Posts Tagged ‘aliens’

Unravelling- Elizabeth Noris

An awesome title. A cool-ish cover  (minus the human face) What could go wrong?

Plenty.

Summary
There’s this countdown going on and its going to be the end of the world. Or Janelle’s world for that matter because there are other worlds- parallel worlds just like ours but of course at the same time different. And then Janelle almost dies from getting hit by this truck that literally came out of nowhere: and the only reason why she survives is because this strange kid at school, Ben, puts a hand on her and mends the broken bones and mushed up skin. So then as the story progresses we realise that this Ben guy is actually from another planet and he’s all twisted into the plot about the countdown to the end of the world.

Unravelling (Unravelling, #1)Cons

Main Character
I think Noris tried too hard to make her into the badass strong female lead that it just seemed flat. By the end, or even the middle of the book I was just so sick of Janelle

Romance
I’ll admit there were some sweet parts to their romance, but for me anyway it seemed too fast. I get it from Ben’s perspective- he’s loved her since they were a kid because she was the one who saved him from drowning. However I don’t get it from Janelle’s perspective. I get that Ben also saved her but she hasn’t been craving him since they were kids. It seems fake and flat and I wasn’t at all convinced that she suddenly feel totally in love with this guy. And speaking of not totally in love with the guy, what about Nick? The only reason why she was with him was that he was attractive, and then as soon as she dumps him she runs off with Ben.

Ending
It was stupid and so there will probably be spoilers to follow in this paragraph.
It seems as if the author really hated Janelle and seemed to just throw everything she could to make for an “entertaining” story for her readers. So of course it begins to get unrealistic when almost all the people she loves is dead. So her dad dies and she’s just “I’m just going to move on now” but in reality shouldn’t it be harder or take at least longer to move on? And the same for her BEST FRIEND. He freaking died. And moments later she is making out with this guy that she has only really properly known for a few weeks. How crappy a person is she?

Mid-end
So when her dad dies she’s all sad because well.. he’s dead. But then the writer goes on to say how in the house she is now going to be finding all his hidden Christmas presents that he buys early and then hides. At that point my heart was melting for Janelle even though she pissed me off as a character so bad.
But then, near the end of the book, the house decides to blow itself up.
I just don’t understand what Noris is trying to do.
She makes me really sad when she talks about the christmas present thing, but then she just decides to blow the house up, taking all my pity with it.
It just seemed to me anyway a little pointless.

Sequel
From goodreads:

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

Seriously? What is the likelihood of that happening? They’ve already been to the end of the world and now her boyfriend is a suspect in human trafficking?

Pros

Plot
The concept if the book was good. I liked how in the end it became aliens and other universes and all that stuff and the mystery and her dad and all the stuff to do with the plot.

Fast Pace
Although I found many problems while reading the book I still managed to finish and to be honest I did actually finish quite quickly. It was an easy read as long as you ignored how annoying the girl was 😛

The World
It was an amazing concept, partly because how creepy would it be if it were real. Those are the kind of books with the best potential.

No love triangle!
Congratulations. There were characters who could have been introduced to a love triangle but they weren’t which was good!

Favourite Quotes

  • “So your perfect proposal, what would it be?” Ben asks. “Seriously?”… “I don’t know. It would just be the two of us, and I guess I’d want him to say something honest, not overly romantic, not something that would make a great story to tell his friends. I’d just want him to lean over…” As I say it, I lean slightly toward Ben, close enough that I can feel the warmth of his body radiating into the empty space between us, and drop the volume of my voice. “… and say ‘Janelle Tenner, fucking marry me.”
  • “Life is a fragile thing. Apparently the whole world is fragile too”
  • “Humans have precious few instincts, but that’s because we don’t listen to them. We let logic and knowledge get in the way. My dad always said that when instincts are at war with something society has taught you, listen to your instincts first and ask questions later”

Overall
So when I first read this I thought it was okay partly because I had high expectations for this and you know when that happens you tend to ignore the bad stuff that you’re reading? Well.. ignore the bad stuff until you snap and think “screw these high expectations I hate this book”. But anyway I read this book a while ago and I’ve been somehow putting off this review for a while now and now looking back on it I realised my original 3 shuriken star rating was too kind. So shock horror I’m dropping it now down to 2 stars– parly due to my bad mood and also partly to do with the book not leaving a good lasting impression

172 Hours on the Moon- Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the MoonI don’t remember the last time I read a book that scared me so much that I had dreams/ nightmares (sorry, can’t really tell them apart; some of the dreams that I dream involve dying, and getting eaten by evil monsters, etc… but I enjoy them!) about them.
For example I read this book about almost a week ago, and it’s only now that I decided that I am forcing myself to type up the review.
It literally scared the heebie-jeebies out of me. (I love that word)
For days as soon as it became dark I drew my curtains to block out the moon.
It didn’t help that once I finished the book and walked out of my room it was just pitch black, and I kept hearing noises- like you do when you’re at home alone.

