This book made me cry at the end, not for any specific plot reasons, but because Sydney is my home and I knew all the places this took place, that I gThis book made me cry at the end, not for any specific plot reasons, but because Sydney is my home and I knew all the places this took place, that I got to connect with it more than I usually do with the usual generic-American location.
Beautiful prose and a story that I wish beyond anything else could have been dragged out for longer; one of the plots that I cheerfully would have read over two books. ...more
This was a well written book, and I genuinely like Ruby.
My big problem with this genre is that the formula is so over done - desperate teenagers seekThis was a well written book, and I genuinely like Ruby.
My big problem with this genre is that the formula is so over done - desperate teenagers seek sanctuary, turns out that sanctuary isn't so crash hot or as safe as they hoped. Some sort of Golden Boy - who is obsessed with the MC - turns out to be freakin' insane. And this story will be apart of a trilogy.
It tends to lead to some monotonous reading.
But I like the premise and I'll probably keep following this series. ...more
No. Just no. I wish with all my might that authors would stop trying to emulate other, more popular series. There is no formula for a perfect, rave-reNo. Just no. I wish with all my might that authors would stop trying to emulate other, more popular series. There is no formula for a perfect, rave-review book. Don't truncate your work because it doesn't fit into a mold.
Let's start with the cover. The cover of the first book almost worked - I could see the idea that was being attempted, and the photograph was interesting, but it didn't quite make it. The second book was forgettable, but this... this looks like a high schooler with no photoshop experience made it in two hours. The colour is too strong a shade, the photo is poorly manipulated and the pose itself is just bleh. Just sloppy, sloppy work.
And now, onto the actual book...
(view spoiler)[Well, it was massively disappointing, hugely monotonous. It was several hundred pages of not really much happening. Rhine sees brother on TV, Linden finds her sanctuary in estranged eccentric family member, Rhine craps around at Uncle's house, runs off to find brother, finds brother, makes several uncomfortable discoveries. So many things with the potential for drama and strong feelings happen, but there was no impact for me.
- Linden, throughout the entire trilogy, was so dull that I forget his name repeatedly. He is just flat, bland, with no strong feelings about anything. His death was almost a relief, since he added nothing; he needed to be written so that he had become devoted to Cecily in Rhine's absence, that he had moved on more than he was.
- Cecily was the redeeming character. She was strong and funny and she deserved more as a character; to be less afraid and more bad-ass. I appreciated that she was the one to kill Vaughn, but she needed to be more stoic in that aspect, to really complete her evolution, I think.
- Vaughn. Ugh, it was his name that was less than memorable (pro-tip, if I had to google the character's name a day after reading the book, it's not a good thing.) I find that Evil for the Greater Good is overdone in the dystopian genre, and Vaughn is no exception. Nothing about Vaughn surprised me.
- Rhine. Oh Rhine. I didn't hate you. But I just didn't care. Your 'connection' with Gabriel, leaving Cecily and Linden and going off with Rowan, your relationship with Rowan - bland city. Rowan was a total douchebag, who had so little respect for his sister, who really didn't give a shit about his sister, or care about her experiences.
Overall, most of the characters in this book didn't make meaningful connections to each other - they felt forced and stilted. Things that should have been explored - the fact that Rhine and Rowan were experiments first, the isolation of mainland USA, Reed, Vaughn's experiments - were brushed aside for things like Rose's origins (I literally could not care less about Rose; I did not find her story interesting, romantic or important; much like the entire carnival sub-plot) and Reed's plane.
And the bit that ticked me off the most? That the Chemical Gardens weren't explored. It was a compelling term, the reason I started reading more than anything else. And in the end, it turned out to just be an interesting phrase and very little more. So frustrating.
Overall, a forgettable series and a forgettable, dull finale that ultimately had some interesting ideas that were never explored.
This book has a great blurb. It sounded intriguing and original, and I genuinely hoped it would be.
It wasn't. We had the bland love interest, the geneThis book has a great blurb. It sounded intriguing and original, and I genuinely hoped it would be.
It wasn't. We had the bland love interest, the genetically engineered super heroine, a classic and obscure love reference (really, Shakespeare?), the loveable nerd, the Evil Guy... there is nothing new in this series. Jessica Brody's writing is fairly solid, but there isn't a strong enough plot nor characters to sustain this book.
I honestly don't think I'll continue with this series. It does absolutely nothing for me....more
A story with interesting ideas and reasonable world building. Enough that I want to read the following books in the series, which is half a battle inA story with interesting ideas and reasonable world building. Enough that I want to read the following books in the series, which is half a battle in itself.
An especially impressive self-publication effort, and I frelling love the cover. ...more