After reading so many glowing reviews I couldn't wait to get stuck into this book, despite a general avoidance of dystopia novels. The fact that it wa...moreAfter reading so many glowing reviews I couldn't wait to get stuck into this book, despite a general avoidance of dystopia novels. The fact that it was also a paranormal romance didn't hurt either. After having read the book, I can see what people loved about this book. The premise was interesting although not totally unique as Nalini Singh's Guildhunter series is quite similar in respect to the angel overlords with the exception that there is no apocalypse. However, her dark take on angels and their relationship with god was really interesting! Penryn was an awesome heroine who could do what needed to be done to survive AND kick ass. Raffe was hot, as male leads should be. The pace of the story moved fairly reasonably and there was quite a bit of dark and disturbing graphic imagery which I would consider a plus for a dystopia novel.
The main issues I had were matters that struck me as illogical in the setting provided. After all, suspension of disbelief can only stretch so far. For starters, the actual reason for the apocalypse given was, for me, a bit hard to accept. This was mainly due to the fact that humans managed to gun down the leader Gabriel but somehow can't put up a fight against the other angels? Even with the immense range of weaponry at the disposal of humans? What, tanks weren't around to shoot them down? Also, Raffe was so normal for an angel. Take away his superpowers and he was essentially an angst teenage boy. I think more could have been done to show him as 'other' - a completely different species. For example Nalini Singh does this really well.
The only other thing that disappointed me was the amount of romance in it. There was really only some light flirtation (view spoiler)[and one smoking hot kiss! (hide spoiler)] and I could've done with a lot more development on that front. Fair warning to those who start reading this book for the romance!
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to lovers of dystopia and those who don't mind the kind of graphic imagery you'd find in zombie novels. My quibbles with the story are mostly minor and for a debut novel, it's quite superb work. I'd definitely continue with the series and look forward to the next installment.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Plot: A future where all that's left of America is 12 districts and a Capitol with an...moreREVIEW OF: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Score: 4 stars
The Plot: A future where all that's left of America is 12 districts and a Capitol with an essentially dictatorship kind of rule is a really interesting premise. The use of the Hunger Games to control the populace and prevent rebellion is also interesting but not wholly unique as it reminds me a lot of the Japanese manga Battle Royale. The pace was fairly quick and I was always kept interested in the storyline.
The Characters: First off, I have to get this off my chest. WHAT on EARTH was up with the character names?! Katniss is bad enough but Peeta?! What is wrong with simply spelling it right and calling him Peter?? And why did no one ever shorten Katniss to Kat? Seemed to me to be the obvious thing to do. Sorry but the naming of things and people was a continual annoyance for me as I read. On the subject of the characters themselves, Katniss seemed a bit cold-hearted which put me off liking her as a character. I understand that it's all about survival and protecting her loved ones for her but (view spoiler)[I thought the way she treated Peeta was just too cruel (hide spoiler)]. On the other hand, Peeta was just TOO perfect. I mean, he's nice, he's charismatic, he's handsome and he would do anything for Katniss. What can't he do? I felt he would have been a bit more interesting if he had a flaw of some sort. Don't get me wrong, I liked most of the characters and I think he was my favourite character after Rue. These criticisms are really just a minor point. Gale didn't leave much of an impression and I'm guessing he'll be developed further in the later books since there's clearly going to be a love triangle. (The YA gods strike again! -.-)
Overall Impression: I thought it was an all round great book, especially considering Dystopia is not my favourite genre, and I would definitely read the rest of the series, ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Ok, so I'm not generally a fan of dystopia novels but since this book got so many rave reviews I decided to try it out. I'll be honest and say that ev...moreOk, so I'm not generally a fan of dystopia novels but since this book got so many rave reviews I decided to try it out. I'll be honest and say that even after having read Divergent, I'm still not really a fan of dystopia novels. As such, be forewarned that my review may be a little biased.
The plot itself was pretty interesting. Having society divided into 5 factions after the world went to war reminded me a lot of The Giver by Lois Lowry for some reason. However, it also seemed a bit unrealistic that people could be so focused on just one aspect of a person's character and devote the rest of their lives to that single aspect. So being 'Divergent' just didn't seem that special to me. Pace-wise, the plot moved along fairly well but I felt the ending was a bit rushed. Plus, some plot developments I saw coming a mile away. (view spoiler)[Like Four being the other kid from Abnegation who transferred to another faction. (hide spoiler)]
On the whole I liked the main character Tris but sometimes she did things that felt out of character. (view spoiler)[For instance, that slap of Four came totally out of left field! Tris did NOT seem like the type of person who would get all angsty and slap Four just because he ignored her after the kiss. Then she went and acted like a big baby by going to see her brother and breaking the rules which put her entire intiation at risk. Utter foolishness! (hide spoiler)] And she occasionally did things that made me really annoyed with her. Personally, I like to be able to love my heroines. If a heroine annoys me, I generally can't stand the book. On the other hand, some of the other characters were absolutely awesome and they generally felt pretty well developed. (view spoiler)[How awesome was the mother?!?! I was seriously disappointed that she died. =( (hide spoiler)]
For me this book was a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars but since Goodreads doesn't allow half stars, it leaned more towards a 3 than a 4. I will however be reading the next book in the series and I have hopes it will improve!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Plot: The story is a unique blend of dystopia and science-fiction. The world is an interesting take on w...moreThe Apocalypse Gene Review
Score: 3.5 Stars
The Plot: The story is a unique blend of dystopia and science-fiction. The world is an interesting take on what could be post-apocalypse, or in this case, post-pandemic. The extensive use of the Internet and cyber-realities seemed very plausible. I also really enjoyed the totally unique take on angels and the whole mythos behind the kindred was very interesting. (view spoiler)[Don't think I really approve of the whole 'cancer is really an evil alien' storyline but it is undoubtedly different. (hide spoiler)] Pacing-wise, the novel started a bit slow and I'll admit that it was a bit hard for me to keep reading. I was easily distracted by other things and for me, a really good book is one where I don't get distracted by ANYTHING until I've finished. However, the story really picked up in the second-half of the novel and I powered through to the end quite easily.
The Characters: I enjoyed the characters on the whole but I did feel that the main characters were a bit two dimensional and could have done with a bit more development and depth. Olyvia's constant use of slang was a bit annoying (there are only so many 'frags' a girl can take!) and it always felt unnatural when read with the rest of the narrative. (view spoiler)[Also, I felt that the author's succumbed to the YA trap that is 'love at first sight'. Although it wasn't at first sight, it felt like they fell in love just a little bit too quickly. (hide spoiler)] On the other hand, some of the secondary characters were awesome and I loved quite a few of them. (view spoiler)[Especially Prime! That was certainly an unexpected twist in his character at the end. (hide spoiler)]
Overall Impression: Overall, I thought the story was quite enjoyable and with a few small tweaks it could have easily been spectacular. Most of my quibbles are minor and I think it's a solid effort for a relatively new author.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)