Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage.
With all of the hype and the negativity surround...more
Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage.
With all of the hype and the negativity surrounding the final installment of the Divergent series, I was kind of afraid to read it! I can’t really say it lived up to the hype, and I wasn’t blown away by it, but I still enjoyed it.
Tris improved greatly in this one. In Insurgent, she pissed me off so badly that I wanted her to be a real person just so I could throttle her. Unfortunately, that role switched to Four in this book. He annoyed the crap out of me! My main issue with him was that he supposedly loved and trusted (and respected) Tris, but when times got tough, he didn’t trust her judgement. There was one time in particular that she was right and he was too blind and petty to see it, and royally f*cked up because he didn’t trust her. I do like that he screwed up, because it made his character more real, but I hated him for it because of the outcome of his mistake.
I’m glad that Tris and Four finally came to an understanding, though. I hate when couples fight when things get tough, because I think that if they really loved each other, tough times should bring them closer together and they should turn to each other for support and understanding. It came much later than I was hoping, but better late than never I suppose.
I did however love Tris and Christina’s relationship! Now that is what it means to be a true friend. Even though they both screwed up and hurt each other (Tris more than Christina), they still stuck together and supported each other. Their friendship put Tris and Four’s relationship to shame!
I can’t say I cared for the switching POVs. It was confusing, and there were many times when I got lost in them and forgot who I was reading. They didn’t have distinct voices, so it was difficult to tell them apart. I got so used to reading Tris that I forgot when it wasn’t her. Although I do see the need for the dual perspective, I think it could have still been mostly written in her POV to minimize confusion.
And am I the only person that saw then ending coming? (view spoiler)[I mean, why write the first two novels from one perspective and then suddenly switch it up in the last installment? The answer seemed rather obvious to me. (hide spoiler)] But just because I was prepared for it, didn’t make it suck any less. I was very surprised that this book made me cry at the end. I didn’t get much feeling from anything else in the series, so I truly didn’t expect it to affect me much, even less because I kinda saw it coming. That is what ultimately made me go for a higher rating, because the majority of the book would only elicit maybe 3 heartbeats.
I know many people didn’t like this one, for the same reason that most didn’t like Mockingjay. But I did. Why? (view spoiler)[The shock factor: it takes some major balls to kill off a main character. I like that! (hide spoiler)] Life sometimes requires sacrifice. Not everyone gets a happy ending, especially in war. It was real.
While the ending wasn’t necessarily satisfactory for some, it was wrapped up nicely and it made sense. Actually, it was a great ending in my opinion, and that’s what made this book worth it for me.
But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.
Favorite character: Cara. She was blunt and sometimes abrasive, but she called things like she saw them. She was a good person with sound judgement under the tough, no-nonsense exterior. She was forgiving and was true to herself and to the people she cared about. I loved her!
Favorite quote: I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me. If only that realization had been earlier than page 372…
While this book wasn’t quite as good as the rest of the series, I did enjoy it and it was a good ending to a great series!
“You are my peace and my home. You are the everything.”
You have to really feel for Jack and Nikki…despite everything they’ve done to be together, the world just keeps working against them. It’s very tragic! But the great part is, even though it seems like they’re destined to be pulled apart, they never stop trying. It makes them even stronger!
It was becoming more difficult to remember all the reasons I hated Cole, especially now that I’d gotten a glimpse into his tragic past.
Cole. Oh, Cole. I spent half this book arguing with myself over whether or not Cole was faking his amnesia or not. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, because remember what happened LAST time I started to like him? Yeah. So not happening again. But it did, and that’s what shocked me – Ashton’s ability to get you to empathize with even the most nefarious character. A few times I actually started to feel sorry for Cole, even though I never fully trusted him. I could never get a read on him to tell if he was sincere or not, or if he was just doing more manipulating to further his own agenda.
