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Seeing Redd & Archenemy – Frank Beddor

(Two reviews in one, because I read these a while ago and I can’t discern my thoughts between them, now that they have melted together in my mind)

It took me so long to try to work out why I didn’t like these books nearly as much as the first one.

But I’ve finally worked it out, so here’s a review.

Summary

I’m going to presume you’ve read the first book. So here we go. Alyss is now queen, but there are still weird things happening in Wonderland. King Arch is being a douche, Redd and the Cat have disappeared but the threat of them still looms, and she’s also trying to work out her feelings for Dodge. Hatter is also trying to work out his personal problems, and so on.

Cons

Redd. Not her in general, but some of her character traits really confused me. At some points, she could be so evil, like the skeletons which were so creepy and terrifying, just the image of them makes me shudder. But at the same time she was so childish, just the way she talked and how she treated people. I guess that makes her a strange combination, but there was no good in her at all. I wished she was slightly more dimensional.

Hatter Madigan. I’ve got to be honest. I was not that interested in his backstory. And I wished there was more conflict when Molly found out who her dad was.

The writing was still really childish as well, which is starting to get more annoying as it goes on. Especially the sound effects. At first it was interesting, now it just reads a bit bumpily.

Dodge and Alice. One of the reasons I loved the Looking Glass Wars was because I loved watching their relationship grow and develop, but now it’s stagnant. In Seeing Redd, there are a few rare, but extremely heartwarming, scenes between them. In Archenemy, I’m pretty sure there was an extreme lack of it. They’re relationship has grown dull and easy now, which is good for them, but not interesting to read. I wish there was more interaction between them, or even some conflict would be nice.

Pros

I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to write here.

I started this review a VERY long time ago. Around a year ago.

I can’t remember what I was going to say.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of pros! I seriously just am blanking on what they were.

I’m pretty sure most of the pros are the same for the Looking Glass Wars, in the interesting characters, unique plot, amazing world building…etc.

I really should do reviews straight after I read books, but I’m a massive procrastinator. In fact, I’m procrastinating right now. I’m putting off work to write a terrible review of books I cannot remember.

Well, this attempt at a review has been a little pathetic, hasn’t it.

(I will put, from what I remember, that Dodge became really sassy and awesome during Seeing Redd, and the covers are, as always, beautiful.)

Quotes

  • “A Glass Eye leaped out from behind a parked snail-transport, blocked their way. “Did you drop something?” Dodge asked the assassin  “‘Cause I think I see you…” he unsheathed his sword and swung, decapitating the Glass Eye in one blow, “…head over there.”
  • “Queen Alyss, my guards have discovered something you should see.”
    Her face had relaxed at the sight of him, but her brow at once contracted, her lips thinned with tension.
    We’ve found evidence of suspicious activity in the palace,” he said.
    What sort of activity?”
    You might want to step this way and see for yourself. I apologize in advance for you having to set foot in a guardsman’s quarters.”
    He led her into his rooms. The boyish portrait of Sir Justice, the fire crystals in the hearth, the elegantly arrayed table: Alyss blinked in puzzlement.
    What is all this?”
    My best guess, You Majesty, is that it’s breakfast, but I can’t be sure until we taste it.”
  • “The only reason I don’t kill him,” he remembered the woman saying, her voice sounding like the scrape of iron against iron, a corrosion of vocal cords, “is because he’s not important enough.”

Overall

I’ve heard loads of people say that they love these books more than the previous, as there is a lot more plot and interesting stuff. However, there was not enough character development for me to really love these sequels as much as I enjoyed the first book.
I do hope these will be turned into films. Animations, if I could be picky, because the visuals would be absolutely gorgeous, and the entire world is so immersing and interesting that I’d love to see it on the big screen.

3 1/2 shuriken stars. I’m sure a lot of people would love these more than I did, but that’s where my rating stands. Please do read these books, they are great, especially the first, and if you love it, then read the next two. You’ll probably love them a lot more than I did.

 

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WEISHI FOR YOU

Not much to do with the website, but I didn’t know how else to show you :O

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2012

So as the year comes to an end, let’s reflect upon the best books that we’ve read this year!
But instead of just listing them and commenting about their awesomeness, lets have a little fun, and play a guessing game!
Has anyone heard of Ditloids?
Stuff like 360 D in a C, which stands for 360 Degrees in a Circle? (maths nerd right here)
So lets play this Ditloid game in book form, with our books that have been released in 2012!

