanny similarity to The Maze Runner, it quickly took off in its own direction and really blew me away! I was never quite sure what to expect and I love that in a book. One of my favorite things is being kept in the dark until the big twist so this book really won me over so I'll definitely be reading book two! If you're a fan of dystopia and are tired of the same old thing, this should be the next book on your list!...more
//I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review//
What an absolutely FANTASTIC sequel! When I finished Of Metal and Wishes a c
//I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review//
What an absolutely FANTASTIC sequel! When I finished Of Metal and Wishes a couple weeks ago, I knew there was a book two coming out and I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as humanly possible. While book one wrapped up nicely (as it was originally meant as a standalone), just knowing there was more to the story basically ruined me for a solid week until I got this one. But then I did get it and, wow, what an ending! Sarah Fine has continued her Phantom of the Opera retelling in a way that totally diverges from the classic story while totally standing on its own.
All of the characters continued to shine in Of Dreams and Rust. Wen continued to surprise me as a strong woman amongst less-than-favorable odds and Bo remained sympathetic although I never felt like he was a truly viable love interest. Even though Bo and Wen definitely do have a unique relationship, it was SO nice not to have to deal with a real love triangle.
I mentioned in my review of the first book that I was feeling very confused by my love of Melik since I have always been team Phantom (or Bo, in this case). This book only cemented my feelings for Melik who has most definitely earned a spot on my "book boyfriends" list. I absolutely adored the romance between him and Wen. The angst was kept to a manageable level as the two characters tried to traverse the gap between their cultures and the outcome was a relationship really stood out amongst all of the others in the YA genre.
Speaking of culture, Sarah Fine has done such an awesome job of creating this world and cultures that felt real. The prejudices and divisions between the two distinct groups of people were believable and heart-wrenching. One final note on the world building: I've said before that I've never been a huge fan of steampunk, and I'm still not sure I am, but the steampunk elements of this book really fit into the bigger picture and had me on the edge of my seat.
This story is just amazing. As I've said, it diverges completely from the classic Phantom of the Opera story, which makes sense since the first book ended in a very similar way as the original. But I love what the author has done with the continuation of this story! The decisions that are made, the war that is underway, the love and loss... Everything about this story is perfect. I said in the last review that the writing seemed almost as if it was translated from another language, but I actually have really come to love the way it's written. Because of the writing I felt completely immersed in the story.
Of Dreams and Rust is a fantastic ending to this duology and I highly recommend it to any fan of The Phantom of the Opera! More than that, though, I'd recommend this to any fan of dystopian or steampunk fiction. Obviously it is a retelling, but I really believe it could stand completely on its own without any prior knowledge of the Phantom. This is an amazing series that you will not want to miss!...more
Seriously though, this series. It's amazing. Every time I read one of these books, it starts out slow,
Winter, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.
Seriously though, this series. It's amazing. Every time I read one of these books, it starts out slow, I have a brief moment of uncertainty, and then it takes off and I'm sucked in and I'm awake until 3am. It's a problem.
Winter picks up right where Cress left off, with Winter and Scarlet becoming sort of friends, and Cinder and crew working on a plot to overthrow the evil queen. While this is the final chapter in a four book series and does a fantastically amazing job of wrapping things up over 800+ pages, it is also the story of Winter, the princess of Luna, and Jacin, a castle guard. I don't know why, but no matter how many times Jacin was described as pale and blonde, I couldn't help but picture him as a huge tall, dark, and handsome guy. My brain is still working this one out. Despite my inability to picture Jacin as Marissa Meyer intended, I completely adored their love story. In fact, I think that they might be my favorite couple out of the entire series. Maybe. I don't know.
I honestly spent most of the book trying to decide how I felt about Winter as a character. I constantly went back and forth by almost being repulsed by her complete insanity and the actions that came with that, to admiring her for refusing to use her Lunar gift to the point where she WAS insane. To be honest, I kind of agree with the others who said there had to be a way she could've used her gift enough to -not- be insane, while also not hurting people I mean, I can't believe every person on Luna is evil because they use their gift. Cinder isn't!
Speaking of Cinder... What a total badass. I mean, wow. She surpasses my expectations in every single book I read. I love her spirit and her humility and her, um, her Kai. Can I say that? Is that allowed? While he did feature from the beginning of this series, I feel like I got to know Kai so much better in this final book. I loved seeing him as the emperor and making necessary sacrifices while also putting so much faith in Cinder. It's just... swoony.
Honestly, the most impressive thing about Winter is how it brings together every single character from the first three books and isn't overwhelming. Cress, Iko, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Thorne, Cress, Winter, and Jacin, all play major roles and I never found myself confused as to who was who or what was going on. Scarlet and Wolf's story was a little uncomfortable at times, but it had a satisfying conclusion. The same can be said for Cress and Thorne. These two... their cluelessness is something that might have irked me a little in another book, but here it was adorable and I loved every second of it! Levana is terrifying and insane as always and I don't think I have ever rooted against a villain so hard in my life. I truly don't have time to talk about all of the characters, so I'll just leave it there. Suffice it to say, I loved all of them. A lot. And I'm going to be sad to see them go.
The plot of Winter is just amazing. While I was terribly daunted by picking up a book that came in at 827 pages (not the kind of thing I usually spring for), I can definitely see why every single page was needed. The beginning was a little slow for me, but I honestly feel like all of the detail included was necessary for the big picture. The slow takeover of Luna, the final, heart-stopping battle, and the way everything came together was more perfect than I could have imagined! It's full of action and romance. I laughed, I gasped, I (almost) cried. Winter is the book you've been waiting for!
And of course, we FINALLY get to see Luna in all of it's glory. I feel like the series has slowly been building up to some kind of big reveal of Luna in its entirety and the waiting was all worth it because Luna is breathtaking! I loved the descriptions of each sector, the tunnels, even the caves! The amount of thought that went into making this fantasy world is really pretty impressive.
I could really go on and on (and on and on) about my feelings for Winter and The Lunar Chronicles in general, but I'll stop. I love this series and I'm kind of devastated that it's at an end. I binged Fairest in a day after finishing this one and I'll be pre-ordering Stars Above in the very, very near future. If you haven't started this series yet, I really hope you'll give it a chance!...more