I enjoyed this book overall, although not nearly as much as I liked its predecessor, The Cuckoo's Calling. This time, Cormoran Strikes gets hired by a...moreI enjoyed this book overall, although not nearly as much as I liked its predecessor, The Cuckoo's Calling. This time, Cormoran Strikes gets hired by a woman to find her missing husband, a writer whose latest manuscript skewers almost everyone he knows, making them all angry. Eventually, Cormoran finds the writer, only he's dead and was killed in the exact same way his fictional persona was in his latest manuscript, narrowing the pool of suspects to those who read the manuscript, all of whom then have reason to have wanted him dead.
I found the mystery interesting, although some parts were rather graphic - erotic and gruesome at the same time. I was curious who the culprit was and why, especially with a lack of leads to go on, and I liked the fact that all the suspects were awkward and memorable in their own ways. I correctly guessed the killer, which was fun, although I didn't guess the motive until it was revealed.
Cormoran and his assistant, Robin, seemed to get along better in this novel than in the one before, but I felt like some of their charm together was missing because they both seemed more unlikable and unhappy than before. There were some asides detailing their personal lives, especially Robin's relationship with her fiancé, and it was nicely put together but not always the most gripping. Some of their squabbles bordered on heavy-handed, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who read this, assuming they'd break up at any point. I did enjoy Cormoran's relationship with one of his half-siblings, which got a good amount of page-time, but his own personality didn't exactly sparkle and he was gruffer than necessary. I liked the side characters more than the main ones in here, as they seemed to all be slightly crazy and self-absorbed in their own ways. It seemed very fitting for the world in which they lived.
There were a few things that seemed too convenient near the end of the book, when Cormoran was piecing the evidence together. Although it was explained how everything fit together and how it was proved, specifically finding the evidence seemed all too convenient and I didn't fully buy the way he figured out where it'd be hidden. That part disappointed me. Also, while I liked Cormoran's mindset and wanted to root for him, he never seemed to be wrong about anything and that was slightly frustrating, since it made him almost too perfect of a detective.
I did find this mystery engrossing overall and I'll likely read the next one, although I won't be anticipating it nearly as much this time around. (less)
I have no idea where I heard of this book, but I'd apparently put it on hold at the library. It's the first in a trilogy, about a teen named Gwyneth w...moreI have no idea where I heard of this book, but I'd apparently put it on hold at the library. It's the first in a trilogy, about a teen named Gwyneth whose seemingly perfect cousin is being prepared for her first time-travel experience. The time travel gene runs in their family, and a prophecy foretold that her cousin would have it. A mistake was made, however, and the person with the time travel gene is actually Gwyneth, who discovers this when she is suddenly flung back in time without warning. Back in her real time, Gwyneth quickly gets swept up in a society of these time travelers who have their own secrets that she'd previously not been privy to. Gwyneth is not prepared for time-traveling, nor does she fully understand what the society is doing, but she is apparently a key player of some sort.
This is by no means a great book. It actually doesn't even feel like a complete novel, simply because nearly the entire book is set up. There is no ending, making me feel like I just read 1/3 of a book instead of the first in a trilogy - and that always drives me crazy. However, there was also a lot that I enjoyed about this book. The story flew by, the characters (especially Gwyneth) were often immature but also seemed fairly believable, and the author did a good job making me intrigued about the society's mysteries.
I think the most interesting part about this book, for me, was the fact that the time travel aspect wasn't necessarily the driving force. I liked the mysteries around it, from the society with a set up that indicates Gwyneth has a key role (yet won't tell her precisely what that is, since they don't yet trust her) to the travels Gwyneth takes as she discovers that people are actually after her - but why? Of course, these questions weren't answered in here, which was frustrating. But the set up was quite nice.
While this was not great literature or a stellar book on its own, it was certainly engrossing and I read it quickly. I'll probably pick up the next books to see where the story goes, since they've already been released and will probably be quick reads as well. It's definitely a "younger" book, but it was fairly entertaining.(less)
This novella features Corinne and other characters from the author's novels Where I Belong and A Long Way From You. Set in New York City on Corinne's...moreThis novella features Corinne and other characters from the author's novels Where I Belong and A Long Way From You. Set in New York City on Corinne's last night there before leaving for college, it follows Corinne's adventures trying to follow her own plan for the "perfect" last night and "perfect" goodbye while realizing that everything is changing and that despite the fact that she's looking forward to the future and scared to say goodbye to the present, she's still somewhat stuck in the past because she never really said goodbye to her old boyfriend in Texas (where she'd spent a period of time in Where I Belong.
