Archive for June, 2014

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light (Cover) – Derek Landy

This is the most exciting cover reveal ever.

EVER.

I don’t think I even need to say what I am feeling except HOLY WAFFLES GUYS I AM SO EXCITED.

And as the charred, dismembered skeleton head leaks smoke from the eye sockets how can you not say that this cover is the best thing to ever hit the SP series?

One more thing: If you try to contact me on the 28th August 2014, know that I will not answer, I will probably skip food and sleep to finish this book and then I will probably collapse. And it will be so worth it.

Top Ten Series (Weishi)

I’ve seen a lot of tags like this (mainly on youtube) and it looked fun.

Disclaimer: I have not read every series in existence, so this list is literally my favourite series of this exact moment. It is very subject to change in the future. But it’s late and I feel like procrastinating so this is going to happen.

A few ground rules before we go onwards:
1. No Harry Potter, because that’s too easy.
2. I must have read multiple books from the series for it to appear on this list. So stuff like Ender’s Game or The 5th Wave where I can’t be bothered to read the sequels/they haven’t been released yet aren’t going to be here.
3. Only ten can appear – no more; no less.

This is sort of in order, though in reality it varies greatly depending on my feelings on individual books/series not being finished/genres that are hard to compare.

1. Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness
Also known as my favourite dystopian/science-fiction series ever. Possibly my favourite series ever (if you don’t count the serious nostalgic appeal of the HP series) and I can’t thank Yanni enough for shoving it into my hands.

2. Anna – Kendare Blake
Best Paranormal/Horror Romance that I have ever read. Mainly because the humour was perfect and the characters were fun and likeable and believable and Cas Lowood. Seriously, just read it for Cas. You will not be disappointed.

3. Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy
Favourite Middle-Grade series that I ironically read once I was no longer middle-grade. And honestly, I’m thankful that I did, because my gore tolerance is not high and there is some throat-slitting/eye-gouging/body-slicing that goes on. Well, I suppose it is 11+. And yes, I do love PJO, but it’s the darkness and humour and overall characterisation that pushes SP to another level for me (not to mention the seriously brillant planning in the plot. A++).

4. Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater
The writing and the characters and the dialogue and the world and just everything. Most realistic fantasy series that I can think of, and the only one where I am utterly convinced that it should be shelved as contemporary, not paranormal, because it is so believable.

5. Legend – Marie Lu
You will fall in love with the characters, and then Lu will tear your heart out. Repeatedly. And just when the first book can’t get worse, there’s the second. And when you think you’ve finally been through your utmost capacity of pain, Champion piles you in feels. I honestly recommend this book to anyone I know who likes dystopians or action or interesting worlds.

6. Unwind – Neal Shusterman
Which not only has a great use of third-person present that I’ve never seen done so well, but is interesting and full of very relevant questions and also likes to stomp on your heart.
And I haven’t read Unsouled. I’m sorry! I’ve been busy! I will, I promise, just let me get through House of Hades and Allegiant and all those other books that have been staring at me for months.

7. Skinjacker – Neal Shusterman
I wanted to not include the same author twice on this list, but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t know which series to bump down because I absolutely love both. Everlost and all its sequels are just so clever. Shusterman explores every single aspect of his world and asks the right questions to keep you thinking.

8. Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan
This is only referring to the first five books of the original series, and not the spin-offs. While I do like Heroes of Olympus, I haven’t exactly made my mind up yet on particular aspects, whereas I have some serious love for the Olympians arc. Percy and all his humour was what really made the series for me.

9. Underdogs – Markus Zusak
This one is a weird place for me, because the books vary a lot. While all are brilliant (as to be expected from one of my favourite authors), the first and third are weaker than the completely spectacular and heart-breaking middle book. However, I also know that Fighting Ruben Wolfe would not be as strong if it was not bookended by great character development and relationship arcs from the other two books.
In summary, this order idea isn’t really working out but I’m sticking to my choices because we’re nearly finished anyway.

10. Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld
The fact that this had illustrations (and absolutely gorgeous ones) bumped up my entire rating of this series. I love the steampunk setting and the world, and Deryn and Alek are awesome and endearing characters.

Do I have honourable mentions?
Nah, I don’t think so.
A lot of series I could put on here but 1. Haven’t read the second book or 2. the ending sucked. Endings are important, and if a series has a promising start but then goes swiftly downhill, I can’t do it. I can’t include it. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth no matter how good the first few books were. I won’t name any names here, but I’m sure you guys have a few (almost certainly accurate) guesses.

Allegiant- Veronica Roth

You know all those jokes about divergent and insurgent and how funny it would be if the third book was called detergent.
I kind of wish it was called detergent. It would have been quite funny.
So I was a little disappointed when the actual title came out and it wasn’t detergent.
It was foreshadowing the rest of the book I guess.

Summary
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)From goodreads

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Cons
Tobias
For someone who’s supposed to be strong and buff and stuff he’s surprisingly weak.

Spoiler alert.
He was almost willing to forget his girlfriend and who actually does that? It was just a little pointless how in the trilogy he was always made out to be some strong guy who was always there for everyone, but as soon as one person isn’t there for him he almost chooses the easy option and forget everything that happened. It just ruins the entire character, and undermines his love for Tris

Tris
For some reason I just found her really annoying. She just seemed too perfect and she was that type of girl in class who whenever they get anything right over you spends the next year gloating.

Tobias and Tris’ relationship
It seems like when they’re together they either fight or make out, it doesn’t make it that interesting for the reader and sticking their tongues down each others throats isn’t something that I like to imagine and picture when reading a book…

Death serum (spoiler alert)
This is just something that I don’t really understand.
Why are the divergent immune to the death serum? This is supposedly set in the future, so wouldn’t the death serum just be poisonous gas or something? And if the divergent, who have “healed genes” are supposedly immune, does that mean we would be? Because I’m not willing to bet my life that I’ll survive after being exposed to poisonous gas.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)The twist about the outside world
It came out of nowhere. I would have never predicted it.

Pros
It takes guts to make an ending like that
Not much I can really say here without giving away some major spoilers.

Memory
It’s a little scary and makes you think, what if someone erased my memory- I would never know- it could have happened at anytime- from 30 seconds ago to a few years ago but I would never know, and never be able to know.

Favourite quotes

  • “I suppose a fire that burns that bright is not meant to last”
  • “I wonder if fears ever really go away, or if they just lose their power over us”
  • “Knowledge is power. Power to do evil…or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil”
  • “But when I do feel all the strength go out of me, and I fall to my knees beside the table and I think I cry, then, or at least I want to, and everything inside me screams for just one more kiss, one more word, one more glance, one more”
  • “I didn’t know that idiocy caused people to just start spontaneously bleeding from the nose”
  • “Yeah, sometimes life really sucks,” she says. “But you know what I’m holding on for?”
    I raise my eyebrows.
    She raises hers, too, mimicking me.
    “The moments that don’t suck,” she says. “The trick is to notice them when they come around.”

Overall
I loved the first book. I loved the cover of the second book and the plot, partly. Looking back and editing my review, I’m not sure what I actually really liked about this book. In my mind all I seem to remember are the negative aspects. Originally I was going to give this book four stars, but I think I’m going to bump it down because I seem to be in a harsh mood today. So two stars. I mainly read this book because I wanted to finish the series and to see where it would go and I expect that’s also why most people would read it. However that’s exactly how I would recommend this book- just as a end to a series, not really for the thrill or the excitement of a book.