But hey ho, I can’t deal with horror and suspense movies.
Yeah, it was probably the suspense that scared me more than the actual plot, because I’ve read loads of books with plots similar-ish to this.

I need to stop blabbering

Summary
3 “Lucky” teenagers go to the moon because of some secret NASA plot to “get funding” and “a top secret plot”.
Mia: goes unwillingly (her parents signed her up) to try to give her band fame and glory
Midori: wants to escape from Japan, her home country (I don’t really think the moon was her idea though…)
Antoine: wants to get as far away from his girlfriend as possible- partly to make her want him more, you know, reverse psychology etc.
Then they all end up on the moon. Except it is not what they expected. They can’t trust anyone. And it is so fricking terrifying.

Spoiler to follow
There are aliens on the moon, as you’ve probably guessed. But these aren’t real aliens in the way that we imagine them. They’re just pure evil and take the shape of the humans who arrived then take their place… So you never really know who’s an alien…

Cons
Suspense
It’s also a good thing. But to me, seriously .. bad nights sleeping with exams right around the corner… Not really my cup of tea. Not that I drink tea. Anyway back to the point… the suspense kept me up both reading and hiding under my bedcovers, but I guess that’s my own fault for being scared of ink and paper.

The corridor outside my room
After I finished reading this book, I went out of my room and it was pitch black. I was terrified. There could be anything hiding round the corner, my doppelganger.

It’s one of those books that you need to read more than once to properly understand what happens
But I was too freaked out to reread it.

Pros
The Cover172 Hours on the Moon
It’s just really pretty… I love the eye and the moon on the eye and stuff… But this wasn’t the copy that I had- I had the one here rather than the one at the top. I guess I also like this one, but it just kinda scares me 😛 I do wonder who the girl is though- probably Mia, but its a probably.

Not the typical moon story
But a typical outer-space story, apart from the ending.

SPACE!!!
I love space stories- space as in the universe, not as in like there is no space on the floor of my room because it is covered in junk.

Unexpected ending (spoilers to follow)
So yeah I actually read this spoiler on one of the reviews on Goodreads, but I basically just dismissed it, thinking that they author would never do that because I’ve never seen it done before…
*Spoiler*
Everyone. Dies.
Everyone.
Not just the people who go to the moon.
Everyone.
I’m not going to say any more to keep some of the mystery of what happens

Favourite Quotes

  • “Her reflection did not disappear.”
  • “It’s the trip of a lifetime. If they made it back alive”

Overall
It was wonderfully written because I think it is written to scare, and well, if it isn’t… then it shouldn’t be a cup of tea. I personally would give it 2.5 stars, but that’s definitely biased, because 1. it’s my opinion. and 2. IT SCARED ME SO MUCH. So if it didn’t freak me out loads it would probably be 4.

The Host – Stephenie Meyer

SPOILER ALERT! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
(I did try to keep it spoiler free, but it’s hard. There aren’t that many spoilers, and they’re not that big, but they’re still there, lurking in this review, and ready to jump on you while you scream. Or not, because they’re just words, but saying “oh no, you’ll read something bad”, just didn’t sound dramatic enough.)

Stephenie Meyer, for those of you who don’t know (which is probably a minuscule proportion of you) is the author of the massively popular twilight saga (twilight, new moon, eclipse, breaking dawn). This is her new novel (well, newest. It was published in 2008). A “science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction”. It isn’t science fiction, it’s romance. You could class it in science fiction as there are aliens that climb into your body and control your mind, but that’s not what the plot revolves around. It’s really all about the weird love triangle/square – as Wanda and Melanie are one person and two people at the same time – and how they deal with the situation.

And it’s actually really good. Not absolutely epic and amazing, but it’s really interesting and a great read, especially after having low expectations from twilight (which I don’t hate, but I don’t love either. We’ll cover that in another review).

Summary

Wanderer (Wanda) is a soul: an alien that will take over human’s bodies and wipe out their consciousness. But Melanie, Wanderer’s host, will not fade away. She bombards Wanderer with images of Jared, the man she loves, and together they journey out, searching for the man and a rebelling group of surviving humans, who hate the souls.

Cons

Some Aspects of the Characters…

…could be ridiculously annoying. For example, the strangely possessive and slightly crazy way that Jared and Ian were both in love with Wanda/Melanie. I understand the whole “love makes you do crazy things” situation, but the characters were both just so stereotypical for YA fiction. You know, the type of love that you think might be bordering on emotional abuse and stalker-like obsession. In a way, they reminded me of Edward and Jacob obsessing over Bella in that weird creepy way, even though they both barely knew her. But again, that’s for another time…

Let’s start will Ian.

When Ian was all madly possessive over Wanda (when he didn’t let anyone else hold her jar-thing when they were looking for a new body for her, or when he was carrying her and running and shouting at her when she planned on dying), I know it’s meant to be sweet, and on weird some level it is, but it is also – admittedly – creepy. I found it scary in a way, how possessive he was of her. Though I do like Ian and his character overall. I loved his development throughout the book, from hating Wanda because she was different and trying to strangle her, to being forced not to kill her by Jeb, and then protecting her from Kyle and Jared when she was nearly attacked. It was a lot more interesting to read about a likeable character that is still flawed. Though I do feel that he did become a bit too perfect near the end, though that’s only a tiny problem that I can deal with.