So…I saw that ending coming A MILE AWAY. I got the feeling throughout the whole book that it would happen that way, and to be honest I hoped it would. Because I like an author that can make sacrifices. Sometimes things come with a price, and I love it when an author has the balls to do that! (view spoiler)[I was surprised by how much Cole’s death affected me. I all but hated him at the end of the last book, but I still cried a little when he died. I didn’t expect that! But, on the flip side, when the whole band died, I didn’t feel a thing. Shouldn’t I have cared about that? (hide spoiler)]
However, I felt very unsatisfied with the final battle with the queen. (view spoiler)[It happened so fast I was left thinking, “That’s it?” The whole series has mentioned how powerful the queen is and how hard it would be to defeat her. But when they finally meet, Nikki is trapped in a glass box, calls the queen’s heart to her…and she dies. Seriously, THAT’S IT?! I was SO disappointed! I wanted it to be more of a challenge. I wanted the fight to be drawn out, and I wanted to actually doubt that beating the queen was possible for a minute. The danger was never really there, and defeating the queen was practically child’s play. (hide spoiler)] I think if a little more time would have been spent on that, the ending would have been much more satisfying.
Favorite quotes: I couldn’t deny it anymore. I’d been so worried about letting go of my anger and my hate, but my mistake was thinking it was actually my choice. I had about as much choice in the matter as an ice sculpture on a sunny day. Drop by drop, without my permission, my anger and hate had melted away.
“I am familiar with the need for a way out, no matter how implausible. It can give a hopeless situation hope.”
I’d heard very good things about this book, but didn’t really look twice at it until C.J. Redwine recommended it at her book signing. I thought for s...more
I’d heard very good things about this book, but didn’t really look twice at it until C.J. Redwine recommended it at her book signing. I thought for sure it was going to be a tear-jerker, and something I could find that could compare to Before I Fall, but for some reason it just didn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fabulous story. But I couldn’t connect like I’d hoped.
I think my main issue was that the writing style didn’t get to me. I found it a bit dry and clinical. This story had the potential to be very moving and emotional, but I just didn’t feel it. There was a disconnect there for me that kept me from truly feeling the story to the core.
It was terrible to think of what Carey went through, and that was really the driving point of this book. There was one scene in particular that had some very vivid imagery that had me cringing. I can’t even imagine how awful it would be to grow up like she did, with no electricity and nothing frivolous! Carey and Janessa barely had the things they actually needed.
Something I feel the need to point out – for me, personally – is Carey’s language. She was perfectly capable of speaking correctly, she proved that when she went to her new home. The don’ts and ain’ts didn’t bother me all that much, because I can understand that she was brought up on that language and it’s comfortable for her, but what bothered me was that she said Injun. Injun? Really? She could spell certain ‘big’ words correctly, like impenetrable and hyperventilating, and Jehovah for crying out loud, but not Indian?! Are you serious? I don’t know why that irked me so much…
There were a few times that I felt a twinge of something at least, but only in the scenes that involved Carey’s parents. I really liked how gentle and understanding they were with her, despite her somewhat uncouth temperament. As someone who is very close to her parents, that got to me slightly. But the very tender scenes should have been packed with emotion! I really think the issue here was me. Perhaps it was a mood thing, who knows.
Favorite quote: “We make attachments to what’s familiar. We find the beauty, even in the lack. That’s human. We make the best of what we’re given.”
I really enjoyed The Archived, and after hearing many good things about this one, I was sure I’d love it. And for once, I was right! This story...more
I really enjoyed The Archived, and after hearing many good things about this one, I was sure I’d love it. And for once, I was right! This story is not rainbows and unicorns. It was dark and rather twisted, and I think that’s why I liked it so much!
One of my favorite things about this book is the broken timeline. It jumps back and forth between the past and the present, sometimes sporadically. But, it was never confusing. Victoria Schwab has some serious talent to pull that off! Despite the timeline being all over the place, it still made sense. The flashbacks were timed perfectly to give you just a tidbit of the story at a time, creating intrigue and keeping the pace moving.
At first, you don’t know why Victor was in jail or what Eli did to make Victor hate him so badly. That part kept me interested, because I was thinking to myself, They were friends! What happened to make them hate each other so much?! You get answers in bits and pieces, spread out over the course of the story. Things were revealed in a way that made you go, “Ohhh, now that part makes sense!” It was brilliant!
My other favorite thing? You have no idea who the good guy is. There’s just bad and badder. Both opposing sides were messed up and twisted!
There are no good men in this game.
