Penelope has known no world beside the video game universe Edda her entire life. Living as thThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Penelope has known no world beside the video game universe Edda her entire life. Living as the only human avatar in a land of electronic beings, she bears the title Princess and scripts weapons into digital existence for Lord Scanthax as aid for his expanding empire. As a young girl, she was eager to please the cold Lord father figure. But as Penelope matures and discovers her lack of freedom and the reality behind her emaciated human body, fed through tubes and always plugged up to a game console to access Edda, she decides to exact revenge on the beings who have taken advantage of her trust and innocence. While Edda readies for battle for yet another conquest, another band of travels led by Cindella and Ghost from the universe Saga are gathering forces. Nothing is resolved until peace is achieved.
Edda was quite a unique book. I am not an avid gamer myself (aside from the odd Pokemon game here and there), but the novel still managed to capture my attention at the very beginning. Well, to tell you the truth, the interest began to wan as I continued through Edda, and by the end, I was glad to finally read the last word and close up the book.
The novel was definitely written quite well, something I hadn’t originally expected, given the subject and setting of Edda. However, even the hard-core fantasy fan in me had trouble getting into the storyline. The viewpoint jumps from Penelope’s struggles in Lord Santhax’s castle to Cindella and the others’ journey through the electronic realms. What bothered me to no end was the lack of tension, I suppose. Penelope spends the entire novel plotting, and Cindella spends the entire novel traveling and killing things that got in their way. The resolution was short and took up only about 30 pages out of the 440 page book.
Although the novel was not my cup of tea, Edda will appeal to fantasy and sci-fi fans alike, and of course, gamers will enjoy the references to gaming spread throughout.
Nothing but a ginormous orange sandstorm signals the approaching danger that fateful day SabaThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Nothing but a ginormous orange sandstorm signals the approaching danger that fateful day Saba’s darling twin brother Lugh gets kidnapped from Silverlake and taken away bound up in rope. Desperate and broken-hearted, Saba -- with the unwelcomed and unshakable presence of her little sister Emmi -- sets out to bring Lugh back. When the two girls are temporarily detained in Hopetown, Saba learns of the Sun King and the reason for Lugh’s capture and allies herself with the warrior Free Hawks and the ever infuriating cage-fighter Jack. Renewed with hope and greater numbers, the group starts out on a trek through the land. Their one goal: Lugh’s freedom, and possibly liberation for all.
Holy crap in a cup (Young, 379). This novel was an exciting ride reminiscent of other great high fantasy novels; well, only without all the fantastical elements. The action picks up right from the start, and the story doesn’t slacken in intensity until the very last page. Great side characters and creatures like the hellwurm -- which totally reminded me of those sandworms in Frank Herbert’s Dune series -- combined to become a great backdrop for the adventure and the two main characters Saba and Jack.
These two had their fair share of aww moments. Saba is head-strong but obviously has a soft side for the guy. And Jack, cocky and teasing, contains just the right amount of magic to balance out Saba’s stubbornness. The chemistry between the pair is a cool blend of fake contempt, attraction, jealousy, and mutual affection. Saba, mostly in denial about her feelings toward Jack, is facepalm-inducing at times. But overall, they are one well-matched and well-paired couple.
Blood Red Road is a great dystopian debut. Don’t be discouraged by the slightly mediocre cover; an epic tale awaits you within its pages.
Book Source: eARC via Simon & Schuster Galley Grab...more
It’s certainly been awhile since I’ve cried this hard over a book -- at two different spots,This review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
It’s certainly been awhile since I’ve cried this hard over a book -- at two different spots, too. Ms. Sheehan, I demand my tears back immediately in an aesthetically pleasing and preferably crystalline container so my future children may have the option of putting it into a Pensieve and learning about all my failures and secret loves and whatnot.
Right, now that that’s over…
Readers looking for a genuine science fiction novel with a complete setup and intricate technologies will be sorely disappointed with A Long, Long Sleep. If I had to attach only one tag to this novel, it would just be romance. Not dystopian or adventure or self-discovery; just romance. This book was more of a 2-star if one only takes into account the characters and plotline. However, the slightly weird but still passable romance really tugged at my heartstrings and receives 5 stars from me. A 4-star rating was settled on because I tend to prioritize my emotions over logic (I am a teenager after all; blame the hormones). And I think the last time I cried for a book was during my third re-read of The Book Thief. It’s about time something else had the same effect.