I do have a bit of a problem with Jared. I understand that he’s so in love with Melanie, so he really hates Wanda, but I did not like him. He beat up a poor girl/alien who turned her back on her entire species and risked her life for a man she didn’t even know and another human girl she hated. And even if he didn’t know that, we the readers did, so when he punches her it’s like a neon sign flashed over his head saying “BULLY”, “ENEMY”, or some other bad word that I shouldn’t use. (We have to keep it PG here at Discombobulated Books.) And Melanie does say that it’s only because Jared’s so in love that he’s doing these stupid things, but it really doesn’t help that Melanie becomes SO FREAKING ANNOYING whenever Jared is around. Melanie, on her own, is a great character. She’s strong, loyal, funny but also stubborn and sometimes blinded by her determination. Her and Wanda’s conversations are interesting to read. But when Jared is there this is what her thoughts are. All the time. Seriously.

Jared’s here, Jared’s alive, Jared’s here. She was incoherent, chanting the words like they were the lyrics to a song.” – The Host, pg 130.

Which is not fun to read. Good for her, for finding the love of her life. And that doesn’t seem to bad, except this goes on over and over and over again for the next large portion of the book. She’s so illogical and in love that she seems to become such a weak character. There’s probably a message in there about how love changes you and stuff, but it’s like listening to a five year old who wants candy.

The Romance was SO MUSHY

But it wasn’t that bad comparatively to other YA Fiction. But yes, very mushy.

Of course, there was also one little thing they mentioned when they were deciding what to do with Wanda/Melanie. 

There’s this bit where they talk about how it’s “Jared’s property” or “Jared’s body” or something. Basically saying, Jared’s her boyfriend so she is his property. And then Jamie comes along and is like “No wait! I get a choice too!” Because he’s her little brother, so I guess she’s his property as well. And maybe I’m reading to far into it, but I thought it seemed wrong. I understand that they should have more of a say than others but did Jeb really have to say something along the lines of “This body belongs to you, Jared. You get to decide whether we slaughter her or welcome her with bread and cupcakes.” (paraphrased, of course).

No one owns Melanie. No one has a right over her body just because she’s dating them or related to them. She’s not anyone’s property, and saying that they have a right over her is stupid.

Oh, and Stephenie Meyer’s writing style.

It’s not that it bothers me enough to not read it, it’s just that her descriptions are so long-winded and abundant. It seems like each piece of dialogue has at least a sentence of lengthy description with it, and there are huge sections of description or mental contemplation about life. It’s fine to read through, but sometimes I found myself skimming through all the description by accident, and having to go back and reread it.

Pros

In general, good plot, good pacing and really good character development.

None of them really stood out to me, but none of them fell short. Apart from some of the problems I had with some of the main characters, the rest were all good. I loved Jeb; I thought he was such a likeable and easy-to-relate-to character. I did also like Wanda and Melanie (when she wasn’t having her lovey-dovey Jared phases), they both had flaws (which is nice to see that an author is making an effort not to have a perfect character) and they’re developing relationship – from hating each other to basically becoming sisters – was great to see.

Quotes

Now, to be honest, this isn’t a very quotable book, by my standards. Apart from all the very gooey love proclamations, there isn’t much else. But here my favourite parts are. All t0 do with Kyle, for some reason, probably because only the vaguely funny things happen with him. The rest is all supposed to be intense and romantic and dramatic and stuff.

  • “‘Wanda?’ Kyle said.
    ‘Yes?’
    ‘I’m sorry.’
    ‘Um . . . why?’
    ‘For trying to kill you,’ he said casually. ‘Guess I was wrong.’
    Ian gasped. ‘Please tell me you have some kind of recording device available, Doc.’ “
  • “Jared lunged forward, away from me. With a loud smacking sound, his fist hit Kyle’s face.
    Kyle’s eyes rolled back in his head, and his mouth fell slack.
    The room was very quiet for a few seconds.
    ‘Um,’ Doc said in a mild voice, ‘medically speaking, I’m not sure that was the most helpful thing for his condition.’
    ‘But I feel better,’ Jared answered, sullen.
    Doc smiled the tiniest smile. ‘Well, maybe a few more minutes of unconsciousness won’t kill him.’
Overall
So, it was a really good read. It wasn’t one of those heart-pounding and captivating books where you can’t turn the page fast enough to find out what’s happening and you stay up until 4am trying to finish it. This was one of those quite interesting reads where you weren’t dying to know what was going to happen, and could set it down for a few days without going crazy, but keep going back to it to find out what happens next.
This book gets 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It was good, certainly not perfect, but definitely not bad. I would recommend it, but more for people who prefer the whole character driven development with interesting plot ideas and no hatred of love triangles/squares.