This was such a cute story! Reading it immediately reminded me of why I liked the other novels so much: they're simple but sweet and just plain fun, with an underlying layer of thoughtfulness. Although you wouldn't need to read the aforementioned two books in order to understand this one, I'd highly recommend it! A number of old characters were referenced and it was nice to see how they'd grown since their first introduction way back when.
The story was easy to relate to, as everyone's had to say goodbyes at some point and had their plans completely overrun! Although there were a few coincidences in this novella, most were explained later and I liked that the story didn't simply rely on things that would never actually happen in real life. Corinne's emotions and actions were nicely done, and I easily related to her throughout this entire story. It was such a lovely way to tie up everything from the books, although I'm hoping there is still more to come because it ended on such a sweet note that simply makes you want to return to this world!
My only quibble about this book is that all the characters were eighteen, yet they were running around to various bars and ordered drinks at restaurants and no one batted an eye. It was mentioned, later on, that they all had fake IDs, but it still seemed kind of odd that they had such easy access to alcohol and no one ever called them on it. That part didn't ring true to me.
That said, I did really enjoy this overall and highlighted a couple of passages I really liked. I would highly recommend it to fans of Where I Belong and A Long Way from You (although read those first so this has a bigger impact!).(less)
Avery and Nora used to be close in elementary school, brought together by the fact that they were both adopted. Their senior year of high school, alth...moreAvery and Nora used to be close in elementary school, brought together by the fact that they were both adopted. Their senior year of high school, although they've long since drifted apart, Nora seeks out Avery at a party and tells her that her longtime search for her both mom ended with someone trying to con her and that she wants Avery to have her notebook about the search. Avery brushes off the encounter as odd, but soon after, Nora's dead and Avery isn't sure what to do. She decides that in honor of her old friend, she will devote her senior project to finding her own birth mom - the same project Nora had been doing - and hope that it brings some sort of closure.
As usual with books by Eileen Cook, there was a lot I liked about this novel. Avery was a likable and believable main character; although Nora wasn't much in the actual story, she came to life when Avery thought about her, and Avery's conflicted emotions about Nora felt very real, especially after the two of them having not been friends for so long, yet super close in childhood. Avery's friends, in general, seemed slightly shallow, but so much of what happened in the book (in regard to friendship) was so understandable. I loved the way Avery felt like her life was kind of a mess and spent a lot of time dissecting it, especially as she tried to figure out where she belonged in the different groups of people at school. I also loved her musings about why she'd spent so much time dating a guy she wasn't that into and how to balance her new relationship with Brody, her senior project partner and someone she hadn't previously known well. I't was all completely relatable.
The mystery of Avery's birth mom was interesting, and although Avery's motivation to find her wasn't necessarily the greatest (it'd be a good senior project to help her get into Duke; she was supposedly honoring Nora...), the search was interesting. All of the stumbling blocks Avery ran into during her search were understandable and it gave a nice window into why - and how - someone might look for a birth parent. I liked the dynamic between Avery and her parents as she started this search, and I also liked that it wasn't a perfectly rosy picture of a reunion between biological mother/daughter, as is often hoped for or even portrayed in news/TV/books. I felt like the author captured it a little more realistically here, which was nice, although Avery's search perhaps went smoother than it might have in real life. Still, the pacing was perfect and it kept me interested as I read on.
Perhaps this book could have been rounded out a little more with extra emotion and depth, but at the same time - it felt complete and satisfying. It wasn't a sad or depressing book at all, despite the premise, and I liked how the potentially heavy-emotional issues were balanced with humor and intrigue. I definitely liked the characters and the story and feel like the author did an excellent job of bringing me into Avery's world. Very enjoyable!(less)
Right before Isobel's senior year of high school, her mom marries a guy she's known for only three months ad they move from Seattle to her new stepfat...moreRight before Isobel's senior year of high school, her mom marries a guy she's known for only three months ad they move from Seattle to her new stepfather's giant (and creepy) estate on a small island, where everyone has always known everyone and the general consensus is that their estate is haunted. Isobel's miserable and the only person who seems to remotely be a real friend is her new stepbrother, who's kind of an outcast at the school because of his family's history and the rumors about the supposed accident that killed his mom and sister. Out of nowhere, Isobel begins seeing a ghost that she thinks might be her would-be stepsister, trying to send her a message, but she can't figure it out and also worries that she might be going crazy, especially since her own dad was mentally ill.
