I really wanted to like The Lives of Tao, I really did. I have heard nothing but great things about it, and it’s under one of my favorite publishing houses so I was excited when I was provided the ARC.
I’m not going to lie, The Lives of Tao is just as funny as everyone claims. It’s filled with embarrassing moments and snarky conversations. In that sense, yes, it was entertaining.
The issue I has was that I was bored out of my mind reading this book. It follows Roen in his training by his alien-life-partner, Tao. He is enlisted by Tao to work for the Prophus, and be an undercover spy. Sounds exciting, no?
Just as Roen claims in the book, the job of being an international super spy is not as exciting as it looks, and this is where the book suffered. We are plagued by pointless conversations and training, and then when we finally get to the exciting part, it is skimmed over with just a few short sentences.
This book takes more focus than I can give it. Maybe I will return to it someday when I have more time to spend between the pages of a novel.
The random flashbacks to Tao’s past lives reminded me a lot of The Amulet of Samarkand in that we caught a glimpse of historical figures from the inside of their minds. It was cool, but it subtracted from the already drizzling story.
I gave it a shot, and I’m willing to try again at another point in my life. This review is my opinion of the book and unless you are exactly like me, don’t immediately throw it in the Abandoned pile. Give it a shot.
It was hard for me, at first, to figure out why everyone seems to love the second and third books in these series and the first one got awful reviews. Because, to me, all three of them were pretty awful.
Then it hit me.
The first book was so bad, that only the diehard fans read the sequels. And then me.
The writing in these books is beautiful. If Lauren DeStefano wanted to write a sappy romance novel, she would probably hit it off pretty big. The thing that brings these books down to the level that they are is that there is absolutely no believability in this world. A dystopian future where girls die at 20 and boys die at 25 (exactly). On their 20th and 25th birthdays respectively, their body somehow succumbs to a virus that kills them. This is just so ridiculous. Maybe if they had been suffering from this virus their whole lives, and then around that age their body’s normally gave way, but it can’t be exactly. You can’t live to be 19 years and 364 days old and then drop dead from a disease.
These books also feature polygamy. I didn’t find this part so hard to read, like over reviewers. The thing that stunned me about this was that we are expected to believe that in this day and age, we have digressed enough to the point where, once again, men are considered the superior gender and women are only useful for child-bearing. We are supposed to believe that women just sat down and took this and didn’t fight it at all.
The biggest fault of believability in these novels was the idea that North America was the only continent left in existence. The polar ice caps melting and World War 3 has left everyone but NA underwater. First, the main part of the novel takes place in Florida. If this were true, Florida would be one of the first areas in North America to sink. Secondly, what happened to the higher altitudes? The Alps just sunk underwater? North America is still on the surface while Sweden is at the bottom of the ocean? Seriously?
Now I know this whole North America being the only thing left thing is explained away by the end of the series, but the fact that so many reviewers didn’t believe it leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe, the Americans wouldn’t believe it either. Maybe some people in America aren’t so gullible that they’ll let their president take away their history books and replace them with his own ideas? Maybe some people in America aren’t so gullible as to blindly believe that North America is the only place left standing? Maybe, just maybe, all American’s aren’t complete idiots.
The one other quam I had with these books was that each book took one step forward and two steps back. In the first book, it took Rhine the entire novel (and the timeframe of a year) to finally escape. That time was filled with images of pretty wives, dresses, candies. In the second book, Rhine finally escapes and by the end, ends up exactly where she started. In the third book, she escapes again, and once again, ends up exactly where she started. These books are less about Rhine’s adventures and more about her changing her mind and not doing the things she is so set on doing.
This is not a post-apocalyptic adventure, it is a distorted vision of a gifted author’s sad fantasy.
I really wanted to like this book, because I loved Break My Heart 1,000 Times and because so many people seemed to love it too. I just couldn’t get into this book.
I was worried that it would be Twilight-esque, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t a horrible book, I just really didn’t enjoy it.
I tried, I really did, but by 3/4 the way through I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t force myself to love something that was so undeserving.
Lets start of with the warped romance in this book. I get it, you want the weird goth girl (let me just pause for a second… goth… smh) is in love with a dead guy.
Okay, dead guy, zombie, whatever. Let’s just think about this… I know these are teenagers and they’re in high school, and they’re so innocent and pure and yada yada yada. And what typically happens the first time little teeny boppers get sexual?
But this kid is dead. DEAD. Would things even function down there?
Nope, let’s not think about it.
Can I just start off mentioning that Phoebe (the main character; don’t think I ever mentioned that) goes from knowing who this kid was and being in the same english class, to full blown, head over heels, love at first sight bullshit. Where did this come from? Did her feelings wait until the book began to show up? I don’t… I just don’t.
OK, for serious though, this book dragged on. Nothing really happened until the very end. Even the beginning was slow as shit, so I should have known before I started.
I don’t HATE this book. I just hated it… for me, you know? Daniel Waters, I loved your new novel, you should have waited until you were good to debut.
I wanted to review A Shimmer of Angels while it was still fresh in my mind. I finished the book yesterday and have mixed feelings about the title.
I have to admit, I went into this book expecting it to be just another high school novel, I feared it would be on par with Marked and I would be putting it down before I let too many of my brain cells rot.
Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised.
Ray is a refreshing take on the teenage girl. Having lived three years of her life in a mental hospital, she isn’t the standard high school teen queen. Of course, there is the typical love triangle, which seems to be standard among YA novels these days. (let me tell you now girls, you’ll be lucky to ever have one perfect guy falling head over heels for you, the chances of two would be slim to none.)
The writing leaves much to be improved on, I got the feeling that the author was trying too hard to sound like a teenage girl. The dialogue Ray used did not match her thoughts. She was emotionally more mature than a normal 16 year old would be because she had gone through so much more than most teens. It should reflect in the way she speaks along with the way she processes information.
I love Ray’s ‘descent into madness’ throughout the beginning of the books. I put this in quotes because it’s not so much a descent into madness as an ascent from madness. The best part of the novel is the section where Ray comes to terms with the fact that she is not crazy.
The author would use filler sentences that didn’t make too much sense, which gave me the feeling that she was trying too hard. She’d use words like…
"Have a seat," the waitress invited, her voice sharp with sarcasm."
He might look my age, but sometimes, when he said weird things like that, I couldn’t shake the feeling he was much older.
The first qualm I had with these was trying to figure out how one would sarcastically tell someone to take a seat for a job interview. I spent a few minutes trying to figure that one out. As for the second quote, you’ll probably need some context. She says this about Cam, a person she’s known for approximately 2.5 minutes and said 3 words to.
This is what I’m talking about, a good editing and this would be a really great book.
I like the topic, fallen angels, guardian angels, angels from hell. This all interests me, but I’d have to say I haven’t read many novels on the subject. This is because I’m writing my own angel-based novel and don’t want to be influenced by any other work.
I took a chance with A Shimmer of Angels and I’m glad I did. I’m not sure I’ll read the following 2 novels, but that is to be discovered.
Favorite character: Kade Least Favorite Character: Cam Recommended for: Young readers, readers interested in angel/demon work.
I’ve read a fair bit of Angry Robot books lately, the publisher really knows how to find amazing sci-fi work. I eagerly applied for the ARC for Nexus on NetGalley and added it to the top of my to-read pile.
There were plenty of reviews present before I read it and I really thought I would enjoy the novel based on them. Unfortunately, I’m just not seeing why people think this novel was so amazing.
It wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t amazing.
The book dives right in to the science as if the reader has a standing expertise in technological programming. As you go through the novel, the technological lingo starts to make more sense, but in the beginning I was obtusely confused. I work with computers and technology in both of my jobs and I was still immediately lost.
The explanations of how Nexus works, and plenty of other programs, were not simply given to us. They were mixed in as interview transcriptions and discussions. A daring angle for the author to make, but one that, sadly, felt short. By reading transcriptions, the reader is completely separated from any emotional attachment the character had to their work. These characters are supposed to be completely involved in their life’s work and be deeply attached to it, but I just didn’t get that feeling in reading the novel.
The character’s were boring and unobservant. For people who are supposed to have a deep understanding of the technological underworld of the future, they seemed overly idiotic. They had issues putting two and two together, and I feel like the author did this to help the reader figure things out for themselves. It left me feeling like the author thought I was stupid and needed a fun little detective game to keep me interested.
There were two redeeming qualities of this book, the plot and the antagonist.
The plot was very intriguing. Technological genius turned double agent in a battle for his friends freedom. We follow Kade as he struggles to figure out what is right or wrong, and Sam who has an equally powerful struggle against what she’s always been trained to believe. While both main characters were annoyingly dry, the plot was able to string them together enough to make a respectable attempt.
The antagonist in this novel is up to the reader. You decide who’s side you are on, because it does bring up some very good points for either side. The main characters’ internal struggles accent the debates against right or wrong in this novel.
Having the ability to communicate with other humans through only the connections in your minds, it can be used for a plethora of good in the world. The danger is the misuse of the technology, to control people and bend their will. Is it worth the risk?
Favorite character: Sam Least Favorite Character: none, no clear antagonist Recommended for: Sci-fi fans with a basic understanding of computer technology
A Conspiracy of Alchemists follows air-pilot, Elle, and her warlock companion, Hugh on a quest to find her kidnapped father. Elle discovers that she holds powers she never even imagined in this adventure that takes place in a magical, historical, alternate universe.
This book starts out interestingly enough, pushing us straight into this universe with no explanation. I was able to pick up enough from the setting and character description to figure out some of the mythology going on throughout the book, but it took a while for me to fully understand what was going on. I ended up googling different mythology just to get an image in my head of certain characters.
The characters were very in-depth, I enjoyed the people I was reading about. Consistency could have been better. In the beginning of the novel, Hugh was a hardened gentleman with a snarky attitude but by the end of the book he had turned into a useless boy pining for a girl’s love.
Everything seemed to move slower in this world too. Elle is determined to find her father (who she fears may be dead), but only after she’s had her breakfast. Hugh and Elle travel to Venice to speak to the only people who can help them, but the first thing they do is check into a hotel. Once Elle is kidnapped, Hugh visits a few friends and checks into a hotel for a few days before finally freeing her. They just seem really calm in the situations they’re in. Panic should be their first reaction.
And then, of course, in the end we have the inevitable ‘bad guy reveals entire plan because, hey “you’re going to die anyways”’ cliche, that I did not enjoy from such an original novel. And we wouldn’t miss the Prologue designed only to set up for the next novel. (which I really think it could have done without. This book would have been a great standalone novel, I fear the sequels will only bring it down.)
I was not overly impressed with the novel, but I didn’t hate it. The world building was fascinating, if not a bit overwhelming. It’s a good read, but not the top of my list.
The blurb for this book is a bit misleading, not so much in a bad way. Don’t expect a book from the point of view of an android, that’s not what this is about. This book is about a young girl’s growth from adolescence to adulthood. It follows Cat in her journey to find herself and figure out who she is in the midst of normalcy.
Catarina Novak is a tangled woman cursed with the burden of beauty and an icy heart. Living a life of denial and empiness, she struggles between being happy and doing what society demands of her. She acts out to make herself feel human in a world running rampant with robots.
She’s the daughter of two scientists, raised so that she discovers herself instead of having someone else discover who she is for her. She is tutored from age six by Finn, an android her father has attained. Finn is more realistic than any other androids, and has the ability to think and feel. Cat spends her life as if floating through a dream, she conforms for the sake of conforming. She considers the opinions of her parents before her own, and it ultimately leads her into situations that knows she will regret. It isn’t until Cat is almost 30 that she discovers what it is that she really wants, and decides to pursue happiness.
I do not like romance books. If I had known before I read this that it was mostly a romance novel, I never would have requested the ARC. I can’t believe how close-minded I can be sometimes. This book was amazing, it was better than most science fiction, dystopian, or romance novels put together. It had me pulling my hair out, crying, and laughing with joy.
There are two things I want to point out before you pick up this novel that accounts for the half a star less than perfect on my rating.
1. This book is very slow. It takes a long time for anything to happen, but that in no way means that it is boring. I enjoyed every minute of it, but it can get frustrating waiting for the obvious to happen. 2. Catarina is frustratingly selfless. To the point where it was hard to believe she would sacrifice so much of her happiness to make her parents and society happy.
I loved Cat’s character. She was ballsy, and she stood up for those she loved. She is impulsive and stubborn, but she never really knew what she wanted. As the reader, of course I knew what she wanted, but we had to watch Cat figure it out, and she also had to figure out that it was okay to be different in order to be happy.
This novel is a beautifully written, incomparably powerful love story. I loved and hated it for how it made me feel. My heart broke (along with Cat’s) multiple times. The perspective throughout the book as Cat ages is impeccable. In the beginning, I felt like I was reading through a five year old’s thoughts, in her teenage years, I felt exactly as I did as a troubled young girl, and in her older years, I felt her passion and contempt for the life she had chosen more powerfully than anything I’ve ever felt about my own life.
This books contains sexual situations, I don’t recommend you let your 9 year old read it, but it’s a great Science Fiction novel (though lacking a bit in the actual sci-fi department, it doesn’t take away from the story at all). If you love romance novels, and want romance with a twist, it’s a must read.
The immature dialogue, the unimpressive world building, the annoying teenage attitude, the overbearing parental figures, and the lack of character depth added together makes me wonder how this ever got a publisher’s attention. Not to mention the secret-but-not-really-a-secret we’ve got going on. At 1% into it, I dreaded reading the rest of this novel.
I am completely unimpressed with this novel.
Here is what I have put together:
1. The book has all of the standard crap that makes a crappy high-school novel crappy; -twin-like friends -roommate best friend -super obviously gay guy friend -super hot popular guy who’s into main character -super evil popular bitch who is dating said popular guy -the black friend -the girly friend -the tomboy friend -the hot teacher
2. The book is riddled with inconsistencies. In just the first quarter of the book, I have a list of stupid little things that just didn’t make sense. It makes the scenes that much harder to imagine, like the author didn’t really care about what she was writing.
Example: At 18% Steffie is said to have chain earrings. At 21% Steffie ‘turned one of her hoop earrings absentmindedly’. Same setting, same scene, not time to change her earings. (Also, why is the author so obsessed with Steffie’s earrings?)
3. The book is bogged down with useless crap that no reader cares about. I don’t care if Steffie reaches up to touch her earring, I don’t CARE if TJ adjusted the strap of her high heeled sandal as she climbed the stairs, I DON’T CARE IF BLAINE BUMPED INTO AN EMPTY SEAT!
It feels like it is wasting my time.
