I enjoyed reading this, especially with it being a random 'library' choice, I picked up as I walked through. I'd seen it around on GR in the past and...moreI enjoyed reading this, especially with it being a random 'library' choice, I picked up as I walked through. I'd seen it around on GR in the past and thought 'why not?'
It was a quick and absorbing read, once you got into the narration style. Saba was an interesting heroine, not too perfect, impatient, flawed and pretty 'real'. I didn't always like her, but could see where she was coming from. The surrounding cast of characters threw in some more appealing people and made the story tick along well.
This is really a 3* story for me: Mad Max-esq dust bowl future worlds, with cage fighting heroines and crazy-freak dictator types are not my favourite settings for an apocalyptic world. There were some nice references to the previous 'wrecker' inhabitants, but it did feel too familiar and it would have been nice to have a more original backdrop. What bumps it up for me was the narration style: the way Saba describes her world and reports the dialogue of others gave it an interesting twist. (less)
Nice little addition giving some of Zed's perspective on his early meetings with Sky. It helps give you some background to why he behaves as he does -...moreNice little addition giving some of Zed's perspective on his early meetings with Sky. It helps give you some background to why he behaves as he does - the only oddity for me, was that it was not written in first-person, as the other books are. It that sense, it gave you more information, but told you, more than showed you - slightly distanced from the character, it feels different from the main books. An interesting detour nonetheless. (less)
I jumped straight to this book from Finding Sky - and this gets the full 5*
Picking up a familiar group of characters from another angle was a good sta...more I jumped straight to this book from Finding Sky - and this gets the full 5*
Picking up a familiar group of characters from another angle was a good start - as we had the backstory and saw what happened when soulmates (who knew about the whole system) react when they meet.
I loved Crystal from the beginning - different from Sky in book 1 and probably more interesting a character from my point of view. Xav - the main man of interest in her world in the early chapters is also probably more my type - so I found their relationship development more fun - more sarcasm and eye rolling, than brooding and nervous.
There are some mildly cheesy elements to the book - James Bond-esque action included - but you know what, it worked. Venice as the backdrop came to life well for me (I've been many years ago) and if you do suspension of disbelief and just go with the story, then you can sit back and enjoy it. Let's face it, you're reading about Savants, with a multitude of psychic gifts, in the first place.
I read this in just over a day and enjoyed every minute. Meeting Phoenix in this book, I'm looking forward to finding out more about her in her own story (book 2). I think with the explanations given, you can easily read the books out of order, without losing anything - although why you'd be as silly as me to read them out of order, I wouldn't know. (less)
**spoiler alert** I'm a little on the fence about Goddess and I've ummmed and ahhhed over how to rate it - I've hovered around 3.5* - 4* and will stic...more**spoiler alert** I'm a little on the fence about Goddess and I've ummmed and ahhhed over how to rate it - I've hovered around 3.5* - 4* and will stick here.
I've obviously been sucked back in to Helen's world and enjoyed it, as I read the book in two days and stayed up until 1am this morning to finish it. Perhaps, I'm a little disappointed in how the book has come together - a lot happens in this final instalment and I feel as if there could have been a fourth book in there, splitting out the events and giving a bit more time to spend with the characters and relate to the events affecting them.
There are a lot of characters, and with several long standing main characters going through significant changes in this book, I almost felt as if I didn't get chance to spend enough time with them to get the full effect. Because of this, some of the key emotional scenes, reliving the battles and losses of the Trojan war lost some of their impact for me. (Maybe on a slower re-read, I'll pick up more). I would have liked a bit more Ariadne and Jason - as they have been so involved earlier, but they felt a little sidelined. The one newbie that I really liked was Andy - she was a nice addition and I think fitted into the 'cast' of the play the most effectively.
The other part I'm not sure about, is whether I would have preferred not to know the truth behind Daphne's lie so early in the series. Unless it was a completely sucky book, which gave no happy ending (which doesn't happen often) you knew that Helen would find a way to be with Lucas. I was waiting for the reveal throughout, and I wonder if I would have felt their emotional turmoil more if I still believed they were related. It's a small thing, and probably personal preference, as I like twists in the tale. I remember feeling so sad for Helen and Lucas, when they believed they couldn't be together initially - once I knew it was a lie, I was waiting for the revelation that would allow them to be together.