F S o G
NO. WE HAVE NOT READ THIS. It just seemed like an easy one to get started with!

M o A
The Greek and Roman Gods battle each other as their children also battle each other. 🙂images

T F i o S
This one is easy, because everyone refers to it as this anyway, even the author. Hint hint, it’s about cancer, and is also known to tear people’s hearts out with all the feelings it produces.

U
I see this could be a little unfair, as it is a one word book. I’ll give the syllables too!
UWL
What is there to say about it? It’s amazing! And it’s about taking teenagers apart… 😛 If you still haven’t got it, I’ll give you a hint, the book before it was UnWind.

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F & B
I LOVE ZOMBIES. Especially when the zombies aren’t the bad guys.

I
One letter. Let’s try the syllable thing again.
ISG
It’s a sequel, and is a dystopia with fighting and stuff. Also, there are factions.

P
Sequel about love with pretty writing style but a predictable plot line. Also a dystopia, also with a kind of love triangle (one of the points is kind of dead but not really dead, and no not in the mystical supernatural being way). I didn’t like this book much, why is it here?

C
Cinderella is a robot. It’s awesome.

Skulduggery_in_AustraliaT K o t W
7th in the series about  skeleton detective and Ireland and awesomeness and it’s located in the kids section at your book store.

F
Hint: I was so SCARED. (Nope, not really). It had stuff about overcoming PHOBIAS. It made me want to vomit. Someone clawed out his veins then tried to eat them. Sorry. Not quite the things you would want to be reading on the last day of 2012.

N
I don’t know why this is on the list, it shouldn’t be on the list. This is supposed to be a list of good books, this book isn’t good. The long title is “N: T F M R A”. It’s got kids with wings and an unnecessary love triangle.

the-hobbit_2409864k

T H (movie)
The book actually came out years and years ago, but since the movie was so good, I thought I mention it here! It’s got short people and adventures and dragons!

BZRK
I think this is actually really unfair. You already have the answer! So I guess, you’ll be scoring at least one!

C o L S
Why is this on here? I said books I loved. Also easy, but who cares. It’s basically Love Actually with the amount of couples there are. Also, killing demons and stuff.

T H
It’s not the hobbit.
It’s by a guy with a really cool surname; Fukuda! It’s also about vampires who DON’T sparkle!

T 3rd W
I couldn’t resist putting this one on, I love this series! Even though it could possibly be aimed at younger people… 😦

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The Looking Glass Wars – Frank Beddor

This review has some minor spoilers, btw.

READ THIS.

This book is so awesome, I don’t even know where to begin.

Ok, let’s start.

Summary

This book is basically a mix of Enchanted (The Movie), Snow White and the Huntsman (The Movie with Kristen Stewart), and, of course, Alice in Wonderland (But more like the movie by Tim Burton, it just had that sort of epic quality to it). It tells the story of Princess Alyss who basically has the worst birthday ever. Her evil aunt, Redd, invades the Queendom (Like a kingdom, but for Queens) and kills everyone and she’s all evil and stuff, so Alyss flees into the pool of tears and ends up in the real world. She tells Lewis Carroll about this, and he writes Alice in Wonderland. She then has to go back to Wonderland and defeat her Aunt with the power of White Imagination and stuff. And there is an adorable romance going on as well, and awesome awesome world building, and really cool characters and so on.

Cons

Sometimes the writing felt really childish. I don’t know how else to explain it, but it really did. Just the italics with sound effects really annoyed me. It probably shouldn’t have, but it did. I did get past it, though, as I got sucked up into the book.

It also was a tiny bit predictable, but I didn’t really care. I was too emotionally invested in the characters to really mind.

Pros

THE WORLD BUILDING WAS AWESOME

It was just so epic. Like, unbelieveably awesome. All the Characters were so interesting, and it was so cool to see his take on everything. For example. Bibwit Harte, who is based on the White Rabbit (see if you can guess why), or General Doppelgänger who is Tweedledee and Tweedledum (yes, singular. He can multiply himself). The Cat,  who was the Cheshire cat as an assassin on steroids. Hatter Madigan, who instead of being a jokey, crazy mad hatter, is a serious, stoic, and deadly fighter. I loved all the little details that appeared as well, and though I can’t pull any off the top of my head right now, they were definitely there.

