Probably one of the best YA dystopian stories I've read in a very long time. Since so many authors are writing in this genre, I'm skeptical of the quaProbably one of the best YA dystopian stories I've read in a very long time. Since so many authors are writing in this genre, I'm skeptical of the quality. This did not disappoint. It's a disturbing premise--the idea that you can be "unwound" between the ages of 15 and 18--if you aren't up to snuff, you're cut into parts that are sent off to be used by others. But don't worry. You're not dead. You are just living in a divided state.
The scene where a person is actually unwound is anything but pleasant, not because it is violent, but because it is not violent. It's twisted into something that is peaceful, and you know that for the unwind, the process is terrifying. The resort-like quality of what are essentially human chop shops only adds to grotesque nature of the premise.
I loved the narrative voice as seen through various characters in the story. I loved Connor, the main character, and his two side-kicks, Lev and Risa. I love that it is though provoking. I would love to teach this.
My one and only complaint is my difficulty in imagining that a parent would choose to do this to a child. But setting my disbelief aside wasn't difficult. Maybe if you'd grown up in a society with this sort of expectation, then unwinding someone wouldn't seem abnormal.
That aside, I'm hooked. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series this summer. ...more
I really enjoyed this. It was so so so good. BUT...I had two serious misgivings at the beginning. First, I've never read anything in the angel/demon/rI really enjoyed this. It was so so so good. BUT...I had two serious misgivings at the beginning. First, I've never read anything in the angel/demon/romance genre, really. I don't know why, but I've always thought those stories sounded hokey, and the minute I found out what they were centered on, I was convinced I wouldn't want to read them. Second, I worried a little at the beginning that I was heading into something akin to Twilight. I guess I'm just really gun shy of the idea of magical/fantasy worlds whose central figures are young adults in love with each other. I liked Twilight. But I don't want to read it again. And it seems like a lot of authors were bent on recreating it.
Well I must, then, give my apologies, to Laini Taylor. She wasn't one of those authors. And I liked the whole angel/demon story here. It isn't Biblical; rather it is mythical. I loved the mythology. Miss Taylor has quite the imagination AND a beautiful way with words.
Instead of being what I thought it might be, this was dark and I kept seeing glimpses of so many different stories, and stories I love, like Romeo and Juliet and Sleeping Beauty and even Lord of the Rings just because of some of the fantasy and thematic elements. But it is its own story with its own mythology, too, and I loved that. There is so much I could say, but it would spoil the plot, so I won't. But even if it is a little bit on the darker side, the story's central motif, hope, is not. I loved the motif. It was woven in perfectly.
More than that, there are characters here who DO things, and that drives the plot. They are motivated by both good and bad, right and wrong. They feel lifelike. Admittedly, the two main characters moon and pine a bit more than I would like, but it isn't distracting, and really, it is realistic. Love in its early stages is a bit on the moony and piney side, after all.
While I don't want to give anything away, I will say that I liked the beginning, tolerated some parts in the middle when it got a little slow for my liking, and then LOVED the ending when the mythology was finally explained and Karou's world came to life. That was where the real fun began, and I'm glad I have my hands on the entire series right now. Because I'm pretty excited to see where this story takes me. I'm excited to see more of the mythology. I highly recommend!...more
Since I've been giving LDS lit a new look, I thought I would try out an LDS author's take on the mystery-thriller genre. I was pleasantly surprised.
ISince I've been giving LDS lit a new look, I thought I would try out an LDS author's take on the mystery-thriller genre. I was pleasantly surprised.
It wasn't all that different from any other story in the genre, really. It follows a certain formula, and that was fine. I actually think I read these books for the formula. What made me happy about it was the clean language. The crimes weren't described graphically, either. Because I love mysteries and sort of hate the language/graphic depictions of violence, I was very happy with this.
There was some cheeser stuff, a little bit related to being Mormon, but really if I'm going to be honest, all such novels have elements of cheesiness, usually related to two things: the romantic interest and the dramatic confessions of really horrible behavior, given by the villain, at the end when the conflict is being resolved. But this is sort of to be expected. How else will we all know what happened?
And it really did have me guessing, so I give Ms. Black bonus points. I would be convinced that I knew who "done it" and then she would throw something new at me, and I could not be sure. It wasn't until the final few paragraphs that I finally knew who was up to no good, and even then she threw me off a little bit. Overall, not too shabby. I'll be trying more of her books in the future.
P.S. And may I say that I really liked the reader, and she was female. Usually female readers drive me nuts, but she didn't overdo the men. Generally, my beef with the women readers? They cannot do a convincing male voice. But this reader didn't try so hard to sound masculine, so it worked for me. ...more