This is simply the best book I've read in ages. It is very definitely a zombie book, but instead of focusing on the Rising, it's 'what happens next.'...moreThis is simply the best book I've read in ages. It is very definitely a zombie book, but instead of focusing on the Rising, it's 'what happens next.' Zombie story + political thriller + lots of good science = great story, but the characters give Feed its heart. Georgia Mason narrates most of the book with input from her brother Shaun. I have a soft spot for siblings in literature, but the Masons are an amazing pair while Georgia herself is one of my favourite characters ever.
If you do anything this summer, read Feed then pick up its sequel Deadline at the end of May.(less)
While I enjoyed this book, I was slightly disappointed by how much of a rehash it was of the first. Meghan has to deal with faery politics. Meghan mus...moreWhile I enjoyed this book, I was slightly disappointed by how much of a rehash it was of the first. Meghan has to deal with faery politics. Meghan must ally with Robin Goodfellow, Grimalkin, and Ash. Meghan must got on a quest to rescue something important from the Iron Fey.
There were some interesting new twists, and nothing will stop me from reading The Iron Queen, but this felt very much like a middle child book. I think I would have enjoyed the trilogy more as a duology with this quest being the first part of Iron Queen. Of course I say that without having read the final book so my mind may change, but for now, I don't see much point in this book beyond "Meghan again deals with faery."(less)
I didn't enjoy Rules of Attractions as much as Perfect Chemistry, but that might be because I like Alex as a main character so much more than Carlos....moreI didn't enjoy Rules of Attractions as much as Perfect Chemistry, but that might be because I like Alex as a main character so much more than Carlos. But Kiera is a fantastic character - as is Carlos despite my personal preference. I especially liked the strong family in this book. The teenagers weren't running around wildly, but there were parents who were actively involved in realistic ways. (less)
This book was hard to read. It was excellently written, but the utter torture Regina went through (and the fact that she is by no means an innocent vi...moreThis book was hard to read. It was excellently written, but the utter torture Regina went through (and the fact that she is by no means an innocent victim) was difficult to experience secondhand.
...I did like the Mean Girls call out in the main character's name.(less)
**spoiler alert** Man, I loved this book. The historical period is one of my favourites so it possibly was an easy sell, but as a multi-family saga go...more**spoiler alert** Man, I loved this book. The historical period is one of my favourites so it possibly was an easy sell, but as a multi-family saga going through a tumultuous time in the 20th century, the book performed its duty admirably.
My only gripe with it comes from reading many WWI histories and novels - None of the main characters died in the war. It bugged enough to throw me out of the story a few times.(less)
I LOVED this book. Sure, I adore both Paris and boarding school books, but this far outran my expectations and even hopes. I felt so much for Anna bei...moreI LOVED this book. Sure, I adore both Paris and boarding school books, but this far outran my expectations and even hopes. I felt so much for Anna being sent off to boarding school for her senior year of high school - even a boarding school in Paris isn't worth that! She's a great main character, very well-rounded, and well-written enough that even her (well-deserved) forays into self-pity weren't annoying. And Etienne! Such a great love interest. He's much more well-rounded than most YA boys, and oh-so-swoon worthy.
I can't wait to read Stephanie Perkins' next book!(less)
This is my favourite type of book. Court intrigue, politics, an unreliable and utterly charming narrator, and a very well-developed setting that's obv...moreThis is my favourite type of book. Court intrigue, politics, an unreliable and utterly charming narrator, and a very well-developed setting that's obviously backed by a good deal of historical knowledge.
I really loved it. I love even more that there's a sequel coming, but this book is good enough that if it were a standalone, I'd be completely happy.(less)
This was a lovely book. The Regency w/magic setting was delicately handled, and I especially enjoyed the characterization of our main character, Jane,...moreThis was a lovely book. The Regency w/magic setting was delicately handled, and I especially enjoyed the characterization of our main character, Jane, the plain yet artistic Ellsworth sister and the positioning of magic as one of the arts that a well-brought up lady should know instead of something outside the bounds of propriety. The homages to Austen were well done, drawing smiles from this reader more than once.
Some parts of the plot - including the romance but also the relationship between the sisters and the fate of one of the supporting characters - seemed overly rushed, but I still quite enjoyed the book and very much hope the author writes more in this universe. The magic concept is so interesting, and there seems like there'd be a good deal more to explore. Either way, I'll happily pick up another book by this author (as soon as I finish listening to her wonderful narration of Rosemary & Rue!).(less)
I liked Violet, the narrator of Mostly Good Girls, quite a bit more than the book itself. Both Katie and Violet are excellent characters and so true t...moreI liked Violet, the narrator of Mostly Good Girls, quite a bit more than the book itself. Both Katie and Violet are excellent characters and so true to sixteen year olds. I loved watching them deal with high school, boyfriends, and best friendships.
I think I wish that the book itself was a little less slight. I'd have liked to see more of Violet as she came to turns with her new situation instead of the gloss of 'and then everything was okay.'(less)
I love books with footnotes and when The Poisoned House started with a ‘note’ from the curator telling how the following papers had been found in an a...moreI love books with footnotes and when The Poisoned House started with a ‘note’ from the curator telling how the following papers had been found in an attic, I was instantly intrigued. After an initial burst of action, the story slowed down a little to spend some time establishing the atmosphere not only of the eponymous House but also of the inhabitants. Abigail Tamper is dealing not only with the recent death of her mother but also the ill-tempered and vindictive housekeeper, insane Master of the House, and the shy attentions of one of the delivery boys. The Gothic atmosphere is established quickly as supernatural events start happening - events beyond the pranks she and the other servants play on the housekeeper. Soon a spiritualist is consulted, the young Master, the boy Abi grew up with, comes home injured from Crimea, and the stage is set for ghostly maneuverings.
