So, this review is going to be more of a rant, which is why I generally don't write one until at least the day after reading a book, BUT I just...can't. Because of this, heads up, it's riddled with spoilers, so if you don't feel like listening to me rant on, and you don't want to know what happens with this book, stop reading now. I loved this book up until the ending. The ending ruined, for me personally, not only this book, but the previous ones in the series as well.
I also feel like it's important to mention, that if this turns out not to be the last book (which is what it says on the author's blog) I will rescind MOST of the comments to follow. But I mean, a book about Kricket. Not a spin-off series where we glimpse her and she happens to be living a life of leasure off on some beach somewhere (which actually, now that I'm thinking about it, would ALSO be a sucky ending), but an actual book about what happens next and how all of this can be fixed. Doesn't even have to be a full fledged novel, I'd settle for a novella at this point. Heck, a short story even! But I digress on to the actual "review" *cough* rant *cough*.
I'm serious about that freston though. Or, better yet, I'll one up it to brain burrowing worms. What the heck just happened?! What did I just subject myself to?! Let's start with the beginning, where I read the first two books of this series in the course of three days (and it only took me that long because I worked 9 1/2 hour shifts). I've never been big on the scifi genre, which is ironic, considering I was named after a character from Frank Herberts Dune series. I've always tried to get into them, because I love most genres but never could. Until Under Different Stars. Not only did the book blow my mind, but it gave me a new appreciation for the science fiction genre, alien worlds, etc. I love all of the characters, and the story itself was so wrought with emotion that it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. Then I read the second book, and while I thought there was a ton of unnecessary detail, and really nothing happens in the first half (they're in the same place pretty much forever) by the end of it I still found I loved it. After reading the third book however...I'm convinced that the author is actually a priestess and I've been brainwashed. It's her series, these are her characters and her worlds, and she can do whatever she wants with them. As a reader, I generally don't feel like I have the right to complain when tiny details don't go the way I'd hoped. But come on? Really? Really? REALLY? (Told you this was going to be a rant). I did NOT just read three books just to see the main character end up exactly where she started! Oh wait! Not even exactly there, because now, instead of the two friends she had on earth, she has only one. And one who doesn't know anything about the planet, at all. I love Phlix, don't get me wrong, I was seriously rooting for her and was already gearing to riot if anything happened to her (like with Dobrey...seriously? Yuck. Poor dude) but now it just feels like she was thrown in there simply so the author could point and be like, "No! Look, guys! Look! I didn't totally rip her from her life and then leave her all alone in the end anyway! She's got Phlix!". If you couldn't already tell by now, I am not impressed. Like, at all. Yay, Phlix isn't dead! Boo, who got spoonfed a small role supporting character and told it was a full course meal. Basically, right now, I feel a lot like Kricket. Absolutely no control over the horrible things that have happened to me. Am I being dramatic? Admittedly, sure, but come on, guys? Who doesn't AT THE VERY LEAST want some closure about Trey and Kyon? I was totally okay with her falling for the latter. Honestly, if she hadn't I would have called her crazy. He was convincing. Even I was falling for him. But I still wanted her to end up with Trey. It's left open, with her being warned Kyon might decide to come after her once he wakes up (yeah, good luck getting past all those a-hole Amster d-bags, who also, by the way, I ended up hating JUST AS MUCH if not more than the Alameeda, but we'll get to that) and Phlix, the friend who doesn't actually see the future so take everything she says with a grain of salt, told her she and Trey weren't done. Thanks for that, girl who really has no way of knowing. While we're speaking, I'm sorry you got used as a plot device. I know you have issues with being used and all. Back to Kyon, I get why she fell for him, it was realistic and it made sense. I'm sure it upset some people, but it worked for me because I assumed everything would come to a somewhat acceptable conclusion in the end. Wrong. So wrong. Clearly, I don't see the future either. In this book, try as the author might, Trey gets swept aside. Forget the rug, he's under the floorboards. We never really get a chance to see closure there, even enough of it for Kricket walking away to seem justified. She's trying to be cruel to protect him, ok, but isn't that the same as lying to him? That thing she hates when people do? There's not even any mention of him in that damn letter to her stupid sister (or Jax for that matter!! I had begun to suspect in book two that the author's love had shifted from Jax to Wayra, but that proves it!). And don't even get me started on her sister. We know absolutely nothing about Astrid. Aside from the two or three miniscule glimpses we get of her, everything else is all hearsay. While there's been no mention of it that I'm aware of, I don't even feel like a book series revolved around her would be good/helpful at this point. We came into it knowing nothing about her, and we left the same. Sort of like Kricket. In fact, by the end I'm pretty much completely like Kricket. I don't have Trey, I don't have Kyon, I don't have a place in Ethar, and because I'm not so sure I'll be recommending this series to anyone anymore, I don't even have the one friend. IF we'd gotten to actually know Astrid, and IF we'd actually gotten the chance to like her, MAYBE