After the awesomeness that is Divergent I was expecting so much of this...but alas, I was to be disappointed. Maybe that was the problem, I hyped it uAfter the awesomeness that is Divergent I was expecting so much of this...but alas, I was to be disappointed. Maybe that was the problem, I hyped it up too much.
To me this felt like a filler. A brief reprieve before the next book, where I hope, we'll get a bit more story. There wasn't really any advancement in the plot, just a lot of Tris' inner battles with herself. Self reflection isn't a bad thing, as it helps us get to know a character. Usually though, there is other stuff going on to buffer all that woe and angst and general-feeling-like-a-terrible-human-being-and-wondering-why-anyone-wants-anything-to-do-with-you-because-you-are-just-an-awful-person type stuff. It goes, action, relationship, battles-with-inner demons, revelation then rinse and repeat. In this it was just all fighting inner demons stuff. Even the relationship built up between Tris and Four felt like a shadow of it's former self and I didn't get that giddy feeling I got when I read Divergent.
Focusing now on the story, there seemed to be a lot of talk, and not a lot of action. There were no moments that left me gasping with shock. To be honest, most of the time I had trouble keeping up with what was going on. Perhaps for most people, events were sufficiently explained, but for me I'd be left scratching my head wondering what the hell the characters were on about. You'd get a piece of information, but it wouldn't be explained. It was like joining a conversation half way through but no-one bothering to fill in you on what you'd missed. I don't think I'm that stupid, but I just found it frustrating. The amount of times I'd flick back through the pages wondering if I'd missed anything. I vaguely remember feeling that way when I read the first one, but then there was so much awesome going on, it didn't really bother me. Unfortunately there were no such distractions in this one.
I am afraid to say, there was more that irked me, though much of it I can't go into detail about for fear of giving away spoilers. All I will say though is that for someone with an aptitude for Erudite, Tris was oddly willing to risk a lot for gaining information she was never actually given the details of, which to me seems illogical. Surely a smart person would want all the facts before charging off blindly, or is that just me?
There was also the authors strange habit of explaining things a number of pages later than she should, at least in my opinion. Ahhh, it's hard to explain without giving anything away. Basically something seemingly random would happen and I'd be left feeling completely confused until many pages later when we finally get the explanation. I explain it poorly, but if you've read the book and maybe get what I'm saying let me know, as I get the feeling most of what I'm saying may be down to me just being an idiot.
And now for the ending. I was really hoping this was going to be something epic that would wipe all my other gripes from my mind. Again, I was to be disappointed. Oh, there was a twist, but one that was very poorly executed. I think the author was going for the teaser. In not wanting to risk giving away too much and keeping up the suspense, she rather failed to really give us anything. I get a little bit of what was being insinuated, but I'm not 100% positive I've got the jist and I now get to spend the next year probably wondering what the hell it was all for, waiting for the next instalment to show itself.
Er positives...I read it reasonably quickly. If it had been really bad I would have just given up on it, though I think that was partly down to me waiting for the story to start happening and apart from the whole backwards explanation thing, her writing was still top class.
All in all, a rather unsatisfying and disappointing read. If I was sticking strictly to the Goodreads rating system, this should have got 2 stars, as for me, it was just ok, but in memory of Divergent I gave it a 3. EDIT - Screw that it shouldn't even get a two. 1 star for this!!...more
Wahhhhh why? Why Maria would you do this to me? I love your books, all of them (though admittedly some more than others) but this?!!! I cannot speak,Wahhhhh why? Why Maria would you do this to me? I love your books, all of them (though admittedly some more than others) but this?!!! I cannot speak, I am too overcome with all consuming disappointment....
...ok I'm done now. So that was a little over-dramatic and ever so slightly misleading. This book wasn't bad, in fact to most people this would probably prove to be a really worthwhile and rewarding endeavour. For me alas, this book held nothing new. I have read it before. It was called Poison Study, and was the authors first and best book to date.
The similarities are unfortunately many, from almost carbon copies of a number of characters to relationships developing in much the same fashion. For example, in Avry we have a new Yelena, Valek has been renamed, Kerrick. Even Ari and Janco (can't remember his name) make and appearance as Quain and Loren. As much as I liked the characters in Poison Study, I was hoping for something new, in fact I was expecting it, as the author has never let me down in the past.
Then we have the relationships. We have comradery of the dominantly male group, which harks to the bromantic affections Ari and Janco show to Yelena. The most notable similarity though, lies between the two leads. They begin hating each other with a passion (which was way too forced), then once they to get know each other, inevitably and unsurprisingly, feelings start to change. Shock!! There was one difference between this and Poison Study on the relationship and that was that I saw this blooming admiration coming a mile off. There was no subtlety, the characters quite stupid in their obliviousness to their feelings and of each others. Which was to say, devastating, as one of the reasons I loved Poison Study so much was the unpredictability of the relationships.
Not everything in in these two books was the same (as mentioned above). Where Poison Study had a plot that was both engaging and exciting, Touch of Power was sadly lacking. All they did was wander about and camp in caves. Every now and then they would get into some spot of trouble, but before long, they would be back to camping in caves. What we did see of the plot was brief and rather unsatisfying. I feel that if we had stepped away from the characters for two seconds, it could have been promising, but instead it was just a bit odd and random. Hopefully more will be explained in later volumes.