4. The POV is confusing and irritating. It’s hard to remember it’s a 3rd person perspective when reading through it, you get confused as to who Vanessa is when you feel like it should be 1st person.
I gave it a shot, but it just wasn’t an enjoyable book to me.
I got the ARC, this book won’t be published until February 2013. Unfortunately, while the idea is good, I don’t feel like the execution has any redeemable qualities. It needs to be completely rewritten.
When books end in a way that makes me hate myself for being alive… I normally hate them in return. I hate the writing, I hate the author, I hate the plot, the characters, the dialogue. Basically, I wish the book had never been written and in that, I had never read it.
I simply cannot bring myself to hate this book. In fact, I can’t do anything but love it. It is simply amazing, and I don’t think I’ve ever read such an original, creative, lovely piece of work.
Pantomime has a little bit of magic, a little bit of steampunk, a little bit of kick-ass, and a whole lot of secrets.
The book follows both Micah Grey, a runaway in search of a new life in the circus, and Gene Laurus, a noble young girl who has yet to find her place in the world. The two come together in the most unexpected of ways, and must hide the fact that they are not what they appear. The novel is set in Ellada, an alternate society in which magical things can and have happened. Traces of magic are left behind in the cities in the form of Artifacts and giant domes of Penglass, a mysterious material that cannot be removed nor broken.
The world building in this novel is, in the simplest of words, perfect. There is not an overwhelming amount of time spent on describing the setting, but not a lax enough description that we are left completely to our own imaginations. Lam has captured the world that was created in her imagination and presented it to us with such descreet detail and vigor that we do not even notice that we have been transported to another world until we are there entirely.
Micah and Gene’s story’s are intertwined in a way that you would never expect. The author is brave and original in the way her secrets are revealed to us. I never would have guessed when I began reading that something like that would unveil so seamlessly in the novel.
Once you really become a part of the book, it is difficult to put it down. I got to the last few chapters right when I ran out of time to read, and I couldn’t properly focus on anything the rest of the night and into the next morning until I was able to pick the book up once more and let it engulf me.
The way the novel is written is completely original and invigorating. It inspires you to think outside of the box, and come up with creative new ways to tell your own stories.
Yet, throughout the entire novel, we are nagged with reminders that all of this is part of something bigger yet to come. By the end of the book, plot lines are left open to be elaborated on in the future of the series. There is so much left open and, while you have a small inkling of where this story may be headed, there is a plethora of ways it could be taken. I eagerly await the upcoming sequels and strongly urge new readers to take on this book. You’ll learn so much about yourself and open bits of your imagination that you never even knew you had.
I applaud Laura Lam for such an amazing debut novel.
I recommend this book for: People who enjoy any or all of the following: Steampunk, science fiction, mystery, circus’s, great novels. Favorite character: Aenea and Micah Least favorite character: Bil
P.S. The memory of the last solid copy book I purchased doesn’t even grace my mind, but (even though I’ve read it already) I guarantee that this one will be the next.
The Burn starts off quickly with an introduction to Tessa, and the colony she lives in with her sister, father, and grandmother. The underwater world Oldham has created is intriguing and extremely detailed. Her character and setting descriptions help pull the reader into the world she has created. She does an amazing job setting up the plot, and you can easily see the turmoil Tessa has brewing in her head. She is unhappy in the colony and decides to adventure to the surface, a desolate land nicknamed The Burn.
Sadly, this is where the story plummets. It feels like the author assumed the reader would know what The Burn looked and felt like because, naturally, we live in that present day setting. The world building completely plummets, I found myself confused and questioning what exactly was going on in the book. Unlike in the colony, I was not able to picture what was going on in my head.
The price that Tessa paid to get to the surface was steep. (view spoiler)[ She was forced to cut out her tongue so as to not give away the fact that the colonies existed. (hide spoiler)] I was confused, shocked, and appalled at this. I get the reference to The Little Mermaid, where the protagonist was forced to give up her voice in exchange for her freedom, but that seems to be where the similarities stop.
She goes to the surface and immediately falls in love with a boy named Dave. Dave was previously engaged to Mary and they both still harbor feelings for each other. Throughout the novel, Tessa states how head over heels she is for this boy, and how amazing it is that she has found love in such a short time. When she first arrives, Dave seems to feel the same way, he barely leaves her side. However, when their first kiss comes, his feelings are confused and he doesn’t speak to Tessa for days afterwards. I’m not sure what the author was trying to do here, either Dave is mighty bipolar, or he is an asshole toying with Tessa’s heart. Ignoring her for days after kissing her is an extremely sadistic approach. My main issue with the romance in this story is that (view spoiler)[when Dave and Mary get back together, Tessa simply states she never loved him. She doesn’t explain why or what her feelings meant. How are we supposed to believe this from just a statement? (hide spoiler)]
I feel the novel redeemed itself by the end, however abrupt it was. (view spoiler)[It does not have a happy ending, and maybe that’s why I loved it so much, I see too many happy endings, they get old, and this novel seemed like it would be one to end that way. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, this book started and ended great, but is weighed down by a lot of pointless back story. (view spoiler)[And I was really hoping in the end that Tessa and Jack would be together romantically. There is a sequel, and it looks like from the cover summary that Jack does harbor feelings for her. I will be reading it, although the story fell short of amazing, I would like to find out what happens to Tessa and Jack. (hide spoiler)]
Recommended for: Newer YA readers Favorite Character: Jack Least Favorite Character: None of the characters really got to me that way. Since the antagonist was an entire group (the Government), there was no one person we were supposed to hate. I think that was another unique charm of this novel. No, I don’t hate Mary, and I don’t think we are supposed to.
I have to say, The Best of all Possible Worlds may be the breakthrough novel of it’s time.
With a slow start, this book shoots forward with a booming magnetism, embodied in beautiful writing and exquisite world building. As soon as the plot begins rolling, you are dragged into this exhorbent love story between two unlike beings in a scientific future.
In the aftermath of their home world being destroyed, a human race must reorganize and rebuild while avoiding infringement of the hospitality of the world they have chosen to inhabit. Our story follows Delarua, an assistant biotechnition with an affinity for languages, who is assigned to be the Sadiri’s liaison to the citizens of Cygnus Beta. They set out on a journey to find taSadiri descendents so to help rebuild this forsaken race’s bloodline.
The depth that Lord delves to better help the reader understand the world she has created is breathtaking. You are drawn into the novel with a fervor of which is hard to come by. I haven’t experienced world building such as this since I read the Lord of the Rings many, many, years ago.
Sociology is a large basis of the story, experiencing the social aspects of how these different versions of human society react. The characters, at times, impress distress over a misunderstanding of each other’s social norms. In a way, the novel is comical in how we get to envision firsthand, the thought process that comes to understand another’s social patterns.
The Best of all Possible Worlds is thick in plot development and character growth. If it is any indication, I hope to read many more electrifying builds from Karen Lord.
I start off by mentioning that I completely knew what I was getting into when I started this novel. I had read enough negative reviews and mocking blogs to be prepared for the horrors that lie between the covers of this er-novel. I read it anyways. Call it morbid curiosity, call it a death wish, whatever you want.
As you may or may not have noticed, I did, in fact, rate this novel negatively. I have never rated a novel below 0 before (yes, even FSoG or Twilight). The reason behind my rating will (obviously) be in my review, but I wanted to point out now that this book actively offended me. Yes, she who has an immaturity level of a 12 year old and uses vulgar language without restraint is offended. Not easily, but it’s possible and P.C. fucking Cast seems to have hit the mark perfectly.