Kricket running off in the end would have at least been alright. Because, to be clear, I've got no problems with her leaving, it's how she leaves and what she leaves behind that pisses me off. Also, she's not really heading towards anything. She can't even go back to Chicago so...there goes the only two people prior to this entire mess that she cared about. We see in book two that Astrid "loves" Kricket, but even then it does seem pretty clear that Kricket would make a better empress than her. So, because she was coddled by their jerkwad of a dad, she gets to live happily? With the guy she loves? And with a family? While her people basically go around slaughtering people the same as the Alameeda did? Riiiight. That seems reasonable. Not. At least the Alameeda were honest that they were arrogant, insufferable,entitled pricks. Pan's people? They honestly think they're better. Wow. Just wow. Basically, to me, it doesn't seem like in the end Kricket got to be free. It seems like she ran. And she'll be running. FOREVER. Maybe Astrid won't send people after her (which I'm sure personally she won't, but hello, who really thinks she has control over daddy dearest? Or Giffin) but she and Phlix won't really KNOW that for certain. They'll always be forced to look over their shoulders. There were too many characters left in the gray area for it to leave off with such an untidy ending. Giffin clearly doesn't want her dead, but he'll kill her to protect Astrid. Her dad does want her dead, but he loves Astrid, so maybe if she asks he'll let it go. Trey loves Kricket, but he's pissed about Kyon and possibly thinks she hates him. Kyon is unconscious, and needs to survive the a-hole Amster d-bags before he can even consider how he can get to Kricket. Oh, but we know he loves her right, because he turned himself in? Nope. Doesn't satisfy me. Nice try though. Not. (I'm probably being harsh, am I being harsh? This is why I don't usually let myself rant). Her dad did what he thought he HAD to, based off a prophecy of the future, even knowing that FUTURES CAN CHANGE. Umm, hello? Kricket apparently changed it by writing on a mirror with makeup. Which, also seemed like a stretch, like, how convenient she was able to escape imminent demise by writing on a mirror. What? That's attempted to be explained away by Pan telling Trey earlier that his wife saw too far into the future for small details like that to have a large enough ripple effect. Uh huh. Totally buying it. Again, not. Honestly, the dude didn't even try, and it disgusts me how he got away with it. Seriously, NOTHING happens to him. Nothing. He's just as bad as Kyon's dad, using his children, thinking he has all the answers. She doesn't even get to tell him off properly. WHAT?! So, because Papa Ensin is dead, one bad guy down, I should be happy? Nope. Not even a little bit. I didn't need Kricket to become empress or anything, but I did need her to be the badass that I fell for in the first book, the one that kept me reading and actually got me interested in the genre. I just needed her not to run. That being said, I would have been a lot happier if we'd gotten to know Astrid at the last minute, found out she'd never wanted to rule and abdicated to Kricket, so that their father got screwed like he deserved, and Kricket got a family and a future that didn't include sleeping in alleys and being homeless. Is that too much to ask? Maybe. But still.
To wrap this insanely long rant up, at the beginning of this we got a girl who's had a horrible life and is FINALLY about to be free of it because she's turning eighteen. She has a couple best friends who love her, a place to live, and a job that pays the bills and doesn't completely blow (there are worse things she could have been doing, and we all know it). Then she got ripped from her life. Fell in love, "possibly twice", found out she was abandoned as a child, found out she was also stalked as a child by a guy who allowed horrible things to happen to her in order to keep her down, and that like she's believed her entire life, people only want to use her. She's nothing special. How does she end up? Probably stalked the rest of her life by a guy who'll do nothing to help her in order to keep her down, now jobless, friendless (aside from Phlix of course) and homeless. Things are even more bleak now than they were at the damn start, the only difference is instead of being abandoned, she was the abandoner. And it wasn't even because she loves Earth so much, no, it's because if she hadn't RUN, she would have been killed. So, really, where's the change in that? Where has this character grown? She's still only doing whatever she has to to survive because she's desperate. Like telling Trey she doesn't love him. And not telling Kyon that she loves him. By the time it's all over, she doesn't even trust the Cavar's who have had her back the first two books that we all fell in love with. She's just as suspicious, heartbroken, empty, and alone as she was in the first chapter of book one, if not more so. WHY DID I NEED TO READ THREE BOOKS FOR THE MAIN CHARACTER TO END UP IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE?! Where has she grown as a person? What's changed for the better? She killed a dude who sucked for a bunch of other dudes who sucked. That was it. If he hadn't been trying to kill her, would she have even bothered? Who knows at this point! Ok, I'm done. Maybe. Might add one or two things later if they pop into my head, but for now, gonna end it with the part that really disappoints me is that it was attempted to make Kricket end on a note where she's finally achieved freedom, but that's the biggest lie of all. What she has right now is more running, not freedom. She's worse off now than she was before. I feel really bad for Kricket. And Trey. And even Kyon. So, I guess thanks for being such a good writer that I fell head over heels, one hundred percent, in love with all of these characters, only so you could stick brain eating worms into my ears while I was distracted. Awesome.