And Dodge. Let’s talk about Dodge. I loved Dodge. His character development was so freaking awesome. He starts off as a 10 year old, who is very respectful of his lower ranking to the princess, is her best friend, but knows nothing romantic could ever happen between them in the future.

Then, when he thinks Alyss is dead, he turns bloody awesome.

Frank Beddor does this really well, by just describing this man, this renegade, who is deadly, fueled with determination and stands out, and then he describes the four scars on his cheek and you’re like, Holy freaking pancakes, that’s Dodge. He shows that Dodge has become this man who is so vengeful and angry, and how he’s grown.

Alyss has an awesome development as well. I love how Frank Beddor showed that all her supposed lessons with Bibwit, she found living in London. The street children that betrayed her, and her imagination slowly going and no one believing anything she said. She learns to ignore all her memories and stubbornness, and just simply accept what others do. When she finally accepts her dull life as Alice Liddell, it is such a turnaround from the 7 year old girl at the beginning of the book.

And Alyss and Dodge were so darn cute together. I was actually rooting for them. A lot of the times in books, I will be like meh, romance, get back to the plot, but this time I thought it was adorable.

Quotes

  • “I tell you to think black thoughts and you come up with that?!” the lieutenant had screamed. “Is a guinea pig bad? Do you consider a guinea pig the representation of all that is evil?”
    “Maybe… if it’s an evil guinea pig.”
  • “You can’t spend so much time in a place and not carry a bit of it inside you.”
  • “I’m having the weirdest sense of deja vu right now,” said the green caterpiller.
    “Duh!” said the blue caterpiller. “Do you think, just maybe, that’s because you predicted this?”
    “Oh, yeah.”

Overall

I really wanted to give this 5 shuriken stars. But alas, it was not meant to be. I just couldn’t put it in that category. So, here we go, 4 3/4 shuriken stars. Ta-dah! Now please go read this. PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE. I have not met enough people, in real life or the internet, who have read this book. The fanbase is way too tiny.

You know this was supposed to be made into a movie, and then Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland came out and they were like “Crap, now we can’t do it”. Yes, that movie was good, BUT THIS ONE WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MORE EPIC AND AMAZING AND ORIGINAL.

PLEASE MAKE THIS INTO A MOVIE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE.

Ender’s Shadow – Orson Scott Card

Ender's Shadow (Shadow, #1)So, I didn’t write the review for Ender’s Game, so if I start saying loads of stuff that conflicts with the other review, that’s why. But I’m sure it’ll be ok.

So, this is the story of Bean, from Ender’s Game, and how he grew up and all that stuff.

Ok, I’m going to put it like this, if you haven’t read Ender’s Game, you should. Not just because it is EPIC, but because you’ll get a lot more depth from the story, when you read Ender’s Shadow. It skims over a lot of stuff that goes on in Ender’s Game. You can just read Ender’s Shadow on it’s own, it will still make sense, but you’ll get a lot more out of it if you read Ender’s Game as well.

Summary

Bean is a street urchin. Starving, looks like a toddler, and ridiculously smart. Seriously.

Ok, I’m going to put it this way. This may be a slight spoiler if you want to know absolutely nothing, but it’s pretty evident from the beginning of the book. Bean is smarter than Ender.

Yes, he is. Seriously a lot smarter than Ender. In the test to get into the school, Ender scored 98.5%. Bean scored 99%. The only reason he didn’t get 100% was because his physical ability wasn’t up to standard, as he was tiny and starved.

So Bean is starving, and he gets taken in by the group of starving children, then there’s this bully called Achilles who also becomes pretty important. And Poke, who is awesome.

And then he goes to Battle School, and you basically know the rest.

Cons

The Problem with a Parallel Story

When Orson Scott Card first wrote Ender’s Game, I’m guessing he didn’t really explore the character, Bean, as much. So when Bean started developing in Ender’s Shadow, with his past, his personality, his experience at battle school, his intellect being so freaking high, it must have been really hard for Orson Scott Card to make it plausible about the actions Bean took. They didn’t fit into his personality any more, as he really seemed like a different person.