There was also a rather Mills and Boonish feel to the whole thing. A certain cheesyness that I found difficult to ignore. What with Kerrick and Avry's relationship being blindingly obvious, there was also a bit too much 'damsel-in-distressing' for my liking, which was at odds with Avry's personality. The end especially, when we are introduced to a fellow who pretty much wants to own Avry, claim her for himself, mostly just so Kerrick couldn't have her. It was just a bit bodice rippery, not in a graphic 'fifty shades' kind of way. I mean the guy pretty much brainwashes her into wanting him, controls her with his magic so she is powerless to resist him. And he's such a control freak. He goes ape shit when she doesn't wear the dress he picked out for her. What?!!!! I spent most of my time rolling my eyes whilst reading and truthfully, I'm finding it hard to explain exactly what it was that didn't sit well with me, without giving too much away (I fear I may have already said too much). The whole thing just seemed too contrived and pandering to the assumption that all females have fantasies of being dominated and rescued whilst pretending to be strong and feisty. Oh yeah, and the bad guy kept calling her 'my dear'. All. The. God. Damn. Time. It got VERY ANNOYING.
Everything was a bit too stereotypical and there wasn't much in the way of originality. It may seem like I am being way too harsh on this, but it's only because of how highly I rate Maria as an author. It is killing me having to say these things. Her stories usually inspire and shock and delight, but this one did none of those things, mainly because it held no surprises. If you are undecided as to whether to read this, I would say that if you have read Poison Study, then I wouldn't bother, you will find nothing knew here. If you haven't, then go read that instead!!...more
Edit: new review pilfered from my Blog after seeing the movie, as it kind of turned into a 'how the film compared to the book' rather than an all outEdit: new review pilfered from my Blog after seeing the movie, as it kind of turned into a 'how the film compared to the book' rather than an all out film review. Here we go...
Wow, wow, wow. Ok, first of all, I need to stress how much I absolutely adore this series. I will never truly be able to convey with words what they mean to me, and how they made me feel. I was literally blown away by the depth of the emotions portrayed, the nerve jangling authenticity that Suzanne Collins managed to create in an entirely fictional and futuristic setting, and the astounding realism that she was able to capture in her characters. Katniss will forever be one of my favourite leads, mainly for her constant conflicts and battles with herself over what was right and what was necessary. I love her for a flaws, her honesty and her humanity. She isn't a hero. It is her actions that are heroic.
What I was most afraid of then, was not necessarily that the film would be bad; the sheer amount of positive reviews told me that this wasn't going to be another catastrophic book adaptation. It was rather that I would no longer feel the same about the book series. That my feelings towards them would be forever tainted. I am pleased to report however, that the opposite is true. Because I could see how much they were not able to include, it made me love the books even more for the simple fact that you can feel so much closer to Katniss and all her fellow characters. You can explore better the relationships she has with Gail, Peeta, Rue and Haymitch, as well as her mother, all of which, in my opinion, were not developed fully in the films. Trying to read anything now will be struggle as all I want to do is pick them up and immerse myself in the story once again and rediscover them in their awe inspiring brilliance.
If you are reading this, I am assuming you are a book lover and therefore will have read The Hunger Games series. If by chance, you haven't, then what are you waiting for? I ploughed through it in 2 days, and if I didn't need to sleep or earn a living I would have demolished it in a matter of hours.
I envy all those who are reading these books for the first time. A part of me wishes I could wipe them from my memory, so that I could re-live and re-love them all over again.
Oh. Holy. Wowzers!!!!! This has got to be, without a doubt my favourite read of 2011 and it has stormed into my Top 10 of all time! This book has rec Oh. Holy. Wowzers!!!!! This has got to be, without a doubt my favourite read of 2011 and it has stormed into my Top 10 of all time! This book has received a whole lotta love already, but that still isn't enough in my opinion.
The first thing that drew me to this masterpiece was the setting. Huzzah, a book not set in an American high school. Oh happy day. Never has a location been so perfect for a story. Prague! It even sounds darkly delicious and gothic, full of shadows and things hidden.
The story itself is wonderfully and gloriously told. As you read, the plot seems to start coming undone at the seams, threads of mysteries and secrets drifting and twisting. Then it begins to knit itself back together again, becoming something entirely new that you just can't turn away from. Once you start, there's no stopping until it's finished.
The love story is enough to make you weep, and even for a cold hearted creature like myself, I longed for even half of the feelings that the two main characters shared. It was simply beautiful to behold.
As for the characters, it was difficult not to love and empathise with them, to share every little moment and revelation as if you were a part of them.
This review may seem ridiculously gushy, but every word of it is true. Don't believe me? I guess you're going to have to go read it yourself!!! >.<
There was a faery on the cover, and not just any faery, but a Brian Froud faery, so this little marvel had to be bought. I really can't get enough ofThere was a faery on the cover, and not just any faery, but a Brian Froud faery, so this little marvel had to be bought. I really can't get enough of the wonderful world of Fey, and if you're the same, then I implore to choose this as your next literary conquest, and even if you're not, read it anyway because it's seriously good.
It is a story of a little faery who dreams of something bigger, who craves freedom and knowledge of the wider world. But when she gets her wish, she is ill prepared for what she discovers, and her tiny world is thrown into turmoil.
Being a fan of all things faery, I was always going to like this, even it was rubbish. But luckily it isn't , it's fabulous, and there are worse things you could do than give this a go!!!!...more