Victor could be considered our good guy, but he’s not technically good. He’s more like an antihero. He’s got some major issues, and his driving force was revenge. He is willing to do whatever he has to in order to see Eli bleed. But – he’s not evil. Eli, on the other hand, was. He was SO f*cked up! He was a very realistic character, and he was scary. Why? Because he truly believed what he was doing was right. He was a zealot and a fanatic; he did horrific things in the name of God, was sure that He approved even as Eli was committing murder. His sense of right and wrong was so warped that he could no longer tell the difference. The ironic thing was, he thought that EOs were unnatural, and that was why he felt they deserved to die. But he was an EO himself! It was crazy that he thought because his power only affected himself that he should live and they shouldn’t. Maybe it’s unnatural, but they’re still people. He didn’t even see that.
“ExtraOrdinaries shouldn’t exist. They haven’t just been given a second chance, they’ve been given a weapon and no manual. No rules. Their very existence is criminal. They aren’t whole.”
The changes in both Victor and Eli from the beginning to the end were astounding. Both started out as mostly good (I say mostly because Eli had a little darkness in him to begin with), but they became twisted and amoral the deeper they got into the study of EOs (ExtraOrdinaries). Victor changed the most. At first, he was skeptical, but as he started believing, he became obsessed. It was very interesting to see that change take over.
“You asked me if I ever wanted to believe in something. I do. I want to believe in this. I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.” “We could be dead,” said Eli.
I loved the concept of ExtraOrdinaries! Sure, it’s been done before – um, hellooo, X-Men. But the way they were created was what made this one unique. (view spoiler)[I mean, you can gain supernatural abilities if you’ve legally DIED? How cool is that?! (And what kind of balls would it take to kill yourself just for the chance to acquire an ability?) Most stories about abilities are basically a mutation that you’re born with. (hide spoiler)]
The only problem I had with this one was that I didn’t get much feeling from it. I think the main issue was that our main characters were apathetic because they felt empty inside, but even in dire circumstances I never felt the desperation. Or sadness. Like many paranormal stories, it’s hard to be worried when someone dies because you know they could come back. (view spoiler)[Although I must say, when I thought Mitch was going to die, I did feel a bit sad (which surprised me) because he didn’t deserve it. (hide spoiler)]
Hollywood seriously needs to pick this one up, it’d make an AMAZING movie!
Side note: I don’t usually comment on covers other than to give them a general rating. But I really don’t like the hardback cover – the dude looks weird and awkward and the colors are ugly as sin. BUT I’m absolutely in love with the paperback version:
It’s so beautiful! Probably because it’s red, and red is my favorite color. But I love the font, the dudes look badass, and I love the way they’re cut into pieces and it looks like blood is splattered off to the side. I already have the hardback, but I’m going to buy the paperback just because I love the cover!
*Notice that I labeled this as New Adult. It’s technically labeled as Adult, but it still didn’t read like an Adult novel. The characters were in college, so I really think this should be NA, since it’s at a higher level than YA (and is probably not 100% appropriate for a 13-year-old).
Favorite quotes: The moments that define lives aren’t always obvious. They don’t always scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there’s no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren’t always protracted, heavy with meaning.
“He called me unnatural,” said Sydney softly. “Said my power went against nature. Against God.” “Charming, isn’t he?”
“Waging war is the easy part – making peace will be the hardest thing we’ve ever done.”
Dan Wells is a pro at storytelling. He brings the world to lif...more
“Waging war is the easy part – making peace will be the hardest thing we’ve ever done.”
Dan Wells is a pro at storytelling. He brings the world to life! It’s always so easy to imagine the story as real because everything is so convincing. The world & setting is by far my favorite part of this entire series – the world building is cinematic!
“You weren’t ‘designed’ to cure RM, but you did it anyway. You weren’t designed to cross the toxic wasteland, but you did that, too, and then you escaped from I don’t know how many bad guys, and crossed through the middle of a war zone, and while every other group of weary, bloodied refugees is getting smaller and smaller, yours is getting bigger. You’re teaching people, and you’re recruiting people, and it’s not because you were built that way, or because you had some kind of glorious destiny to fulfill, but because you’re you. You’re Kira Walker. You’re not going to save the world because you’re the chosen one, you’re going to save it because you want to save it, and nobody in this world works harder for what they want than you do.”
