Archive for November, 2013

Partials- Dan Wells

Partials (Partials, #1)

Summary

It’s a post apocalypse world and the rest of humanity has ended up on this island while the rest of the world is overwhelmed with Partials- robots who were genetically engineered to help end this war a while ago- and they look exactly like humans and from what we know they don’t age. And the rest of humanity is doomed because there is this illness called RM that causes babies to die.

So we follow the main character called Kira who decides that she needs to capture a Partial to cure RM ans save her best friend, Madison’s,  child. So then she goes to the mainland captures a Partial, goes back, escapes with the partial, goes back to the mainland, is the experiment, then finds the cure and goes back to her home and saves her best friends baby daughter.

Cons

Slow Beginning
I found it hard to get into partly because the entire first part of the book is what it says on the blurb and I kinda wanted the proper plot to actually get started.

Couldn’t get into it
Usually when I get a book out from the library I finish it before I had to renew it, but this time it took me 3 renews to finally finish it! By the time I was properly into it I think I must have been at least 2/3 through with it- mainly to do with the awesome plot twist!

Possible Love Triangle
There wasn’t one in this book, but I wasn’t sure which other section to display my concerns… At the end of the book Kira decides to go off with Samm (the partial)

Pros

Romance
As I said before there was a love triangle, but the good thing about it was that it didn’t overwhelm the book. It didn’t become one of those books that was so heavily focused on the romance that the plot suddenly dissipates and dies. It was good how Kira kept to her boyfriend even though she was travelling with others for weeks. But

Plot Twist
Unlike many recent “plot twists” that I have read lately, this plot twist was actually half good! It was something that I would have never expected and to be honest it will probably be the reason why I will read the next book. The only sorta flaw I have about it is that I don’t understand how it works because it completely goes against the information that we know, However I like this because it will hopefully mean an interesting plot and character development in the next book.

Characters
Not all the “good characters” were “good”. And when I say that, I don’t mean there was a traitor among them. I just mean that Haru who is Madison’s husband, is a complete idiot. It just gives some diversity to the book which makes it pretty awesome.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Well, thanks for not shooting anyone, I guess”, said Marcus. “My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later”
  • “I’ve never been this wet in my life, ” said Kira. “Even immersed in a bathtub I swear I was dryer than I am now. ”
    “Look on the bright side, ” said Marcus.
    Kira waited.
    “This is the point at which you would traditionally suggest a bright side. ”
    “I’ve never been a real traditional guy,” said Marcus. “Besides, I’m not saying I know a bright side, I just think this would be a great time to look at one.”
  • “If you can’t know the truth, said Isolde, live the most awesome lie you can think off”
  • “I need a sample of your blood,’ said Kira.
    Marcus raised an eyebrow. ‘I didn’t know we’d reached that stage of our relationship”
  • “Was that the girl who went to Manhattan with you?” Asked Marcus. “I think we owe her a cookie” “I think we owe her a whole damn bakery” said Xochi”

Overall
This book wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be just because usually I have high expectations. As to recommending it- if you feel like you could cope with my list of cons as well as others that you will probably discover, then read it. Overall though, I would give 3 shuriken stars: the “average” rating of dystopian books that I have been reading lately.

The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater

This is the book that cemented this series into the favourites pile. Because as soon as I was done, I went back and reread parts over again and I realised how much I loved it.

BTW, there are a few spoilers for the book, so you’ve been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Cons

I can see this book having negatives for some people, because it’s not fast paced. You’d think, as it’s kind of a realistic fantasy, it would be fast-paced and action-packed, but it’s got the pacing of a contemporary novel. Personally, I loved the pacing, but I can see some people not enjoying it if they went into the book for a plot-oriented story.

Pros

The Kiss and The Almost Kiss

These two scenes broke my heart.

I don’t what else there is to say.

Just… the context from which they’re formed and the way they are built up to… it’s just all so painful and beautiful and lovely and awful.

