Juliette has been locked up for close to a year with no human contact, because when she touches someone she can kill them. The world has fallen apart...moreJuliette has been locked up for close to a year with no human contact, because when she touches someone she can kill them. The world has fallen apart and a movement called the Reestablishment has taken power. They have plans to use Juliette to their advantage. Juliette has no intention of becoming a weapon for them, so she will fight for her freedom. The soldier assigned to watch her is Adam, a boy she actually new from before she was locked up.
This was an intriguing twist on a dystopia. Juliette clearly lives in a dystopian society. There is a corrupt regime with a complete disregard for human life and strict rules. However that takes a backseat to Juliette's problems. It's not until the end of the book that we get a bigger picture of the society or a possible rebellion. I really liked that there was not a cliffhanger ending. There are clearly still storylines to be explored but the abrupt cutoff was missing. Yay.
We focus totally on Juliette dealing with being not only different but deadly. She thinks she is unlovable, until Adam comes back into her life. And wow what sizzle these two had. I loved how Mafi slowly clued the reader into not only Juliette's history, but how Adam was involved as well. It was a nice change from the new girl meets cute boy and suddenly they are completely in love. Both Adam and Juliette are damaged from the world around them, but they fit together really well. I loved how their relationship played out.
My only problem with the story is some of the style. Some of it's written in a kind of stream of conscious with some thoughts being crossed out and others repeated. It took a lot of getting used to and I almost put the book down because I really didn't like it. The other thing that took some getting used to is the very lyrical way Juliette describes things. It almost felt like poetry. I usually don't like super descriptive styles, but this worked for Juliette's character. Because she was basically sensory deprived until she was released, I can see why she would revel in all the things she could see, hear, or feel. It also kept me a little withdrawn from the world. Things didn't always feel urgent or life threatening. Those few things kept this from making my favorite of the year list, but it is still worth picking up. And I look forward to seeing what happens to Juliette and Adam next.(less)
Zoe’s father was an advisor to the king, but he fell out of favor and was exiled from court. Zoe has lived with him in a small village for years. Afte...moreZoe’s father was an advisor to the king, but he fell out of favor and was exiled from court. Zoe has lived with him in a small village for years. After a long illness, her father passes away. A few days later a man from the capital arrives. He says the king has chosen Zoe to be his fifth wife. Lost in grief, Zoe goes with the man. Once they arrive in the capital, Zoe runs away. She starts living along the river’s edge where a community of squatters camp. Slowly she begins to recover from her grief. As she adapts to her new circumstances she begins to learn that her father kept many secrets from her. As she uncovers the truth, she will gain a place in society and discover her own unique powers. [return][return]One of the things I love about Sharon Shinn is how fully developed her worlds and characters are. Troubled Waters is no exception. The culture is rich and vibrant, the characters are complex, and the story is fascinating. The political intrigue is masterfully done. There are layers and layers of secrets and motivations that kept me engrossed. There was just the right amount of romance. It enhanced instead of overwhelming the story. All in all, another fantastic story by Sharon Shinn.(less)
In this dystopian world society is broken down into five different factions. Each faction cultivates a particular quality like, honesty, bravery, or i...moreIn this dystopian world society is broken down into five different factions. Each faction cultivates a particular quality like, honesty, bravery, or intelligence. At sixteen each person decides which faction they will join for life. Beatrice has grown up in Abegnation, where they cultivate selflessness. Beatrice doesn’t really fit in there, but choosing another faction would mean leaving her family behind and she is not sure she wants that either. To make matters worse her personality tests are inconclusive,or divergent, apparently that is dangerous information she is warned to keep secret. Her surprising choice of faction leads to a dangerous initiation, where it’s hard to tell friends from enemies. [return][return]Wow, this was a compelling read. Roth’s world is clearly realized and detailed. I was drawn into Beatrice’s life right away. Her difficulty choosing her faction and her struggles to fit in were gripping. Embedded in the story are a lot of thought provoking subjects, like what is true courage? Not only was Beatrice a great character, so was Four and I loved where their storyline went. At moments, I was really reminded of the Hunger Games. A word of warning, there is some brutal stuff in this story much like HG. Roth moves seamlessly from Beatrice’s struggles in initiation to the larger intrigue in the city. The conclusion was heart pounding, but oh so good. It wrapped up enough of the main story, but left enough that I can’t wait for a sequel.(less)
I had a lot of problems with this story. Both characters were gorgeous, and they spent plenty of time mooning over the physical perfection of the othe...moreI had a lot of problems with this story. Both characters were gorgeous, and they spent plenty of time mooning over the physical perfection of the other. Despite the action, most of it feels like a dramatic teen romance. The hero is wounded at heart and frequently says things like, he could not allow her to get close to his heart. The major impediment to their love is the fact that he is a commoner and she is royalty, so he is constantly pulling away from her and reminding himself that she is unattainable. I had a hard time describing what bothered me about the writing. The closest I could get was there is no depth to it. Everything is stated and accepted so easily. An example is he kills the animal she has just forged a telepathic bond with. After a few pages of anger at him, she says she understands and forgives him. It was just too simplistic. I kept thinking it would get better, but at about halfway through I had to give up. (less)