As I am so disgusted by the senseless drivel P.C. Cast has spewed from her hateful, ugly, repellant mouth, I will set this review up in a way I’ve done a few times before. My issues list.
Issue #1: And probably the biggest issue I’ve had in this book, is the way the author treats the topic of rape. At an early point in the story, Zoey stumbles upon a student performing fellatio on another. The boy was pushing the girl away and she forced herself upon him.
Later, when reflecting on the incident, Zoey comments to herself about how easy some girls are (not her, of course) and how guys should not use girls like that. I’m sorry… did you not hear him say no? Did he not actively attempt to push this girl away?
Rape is not a topic I like to face too often, but it is just as much sexual assault when a girl does it to a guy than vice versa.
Issue #2: Zoey is 100% irrevocably and completely a Mary-Sue. Which only makes it worse that she is based off of the author’s daughter almost entirely. Even her career goals are the same. There is a point, about 65% into the book, where Zoey is completely confirmed in her Mary-Sue-ness.
""Zoey! This is amazing. I don’t think there’s ever been a High Priestess who felt all five of the elements." She nodded at my Mark. "It’s that. It means you’re different, and you really are."
This quote alone makes it official. No good writer should have such an obvious Mary-Sue. This is one of the reasons I am shocked and appalled that this book was published at all. For the other reasons, read Issue’s 1-5. —- Not to mention, she is extremely hypocritical. She calls other girls sluts, ho’s, hags (that terminology shouldn’t even be used in a novel.. see Issue #5) and is in turn, much worse than said girls. I’ve heard this gets worse in the following novels.
And shallow. Zoey is shallow. I want to punch her shallow self in the shallow fucking face.
"Okay, I admit that I hadn’t liked Elliot-no one had. The kid was annoying and unattractive."
Stop. Just stop. Someone being unattractive should NEVER be a reason for you not to like them.
Issue #3: I took it upon myself at one point to make a list of things Cast has ripped off of Harry Potter. Here it is, summed up.
1. Main character is nerdy, but cute. 2. She wears geeky glasses. 3. She has a special mark on her forehead that no one else has ever seen before ever. 4. She has a geeky, weird, and unstylish best friend (who happens to be the first person she met at the school) 5. She has a smart, brainy member of the opposite sex as one of her best friends. 6. She has two ‘twin’ friends who finish each other’s sentences. 7. Her enemy is popular and into dark magic. 8. Said enemy attempted to befriend main character before she became friends with her current group. 9. Has a pet that is better than everyone else’s. 10. The school is split up into 4 sections. 11. Her loyal friends show up in the end to be her sidekicks while she ultimately saves the day, and is rewarded for it as if she had done it singlehandedly. 12. The ending is MASSIVELY CORNY.
Those are twelve similarities between this novel and our beloved Harry Potter. Twelve. I would have more if I had stretched it a bit. But, twelve. Really?
Issue #4: I wanted to vomit at Cast’s writing. The spelling and grammar were horrendous, and her awful attempts to sound like a teenager resulted in a exaggerated prose of teenage whoredom. Not one single person in the world talks that way. Not even Paris Hilton (who you seem to hate so much). Name dropping will be brought up later. And now, for some amazing quotes to further accentuate how terrible this teen prose is. Some of these are taken straight out of my updates.
"(I wish I had great boobs.) "Huh?" I said. Speaking of boob- I was totally sounding like one. (Boob… hee hee)."
""Stupid boys" I echoed and smiled at her. If she thought boys were stupid, she and I would get along fine."
Sorry, I forgot the protagonist was seven fucking years old.
""Oh, no…" I whispered to myself, "it would be just my luck to get a raging case of diarrhea".
NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT DIARRHEA. FUCKING GROSS. NO!
"a crystal goblet that was filled with something that looked suspiciously like red wine. (Huh? Wine at school? What?)"
Not one page ago, Zoey commented on how she expected there to be blood to drink at dinner. Is she really that slow that she can’t remember her own through process? Or maybe it’s just that she is so fucking stupid, she can’t put two fucking things together. Vampires. Blood. Vampires. Blood. ARE YOU MAKING ANY CONNECTIONS?!
This is a vouch for the awful writing, the goddamn author can’t even keep her own thoughts straight. And no one talks like that! Even in their heads!
"…the typical cafeteria servers handing out food from behind buffet-style glass thingies."
Thingies. You can’t make this stuff up.
""I have urine that needs to come out of my urethra."
If you drop the term ‘urethra’ in daily conversation, I am not your friend.
"Me gusta it de compras. (I like shopping.)* No me gusta cocinar. (I don’t like to cook.)** No me gusta lavantar ell gato. (I don’t like to wash the cat)***."
I added the asterisks. * WRONG ** WRONG *** WRONG.
"I really hate it when girls do that. I mean, yes, she’s older, but I have boobs, too."
And there we have it. What every teenage girl has been wondering their entire life. To seem older and mature, all you need to have are boobs! I’m so glad the wonderful authors of this book were able to clear that up for us.
Issue #5: Every other sentence, Zoey and her friends drop the words ‘hag’, ‘ho’, or ‘slut’. Those are not okay terms to use in a novel, even if you’re trying to sound like a vain, hurtful little fuck.
And the name dropping. OH GOD, THE NAME DROPPING. Every other sentence, Michael Kors, Paris Hilton, or Ashton Kutcher was dropped! Not to mention The Amazing Race, Project Runway, and Gucci. I don’t want to watch TV ads, I want to read a fucking novel.
Those are my main issues with the novel. Of course, there are plenty more, but my review would be way too long if I included all of those. Just imagine the worst novel you’ve ever read, and multiply the horribleness of it by 7. Then imagine there are eleven sequels. ELEVEN! And of course, I will read them because I like to torture myself.
I recommend this book for: Nobody, unless you’re looking for a good laugh. Favorite character: None Least favorite character:EVERYBODY.
Jonathan Maberry is a conundrum. He has an amazing imagination, and beautiful writing style, but he has a tendancy to draw his ideas out too long. Stretch them too thin. He seems like he is a very tenacious person.
After reading Rot & Ruin, I was beyond excited to dive into the rest of the series. I immediately purchased the next two novels.
How I wish I hadn’t.
By the time I was halfway through Dust and Decay, I no longer held any interest in the collection. Where the first novel was thrilling and galvanizing, the second lacked any excitement. The only word I could attach to this novel is droning.
******** Dust and Decay follows Benny and his friends on their trip to find the mysterious jumbo jet they witnessed doing a fly-by in the previous novel. They train with Tom for months, and (after a harrowing incident in their town) are finally ready to set out. As soon as they leave the town, the run into trouble in the form of roaving gangs run by White Bear, none other than (view spoiler)[Charlie Pink-eye’s elder brother (hide spoiler)]. They get separated, and end up at Gameland, the notorious zombie-pit arcade that was heavily mentioned in the first novel. A war ensues, and we see the fate of Gameland, as well as Benny, Nix, Tom, Chong, and Lilah. ********
Issue #1: This book was so incredibly slow. It takes until we are 20% into it for them to leave the town. The last seven months of their training was summed up in a couple of chapters with a few choice flashbacks later on. It feels like we are reading a newspaper article on what Obama had for breakfast yesterday. It was hard to push through because the characters are so bland. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
Issue #2:As soon as they leave, they run into a (view spoiler)[Rhinocerous (hide spoiler)]. Okay, that is a bit of a stretch, even in California.