Realistic

You don’t realise how obviously fictitious something is until you read something like The Raven Cycle where everything feels so completely normal. It convinces you that this world must exist, because everything is so plausible and the characters are fully formed and their actions make sense and I don’t even know how Maggie Stiefvater does it every time but I completely fell into the world. I believed it all.

I guess it’s because it doesn’t rely on sudden, unexpected plot twists. It’s not like “And then, Blue realised that Adam was in fact… DUN DUN DUN … Gansey’s long lost twin sister.” The story always remains grounded, and whatever twists there are make sense in the scope of the story.

Characters

I don’t even know where to begin.

I could probably talk about all of these wonderful (and not so wonderful) people.

Maybe I will.

But two really need to be mentioned.

“And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war.” 

This is a Ronan Book. Right from the Prologue all the way to the end, the main plot line is Ronan and this ability. While I felt the Raven Boys was definitely more of a Blue book, this is where Ronan really shines. The interesting journey of the reader and Ronan is that from the beginning of the Raven Boys, he’s not that likeable. Fun to read about, sure, but also a massive douchenozzle. But by the end of the Dream Thieves, I found myself unable to hate him. There is so much depth to his character that I won’t even begin to go into because I could write an essay on Ronan Lynch and how great a character he is.

Part of the reason for this would be Kavinsky.

Oh man, Kavinsky.

This kid.

This. Kid.

I suppose, in some way, he makes Ronan more likeable because Ronan is no longer the most crude and violent character in the novel. Oh no, Kavinsky wins that quite easily. This kid makes Ronan look like a tame little kitten in comparison. He’s this uncontrollable hurricane of a person, and you’re never sure what he’s going to do next. And he was so great to read about, because he was so unpredictable and dangerous and interesting. I guess that’s why his fate seemed sealed from the beginning.

Oh man, Kavinsky just can’t be described. You’ll have to read the book to see what I mean.

Another thing to mention: the scenes with Ronan and Noah are so sweet and adorable. They didn’t get much interaction in the first book (for good reason, since Noah was a bit preoccupied), but I really liked their friendship playing out in between Gansey and Adam’s phone calls.

Writing Style

I know I mention this in every Maggie Stiefvater review but I am completely falling in love with her writing style. It’s just so freaking gorgeous.

Quotes

  • Want and need were words that got eaten smaller and smaller: Freedom, autonomy, a perennial bank balance, a stainless-steel condo in a dustless city, a silky black car, to make out with Blue, eight hours of sleep, a cell phone, a bed, to kiss Blue just once, a blister-less heel, bacon for breakfast, to hold Blue’s hand, one hour of sleep, toilet paper, deodorant, a soda, a minute to close his eyes.
    What do you want, Adam?
    To feel awake when my eyes are open.
  • “All that mattered was that something had struck the match, and Gansey was burning.”
  • “Boys like him didn’t die; they got bronzed and installed outside public libraries.”
  • “Dying’s a boring side effect.”
  • “Because Niall Lynch was a forest fire, a rising sea, a car crash, a closing curtain, a blistering symphony, a catalyst with planets inside him.
    And he had given all of that to his middle son.”
  • “I am being perfectly f*cking civil.”

If I don’t stop adding quotes now, I never will.

Overall

5 shuriken stars, easily. A realistic fantasy story about five kids searching for a dead welsh king. What else could you ask for?

Quotes #4

What I don’t understand about war is why the hell do we have it? What is the point in sending thousands and sometimes millions of people to their deaths while they plot the deaths of others? What is the point of having a war when it is inevitable that one side will win and the other will lose? What’s the point it playing a massive game of chess with real lives and real bombings, when we could just play a normal game of chess where the only loss is a few pieces of wood.

“War makes monsters of men, you once said to me Todd. Well, so does too much knowledge. Too much knowledge of your fellow man, too much knowledge of his weakness, his pathetic greed and vanity, and how laughably easy it is to control him.”
Monsters of Men

“They won the war but lost the peace”
Rot and Ruin

“Wars are often waged not because of what we believe, but because of the things we want others to believe”
Everlost

Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces on 26 April 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. (Wiki)