Let’s just get this out of the way: Rose is an idiotic heroine, even she admits it. She acts idiotically. She thinks idiotically. She runs away from her problems idiotically. You get the drift. Weirdly, when Rose converses with Otto, a blue-skinned genetically-modified alien-human, she uses words that otherwise would not be part of the average idiotic teen’s vocabulary and sounds mildly intelligent, if not at least self-reflective and mature. In short, Rose sounds nothing like her usual self during these conversations, which bothered me to no end.
A Long, Long Sleep also explores parental abuse, something I found to be very surprising, given the sci-fi setup. You can’t help yourself from feeling growing sympathy for Rose, and I suppose that subtracts from her idiocy just a tiny bit. At least Rose is, for the most part, loyal to Xavier -- stupid Xavier. Now, Xavier isn’t necessarily a dull young man. I actually know nothing about Xavier’s intelligence since it was never mentioned. But Xavier, you stupid, stupid boy.
I will be looking out for Ms. Sheehan’s future books, as I’m willing to overlook some aspects of her novels just so I can enjoy other parts of it. Really, that’s just another way of conveying how much of a sap I truly am...
Book Source: ARC from Candlewick Press via NetGalley...more
You’re just one of the many 25-year-olds in Manhattan with a monotonous life and equally (ifThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
You’re just one of the many 25-year-olds in Manhattan with a monotonous life and equally (if not more) monotonous job. Well, until the day zombies take over. Gruesome killing on every street corner; an unhealthy abundance of blood, gore, guts, and brains. Your survival depends on you -- solely you – and the decisions you make with each turn during your race for victory. Die, become a zombie, or perhaps, stay alive until the very end -- it's all up to you.
Maybe I was deprived as a child, but I was never given any Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books. Reading through Max Brallier’s Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? turned out to be quite an experience. Peppered with interesting characters that slather raw meat juice on themselves to imitate zombies and others that are just alarmingly trigger-happy with a machine gun, this book was an intense read. That is, if you don’t mind dying and instantaneously resuscitating yourself a couple hundred times.
Of course, the burning question here is: can you survive the zombie apocalypse?
I think it's been about five minutes since I read the last word of Battle Royale. My heart isThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
I think it's been about five minutes since I read the last word of Battle Royale. My heart is still pounding abnormally fast, and every few seconds, I have to take a break from typing to watch the French countryside rushing by outside the train window instead.* The view is strangely soothing, and I definitely need some calming right now.
So. Battle Royale. Was. Epic. Dare I say it? It was better than The Hunger Games, and The Hunger Games is one of my favorites. Both have similar settings: a dystopian government that forces children into an arena and makes them kill each other off one by one. But Battle Royale ended up as the more striking, more intense, of the two. The novel grabbed me, strapped me to a poodle, and threw me off a cliff. How does a poodle save a person from a fall off a cliff, you may ask. It doesn't. That's why I kind of feel like an insignificant smudge on the ground right now.
Unlike The Hunger Games, which focuses only on Katniss's narrative, Battle Royale jumps around from one student to another. I didn't find that disorienting or discontinuous. The skipping around revealed quite a lot about each participant of the Program, as the government calls this bloodbath. Such intricate lines bind all the classmates together, and it's so saddening to watch it all fall apart. There are love interests and friendships and histories and their own survival to consider as the 15-year-olds wander around an island with machine guns, scared out of their wits. What a story Takami-san has dreamt up. What a story.
And the ending, too. Wow, if you thought The Hunger Games's ending was jarring, you will be totally unprepared for Battle Royale's. Takami-san wrote it with the flare of a pro, although I kind of want to punch him now...
The only thing I disliked were the gory scenes. Battle Royale was a lot more graphic than I'd imagined. So instead of puking up the contents of my stomach, I just skipped the paragraphs describing blood and bashed-in brains. The human imagination is always a lot more vivid than a movie scene. Normally, that's a good thing, but now, not so much.
I would say that I'm now a fangirl of Battle Royale, but given the book's subject matter, I don't think that'd be entirely appropriate. Apparently, Takami-san is writing (or has already written) a second novel. I must hunt it down.
Fang has left, and Max, hurt and bewildered, has no idea how to function anymore. She knows tThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Fang has left, and Max, hurt and bewildered, has no idea how to function anymore. She knows that the world still needs saving -- that life is bigger than the two of them -- but it is one thing to say it and another to believe it. When the deserter, he-whose-name-must-never-be-mentioned, fires a call their way out of the blue, Max, Dylan, and the gang is dragged into yet another plot for world domination -- or in this case, mass destruction. The Doomsday Group has suddenly sprung up out of nowhere. With its hypnotic figurehead, the DG is gaining followers fast. After witnessing a group rally, the two groups led by Max and Fang journey to the DG’s headquarters in an attempt to crush the cult right at its roots. Never underestimate a group of crazed and fanatical humans, even if they aren’t genetically enhanced, even if they aren’t the future of mankind, as the DG have started to call Max and her little group. The future of mankind, huh? That is quite a title.