I love books by Eileen Cook. She's such a fun author, and none of her books have ever disappointed. Sure, none have been perfect, but her writing is easy to read, the plot always moves forward smoothly, the characters are likable, and the narration is witty and amusing. This book was no exception. As usual, I loved the characters, the plot was well developed, and I kept wanting to read more because I needed to know what would happen next and what was really going on.
The mystery in this book was so interesting, and I loved the undercurrent of not fully knowing if what she was seeing was real or just in her head. Isobel's hesitation to tell people about it, especially considering her family history, was understandable and completely relatable. I really liked her narration, and she ended up being quite a multi-dimensional character because of everything else she was dealing with. Although the story about her dad was a very secondary plot point, it was given enough page time for me to understand how everything had affected her and why she felt the way she did. The relationship between Isobel and her mom (as well as the ones with her new stepdad and stepbrother) were nicely developed and believable.
I loved the setting in here as well. A creepy old estate on an island, far away from the mainland and out of touch with all sorts of technology - bad cell service, etc. - made for such a dark backdrop! It was an interesting place and the estate came to life, almost like another character in the book. Everyone on the island seemed fascinated by the estate, and with good reason! I was curious about it too and relished all the descriptions of it.
What made this book so strong was the perfect blend of creepiness and humor. It wasn't a laugh-out-loud book by any means, but there were funny and relatable moments, followed by tense situations where I didn't know what was happening. I really liked this mix, as it made the story incredibly easy to get absorbed in - and made me want to be there, despite the creepy factor!(less)
I might not have read this had it not been my book club's pick for the month, but it ended up being quite good! Ifemelu is a Nigerian woman who moves...moreI might not have read this had it not been my book club's pick for the month, but it ended up being quite good! Ifemelu is a Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S. for college, leaving behind her parents and boyfriend, who plans to join her after he finishes his degree in Nigeria. Once in the U.S., Ifemelu is overwhelmed with the culture and how different her identity becomes simply due to race and being a "non-American African". Her life doesn't exactly go as expected, her boyfriend is denied a U.S. visa and they lose touch, and she soon feels depressed by her current life. Ifemelu begins a popular blog about race and becomes an American, but she feels like something is still missing in her life and decides perhaps she should move back to Lagos and reconnect with the country that still feels like home and the boyfriend whom she never stopped thinking about.
The structure to this book was interesting. It wasn't told exactly in chronological order, but it wasn't simply flashbacks either. The narration sort of jumped around in time, and although I didn't always know when exactly things happened, it was easy to follow along the general timeline of Ifemelu's life. Ifemelu, for her part, wasn't always the most likable main character. She made a lot of decisions that frustrated me, even when I could see where she was coming from, and she seemed to often not know what she wanted, or would sometimes do something to sabotage what she had These are (obviously) very common character traits among people, so it was easy to sympathize with her regardless of how frustrating her actual actions were.
Race and identity were the main themes of this book. Reading about Ifemelu's journey from Nigeria to America and back definitely gave a lot of perspective to lives of immigrants like her and the ways in which American Africans and African Americans differ. I quite easily understood how Ifemelu became fascinated by the concept of race! I really enjoyed some of her observations, while others fell semi-flat - especially the passages that seemed to be included almost to the point of exaggeration. It was mentioned several times that Americans are uncomfortable about race or that honest writing/discussion about race was impossible in America, and there were some points in the novel where I felt like the author had perhaps only included it to prove her points, not necessarily as a way to move the story itself forward. That said, the vast majority of the book was quite good and thought-provoking.
This was a sort of coming-of-age novel, despite it taking place almost completely during Ifemelu's adulthood. The setting was developed wonderfully, and I feel like I got a good idea of what Nigeria both looks and feels like, as well as how America seems through the eyes of an immigrant with an uncertain future. I loved the writing, and the story flowed smoothly despite it jumping around in time. The main thing that frustrated me about this was the fact that there were a number of plot points that were never delved into as fully as they could have been - or, at least, they didn't necessarily come full circle. I suppose this is simply a representation of life, how we never know all the answers to questions or know what happened to everyone and everything. (less)
The description of this book sounded great, and the novel itself did not disappoint! John Lago works for HR Inc - a business that supposedly provides...moreThe description of this book sounded great, and the novel itself did not disappoint! John Lago works for HR Inc - a business that supposedly provides interns to legitimate, powerful companies, but the interns provided are actually there as assassins. The cover of being an intern makes them completely forgettable while also allowing access to all sorts of important people who regularly wouldn't allow anyone close to them. At John's final job (he's now 25 and getting too old to be an "intern" anymore without people asking questions), he's sent to a law firm, where his target is one of the three main partners. While there, he discovers that he's not the only one interested in the target; there's also an FBI agent there whose job, it seems, is to take down the lawyer through legitimate channels.