I love this quote, because it describes her perfectly! She took so much on her shoulders and it never broke her. She stayed strong and did what she had to do no matter what. She never gave up on peace when everyone else thought it was a lost cause.
My one complaint: Cat killing. If you didn’t already see my discussion about this, it’s the one thing in literature that I can’t handle, however ‘realistic’ it may be. I could have done without reading about a cat being hunted and skinned and eaten, thank you very much.
I wasn’t too thrilled about the love triangle, either. It was kind of inevitable that it would come together, but still. I felt bad for Marcus, yet at the same time he really earned my respect with the way he handled it. I loved him for that! Kira, not so much. It irritated me that she thought she was “in love” with two different guys at the same time. That’s not how love works in my opinion. You may love them both, sure, but you’re not “in love” with either of them if you want someone else…
I have to admit that Heron earned my grudging respect, and I kind of felt bad for her. Also, I thought it was awesome that the Partials could share dreams! And the gene-modded monsters were totally creepy.
Overall, I liked the way everything turned out in the end. It was a satisfying finale to a great series!
Favorite quotes: “Love is when you have the opportunity of turning someone’s feelings or trust or vulnerability against them, but you don’t. You make promises you don’t want to keep, but you keep them because they’re right; you help people who can’t help you back. [...] Love is when you find something so great, so…necessary, that it becomes more important to you than your own goals, than your own life – not because your life has no meaning without it, but because it gives your life a meaning it never had before.”
“It’s love, and love doesn’t weigh its options and pick the best one – love just wants things, and it doesn’t know why, and it doesn’t matter why, because love is the only explanation love needs.”
“Do you love me?” He spoke without hesitation, without the usual line of thought between his eyes. “Infinitely.”
What a fabulous end to a unique trilogy! I must confess that the beginning was a little slow for me. I had a little trouble getting into it…then the dragons made an appearance, and I was hooked!
I love the world in the Newsoul series. It’s very original, and Jodi does a great job at bringing it to life! It was even better in this book with the addition of the dragons. I also got my wish from the last book – to see more of the sylph! I loved that they had an important part in the final chapter of the series. I thought the way they communicated was awesome! The dragons, too!
I adored Ana even more in this book – she was brave and fearless! She did anything she felt she had to do to protect the people she cared about.
(view spoiler)[Something that totally rocks? Finding out that this was technically post-apocalyptic, not high fantasy as I’d originally thought. Very cool! (hide spoiler)]
I freaking loved the ending! So totally sweet and perfect! I don’t have much else to say about this book other than I enjoyed it; but with dragons and sylph and phoenixes, what’s not to like?
This book was very tough to rate for me. I had extremely bipolar thoughts about this book, and the rating should be broken down as such:
Scenes with the Anthropophagi: 5 stars
Scenes without the Anthropophagi: 1 star
It’s no secret that I am NOT a fan of historical by any means, and I had no clue going into this that it would be historical (I saw Rick Yancey + gruesome horror and didn’t bother to read anymore). So, I was bored to tears in the beginning. To be honest, I very nearly DNFed this book in the first 100 pages or so. I sure am glad I didn’t!
I could totally see this book being a movie! I think I would actually like it better as a movie, because I wouldn’t have found it so boring. I want so desperately for Guillermo Del Toro to pick it up, because I know he could pull off the monstrous Anthropophagi!
Source: This person did an AWESOME job at bringing them to life!
The Anthropophagi were what made this book for me. They were scary, murderous monsters; the stuff of nightmares! They could rip a person to shreds in a matter of seconds. I loved it! The scenes featuring these creatures were intense and VERY gruesome! I love gory stuff, so of course I was enraptured. Be warned: This book is not for the faint of heart. It goes into very realistic detail of the gore. There were a couple of times that even I was grossed out! It takes a lot to make me cringe, but the two things I can’t handle were featured: Maggots and vomiting.