Again, like I said earlier, if this ends up not actually being the last of KRICKET's books, then I'll change my rating. It'd totally make a five, at the very least a four. As of now, being it's the last book, I can't even bring myself to give it a three. The only reason it's even getting a two is because I feel like part of me is betraying these characters, otherwise it would be a one. :/...more
Like some of the others, it was hard for me to get through this one. The story was interesting; I liked the concept a lot. However I felt it was poorlLike some of the others, it was hard for me to get through this one. The story was interesting; I liked the concept a lot. However I felt it was poorly executed. It was too hard to understand the different cultural aspects at first, for example, fighting was mentioned a lot, but no specifics. I wanted to know more about it in the beginning of the story, so that every time he brought it up I'd know what he was talking about and could picture it. And if he can't touch how can he fight? Stuff like that made it hard for me to get into the story, adding to it the poor grammar and choppy sentences. I looked and it seems like the rest of the author's work has received better ratings, so I might check something else out to see if maybe this book just fell by the wayside a bit. ...more
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
I've been mulling over for the past few days what I would say in this review. Fo*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
I've been mulling over for the past few days what I would say in this review. For one, the book itself took me a really long time to read, which is odd for me. I found that after I got through a chapter (sometimes half a chapter) I'd put it down and go do something else, completely forgetting about it. That's not to say that the author's writing is forgettable, it's not, there was real promise there and the idea for this story is great. The main character, Bexx, is a badass which I love. I'm also quite partial to the name. It's not that I disliked being in her head all the time, it was just that it seemed a bit...rushed? Maybe even confused. I know that she doesn't understand everything that goes on in her society, but there's a point where she describes her computer as made of glass and flat metal, or something like that. I have absolutely no idea how my computer functions, it seriously baffles me, however I know the materials used to make it. This seems like a little detail, yes, but I feel it's the best example to describe the rest of the book. Lot's of the time, people tell Bexx about the Rose's history, and about other soldiers, but none of it really made me feel this awe or need to defend it. She listens to someone say, "there was this great soldier. Who died" and suddenly she's like star struck and certain she made the right choice in becoming a soldier. Wasn't she certain before? Wasn't that the point of the flashbacks which made up the first two chapters? Also, I'm not really clear why she needs to be so good as school in order to become a soldier...seems like they needs soldiers whether or not they can do math. What other jobs are there? What other options does she have? This is so vague from the get go that I was left wondering why everyone didn't just want to be a soldier. I won't go into further ramblings, but leave off with saying that had this story been knit tighter, with more substance to back up Bexx's wants from the beginning, I would have been a lot more interested from the get go.