I have studied animals for almost my entire life, and I want to point out that zoo’s are perfectly conditioned to habitat each specific animal. Even if 4 zoos in a specific area had suddenly released all of their animals into the wild at the beginning of the apocalypse, most (if not all) of said animals would perish within years. Animals are adaptable, yes, but that is over generations. I wouldn’t expect a specific (view spoiler)[rhinocerous (hide spoiler)] to survive very long in the California wasteland, much less be able to find a compatible male to mate with. This is just not reasonable.
Issue #3: Once they are in the Rot and Ruin, Chong (who has always been a very smart person) becomes a complete moron. He runs off in the wrong direction and it messes everything up somehow. The other characters spend the rest of the novel blaming him for everything that happened with the (view spoiler)[ rhinoceros (hide spoiler)]. As if he could have predicted where zombies were lying, and where the animal planned to go. This seemed unfair to me, like Maberry was looking for a way to make Chong seem worthless in Lilah’s eyes.
Issue #4: Tom, the Mary-Sue. As always, Tom saves the day. Tom, who is perfect in every way, can take down 3 giant bounty hunters in the blink of an eye, who never seems to get a scratch on him.(view spoiler)[Who dies from a gunshot wound shot from far away, oh the irony.
It’s like in Harry Potter, how everyone spent so long running from Voldemort, and no one thought to put a bullet through his head. (hide spoiler)]
Issue #5 (and then I’ll shut up): All of the characters are completely different people than they were in the first book. Yeah, I know they went through so much with Charlie Pink-Eye, blah, blah, blah, but there isn’t even a shred of the people we came to know and love in Rot and Ruin.
Benny used to be fun loving, funny, and playful, yet serious at times. Now he has no wit, he’s not interesting, he is just a boy who waves a wooden sword around.
Nix is a hollow shell of a person. There is nothing in the novel to even hint that she ever had feelings for Benny, in the beginning of the novel, I wasn’t even sure they were still together. She’s cold-hearted, and not likeable at all to the reader. Where I was rooting for her in the last novel, I just kind of wished she would get eaten by zombies in this one.
Chong was supposed to be so super smart (I mean, come on, he’s asian, of course he’s smart -.- stereotype much?) and now he’s a blundering idiot. He runs away for no reason other than the girl who he has a super-mega crush on scorned him. Fooey.
Lilah was so mysterious and dark and weird. I loved her character, having been cut off from other human life for so long, she was so interesting. Now, all of a sudden, she is completely conditioned to living with people. It is mentioned how she never had anyone to care about before, but there is nothing more than that. She talks, she has comprehendible sentences, and feelings. It’s so not right.
Tom is the only one of the original cast who I actually still like. He’s the only one with personality and, even though he’s a huge Mary-Sue, he’s the only one remotely interesting.
(view spoiler)[If Tom was still alive, I would consider finishing the series for my own interest, but now the only reason I’ll read the next book is because I’ve already paid for it. (hide spoiler)]
Now, I’m not saying this was a bad book, it just wasn’t on par with any of Maberry’s previous work that I’ve read. If you want to find out more about the jet, don’t bother. There’s nothing about it in this novel.
I recommend this book for: People who can’t resist continuing the series. My advice: Buyer beware: this novel kind of ruined the series for me. Favorite character: Tom Least favorite character: Benny and Nix
I read Eragon when I was 15. And again when I was 17. Then again when I was 21.
The moment I opened this book, it whisked me away. Picture Lord of the Rings, but YA. God knows, I’ve read Lord of the Rings enough times, but when I was younger, getting through that book was like getting through my long period American History class where I had a blind teacher. Droning, really.
LOTR is amazing, but it’s a lot to take in for a kid. Thus, my relationship with Eragon was born.
Eragon is a poor farmer’s nephew, born of unknown legacy. He finds a mystical egg that contains his new dragon and life partner, Saphira. Saphira is one of two (view spoiler)[that we know of (hide spoiler)] living dragons in the land of Alagaesia. The other is paired with the evil king of Alagaesia. Madness ensues, and Eragon is left alone with his dragon, everyone he cares about and every worldly possession stripped from him. He sets off to fight the Empire (very Star War’s, amIrite?) alongside an old storyteller from his village. This books tells the story of his journey, his finally joining the allied forces fighting the evil king, and his first entry into battle.
I enjoyed the first of the quartet of books the most, as most people usually do. It was full of adventure and magic. The other three focus more on war and battles, not my cup of tea.
I don’t consider Eragon a rip off of LOTR. Yeah, it’s another world with different languages used throughout the novel. And it has it’s share of mythical creatures. It’s got the war for control of the land, with one main protagonist holding the key for the good guy’s victory.
For as much as Paolini struggles with originality, he makes up for it with the imagination and skill with which he fleshed out this magical world.
Everything is completely thought out. This is one series I’ve read where there are no loose ends. You’re never left wondering. And after you’re done with all four novels, you are left feeling completely satisfied. (hehe, maturity glitch)
Eragon is also a coming of age story. I strongly related to Eragon as a teen when I first read this. Living out your normal life, waiting for something extraordinary to happen. No, I didn’t grow the standard main character crush on him like I did with Fred Weasley (view spoiler)[ I’m still heartbroken (hide spoiler)], I saved that for Murtagh (view spoiler)[upset about his fate as well (hide spoiler)] who is a supporting character in the novel.
Paolini does a great job world building as well as character building. I could feel the different character’s personalities. I had an emotional attachment to each character through the novel.
I recommend this book for: sci-fi fans, dragon lovers, and LOTR fans. Favorite character: Murtagh and Saphira Least favorite character: The Twins
P.S. The author is quite an artist too. Love his work.
Break My Heart 1,000 Times was one of the best books I’ve read all year. Keep in mind that I am on book 80 of 2012.
The main character, Veronica isn’t your typical Sci-fi protagonist teenager. She’s pretty (and knows it), flirty (and proud of it), and extremely moody.
In short: she’s not perfect.
Her love interest, Kirk is nerdy and cute, but nothing compared to his tall, muscular friend, James.
Romance Lets start with the love triangle in this novel. Because, of course, a YA novel needs to have a love triangle.
This love triangle is perfect and creepy. You think it’s going to be between Veronica, Kirk, and James, but in reality, you’ll soon find that James is not even a runner. Brian is Veronica’s other love interest. And Brian is a ghost.
Maybe I should have started by mentioning that this book has ghosts. Oh well.
Brian is one of the super rare ghosts who is coherent. He cannot speak to Veronica, but he can look at her. He can think, and he tries his best to protect her. Veronica has never spoken to him or seen him do more than brush his hair in the mirror, but she has this pull towards him that she doesn’t understand.
Throughout the novel, I was rooting for Kirk because logically, he is the only one actually alive. Brian couldn’t interact with Veronica, and we find out from delving into his mind that he is madly in love with the deceased, Mary.
Ghosts Veronica’s father is a ghost. He sits every morning at the kitchen table reading the paper and drinking coffee. Then he looks up, smiles, and disappears.
I love the ghosts in this novel. They are everywhere, images of their past selves and hauntingly beautiful. The ghosts in Veronica’s world have no purpose. They are what they are and no one knows why they’re there.
My favorite part of the novel, I think, was the detective work that Kirk and his professor did. They classify certain ghosts by why their images show up at a certain place or time. It’s interesting to hear about the different types of this mystery. This book is a puzzle that never fully gets completed.