For example, when he was having conversations with Ender. It was just little things he would say, or he would do. Instead of it coming naturally, Orson Scott Card (that is becoming really annoying to type out loads, let’s call him OSC), had to do stuff like “Oh, I said this even though I wanted to say this because I knew  this would happen”, as  an excuse for what he did. Which, while plausible, stood out to me. Because he had to force Bean to say these things, as it was a parallel, and it seemed so out of character. Not natural at all. Not that I blame OSC for doing it, it’s really hard, but it was just annoying at parts.

Pros

Ok, so if I’m reading the sequel (well, parallel, spin-off, companion) novel, it means I have no problem with the writing style, plot, characters, so on.

But let’s get this out of the way.

Writing Style & Dialogue = Amazing, as always.

Plot: Well, it’s the same as Ender’s Game for the most part, but I did LOVE the development at the beginning all about how Bean grew up in this place, so unlike Ender. Which makes despise people like Ender who grew up with privileges, parents, food, etc. And that makes me feel hostility for Ender, even though I love him as a character.

Characters: Achilles was so awesome. There was one part of the book, like a few pages or something, where we see into Achilles mind. Before, we absolutely hate him from Bean’s eyes, but that one glance is so creepy. The worst part is all his bad actions, he seem to think, are good. And we see why. He holds grudges for ages, and he is sick and twisted, but he thinks he’s doing the right thing. And I won’t deny it, for one second I agreed with him. For one, measly second I was like “Huh, I get where you’re coming from,”, but the next second, I was like :O YOU SICKO.

Poke. I loved her. But I also didn’t like her at the same time. Until the last time we see Poke before Bean leaves, and then I was so invested in her. She turned out to be such an awesome character, and almost like a moral guide for Bean. She also represents an underlying belief for Bean. He chose her because she was the most compassionate, she was the most caring. She gave the children more food and starved herself when there wasn’t enough to go around, but others took that as weak. She cared too much, and that led to people pushing her down, and her group of children turning on her. And I think I’m going to have to create a spoiler section after this review, so I can discuss the other stuff.

Bean. Awesomeness. The idea that he was smarter than Ender really was what did it for me. Because throughout the entirety of Ender’s Game they always pushed the idea that Ender was the only viable candidate to be the commander. But really, they also considered Bean. Graff just was so prejudiced against him that they chose Ender. They saw Ender as their golden boy, and completely overlooked Bean. Instead, they put all this pressure on Ender, when there was another person who could have done it. It all turned out good in the end, but still. And more to come in the spoiler section, because I’ve realised that there’s a lot I want to ramble about which may ruin stuff for some people.

Graff – I just like how OSC developed on why he got fired, and I really did start to hate him after a while. Even though I really liked him in the first book, now, I just wanted to slap him.

The other characters are also awesome, but I don’t have as much to develop on them.

Anyone else imagine Ender as like 40?

When I was reading Ender’s Shadow and Ender’s Game, it was really hard to imagine all these things that Ender was doing, coming from a 12 year old. Sometimes I would have to stop reading for a second and remind myself that Ender was a tiny little boy, but I just couldn’t fathom the idea. When he was commanding, I kept thinking of a veteran of war, an aged, jaded and brilliant adult. I guess that means it’s great writing. Because the idea that these kids really aren’t kids is pushed a lot in the books. And that really showed now.

So, Quotes. I’ll try as hard as I can to keep these spoiler free.

Quotes

  • “In my view, suicide is not really a wish for life to end.’
    “What is it then?’
    “It is the only way a powerless person can find to make everybody else look away from his shame. The wish is not to die, but to hide.”
  • “Isn’t that what it means to be civilized? That you can wait to get what you want?”
  • “Sister Carlotta, I’m on a leave of absence right now. That means I’ve been sacked, in case you don’t understand how the I.F. handles these things.”
    “Sacked! A miscarriage of justice. You ought to be shot.”
  • “That was interesting, to find that it wasn’t hunger that caused children to become bullies on the street. The bulliness was already in the child, and whatever the stakes were, they would find a way to act as they needed to act. … Intelligence and education, which all these children had, apparently didn’t make any important difference in human nature.”
  • “And then he thought: Is this how idiots rationalize their stupidity to themselves?”

Um, let’s do a spoiler section now. Because I lot I want to ramble on might spoil the book.