Followers of the Maximum Ride series have come a long way, from Max’s first discovery of her real identity to the various times her gang has successfully thwarted a crazed scientist or politician of some sort. Angel, this newest installment of the series, brings forth with it yet another villain to eradicate, which makes it feel as if the former books of the series don’t matter at all plot-wise. At least Max hasn't lost her sarcastic touch and gangstah attitude. The addition of Dylan, the new gorgeous bird-mutant guy, creates -- yes, you guessed it -- a love triangle. Really, Mr. Patterson, I expected more of you. Maximum Ride started out as a fresh new series and has now been reduced to just another teen paranormal novel -- in terms of characterization, at least.
While the plot of this book grabbed the reader’s attention, there was not much depth. Even so, I could not resist reading the novel in one sitting so I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining. I did feel like Mr. Patterson was making too much of an effort to sound like a teen girl, though. Yes, Max is fifteen, but like, teen girls don’t like, OMG, add in a “like” every few letters when they like, talk, you know? I was fifteen just four months ago. Trust me; I know what I’m talking about.
Despite all that, Maximum Ride is addictive and a very fun read. I know it seems as if I butchered every aspect of Angel, but still, I will not hesitate to obtain a copy of the next book in the series when it becomes published. We have a weird relationship, Max and I.
Escape: the one thing Finn, Keiro, and Attia have yearned for since the beginning. Finn -- thThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Escape: the one thing Finn, Keiro, and Attia have yearned for since the beginning. Finn -- the lucky one, the one of royal blood -- now has it in his clutches and yet yearns for the soothing feeling of content. Outside is not the pretty paradise it’s supposed to be. Still plagued by doubts about himself and those around him, Finn, the long-lost prince, must rescue his oath brother Keiro and manage to ascend the throne that is rightfully his by birthright. As he struggles with messy court politics, Incarceron is making its own plans. It will do anything for freedom, for a glimpse of the Outside that its escaped son Sapphique has described. Sapphique: the implanter of dreams, the owner of the Glove, the answer to all this strife?
This book begins right after the conclusion of Incarceron. And although I found the first book to be a little slow pace-wise, Sapphique is action-packed from beginning to end and is definitely a step-up from Incarceron. I originally thought that the story couldn’t be extended that much further, as Incarceron already had a solid ending, albeit with some strings left untied. Well, I was completely mistaken. Sapphique is the book that ends the story and brings all the characters to some kind of peace, one way or another.
Unlike some other reviewers, I adored these characters as well. They love each other; they hate each other. They build their relationships upon jealousy and selfish desires, trust and self-sacrificing love. Their ultimate ambitions are obvious. Or are they…?
There will be no third installment, and I applaud Ms. Fisher for not dragging out the series like countless other authors. Sapphique is a satisfying ending to a unique series. It has a certain... finality to it.
Tidbit of random: Whilst reading Incarceron back in 2010, I had no idea the word incarcerate had a meaning or even existed. It wasn’t until the criminal justice unit in US Government this semester that I realized. Imagine my surprise...!
You know those books that aren’t written, structured, or characterized that well, but you stiThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
You know those books that aren’t written, structured, or characterized that well, but you still manage to like it despite all its flaws? Guilty pleasures, basically. Bumped was a guilty pleasure for me. While the background of the novel is certainly dissimilar to the ones in any other book I've ever read, it failed to woo me once I got past the novelty of the shiny new dystopian world. With our media’s shifting attitude from condemnation to almost glorification of teen pregnancy, the world setup does take a provocative and challenging stance on the matter. But, again, Ms. McCafferty didn’t make the most of it. There was so much potential, but the story didn’t leave me with a profound sense of anything, a feeling I expect to get from great dystopians, or any novel, really.
The characters, too, were kind of generic, although they managed to do a few things that I wasn’t expecting at all. It’s not that they were stereotypical, they just weren’t special. At least there was no love triangle, and none of them spent time blatantly lusting after each other, something that would be normal given the society they live in.
Now onto a little gripe about character names. Let’s take, for example, Johndoe the ultimate sperm bank. Every time Johndoe is mentioned I would involuntarily picture Bambi running through the woods with his rabbit friends or something. And as you might have guessed, I found it difficult to reconcile a bouncing doe with the sex god image Johndoe is supposed to have.
I am going to read the sequel, Thumped, simply because I adored Ms. McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series and, despite all my complaints, I liked Bumped. Yes, I am proud to say I did.