I thought the setup of this book was extremely clever. I loved how the author took the idea of interns being forgettable and turned it into something extremely sinister. The book was written in a clever way, with the text supposedly being a handbook that John was sending out to new interns, telling them his experiences working at HR Inc and what they should expect, do, etc. This was interspersed with an FBI case file and "transcripts" they'd taken from surveillance of John to form a nicely rounded novel. While it didn't necessarily end with all the answers of what happened with the FBI case file or how it completely fit together, I found the writing compelling enough to make the entire story enjoyable.
The story in here was very fast-paced, and I liked how the author used "transcripts" of conversations to quickly go over what happened in conversation. It gave a little more depth to the "handbook" that John put together by letting the reader hear what exactly happened instead of just taking his word as summary. The characters were interesting, and everyone seemed to fit nicely into the roles that they were meant to play. John made an interesting main character, and as his background developed over the course of the book, it was easy to understand how he got himself into this situation/line of work and why he was able to justify it. I also really liked the odd relationship between John and his boss, as well as the developing relationship between John and the undercover FBI agent. This wasn't a character study by any means, but the characters were understandable in their motivations and I was constantly turning pages, curious to see what would happen next.
I think I expected this book to be a little more funny than it actually was, simply based on the premise, but it turned out to simply be a regular thriller. There were a few parts that required suspension of disbelief (mainly about the fact that a youngish intern could possibly do certain things to make assassinations happen), but the story was solid. The author did an excellent job putting this together, and it was a very satisfying read overall.(less)
After Alice gets diagnosed with cancer at sixteen and is told she doesn't have long to live, she decides to spend her remaining time getting even with...moreAfter Alice gets diagnosed with cancer at sixteen and is told she doesn't have long to live, she decides to spend her remaining time getting even with the people who've been mean to her. She enlists the help of her friend Harvey, who she knows is in love with her and would do anything for her, while trying to complete this bucket list. But just when she's almost finished with everything, she gets word that she's in remission and realizes that she doesn't quite know how to live with what she's done, since she never thought she'd be around to have to deal with consequences.
I really liked the premise of this book. What an interesting twist on the whole trope of becoming a better person once faced with your own mortality. I liked that Alice decided to do everything she'd wanted to do but couldn't because of the consequences. Her actual plans of how to get back at people weren't necessarily the greatest, but they were interesting and I could constantly see just how such actions would cause a lot of drama and anger at the high school.
The story was alternately narrated by Alice and Harvey, and it went back and forth in time, describing their period together after Alice's diagnosis and then the time after she went into remission and how their lives changed, again. I liked seeing the story from both of their eyes, and it also allowed me a better understanding of how they both viewed the world - and each other - and why they behaved the ways that they did. Their friendship was complicated and deep, and the author did a great job delving into both their lives. I felt like the character development in this book was extremely strong.
I think I expected this book to be a little lighter and funnier than it was. Instead, it was more thoughtful and definitely heavier. Alice, in particular, wasn't especially easy to like, yet I enjoyed the journey so much that it didn't bother me (much) to read about a character that was so frustrating. She seemed to be full of self-loathing, which carried over into bad and frustrating decisions. I often wished I could have just shaken some sense into her, but at the same time - she was completely believable. And, because of that, she was relatable in many ways. The same went for Harvey, who was in fact quite likable, yet he was drawn to Alice for reasons even he didn't understand. I wanted him to wise up and realize he could do better than Alice.... yet his reluctance to accept that was fully believable.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The author did a nice job stringing everything together and keeping me interested. The whole cancer aspect to the story was in the background, only existing to provide an understandable backdrop and catalyst for why everything unfolded like this, and the real story was more about coming of age. Very well done!(less)
The final Gallagher Girls book! I don't know if this is a series I'd say I "loved", but I definitely liked it and thought it was cute and clever throu...moreThe final Gallagher Girls book! I don't know if this is a series I'd say I "loved", but I definitely liked it and thought it was cute and clever throughout. In this final installment, Cammie and her friends are about to graduate from their school for spies, but they're on a final (unofficial) mission before graduation to stop the Circle once and for all before the unknown Circle members start World War Three and/or kill Cammie and her friends.