SPOILER ALERT WEEEEEEEE HEEEEEEEEEEE DON’T READ THIS IF YOU DON’T LIKE SPOILERS THERE ARE SOME BIG ONES IN HERE YUP GO SCROLL DOWN TO QUOTES

Ok. Poke. Her Death. I loved how it represented so much to Bean. That whatever you do, you can’t be kind or you’ll be killed. Smart, sure, that works. Bully? You’ll survive that way. But compassionate? That’s how you die. That’s when the bigger people push you down. Bean exploited this weakness, which is why he approached her. And even though she kicked him and called him worthless, he still cared for her because he knew she was doing it for her kids. And then her death. She was willing to sacrifice herself to save some little boy she hardly knew, and Bean could never comprehend why. He couldn’t understand love.

Which is one of the big differences between him and Ender. Ender loved his sister, had best friends, had good parents. He even loved his brother who could have killed him. Ender was loved, and loved people in return. Bean is more analytical. He only hugged Sister Carlotta because she needed it, not because he wanted to. He was alone, and cut off from the world. He found Ender a mystery in the way. He could never understand how Ender could love people, he was always trying to find Ender’s ulterior motives, even when they didn’t exist. I guess that’s why Bean didn’t die on the streets. I can feel a Dr Who reference coming, just because I watched that episode today.

“I have the two qualities you require to see absolute truth: I am brilliant and unloved.” – Miss Evangelista, Forest of the Dead.

😛

The other part that I loved about Bean, was that he worked out so quickly, what the teacher’s were up to. They would tell him one thing and he would immediately tell them what they were planning. I think that was one of the reasons the teachers didn’t want to make him commander. He was too intuitive. The reason Ender killed the Buggers was because he didn’t know what was going on. Bean did. Bean knew. They couldn’t trick him.

And the difference with Bean, being completely forgiving as opposed to Achilles who always held a grudge, was awesome. He was only driven by the determination to help Poke, because she was so kind, and bring someone to justice.

And did anyone else see that plot twist coming? About Bean and the genetic thing. Another reason why I started to hate Graff. He was so prejudiced against a boy who was fighting for them.

Quotes

  • “In my view, suicide is not really a wish for life to end.’
    What is it then?’
    It is the only way a powerless person can find to make everybody else look away from his shame. The wish is not to die, but to hide.”
  • “And then he thought: Is this how idiots rationalize their stupidity to themselves?”
  • “So it’s Mr. Wiggin and Who The Hell Are You.’
    ‘About right,’ Bean replied.”
  • “‘So I want to ask you a hypothetical question.’
    ‘My favorite kind. Next to rhetorical ones. I can nap equally well through either kind.'”
  • “That was interesting, to find that it wasn’t hunger that caused children to become bullies on the street. The bulliness was already in the child, and whatever the stakes were, they would find a way to act as they needed to act. … Intelligence and education, which all these children had, apparently didn’t make any important difference in human nature.”

Overall

4 1/2 shuriken stars. I think. That may change later, but for now, that’s how it stands. Read it if you really enjoyed Ender’s Game. If you didn’t, then don’t. But it’s an awesome book, and I loved it.

Hi!

Welcome to the first ever post on this blog. That’s right, you may be witnessing history right now, and you didn’t even realise it.

So nice to meet you.

This blog will revolve around books. Definitely. Probably. Maybe.

It’s still a work in progress, so we’re not really sure yet, but hopefully it will be awesome. We will review books, and maybe freak out every so often when a new title is released or movie adaptation has been announced.

Now, If you’re wondering, “Sure, that sounds cool, but do they have the same book taste as me…” Then here’s what you need to know. These are books we consider as awesome (note that this was AGES ago, and for a more updated list, go to Top Tens!)

  • Chaos Walking series – Patrick Ness
  • The Maze Runner series – James Dashner
  • Rot and Ruin series – Jonathan Maberry
  • Unwind, Skinjacker trilogy and Bruiser – Neal Shusterman
  • Percy Jackson & The Olympians (and Heroes of Olympus) – Rick Riordan
  • Gone series – Michael Grant
  • Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

So leave if you want. If you hate every single book up there and cannot stand reading about how amazing they are, you can go. If the idea of reading about books bores the hell out of you, then just click out. Shut down your computer if you want, and go make a BLT with extra bacon. But if one of those sparked your interest, stay. If you want to read about people talking about books, then stay. Click that little button that says follow, and we’ll keep you posted.

And keep smiling 😀