3.5 stars! I thought it was a creative blend of zombies, and I think it's done well! I love it for being Pride and Prejudice, but I think I might have3.5 stars! I thought it was a creative blend of zombies, and I think it's done well! I love it for being Pride and Prejudice, but I think I might have enjoyed the movie more this time?? There was one contradiction in the book I thought was far too unbelievable, involving Mrs Collins! But, overall I enjoyed this a lot more when the interactions between Lizzie and Darcy increased :D....more
This book gave me a headache everytime I cracked it open. I had wanted to finish it in two days, one if possible, but it took me nearly five days to rThis book gave me a headache everytime I cracked it open. I had wanted to finish it in two days, one if possible, but it took me nearly five days to read it. In short I give it 2.5stars. And it's a shame because overall I AM really fascinated by the concept, I love stories about siblings fighting for a crown, love stories about divided loyalties, love deadly games etc. But there was so much to this one that I couldn't stand, when in Three Dark Crowns, I gave the benefit of the doubt. Because, there IS a lot of good stuff to this series. The tension between families, the absolutely craziness of this Ascension year and the three queens, and the small romances.
But, this time, I really just couldn't get past the 'mystery' and but that, I mean the way the mystery is portrayed. Katherine's story was my favourite, or as close to favourite I can get in these books, and her ending in Three Dark Crowns was totally weird! Weird as in creepy and confusing, and yet she survived. But, the mystery of what happened to her isn't built up well in One Dark Throne. I wish it had been done better. I kept wondering all this time what happened, but Katherine doesn't flashback to what happened, instead it's revealed to us in the most unspectacular way that I almost missed it. Or, I didn't take it seriously enough. And, I really wanted to. Except each time it was mentioned, it would seem so sudden, that I would be like...so how and why did that happen? What was missing, was probably Katherine's own nightmarish flashbacks, even something a bit ambiguous that gives us an impression of the suffering she went through would have given her story ten times more feels!
I think I actually liked Mirabella a bit more in this book! She still feels the same, but I guess I liked the dynamics between her and Arsinoe a lot more than I liked Mirabella in general in Three Dark Crowns! But still, she fell weak at unexpected times, and at others, she wasn't so bad. Her relationship with Joseph was still lingering, but well, I don't know if how I feel about Joseph in this.
Which brings me to Joseph and Jules. There was a really big emphasis on their relationship this time, and well, they are good together, but that big emphasis kind of sucks when others aka Katherine who went through so much, didn't get much flashbacks or story or anything to really give her tragic figure even more pain and tragedy. the emphasis for Joseph and Jules though, is clear because it builds up to the ending, which was really kind of sad for Jules. Perhaps one of the stronger moments in this book was Jules last scene, though, the choice for this to happen was also really sudden (yet also fit the pacing? if that even makes sense, with this book it was so hard sometimes to judge how I really felt with a moment when it happened so quickly yet described very briefly!)
And Arsinoe. I liked her in this one, though she too confused me. Her use of Low Magic vs. her use of it in Three Dark Crowns. It kind of conflicted to me. Her relationship with Billy is still strong! A highlight for me! But other than that, her own development is minor. We don't see her develop her poisoner abilities (hell, I'm not even sure how she got to being referred to as the 'stronger poisoner' at the end there, when at most, she only survived two poisons - again my question is towards the worldbuilding, how does it all work?) nor do we see her working on other things, but we do see her playing with Low Magic (well not playing, but) and how that would help her keep her image. Not that it really helped.
In saying that, things really start happening about the time when the three queens come together which was awesome, somewhat. Lots of things happen, more dark things too. And the map in front of the book helped me placed the exact lay of the land. But still, the narration was uncomfortable. It's lackluster, present and dry. I'm told a lot of events as is, but never how it is or why it is. I don't feel the emotions of the characters, and it dulls any attempt at worldbuilding. I had a lot of trouble working out the lay of the land in Three Dark Crowns, without the map this time, I'd have even more trouble. Plus, there are many new terms introduced in this book suddenly out of nowhere, therefore I'm still confused about it. I also can't figure out the limits of various gifts. I assume Elemental is related to any of the elements, and poison to poison, as is nature to naturalists (though limited to animals). But War gift? And the other, Oracle? I have no idea what the War gift is. And what I saw was not what I imagined. Since there were no details to fill in my knowledge, I was very confused!
Finally, I am unsure if I will read Two Dark Reigns - I had not expected a third book, and I'm pretty sure I joked somewhere that if there was a third book, it should be called Zero Dark Queens or something. (I can't remember.) But, am intrigued by the concept, I just don't know if I can't handle the way it's written two more times!...more
Enjoyed rereading this short story, part of my favourite and only guilty pleasure PNR series, this was also one of my favourite novellas, mostly becauEnjoyed rereading this short story, part of my favourite and only guilty pleasure PNR series, this was also one of my favourite novellas, mostly because it features side characters who are just so cute together. Bianka is definitely not a pushover, and Lysander's goody two shoe-ness learns different ways to be "good" - or in this case angelically bad. ...more
There are two ways to read this book. Thus, I have two ratings for it. I'm not very particular about books and racial discussions but recently I readThere are two ways to read this book. Thus, I have two ratings for it. I'm not very particular about books and racial discussions but recently I read a book (The Continent) that suffered immensely from bad reviews regarding the content being racist. As such, if that book was considered "racist" what does that make The Thousandth Floor? This book is a contrast and conflict of things I love, and things I abhor. I'm not one to make a fuss about whether a book is racist or not - these things are discussed in relation to time and context and yes, it's not something to be proud of but maybe a book is a critique on the very thing that others dispraise it for. SO SETTING THAT ASIDE, the MAJOR PROBLEM I have with The Thousandth Floor, is it's abuse of stereotypes. I absolutely abhor stereotypes. My rating, if I read with all the discussions of race, ethnicity and stereotypes in my mind, would then be 2 stars. But, if I put aside these thoughts and all the stereotypical characterisations of certain types, then my rating would be higher, around 3 stars or 3.5 stars. (And I really wanted to rate this higher, but I can't.)