Why was one ghost able to grab someone’s hand? Why was one ghost able to point at her murderer? Why was one ghost able to make a phone call?
It’s all a mystery, because we don’t know any more than the characters in the novel.
Mystery A large focus in the novel is on Mr. Bittner, Veronica’s History teacher. He is a murderer (no, this is not a spoiler).
One of the reasons this book interested me so was because we knew the entire time who the murderer was. Because of this, we were able to understand his complete thinking. We were able to see his reasoning.
This novel, at times, had me yelling out “No! Don’t do it! The voices aren’t real!”. Everyone at the office gave me weird looks.
The Writing Daniel Waters’ writing in this novel is poetic and beautiful. The way he can jump from one character to another without losing their personalities was breathtaking. It is not easy to write a multi-view novel without all of the characters sort of merging into one giant protagonist, trust me, I’ve tried.
The book was mysterious. We aren’t just told things, we are shown them. We don’t find out Veronica’s father is a ghost until he just happens to disappear. We naturally assumed he was just her dad, sitting at the table before going to work. Then poof, he’s gone.
The Event Oh, the Event. A term used by many a novel as we are thrust into their post-apocalyptic world.
We are told a few things about the Event, but not what actually happened. It’s a mystery in itself that is never fully explained.
Conclusion All in all, I rate this book 5 stars. Everything was impeccable. It has earned a place on my ‘Favorites’ shelf. I am completely impressed, and upset that it is not the first in a series.
*WARNING* I use what might be considered offensive language in this review, buyer beware.
Glamour starts with Rae, a super awesome fast runner, absolutely gorgeous, better at everything than everyone, chick who is studying to kill demons. She breaks out of the protective walls through a hole that mysteriously appeared right in front of her (umm ok.) and takes a run in the woods, where demons and evil stuff lives. Sounds like a plan. After running into some clerics (demon hunters) who were killing a fairy (ugly green skin, fire-truck red hair, doesn’t sound attractive) she books it away from them. Dogs appear (?) and chase her and she is magically a gajillion miles ahead of them, or at least far enough ahead to have an entire meet and greet conversation (and make out session) with sexy demon Breandan (whom she just met). Chaos ensues.
I enjoyed the first chapter of this book because the writing was so natural. I felt like I was actually in Rae’s head. That didn’t last.
I must say, the first 80% of this book (at least) takes place in one day. ONE DAY. And it’s not like a little amount happens. We’ve already had mountain after mountain attack Rae. This girl would not be in one piece (literally, she would have fallen apart by now. Body parts everywhere.)
When I set out on a book planning to review it, I usually take notes to assist my review later. I didn’t have to do that with this book. It annoyed me so badly that I remember everything I thought was wrong with it.
This book has too much in it. I find myself sighing with frustration because it’s just one thing after another. Give her a break! Give me a break. I’m so sick of all of this stuff happening all at once, it’s exhausting.
And absolutely nothing has been pointed out as to why Rae is so goddamn special. It’s confusing, and frustrating, and quite frankly, the writing sucks.
The character development is non-existent and contradictory. When Rae first meets Ed- sorry, Tomas (her vampire bang buddy)she describes him with a bowl haircut. A BOWL. She even says he wasn’t remotely attractive. The next chapter, she comments on how she’s run into 3 SUPER-OMG-I-WOULD-SO-DO-HIM-EVEN-THOUGH-NO-ONE-HAS-EVER-EVEN-TOUCHED-ME-BEFORE guys, Breandan, Devlin, and… Tomas? WTF. A bowl. Remember that.
The only character I even remotely liked was Rae’s best friend, Alex. And my reasoning for that? She was described to look something like this.
Yes, Rae’s best friend is Avril. True story.
You know those character descriptions that most books have, you know, to help you picture and relate to the characters? Fletcher apparently doesn’t need those.
Those moments when you’re reading a book, and you just want to do this to it?
Maybe I have anger issues. But that probably wouldn’t be a good idea for me anyways because I’m reading this book mainly on my tablet. Don’t want to smash that…
Rae eventually meats Breandan (who, it turns out, is sort of a prince)’s brother, Lochlann. Lochlann is the only person in this entire book who doesn’t like Rae. THANK YOU SO MUCH, MS. FLETCHER. THANK YOU.
But… but how dare he not like Rae? She’s perfect! (Although we don’t know why) Everyone loves her! Everyone wants to have steamy make-out sessions with her next to dead bodies. EVERYONE.
I. Just. Can’t.
You know what we call girls who make-out with three guys in one day (albeit, one 3 hour time slot) in current day Massachusetts? A whore. I said it, Rae Wilder is a giant, flaming, whore. Pardon my Klingon. (If there are any prostitutes out there who are offended by my review than I apologize)
Then there was the romance. Rae “bonded” to Breandan, which was some sort of undying love pact that they can’t control. But she was also in love with Tomas. Let me remind you, she met both of these boys today. And now she can’t possibly live without either of them.
Honestly, I think if the end of this series ended with Rae waking up in an insane asylum, it would make SO MUCH MORE SENSE. I mean, what sane person lets a demon stay in her room when she’s been conditioned her whole life to fear them.
I will have a longer and more detailed review once (IF) I finish the book.
I really liked it in the beginning but now I detest it. I just want this book to be out of my life, but obviously not badly enough to put it on my ‘abandoned’ shelf.
I have never rated a book so low unless it was FSOG or Twilight, where I was personally offended by the events that occurred in the books. This is upsetting to me.
This is the beautiful Twitter exchange between Elana Roth (Cass’s editor) and the author, Kiera Cass.
Personally, I think it is disgusting that a editor (or author) would refer to a reviewer as ‘that bitch’ solely for disliking the novel. Wendy Darling did not personally insult the author in her review, and this reaction is uncalled for. Whatever happened to accepting constructive criticism?
The fact that they discuss how to cheat the Goodreads system into posting top reviews first, is wrong on so many levels. Not to mention that their reaction (which I don’t think was supposed to be public… could you learn to use Twitter?) actually hurt the book’s popularity, because, really, who wants to read a book that was written by a huge raging bitch who can’t take criticism?
The great thing about Goodreads has always been that you can interact with other book lovers and authors alike. You are able to discuss the book and the authors can take your ideas into their next novel (maybe? Not in this case, because the author of this book is obviously an awful condescending piece of shit who should never have been published in the first place solely because of her shitbag attitude.)
Excuse the language, but this pissed me off.
Normally when I read a negative review, if the book cover and synopsis still interests me, I will still give the book a shot. This would have been the case for ‘The Selection’, but because of the author’s inane response, I won’t waste my time or money on her senseless drivel.
Before the opening page, there is a quote from a zombie novel I read a while back. I instantly knew I had read it before even before I arrived at the credit.
“This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.” — T.S. Eliot, Hollowmen
Do you know how many post-apocalyptic books have copied this exact quote? Either stolen it and put it in the novel as works of their own, or quoting it at the beginning of the novel or a chapter. Can we be a bit more original please? Way overdone.
Right off I get the feeling that this author is attempting to write way above her skill level. The sentences are overly cryptic and forced.
“They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids”
Umm… what? I don’t even…
First grammar mistake? *ding, ding, ding!*
Second page; author uses ‘its’ as possessive.
Even Microsoft Word will tell you that’s wrong.