Book Source: ARC from HarperCollins via NetGalley...more
This novel is the winner of my created-just-for-the-occasion 2011 WTF award. This WTF has a pThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
This novel is the winner of my created-just-for-the-occasion 2011 WTF award. This WTF has a positive connotation, and I like how it shaped -- more like attacked and mauled -- the ending. I can even say that I saw the WTF coming due to obscure foreshadowing, but the surprise was still WTF-worthy. Thus was the extent of the WTF-ness of Ultraviolet.
WTF (saying it again just for good measure).
Ultraviolet must take responsibility for the more pronounced eye bags currently adorning my face. I was not able to succumb to dreamland while there were still portions of this book I hadn’t read. Who needs coffee? Just grab Ultraviolet and watch your sleepiness evaporate. Gift a copy to your worst enemy and watch them show up to school/work the next day yawning and drowsy and possibly unable to function.
Alison, our wonderfully psychotic-seeming protagonist, manages to experience indignation at the way others are treating her. She fights the system whole-heartedly as a result. This earns Alison a hearty clap on the back and makes her deserving of the lovely beau that comes along later. You can pretty much guess who said beau is the moment they meet, although the semi-discovery is part of book’s charm. The pair’s relationship is almost entirely angst-free, too -- a nice change of scenery from other infamous angst-centric couples.
Curiously, I felt like most of the novel had no plot. No, that would be inaccurate. Most of the novel simply had very little plot advancement -- like a snail gliding across a hard-to-maneuver surface, while the WTF ending is a mad sprint to the finish line. Even more curious is the fact that I experienced no boredom at all, even during the slow parts. The entertaining side-characters and the little story progression that occurred were satisfying and addictive enough for yours truly.
Vastly different from most YA in plot and notably, WTF level, Ultraviolet is a great mystery sci-fi novel. Especially for those who can taste the chocolate of a lover’s voice. Or hear the melody sung by the choir of twinkling stars in the night sky.
Like a certain someone we know.
Book Source: ARC from Lerner Publishing Group via NetGalley...more
Seventeen-year-old Lena lives in a world where love, or amor deliria nervosa, is nothing butThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Seventeen-year-old Lena lives in a world where love, or amor deliria nervosa, is nothing but a disease deemed to be fatal by the government. The only way for society to flourish as it should is through complete eradication of love, and that is where the cure comes in. All inhabitants of the United States of America living within the heavily militarized border are required to have the procedure on their 18th birthday. This cure takes away all the intense feelings of love won and love lost, of fixation and obsession, and of euphoria and despair. Lena, of course, simply cannot wait for her procedure. She has always been different, set apart by her infamous and long-deceased parents who just so happened to be branded with the most shameful labels society has to offer: one is a sympathizer; the other took her own life. Lena just wants all this pain and worry to disappear, but then Alex comes into her life -- Alex, who bears the scar of the procedure on his skin. This means he is completely safe to interact with, right? Right…?
In my opinion, Lauren Oliver’s second novel, Delirium, was not in the same caliber as her debut, Before I Fall. Although Oliver’s fluid writing style is still there, peppered with beautiful similes that make her books such a joy to read, the setting and plot of Delirium just doesn’t have the originality of her first book. Thirty pages in, my mind was flashing warning signals, and the existing similarities between Delirium and Scott Westerfield’s Uglies series began popping up. For some reason, I felt like Lena was, for a lack of a better word, somewhat of a bimbo. She is passive and hesitant, and her doubt about herself and the world around her can be quite annoying sometimes. I understand that most books are centered on characters that aren’t special in the conventional sense but end up maturing and discovering the rebel within themselves as the book progresses. It felt like Oliver was aiming for this growth, but Lena fell short. She does indeed become more confident by the end, but the transformation process was lacking.
The other thing about Delirium is the speed of its plot development. The first half of the book was a chore to get through -- almost nothing occurred. Total stasis, almost perpetual boredom. The addictive quality of a novel is a big factor for the reader’s enjoyment, and the crawling pace of this book was the biggest turn-off for me.
With all that being said, Delirium does have its lovely parts. Each chapter is preceded by a short passage taken from various pieces of literature that exists in the Delirium world. They give insight into the novel and are all gorgeously crafted by Oliver. The ending was quite an intense ride as well. It definitely leaves the reader wanting of the second installment of the Delirium trilogy. Overall, an applaudable addition to the YA dystopian genre.
Tidbit of random: Ash over at Smash Attack Reads! casted Diego Boneta as Alex. Having watched Diego as Alex (oh the irony…) on the TV show Pretty Little Liars, I totally agree. He’s a decent actor and is incredibly cute.