To be fair, I don't hate this book, I'm just very close to hating it for the negatives. Without these, I would actually have really loved it. The drama gives it a thriller feel, the build of shallow emotions that resonate deep with fellow characters gives much to the positives of this book. And the idea of the Tower is fascinating too.
Alright, so positives first:
- The world is interesting. The Tower is a massive creation to house people. The rich live at the highest floors, and the poor at the lowest.
- This is not your dystopia. No wars here unless you count internal personal wars. This is a futuristic (not really scifi though) location that sets the scene for dramatic, soap opera-y story that reminds me of Gossip Girl, or Pretty Little Liars, or the O.C.
- Each character is interesting in their own way - Avery has to be most boring, while I actually agree with another reviewer in that Eris was the most developed character. Watt was a necessary but mis-characterised character. Rylin was the one I was interested in following the most, in terms of her storyline, but absolutely hating the sketch of her character (more explanation below). And Leda was just crazy.
- I do like the plotlines of each character. And it all is woven pretty well together.
- Attempts to do diversity, and it does. She has done well to be diverse in all her characters from including LGBTQI to characters of different ethnicity.
And then the not so great parts: - My biggest beef with this book, and the reason for my lower rating, is that this book is borderline disgusting in terms of characterisation and 'discourses of race and ethnicity'. Being diverse? This book attempted to do so in some ways. Let me introduce the characters: Avery, white, rich, entitled, genetically engineered to be beautiful; Leda, dark-skinned, rich, entitled, takes drugs to escape first world problems; Rylin, part/half korean, recreative drug taking, falls in love with a white rich kid, resorts to thievery, behind on rent, poor; Watt, Iranian, hacker, got a big quant- secret in his room, gets paid to find out secrets, oh and poor; and Eris, not sure, but probably white, rich/formerly rich, entitled, snobby (but gets better). Seeing any trends here? Oh, and not to mention Rylin has a boyfriend, who isn't white btw, but just happens to have Indian roots or is Indian. I get that this is 100 years in the future, and by that point, ethnicity has probably blended and changed and what used to be this is no longer that and that stereotypes have problem changed, but this is never mentioned in the book, and therefore a reader would read this based on their knowledge of their present and as such, my present is very disturbed by such blatant characterisations and associations. Not all asians are poor, not all are resorting to other means, not all are socially awkward and get the girl (looking at Watt here) and I think the author has tried to show this as well in her book, except...what made me more angry about this attempt is that the only rich asian girl noticeable (by name) is a BITCH. She is not even nice, not once. Whenever she appears she just says mean things. What does that even mean?! (I would also include the other rich girls mentioned, but tbh, if they're different ethnicity, I didn't notice since they hardly played any role at all.) I just wanted to raise this point strongly because at present these are stereotypes that are prevalent, and yet the world is FUTURISTIC, so why are they still present? Shouldn't the tides have turned 100 years later? I just don't think representation was done well at all. Some say it's only vague racist undertones, but for me, I was distinctly uncomfortable with the fact that I couldn't relate to even one Asian character, and kept thinking, really? really? Really?
- On a side note about the above, I was actually really happy to see 'Ming Jiaozu', since the format and structure for this name - I will assume it is Chinese since it is. So unless the culture and language of Chinese in the future has changed, then I'll say, I was ridiculously disappointed to see in the next mention that the girl is called "Ming" instead of "Jiaozu". NOW, this is not inherently a problem and I will admit that there is a possibility that there's a dialect out there or even approaches to Chinese that will have naming practices entirely different to what I'm familiar with. But as someone who has an interest in naming practices, it's more commonly to have a two-character first name i.e. Jiaozu, and a single character last name i.e. Ming. You can also have single character first names but always last names are usually single, unless it's from a particular time period or whatnot. Again, this is all debateable and subject to time and space, but it just didn't make much sense to me. Which brings me to:
- Worldbuilding. I do love the concept of the world. It's interesting in that it's not just focussed on big wars and whatnot but it sets the stage for a story to take place. And it's pretty cool. Except...there's a lot more focus on the drama (fair enough) and not enough on worldbuilding, so I did get confused about a lot of things. I also don't know how and why (or at least don't remember) the Tower was built in the first place.
- Avery is a really boring character. Leda is absolutely crazy. Watt, poor guy, you were so misused. Rylin was made too typical but her story did interest me.
- Btw, if you don't like romances between stepsiblings, of which many don't like, since it doesn't really reflect reality, then don't read this. I for one, found it less disturbing and annoying than the representations of ethnicity. But, it was still a bit disturbing, mostly because it doesn't give us the intense emotions for such a complicated relationship - it takes such a relationship too lightly, no complications are dealt with. Like, what I mean is, if going down this road is the way McGee chooses to go, then it has to be heartbreaking otherwise, it's just not right.
OVERALL, for the drama, I would read the next book (it reminds me of the drama of The Luxe) but I'm not sure I want to endure another bout of typical stereotypes. I am somewhat a contradiction. Mostly because ...more