I’ve read quite a few Gothic novels - both modern ones and historical - and was able to easily predict the villain of the piece, but the ride of discovery that Abi is taken on is both engaging and a lot of fun. I read the book in one sunny afternoon as I was unwilling to put the book down to go outside. Mr. Ford does an excellent job of staying true to the era in language and decorum without the overwrought writing that can be a hallmark of older Gothic novels. For those who haven’t read older novels or are turned off by the elaborate descriptions and language of those of the 18th and 19th centuries may very much enjoy the more modern writing of The Poisoned House.
My copy was provided for review by NetGalley.(less)
Did you know Orson Scott Card could still write a good book? Apparently he can. Along with my brother and dad, I read and enjoyed OSC as a child and t...moreDid you know Orson Scott Card could still write a good book? Apparently he can. Along with my brother and dad, I read and enjoyed OSC as a child and teenager - Ender’s Game, the Alvin Maker books, that sadly unfinished Homecoming series, but more recently I’d stopped reading him almost completely, turned off by the quality of his more recent books.
Pathfinder, however, is a pleasant return to old form. I don’t really know why I picked it up off the library’s shelf, but from page one, following Rigg and his childhood friend Umbo on their way to fulfill the last wish of Rigg’s father - that he meet his sister - is an interesting and well-written story.
The journey of a talented and well-educated young boy isn’t exactly new territory for Card, and while Rigg is a worthwhile and interesting protagonist, he starts the story almost fully formed by the education his father provided. As we get to know Rigg, we see different facets of his personality, but the book’s character development takes place mostly in the secondary characters. These friends and companions of Rigg grow and change as they learn about themselves, their society, and the odd talents many of them seem to possess.
Spanning from the backwoods of ‘upriver’ to thecapital of their world, Card takes his time to look at the subtle changes of culture and language as Rigg, Umbo, and Loaf, their self-appointed guardian, travel towards the city and the discovery of Rigg’s true identity. Very quickly we learn that he may be the scion of a recently deposed Imperial family, and while his ‘father’ has subtly trained Rigg for this, stumbling blindly into a wasp’s nest of politics and rebellion never leads to good times for our characters. As is this author’s wont, sometimes Card’s plot takes a turn into discussing his own feelings on politics, but this proselytizing is easily overlooked and not terribly distracting.
My absolute favourite part of this book is the time travel aspects. As I described it to a friend, the book is time travel without paradox. The characters cross and recross their own timestreams, making changes as they go. The chapter prologues also play into part of the time travel story though in a subtle way that reveals itself as the book continues. It’s an intriguing way to look at time travel and one quite different from the ones we usually see in science fiction and fantasy.
I didn’t realise Pathfinder was the first in a proposed trilogy until after I finished. I look forward to reading the remaining books, but Pathfinder ends in a way that could easily make it read as a standalone novel. This book is an intriguing combination of high fantasy and science fiction and may be especially enjoyed by preteen and teenage boys.(less)
I know, I know, I’m late to the party for this book. I don't have any good excuse - I read Tithe years ago and enjoyed Black's work on The Spiderwick...moreI know, I know, I’m late to the party for this book. I don't have any good excuse - I read Tithe years ago and enjoyed Black's work on The Spiderwick Chronicles, but for some reason I never picked up White Cat. Beyond my lateness, I don’t usually review books right after reading them, but last night, I stayed up way, way too late to finish White Cat because I couldn’t put it down.
White Cat hit so many of my story kinks: complicated sibling relationships, boarding schools, an alternate reality with a well-thought out magic system and interesting political atmosphere, and a boy-girl relationship that went beyond love at first sight (I know, it’s sad that becomes something to look for).
I really enjoyed Cassel as the narrator, and I say that as someone who generally does prefer female narrators in my reading. He was an interesting and well-fleshed out character who grew dramatically during the course of the book. The reader gets to watch as Cassel struggles with conflating the mantra that family is everything which had been literally cursed into him with the possibility that his brothers had treated him as just another mark. There are times when it feels like Cassel descends into too much self-pity, but as both a teenager and someone dealing with the betrayal of everything he thought true, it also feels excusable.
The politics of Black’s world are a lot of fun to read about (if probably not so much fun to live). While the debate about registration and testing of the ‘curse workers’ feels a little X-Men, the history revealed in the rise of the magic using crime families and the constitutional amendment against magic gave the paranormal aspect a thorough grounding in society. I especially liked the societal mandate to always wear gloves - and the fact that Black takes that to its obvious conclusion with the touch of bare flesh on skin becoming both slightly titillating and scary.
Finally, Lila struck me as a fantastic character. The daughter of a crime lord, she was both a lot more violent and less caring than most female YA characters - as the daughter of a crime lord should be. I’m not one for wanting to read versions of a book with another viewpoint character, but I think that a Lila-POV story would be a lot of fun to see.
I’m reading Red Glove now, and I’m pretty sure that the wait until April for the trilogy’s conclusion is going to be agonizing. (less)