Archive for January, 2014

Alice in Deadland- Mainak Dhar

Before reading this book I looked up some review of the book just to see what I should be expecting. I found lots of review saying that it was written badly, the writer was home-published (or something like that), the plot wasn’t original or interesting, etc. But to be honest when I was reading it I didn’t find any of those faults annoying enough to make me put down the book in a fury of anger.

Alice in Deadland (Alice in Deadland, #1)Summary
So as you may have guessed from the title its like a book mashup of Alice in Wonderland and the Zombie Apocalypse. It follows the basic plot of Alice in Wonderland- ish- maybe- not really sure- ie I read it ages and ages ago as a kid and the only recent memories I have of it is when the new movie came out.

Cons
Writing style
I know in my little rant above I said the writing style didn’t bother me that much and it’s true. The reason why its in the cons section is that while it didn’t bother me that much I know it could have been so much better. When bad stuff happened to Alice she felt sad and cried and stuff, but I didn’t feel as sad as I should have felt. There are those situations where the writer can just write a little to make the reader feel sad because they can relate to the situation, but to be honest the thing that happened to Alice the majority of the readers won’t be able to relate to it and so he has to make  the reader relate and feel her pain. I just feel it didn’t happen. I felt sorry for her and a little sad because I imagined it happening to myself and how I would react, but it could have been so much better. (So if you are dying to know what happened to Alice: *spoiler alert*: her family all died)

Pros
The idea
I love modern day (ish) retelling of farie tales, old classics, etc. I also love zombie books. So of course I loved the idea of this book.

Zombie twist
Technically they can’t really be zombies because they are half intelligent

Favourite Quotes

  • “You take anything you fear and cannot understand and make it an object of hate. So much easier to hate and destroy than to seek to understand”
  • “Man had proven to be the most jealous of lovers, preferring to destroy the Earth rather than give her up”
  • “Better dead than undead”

Overall
So yeah, while I did enjoy the book, I didn’t love it. It was a quick read that kept me entertained and didn’t require too much emotional content. Its a good book if you’re looking for something that easy and doesn’t sap the life out of you, but if you are looking for a deep book with loads to back-story and stuff that makes you want to curl into a ball and cry, this isn’t one of them. 3.5 stars.

Ship Breaker- Paolo Bacigalupi

In short, this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.
I first heard of this book while looking on goodreads on the side bar of “readers also enjoyed similar books” with the similar book being The Knife of Never Letting Go (aka the best book to ever exist). So of course I had high expectations of this book- through no fault of its own, only because “it was in the wrong place, at the wrong time” 😛

Summary (from goodreads because I’m lazy…) 😛

Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)In America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota–and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life…

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

*my little edit because goodreads hasn’t included some details*
The main character Nailer meets a girl and of course he rescues her. They then try to run off together but of course things get in the way- e.g. Nailer’s creepy messed up dad who has serious anger issues.

Cons

Circles
I felt that it was going in circles. The plot started and ended in the same place. The ending was almost too happy because all the bad people basically disappear or die and most of the good people survive

Characters
I felt like I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. They seemed kinda one-dimensional and I just couldn’t connect. So whenever something sad or happy happened to them, I just couldn’t feel the same.

Plot
I hate to be mean and harsh but it felt like a wild goose chase. Nailer and the girl were just running around like headless chickens trying to run away from the bad guys, and it just kept going in circles. To give an example of this, when I read I often lose my bookmark and therefore have to find my original page. When reading this I found that I would always be rereading parts or skipping some parts and then having to reread the entire thing because I just couldn’t get the plot into my head.

Pros

Possible future
I love the name of the next book “The drowned cities”. It seems to mystical and beautiful. I felt that this book didn’t live up to what it could potentially have been, but it has potential to improve. The world was pretty awesome

Final showdown
There’s the saying that you never really know who you truly are unless you are under pressure e.g. a life death situation, or at least from my memory it goes something like that. In the last fight scene (not proper fight- just the “good guys” against the “bad guys (aka Nailer’s crazy dad”, I felt like this situation was kinda replicated. *spoiler hint alert* Such as when Nailer’s dad was trapped he became a little puppy with the cute wide eyes, and we realise that even though he is such a horrible person he didn’t used to be and underneath he still has some nice parts.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Killing isn’t free. It takes something out of you every time you do it. You get their life; they get a piece of your soul. It’s always a trade”
  • “I’m a chess piece. A pawn,’ she said. ‘I can be sacrificed, but I cannot be captured. To be captured would be the end of the game”
  • “It’s human nature to tear one another apart. Be glad you come from such a successful line of killers”

Overall
It was just a so-so book. There weren’t specially any bad things about it but at the same time there weren’t many specially good things about it too. 3 shuriken stars