There are a lot of differing opinions on this one however, so if it sounds interesting to you, I'd still check it out. Like I said, aside from not understanding why she wanted to be a soldier so badly in the beginning, Bexx was still an interesting strong female lead, which is always enjoyable. ...more
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ok, after reading all of the five and four star reviews, I was seriously surprised wI was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ok, after reading all of the five and four star reviews, I was seriously surprised when I didn't end up feeling the same way. Let me start by saying I love stories about best friends ending up together, but when I read a contemporary novel, I don't want to feel like I'm watching an episode of some flaky reality tv show. That's not to say that the author's writing was flaky, because it wasn't--though there could have been a lot more show and less tell--it was just there was no way I could connect to any of the characters, and if I can't connect, then why care what happens to them? I was expecting Elle to be a strong independent female lead, and I could tell she was trying to be, but failing. She was a push over, and half the time, came off almost as vapid as Tristian. Almost. I mean, in once scene the girls are actually rolling their eyes and laughing about how the boys always threaten to "beat" each other up. This is college, not middle or even high school. As someone who only left college two years ago this was really annoying. Are there people like that, immature and what not? Sure. But are they all? No, and pretty much every female character was the typical stereotypical "twirl your hair around your finger" type. They were catty and didn't care about anything. Same with the guys. So cliché. Tristan most of all. Every other page it seemed someone else was hitting on him, and not subtly either, but blatantly telling him they wanted to sleep with him. Then, when he'd inadvertently tell them he's in a relationship, they'd almost always tell him to keep her in mind for when he broke of with his girlfriend then. What? Not every female is a slut, and ok, we get it. He's hot. Whatever. It felt like Tristan's Adonis-like features were being bashed over my head. And why on earth would someone like that even propose marriage? They are still in college as well, and from the sounds of it this is really his first serious (and I use that term loosely) relationship. What on earth would prompt him to propose? This is never mentioned. We don't even really know how he did it, or why, or when exactly. One second she's just his girlfriend, and then a chapter or two later all of a sudden we're told she's actually his fiancé. That leads me to believe the author didn't plan for it to happen, it just did. Which is fine, it's great actually, but it needed to be eased in more smoothly then. The whole time I just kept wondering why on earth they were planning on getting married when they both so clearly loved flirting with other people. Then about half way through he just decides he needs to break things off with her. And the thought is casual just like that. They are also both ridiculously clueless. Even after her becomes a jealous jerk, she has no idea. As someone who has two male best friends, one of whom I've known just as long as Tristan and Elle and one who I've known longer, their reaction, or lack there of, is stupid. Both of my best friends are over protective, and they've both done the whole "brother with a shot gun" type routine but Tristan was way out of line and if either of my friends acted like that, I'd either 1. get a clue and realize they were secretly crushing on me, or 2. be really pissed at them for longer than the five seconds Elle is. That's the other thing, she's constantly turning the other cheek when it comes to Tristan, which only adds to me feeling like she has no backbone. Lastly, there were grammatical errors, which isn't too big of a deal and I didn't let that effect my rating too much because mistakes happen, but some of the sentence structures...I found it hard to read this without constantly being jarred out because, not only all of the telling instead of showing, but the odd way sentences were put together. For example, "I gladly accepted, pushing away Tristan and his smile out of my mind". Away and out of mean the same thing. It's not necessary to have them both in the sentence like that, it's just choppy and hard to read. One or two like this and I wouldn't bother mentioning it, but there were a lot. I really hated having to redo the same scene just through a different perspective. Sometimes it's necessary, and sometimes it works, but for most of this book it wasn't and it didn't. I also don't need all that stuff leading up to it. One of the party scene's for instance, where we start off in Tristan's POV, see him ask her to go on a beer run with him, then see him come back having forgotten about his girlfriend, then see them talk in the kitchen. None of that is even really all that relevant. The only part is that he forgot Kellie. That's it. The rest of it is sugar coating and I didn't even really enjoy reading it the first time. Then I had to go and read it all over again from Elle's, and her jaunt was even less entertaining. She started out at her place. Ok. Ginger was a bitch. Duh. Alyssa uses guys. Already been told that. They show up to party. She talks to Kellie and feels bad. So? It just wasn't necessary. If this book was condensed, and edited, it would make a world of difference. The storyline is good, it was just so hard for me to like any of these characters or care about anything they're going through. Really, the only interesting person in the whole book was the little sister, and we saw her less than a handful of times. I feel like that happened a lot, all of the good moments that could have been extended and really given the book punch were rushed over. I did read the blurb for book two and saw that her sister will be covered there, which is nice, but other events like Kellie working with his dad behind his back...that could have been a really good story arch, and instead it was tossed in there and over within a chapter and a half. The rest of it was more guys being assholes who only wanted to drink beer, have sex, and "beat" each other up, and girls who made snide remarks behind each others backs (or in each others faces) wanted to have sex, and shop. Which actually reminds me, and correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Elle start out as someone who didn't drink? She only had water in the beginning, and there's a scene where Tristan scolds her date because he offers her alcohol. Yet all of a sudden half way through the book that changed. There were multiple occasions in succession where she wanted to drink ,did drink, or couldn't because she was made DD. Confused...