I was a little disappointed in the whole "Circle of Cavan" plot, as I didn't think it always made sense who Cammie and friends were tracking and why. Perhaps it was just getting a little too confusing at times - and, of course, it didn't help that a lot of the back story was from the previous books, which I hadn't read recently. I understood the main points, which is what matters, but the plotline itself wasn't my favorite.
What I did really like about the book were the ways that Cammie and her friends finally seemed to be growing up. There was a moment in here where one of Cammie's friends told her that she was born to be a spy and Cammie said she knew, and her friend stated that no, Cammie didn't know because if she had, she wouldn't have spent so much time looking for non-spy stuff (ie, the entire first novel of the series!). A few other points from earlier books were mentioned, although this installment felt like almost an entirely differently story than the first book. The plot really traveled far and definitely had a different "feel" to it than the earlier books.
The story was kind of cheesy at times, but the stakes were higher than in the previous books, which I liked. And of course there's the question of... well, if they're graduating a school for spies as eighteen-year-olds, what happens next? Regular college? There didn't seem to be a good answer to this question, at least not from a logical standpoint. Despite this, the ending was satisfying, although definitely cheesy.
Cute series overall, although definitely pretty fluffy reading and aimed at a younger audience; if I were 14, I'd probably happily gobble up all six books in rapid succession. Anyway, there were certainly things that I wish had been included in here to make the entire series feel like it'd come full circle, but the story had traveled so far from its beginnings that I guess it wouldn't have made sense. Not the greatest series ever, but still quite enjoyable.(less)
Maybe 2.5 stars. This was such a disappointment. The book sounded like it had all the hallmarks of a great story... but then the execution was so poor...moreMaybe 2.5 stars. This was such a disappointment. The book sounded like it had all the hallmarks of a great story... but then the execution was so poor, that I enjoyed very little of it. Basically, it's the standard fantasy tale of an ordinary kid discovering their destiny as The Chosen One and having to save the world. In this case, two girls - Zanna and Deeba - who live in London manage to find an alternate London (UnLondon), where all the residents have been waiting on Zanna, the Chosen One, to save them from their enemy: the Smog. From there, they have adventures all over UnLondon, trying to save the alternate world, while meeting lots of interesting characters and weird items that have fallen through from London to UnLondon, being repurposed as something else in the process.
It took me a long time to actually get into the story. For the first third of the book, I had a hard time keeping interested in the story because things just simply happened. Zanna and Deeba arrived in UnLondon and immediately weird people and things were introduced. The author did a lot of wordplay, which was sometimes too clever to be entertaining, and because of this, it was often hard to keep things straight. One character would be introduced briefly, but without actual character development, I didn't really care about them and actually forgot some of their "quirky" characteristics because so many other characters were introduced as well. Zanna and Deeba suffered from the same lack of development, making this "journey" of theirs into UnLondon rather lackluster. They never actually seemed to do anything to move the story along; instead, odd stuff happened all around them to paint a fuller picture of UnLondon while failing to move any sort of actual plot of character development forward too.
So much happened that it was difficult to keep track of everything and, more often than not, difficult to care. I thought multiple times about setting the book aside because I was really not enjoying it. However, I persevered and the story did get a little better after the first third, when characters were actually doing something instead of letting action just happen around them. To be fair, the majority of the action was still just stuff that happened around/to them, but at least there was a slightly bigger storyline than "Chosen One with a Destiny".
I did enjoy a few of the visuals in this book, such as Black Windows that trapped items like black holes. Other visuals fell flat for me. And there were so many oddities that the author included, and at such a rapid-fire pace, that they eventually seemed to get lumped together: a talking book, a milk carton that hopped along, ghosts, an upside down car, killer giraffes, UNbrellas.... All the energy spent on making UnLondon such an "interesting" place made it seem obvious that any sort of plot or story was an afterthought, and without a reason to care about the characters, there's not much of a reason to care about the world.
While this story definitely improved some as it went on, it never reached a point where I truly enjoyed what I was reading. I felt like the author had a great vision of an alternate world that he wanted to share, but that alone does not make a book good. I didn't hate it, but it was awfully lackluster.(less)
Lizzie, Betsy, and Ella are (illegal) human clones who used to live as triplets until their mom whisked them away and announced that they had to prete...moreLizzie, Betsy, and Ella are (illegal) human clones who used to live as triplets until their mom whisked them away and announced that they had to pretend to be a single person because there were people out to get them. Since then, each has lived as "Elizabeth" for a third of the day: the first girl takes the first half of school, the second the second half, and the third all the evening activities. This seemed okay for a time, but they're now eager for lives of their own and begin to suspect that perhaps their mom has been lying to them all along.