It has been several months since his first dragon fiasco, but Beck is still getting into trouble. His latest escapade puts him in the hospital. While...moreIt has been several months since his first dragon fiasco, but Beck is still getting into trouble. His latest escapade puts him in the hospital. While he is recuperating a strange man shows up and tells him that he must find the last dragon egg and hatch it, otherwise the dirt will be angry. When one of the plants in his room attacks him, Beck is inclined to believe the strange old man. So Beck sets out to find the egg and stop whatever strange new things are going on. Of course, he will get into plenty of trouble along the way. [return][return]This was an quick, entertaining read. I continue to enjoy Beck’s slightly sarcastic take on the world. The plot went a little confusing at the end. I lost track of who was pretending to be whom and for what reason. Other than that it was a fun read and I’m looking forward to the next book.(less)
Gaius Octavian, the First Lord of Alera is returning home after fighting the merciless Vord in the Canim homeland. Unfortunately, one hive of vord is...moreGaius Octavian, the First Lord of Alera is returning home after fighting the merciless Vord in the Canim homeland. Unfortunately, one hive of vord is overtaking Alera as well. Tavi’s grandfather has died trying to defend the capital and most of the major cities are destroyed or occupied by the Vord. Tavi must reach the remaining forces who are readying for a last stand in the Calderon Valley and reinforce them or his homeland will be lost. He is also the only one with the smallest chance to defeat the Vord queen, who is learning and growing stronger after each encounter. The fate of Alera and all surviving humanity rests on his sholders. [return][return] I just adore this series. Jim Butcher has a fantastic knack for writing breathtaking, edge of your seat action. Yet, even after six books they have not begun to feel the same. Tavi always manages to use different solutions to each problem. While things look almost hopeless the story is not so dark that I just want to give up reading it. The character relationships and interaction are fantastic, with just a little humor to lighten the tension. I usually devour each new book and then eagerly await the next one. This one is no different except, there does not appear to be another story in the works. I will keep my fingers crossed because there were little pieces that were not tied off, so perhaps there is hope for more Alera stories in the future.(less)
From Maxwell's point of view the hill just beyond the playground is a mountain that is just waiting to be climbed. His parent's tell him he is too you...moreFrom Maxwell's point of view the hill just beyond the playground is a mountain that is just waiting to be climbed. His parent's tell him he is too young to climb mountains, so Maxwell goes on a training regime to prove that he is ready. The things he comes up with to train and prepare are adorable and so childlike. The pictures are well done and have fun details upon closer inspection. It has a good pace when read out loud.(less)
This story picks up right where Tapestry of Spells left off, with Ruith tied to a tree and Sarah kidnapped. After freeing himself from the tree and hi...moreThis story picks up right where Tapestry of Spells left off, with Ruith tied to a tree and Sarah kidnapped. After freeing himself from the tree and his half-brothers, Ruith takes off to rescue Sarah. Dark forces continue to follow them, so Ruith takes Sarah to the nearest safe place, the Wizard’s School. They find refuge with the the mage Soilleir, an old family friend. This gives Ruith time to face his inner demons about magic and puts Sarah on the path to discover her heritage as well. They cannot spend long regrouping, because Gair’s evil spells are still out in the world, and as much as he hates it, Ruith needs Sarah’s help to find them. [return][return]There is something so charming about this series, I look forward to each new release. There is more character development for Ruith and Sarah than there is action. The lyrical writing style makes up for this, but the story did drag a little at times. Overall it seemed a little like setting the stage for the next book, but it was still an enjoyable read and there is a lovely cameo from a character in Morgan’s trilogy that was great fun.(less)
This was an enjoyable adaptation of an Irish fairy tale. It is the story of Sive who can shapeshift into a deer. Her voice has magical qualities that...moreThis was an enjoyable adaptation of an Irish fairy tale. It is the story of Sive who can shapeshift into a deer. Her voice has magical qualities that make the Dark Man, an evil sorcerer, want to use her to conquer the fairy world. To escape him she must stay in her deer form in the mortal world. [return][return]All too often I have read adaptations that are just dry and slow, but the writing style is light and enjoyable in this story. My one complaint is that periodically there are first person narratives where a character remembers an event. It didn't really work with the flow of the story. The ending was a little anticlimactic because we are told how matters with the Dark Man are resolved, instead of actually seeing what happened. [return][return]The writing conveyed the place very well. It felt very magical and, well, Irish. The names really helped convey Ireland, even though I had a hard time with them. Then I realized that the end of the book has a pronunciation guide. There is also a quick synopsis of the actual fairytale that I found interesting. Overall a nice fairytale adaptation.(less)