Looking past the author’s blatant disregard for common grammar laws, we move on the the main character being ‘noticed’. Oh how swell, this would be a boring story otherwise.
“His eyes, green, like two exclamation marks, meet mine.”
“The strange color of my eyes is the first thing anyone ever notices”
Screaming; “LOOK, I’M SPECIAL!”
Apart from the grammar mistakes in this quote, it’s obvious the author wants us to know just how Mary Sue her character is. HER EYES, HER EYES, OMG HER EYES!
I get to the part where Rhine is ‘chosen’ with two other girls. The guards then shoot all of the girls who were not chose. Tell me this… in a post-apocolyptic world where women don’t live past age 20 (don’t even get me started on this idea) what good could it possibly do to kill a dozen or so sixteen year olds? The only thing I see them doing is killing off potential breeders.
I just died. Might stop reading this sad excuse for a novel, all it is doing is pissing me off and boring me.
We move on and Rhine (along with the other pretty-but-not-as-gorgeous-as-Rhine) brides get married to their mysterious gold-teethed fiancé (and that is supposed to sound attractive? Eew)
This whole (what, 10%?) of the book is useless and boring. I had to stop myself from putting it down. It’s filled with “I went upstairs”’s “she led me down the hall”’s and “yet another”’s. I’m bored.
“The other brides are dressed in black and yellow versions of my outfit, respectively.”
Ok… does the author not know how to use the term ‘respectively’? You can’t put it at the end of a description without previously determining who was listed first. And of course, little miss “I have pretty eyes” get’s the only good color dress… red.
I find the author goes off on these tangents. A secondary character will say one sentence and Rhine will bloom into thought about how she used to eat bananas before taking her evening dump. Very obtrusive. Every time I happen upon one of these, all I can think is “Here we go again”
She is also contradictory to the point of confusion, for example; Rhine mentions she didn’t know much geography at all when asked if she knew what Japan was. Then, not even 3 paragraphs later, she is explaining about how her father was a “world enthusiast.” and had an atlas, where Japan was a favorite of hers. (Why Japan? Just cause? Oissh, of course, the Geisha’s, the only thing anyone in the US seems to know about Japan.)
Another time, she says Linden did not come into her bedroom. Next sentence; “But in the early hours of the morning, I’m awakened by the turn of the doorknob.” Umm.. ok, who could it be? Linden…
Get your story straight.
How about this… these girls are stuck up in this mansion for a year with all the food they can imagine, sucking on candies all day long… wouldn’t they get fat? I know I would.
And Rhine whines and whines about wanting to leave, but she never actually makes an attempt at it. What does she have to go back to? I’m sure her brother would be fine without her, and it’s not like she had a job or friends. And I’m sure, with Linden head over heels for her, he would be fine with her sending a letter to her brother telling him where she is and that she is fine. Maybe he could even live with them and work in the house, I don’t know, cause she never tries it!
As much as other reviews say that Gabriel is practically nonexistent, he does seem to be around a lot in the first half of the book. And he does seem to have an awful lot of ‘rare’ smiles…
The author goes on and on throughout the novel about how Vaughn is dissecting the bodies in the basement. She assumes this because she saw them wheeling Rose’s body down the hall on a gurney… Her body was being taken down the hall… God forbid…
And she is always saying how one day they will all be corpses lines up for his experiments. Excuse me, but how long do you think a body will last? Bodies need to be dissected within weeks of death. By her math, it will be at least 6 years before all four of the sister-wives are dead, I don’t think anyone would want to keep a rotting corpse in their basement for 6 years for study, even someone mad as Vaughn.
I feel I have overdone the face-palm GIFs on this one…
Overall though, the book tied together really well. The polygamy was so farfetched with where we are in today’s society, I wanted to punch the author for even having such a ridiculous plot idea. And I’m sorry, but girls getting some sort of ‘virus’ right after their 20th birthdays, and men doing the same at 25? That’s just fucking stupid. You can’t be healthy your whole life and then BOOM, as soon as you turn 20 you get TB. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
If this took place in a parallel universe, or in the past, where polygamy was common, I would have enjoyed it much more. And it wouldn’t have taken away from the novel much at all because they don’t seem to have computers in this story at all… or phones… or surveillance cameras (don’t you think someone like Vaughn would put up cameras in his basement/laboratory?)
After I got past the boring parts, I enjoyed the book, albeit the massive amount of “OMG, WTF?!”’s.
However, if you care about believability, I wouldn’t bother with it. If you are one who can just brush off a pile of super-important-plot-related-crap that makes absolutely no sense, enjoy yourself. :)
The Maze Runner is the story of 50-60 boys thrown into a Maze together and forced to build a society. They work together to live, and figure their way out of their prison. Everything is going fine. That is, until Thomas and Teresa show up.
The game is ending, monsters are set out on the boys and they are unsure how to survive. It is up to Thomas to figure out how to get these boys out of their hellhole and back to their real world… if the real world still exists.
This book is a difficult read at first, it’s a little slow, but you won’t be disappointed if you stick to it. There are some inconsistencies throughout, but most are explained away by the end of the novel.
The writing is not amazing, I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters on any level and that left the book feeling a bit empty. It is completely plot-driven, there’s barely any character development there.
I enjoyed the book, it could have been written better, but when the plot got started the pages flew by. A definite read for dystopian fans.
My thoughts throughout the book;
32% - “This book is starting to pick up a bit, it did take a while for the story to get going. I do like it so far, definitely something you want to stick with if you are getting a little bored.”
39% - “While Dashner keeps things consistent by mentioning that Thomas’s memory has been wiped. I feel like pointing it out every single time he does something noteworthy is slight overkill.”
54% - “I can’t believe I’m only halfway through this novel, I feel like so much has happened, yet I’m not bored nor ready to stop reading. I would really like to see some sort of picture or map of the Glade. It’s getting a bit hard to picture it in my head when Dashner keeps adding buildings that weren’t there before.”
83% - “This book just got really confusing. We find a lot of information all at once and it is explained very quickly. *SPOILER* It would have been better if we had seen what Thomas has seen for ourselves instead of just hearing him explain it to the Keepers.” *END SPOILER*
98% - *SPOILER* "It seems strange that when the Gladers are (finally) back in the real world, Dashner doesn’t spend any time explaining what they are seeing. These kids are seeing the destroyed world for the first time, why aren’t they awed? Why don’t they even look at their surroundings? Why don’t they care that the only world they’ve ever known (even if they don’t remember) no longer exists?" *END SPOILER*
One thing that is never explained in the book; Why was Teresa the only girl?
The Epilogue was a great addition, it definitely set it up well for the next book.
But I do feel that comparing this novel to the Hunger Games is totally pointless. They are two different books centering around different ideas. The only thing I saw in common was that they are both YA Dystopian.
I was trying to find a good bunch of situations I could use to build my characters. I couldn’t find a comprehensive list, so I’ve made one here out of bits I’ve found on the interwebs. You can fill out all, some, or none, but these questions help you get a feel for who your character really is. I would highly suggest only working on one character at a time, or the exercise will become redundant.
You have been given one chance to alter your shape in any way they want. Who or what would you decide to look like?
If you could jump back to a point in your life once and stay there, (effectively undoing everything up to that point) how far back would you go?
You are presented with a choice to either save your family, friend, or lover. Choosing one would mean the death of the rest.
You have been invited to attend to a party filled with people you don’t like at all. How do you deal with this?