The idea behind this book - human clones forced to live as a single person - was an interesting one. It was why I picked up the book in the first place. And the writing in here was decent as well. But the actual execution of the story.... I was gritting my teeth through the entire novel. The only reason I managed to finish it was because it was short and the writing itself was okay. The storyline itself drove me crazy!
The plot wasn't nearly as deep or developed as it should have been to be enjoyable. I kept wondering if anything was actually going to happen, but it was as if the entire book was the three girls trying to figure out how to date the guys they wanted to date instead of being forced to date the same guy and wondering what secrets their mom was keeping. Nothing else really happened throughout the book, and because there wasn't a bigger driving force behind the story of "clones being forced to pretend they're the same person", it felt incredibly weak. I kept wondering why the girls actually followed her instructions to pretend to be the same person. It didn't seem realistic or believable in the slightest, and I wanted to punch the mom for being so incredibly self-absorbed and demanding. Lizzie's boyfriend kept insisting they tell someone how abusive their mom was (because of course he was trusted with their secret in the first few weeks of Lizzie knowing him.... why wouldn't he be told?), yet Lizzie kept telling him he didn't understand and that they were going to figure it out on their own. ARGH! So much of this book made so little sense!
At the parts of this book where I didn't just feel anger and rage, I was bored. Not exactly the emotions I want to be going through as a reader. This book had potential to be good, yet the plot was spread so thin that by the time the ending rolled around (which, by the way, was almost more ridiculous than the rest of the book), I simply didn't care. (less)
Darrow is a Red (everyone's classified by a color hierarchy, with Red being the lowest) who works underground on Mars, helping mine to make the planet...moreDarrow is a Red (everyone's classified by a color hierarchy, with Red being the lowest) who works underground on Mars, helping mine to make the planet eventually habitable for other humans. After learning that he'd been told a lie his entire life and that Mars isn't in the dire state he's believed, Darrow joins up with others and undergoes a transformation in an effort to break free from being a Red and take down the Golds (the highest level) and everyone else from within.
This book began kind of slow, and it took me a while to get pulled into the actual story. I know it was necessary in order to establish what sort of underground life Darrow came from, but it didn't pack much emotion for me and I had a hard time sympathizing at the beginning because I didn't have a reason to care. About 1/3 of the way through the book, when Darrow begins his transformation so he can try to take down the Golds from the inside, it suddenly improved by a lot and I was then completely intrigued by the plot and what would happen.
I enjoyed the world building in this book. The author did a good job describing how the world was set up and the sort of surroundings that Darrow experienced. The color-caste system used in here wasn't necessarily new, but it was put to good use and explained well, especially when detailing the sort of experiences that each color could expect, how their prospects in life differed, and why this system was simply accepted.
Once the story got underway, it kind of reminded me of Ender's Game, with its focus on training new leaders. Darrow was a likable enough main character, but the focus of this book was definitely more on action and plot than characters and emotions. I never actually felt truly emotional while reading this, although I did continually want to know what happened next because the plot was so interesting. Darrow himself, meanwhile, was almost too smart and too perfect at times for his own good. Obviously, as the main character, he was the hero, but he seemed almost too clever at times and the struggles he faced as the book went on were kinda superfluous, since nearly everything went according to his plan. It kept me from being nervous for him because I already assumed everything would work out nicely - for him, at least. On that note, I should also mention that this was quite violent (but not gruesome).
There were times when I loved this book because the plot was exciting, but there were other times when I was confused and had to flip back pages because I felt like I had missing something, only to find that I hadn't and that a transition or explanation was simply lacking. Those parts pulled me out of the story because I had to pause and figure out what was going on instead of simply continuing. I was also a little disappointed with the ending, as it was a lead-in to the next installment, which comes out next year.
Those complaints aside, I did enjoy this book overall and there was at least one twist that I didn't expect about halfway through the book. I also really liked the way that Darrow wondered, at times, how well he was pulling off his disguise and if anyone was aware that he was a Red. It made for an interesting journey, knowing that he was fighting for something as someone who wasn't real. An entertaining book overall, and I'll probably read the next book when it comes out so I can see where the story goes next.(less)