Something I did not like about reading this book: Purple prose. At times I felt like I was reading a college textbook. Some of the language was very advanced, and more than once I had to look something up because I’d never even heard of the word before (um, vicissitudes). There were some paragraphs so laden with it that I had to read them several times just to understand, and many times I found myself unable to focus on what I was reading. Now, I don’t mind intellect, because even though I may feel a bit stupid for having to look things up, I’m learning something. But, it wasn’t consistent. Most of the book was pretty normal, then there were times where it randomly lapsed into that kind of language. And it was all dumped into one or two paragraphs! The beginning was very bad with this for some reason.
I also felt nothing (aside from enthrallment in the monster scenes). Will Henry came off as very bland to me, and I couldn’t connect with him at all. He hardly seemed to have his own thoughts, he was so governed by the Monstrumologist. Plus the prose was so dry, I felt disconnected through lack of interest.
It didn’t get better until the last half. In the first 2/3 of the book, there were only several appearances of the Anthropophagi. But those crazy intense scenes were enough to keep me interested! I was originally going to give this 3.5 heartbeats, but it was so unique and gruesome that I know it will leave a lasting impression, and that’s important to me.
Favorite quotes Parents, like the earth beneath our feet and the sun above our heads, are immutable objects, eternal and reliable. If one should fall, who might vouch the sun itself won’t fall, burning into the sea?
Perhaps that is our doom, our human curse, to never really know each other. We erect edifices in our minds about the flimsy framework of word and deed, mere totems of the true person, who, like the gods to whom the temples were built, remains hidden.
The uniqueness of this book was the selling quality for me. The idea was crazy, but also completely logical. It was done so well that I felt like it...more
The uniqueness of this book was the selling quality for me. The idea was crazy, but also completely logical. It was done so well that I felt like it could actually happen!
I didn’t really care for Sal, to be honest. She was rather flat and dull to me, and I couldn’t connect with her at all. I felt nothing reading from her perspective because she was so detached and clinical about everything. The emotion just wasn’t there. There were a few times she cried, but there was no feeling to go with it! She was just…leaking. There was never anything such as ‘felt a pang of sadness/guilt’ or ‘I felt blah blah whatever emotion.’ She reacted, sure, but there was no insight to her thoughts or feelings. Which made no sense, because it was first person! I felt like Sal was just describing things, not experiencing them, which led to me feeling very disconnected from the story.
Not that I didn’t enjoy it, because I still did. The originality was so special that it was impossible not to enjoy it. And, as everyone knows (or should by now haha), I am a world building whore. And I’ve gotta give major kudos to Grant; she did her research! The world was so fleshed out and realistic that she almost had me believing it could be real. I was highly impressed by the medical terminology and the magazine articles. (And there was a date!!! I don’t know why I got so excited about this.) Now, I’m no biological engineer, so it could all be completely illogical and I’d never know the difference. But to me, it seemed legit!
For some ridiculous reason, the constant reminders about how ‘knowledgable’ Sal was with dogs annoyed the shit out of me. Why? I have no idea! But the constant facts about dog behavior and such came off as trying too hard to show that Sal knew said facts. Who cares if she knows specifics of dog behavior? Maybe it’s just because I’ve worked in a kennel for nearly 7 years, and because I already know it, I felt like it was too much explaining. But there were also times when I feel like she had her facts wrong. i.e:
The dog sat down by my feet, assuming the patient waiting posture that has been the characteristic of the Labrador retriever since the breed was born.
CLEARLY you have never worked with labs. Either that, or my vet clinic just has a ridiculously high amount of asshole Labradors. (We may never know.) But in my 7 years of experience, the Labrador breed has been overly hyper/energetic/psycho, with a tendency to drag your ass across the lawn, not wait patiently at your feet. Just speaking from experience here, folks. Yes, well trained labs can be like that, but their main characteristic in my opinion is stubbornness. *ahem* Sorry, got off on a bit of a tangent there…
I’m afraid that the major plot twist was quite predictable. There were a couple of minor surprises in there that caught me off guard, but I had the big one pegged in the first half. (view spoiler)[Her dreams gave it away! I figured she was dreaming in the perspective of the tapeworm every time she described the hot warm dark. Um, a womb-like place, hello! (hide spoiler)]
While I didn’t feel any emotion and didn’t connect to this book like I’d hoped, the world-building was hella awesome so it was still an enjoyable read!