Your current place of residence is struck by a natural disaster. You survive in one piece, but all of your possessions are gone, and everyone you can find is in much the same situation. What happens next?
You win a Nobel prize. What do you win it for and how do you react?
You find yourself locked in a room with a character who, whilst isn’t villainous, has caused problems for you in the past. Only one of you can leave. there are no cameras or other recording devices.
Someone you dislike declares their love for you. What do you do?
You find your rival/enemy with a severe case of amnesia. What will you do?
You have to work with your antagonist/rival to accomplish a goal. How do you take it?
You have ten days to live. How do you spend that time?
You see a small child fall into a river with a fast undertow. What do you do?
You accidentally walk in on an acquaintance naked. What do you do?
You have been offered a large sum of money to assassinate someone you have never met or heard of. What do you do?
You witness someone stealing from a store, what do you do?
Closed Hearts is the sequel to Open Minds, a novel set in a world where everyone normal is a mind reader. Kira, however, is not normal. She’s a jacker. Jacking is a special skillset in which the Jacker can enter and ultimately control a Reader’s mind.
In this novel, Kira has exposed the jackers to the public, and is set on a mission to free the trapped jackers and protect the ones she loves.
I found this novel to be slightly disappointing compared to it’s predecessor. Kira has completely changed in terms of her attitude and determination. In Open Minds, she would stop at nothing to bring Kessler down, and in this one she gives up two separate opportunities to do just that.
Her regard for those she loves is pushed until the end of the novel, only then does it occur to her that the best thing she could do to protect her loved ones is to leave them behind.
Her powers which were considered so remarkable in the first book seem weak and useless in this one. At times she can defeat extremely skilled jackers and at others she can’t even get in the heads of weakly protected readers. The inconsistinsies in her skill make me think the author got worried that Kira might become a Mary-Sue type character. Her attempts to correct this leave Kira a weak, unimpresive protagonist and one I’d much rather see replaced.
Honestly, I would much rather the story continue on in Julian’s perspective, he is the stronger character and while mysterious, much more developed.
Another large red flag to me in this novel is that so many of the Mages’ enemies are jackers. Being a jacker, wouldn’t you want to help a group that is fighting solely for jacker rights? Or at least do not stand in their way. The anti-jacker readers would be completely powerless without their jacking body guards. This is like saying gay people would fight against gay rights. It makes absolutely no sense.
One of the biggest disappointments I think is the scene set up. The big climax of the book takes place a good amount of time before the ending, almost at the halfway point. If I was an editor, the beginning and end of this book would not interest me enough to back it.
All over, this book is an obvious read if you enjoyed the first book. I would suggest reading it only in hopes that the third one will be much better, and you’ll need it to fill in the space between the two novels.
First off, I must point out that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and while there were certain aspects of it that annoyed me, I don’t regret one minute spent on this novel and have to mention that it’s one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a long time.
Kira is a sixteen year old nursing intern who has grown up an a post-apocalyptic safe-zone. The leaders of their community have passed the “Hope Act”, a pregnancy requirement for woman of 18 years and older, in hopes of regenerating the population. The only thing is, all of the babies keep dying.
Mankind was wiped out by a specialized virus, created by “Partials”, robotic super-soldiers that took over the world in a bid for their freedon. This virus lies stagnant in the air, but kills all newborns within days of their birth. Kira and her community are the last surviving humans, immune to the virus.
When Kira’s best friend becomes pregnant, she is forced to action in hopes to find a cure for the virus and save her friend’s unborn child. Partials is a tale of Kira’s journey into Partial territory on her mission to cure this murderous disease. On the way, she makes unlikely friends and discovers things about herself that she never would have guessed.
I had read nothing of Partials when I began the book, I didn’t even read a review. I saw the description and in my post-apocalyptic fandome, had to give it a shot.
My first thought is: Wow.
This book is well thought out and researched, and while there were some things that wouldn’t make sense to most readers, I enjoyed the experience that came from reading this book.
Going into it, red flags instantly went up when Jayden entered the novel. I worried that it would turn into some sort of love triangle between him, Kira, and Marcus, but as I continued reading, nothing developed so my worries were shushued.
I had a hard time picturing the characters because any sort of physical discriptions were only hinted later in the book. It took until 14% into the book for us to find out that Kira was of Indian descent.
A few things bothered me about the time setting as well. We were never actually told what time this book takes place in, and at one point, a memory was described as the ‘40’s, but did not fit the description of the 1940’s at all. This makes me think that maybe it took place after the 2040’s, but I feel like the world would have changed more than it does in the novel by that time.
The giant twist we find out about four fifths of the way into the book was easily discernable early in the story. I guessed it at 25%. Some giant events will happen within paragraphs which also got on my nervs. The scientific aspect of this book interested me greatly. I am not a scientific person, I tend to get lot easily in those type of things, but the scientific explainations in the novel were specific, yet easy to understand. It definitely showed how well researched the book is, and made easy to understand. I have to thank the author for that.
One thing that I feel is super important to point out is if you don’t like reading Kudzu every seven chapters, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. If you can handle the repetitive nature of this (out of place) plant, then go ahead :)
A lot of things go unexplained in the novel, but I see this as leaving plots open for the following books.
Overall, I would suggest this book for anyone interested in any sort of post-apocalyptic setting or dystopian future. It was also a really good break from the normal dystopian-running-from-the-government plots we see all the time, this one had more of a political POV.
Please don’t take my review to be negative. Sometimes when I take notes on a novel, I nitpick, but I have to say, this book summed up really nicely and I recommend it completely.
Like the first one in the trilogy, there are some grammatical errors, nothing I can’t overlook. I’ve noticed that (like a lot of my attempts at writing) that there is a lot of useless and immature dialogue. Fitting for the characters ages, but not so much worthy of mentioning in the actual book.
Another thing I noticed is that it will have entire chapters dedicated to every little thing that happens, and then have a paragraph explaining the next few days. It gets me thinking “What was the point of explaining all that uneventful stuff?”
One thing I do like is that, while the book is full of adventure, not much that I don’t like has happened (at least so far). In most other novels of this sort *SPOILER* the obvious beginning of this book would be Hayden dying. I love that he lived and I love that so far everything has worked out okay. No one ever writes a story about keeping up a quarantine compound, it’s always about the protagonist finding a quarantine, and then that being overrun in a short time from then. I like how this book is more about living in a zombie apocalypse than ending one (or ending in one).
I’m not gonna start about the giant cliffhanger endings the author loves so much, everyone else has pretty much expressed their disappointment with that enough for my taste.
That being said, I do definitely suggest this book for Zombie fans and Post-apocalypse fans alike. I love it so far and look forward to the next installment.
One thing I do have to mention is that I hate, Hate, HATE the cover art for all 3 books. It looks so obviously photo-shopped and it’s difficult to figure out what it has to do with the books at all. Blech.
I enjoyed this book overall. Yes, there were a lot of things left unexplained, but I didn’t expect a 16 year old girl to know everything about the world she was living in, so that is understantable.
The characters were pretty fleshed out, I really got to know and relate to them, to the point where I was cheering or booing them throughout the book.
The idea was really intriguing and did not let me down. All of the bases seemed to be covered so as to not leave any plot holes that couldn’t be followed up in the next of the series. The writing was good, it wasn’t juvenile or difficult to read.
Overall I would give this book 4 stars and definitely recommend it to anyone interested in dystopian fiction.