However, keep in mind, there are a lot of five star reviews, and this is only my opinion, so if it sounds good to you check it out anyway. You might end up liking it a lot even though I didn't. To each his own and all that jazz. ...more
I was expecting a lot from this book from the get go I must admit. Maybe if I hadn't first seen the show my opinion of it would have been different, though I highly doubt it. While the first book in the Nine Lives of Chloe King series was a fast read, not a lot actually happened. For one, by the end we still don't know exactly what she is. All we get is, "cat person". Cat person. Really. Really? You've got to be kidding me. The ending is highly anticlimactic, with the bad guy being defeated in a pretty lame way. I'm getting a head of myself though, let's go back to the beginning of the book. Chloe is stupid. Seriously. Knowing how high up she is, why would she ever decide to balance on a ledge? And this is before she's aware of her cat like reflexes f.y.i. I mean, I'm not saying that an almost sixteen year old deserves to die for stupidity but...it was still a dumb move. Throughout she's also not overly likable. I don't hate her, but I don't really care about her either, which in my mind is a problem. If I'm not fully invested in a character, why should I keep reading their story? She's nothing like she was in the show, an intelligent, loving girl coming into her own. Instead, we get a somewhat bratty, highly immature portrayal of a stereotypical teen. Don't get me wrong, I swear, do now, did in high school. A lot. But when Chloe does it it doesn't even seem like it fits. It's always at weird times, and comes off as so forced that I always have to pause and force myself to try and picture it in my mind. It shouldn't be that hard. She just ends up coming off shallow. There's a part in the book where it's basically stated that she's smoking clove cigarettes just to be "cool". Because that makes me like her more. Not. I dipped my toes in the smoking scene in high school (which really wasn't that long ago, as I'm only 23, so I can still mostly relate) but I would never have admitted that it was just to look "cool", and considering every other second Chloe doesn't really seem to care about popularity, I don't think she would either. None of these characters were very well rounded, in fact, they all fell pretty flat. AlyecTMI, but if that were the case, I'd have had three times as many boyfriends as I actually had, and I'm sure that could be said for a lot of people. (Not that I'm suggesting everyone go out and randomly make out with people). All of a sudden though, after just kissing, she's got two boyfriends? Huh? Which brings me to Brian...another just wow. He's even worse than Alyec (seriously though, right spelling? WHY?). All those times when Chloe claims he's being really smart and interesting, I was yawning. And something is clearly off about him from the beginning. Even the kitty hat, which should have been a quirky attribute like in the show, seemed actually more...creepy? weird? odd? to me in this book. By the end, even though he's nothing like his character from the show so you shouldn't see it coming, you're pretty much like, duh. There are scenes where Chloe is "yelling" at him, and they just came off ridiculous. Not believable, and completely forced. Her friends aren't really any better, and half the time I was wondering why the author even bothered giving her any. At least if she was the silent loner type at school her cigarette comments and soaking up all the new boy attention would make sense. Sort of. Both Paul and Amy however, are unimportant for the storyline. They literally do nothing. At all. And Chloe's mother...don't even get me started on her. So, just a quick recap, you never find out what Chloe is. Her friends do little to nothing other than go off page to make out. Her mother has been keeping her from dating because of some stupid promise she made TWELVE years ago. Brian is really a freak like Chloe says (even though her calling him that was lame), and Alyec is only slightly more interesting than any of the other characters, and that's mostly because I still envision him as Benjamin Stone. That said....yes, I am a sucker. I do fully intend to keep reading the series, but only because the show was so good, I need to know how it could have possible ended, despite all the major differences between them. Honestly though, I would only recommend this to someone who wants to kill an hour or two and has literally nothing else to do instead.
I wasn't as impressed with this one as I was with another of Opal Carew's books. There wasn't very much story line, and what little there was sort of fell by the way side. I wanted to know more about Ben, Sloan, and Janine and the way their lives used to be, but we weren't given very much. The sex scenes were good, but sometimes even those felt over the top and forced. I couldn't really connect with Janine, and she never really took the time to think anything through. Being impulsive is one thing, but she wrote Sloan off right away and didn't bother giving her emotional self a chance. I couldn't really figure out why all of these guys were falling for her. The physical I get, but emotionally...I'm not sure why they were in love with her because she never really showed much personality. Sloan also seemed like a major push over half the time, and if it was for a good reason then I wouldn't have a problem with it, except, again, he kept doing all of these things for Janine and I couldn't understand why or what was so great about her. All in all, I wasn't overly impressed with this one, but if all you want is a toooon of sex scenes, then this is for you. ...more