Overall, it was a good read, there is a lot to taken in for the conclusion to come together. I enjoyed it - but would probably have enjoyed a four book series better :) (less)
Being written in so many voices, there are some I really liked and others I didn't - the dog being one of the best :)
I loved the detail in the book s...moreBeing written in so many voices, there are some I really liked and others I didn't - the dog being one of the best :)
I loved the detail in the book surrounding the artistry of the illustrators, and although the overall story didn't hold my interest as much as others, I enjoyed the style of story-telling and the depth of the world building. (less)
I really enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse books and read most of the series back-to-back having received the 10 book set for Christmas. By book 9 / 10 I...more I really enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse books and read most of the series back-to-back having received the 10 book set for Christmas. By book 9 / 10 I was beginning to lose my appetite for them a little: the characters stopped doing some of the more significant things they had early in the series and it felt like there wasn't much for them to do now.
If that was the case with Book 10 - this was so much worse. I was just disappointed with the bland plot, slightly boring characters and was glad to be finished at the end. Pam was probably the only redeeming feature, and she was a shadow of her former self.
Michael Cargill 'gets' people - now I'm not sure whether he gets everyone, or that he writes about people whose brains w...more4.5* for me - but I round up!
Michael Cargill 'gets' people - now I'm not sure whether he gets everyone, or that he writes about people whose brains work very like mine, but with each book of his I've read (Jake being the third), regardless of the plot or setting, it is the characters and their realistic behaviour that stands out for me. Jake is the same, and perhaps the most realistic and relatable of all Cargill's characters I've met so far.
For much of the book you follow Jake through his daily teenage life: daft 'boy' antics, school and home life, rolling along. Within the first few pages I was transported straight back to high school - from the noises and sounds, to the familiar mad behaviour of the lads in class (although, seeing it from Jake's point of view it makes a lot more sense now!) As YA books go, it was very 'real' - with no random appearances by vampires, angels or other common supernatural types - and I found myself quite happy reading about the intricacies of Jake's life.
His first romance is really cute - to the point some scenes had me smiling to myself at the clumsy sweetness, and I loved the development of Jake's relationship with his little brother, and the way he began to see his mother differently through observing her parenting the new addition to the family.
Overall, Jake is a really well-observed book, Cargill writes great characters and works with the smallest of details to give realism to his writing - as I'm not in to giving away spoilers there is little more I can say about the book without ruining it, but definitely worth a read if you normal books about normal people. (less)
I've just finished Insurgent and 'Hmmmm...' is the overwhelming thought in my head. There is something with this series I just don't feel, and...moreHmmm...
I've just finished Insurgent and 'Hmmmm...' is the overwhelming thought in my head. There is something with this series I just don't feel, and I think it's because I find Tris difficult. There's also the 'faction thing' for the people within the system: I find it hard to believe that they do not question a system that would seem to want you to be a particular way, but then encourages divergence by allowing the movement of people between the factions (nature / nurture...If they want pure, faction-matched people, why would the system allow movement...?) The conclusion of the book did go some way towards alleviating my issues there, in that it gives you an answer to the 'why'; but it doesn't explain why people inside the system should not see it as a flaw in their faction system to allow movement from one to another.
I'm not a Tris fan - I find her reactions to things too variable; she veers from being ultra-logical and self-aware to being obtuse and reactionary. Even with her 'divergent' brain I find it difficult to believe in someone so wildly erratic. It's almost as though she switches from one faction stereotype to another, without a natural blending of the various faction natures coming together. Maybe I'm wrong and she's like this exactly because of how she's been raised and so she cannot blend the various elements together, just use one at a time...if that's the case, there's some logic to that, but I find it difficult to believe as a true reflection of human nature.
There are characters I like in this series: I like the Dauntless banter and passion (with people like Uriah) and I'm OK with Four; Christina I also like, just as I did in Divergent. And the books are well-written, so that you get a feel for the environment...but I find I'm just mildly ambivalent with the book as a whole.
Overall, I found this book more interesting that the first - although it is reasonably long and I could walk away from reading it, so I know I wasn't gripped. Seeing more of the other factions was good - Divergent was too much Dauntless training for me, with not much of interest until the end of the book.