Posts Tagged ‘awesomesauce’

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.

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Allegiant (Cover) – Veronica Roth

IT HAS A COVER.

This isn’t really a review, but IT HAS A COVER.

So I’m not sure if the water circle thing is supposed to be an eye or just a wave or something; I’m sure it’ll make sense when we read the book.

(but don’t tell anyone this, I like the fan covers more.)

It’s gorgeous, though, which makes me sadder that the UK covers are not this pretty.

This isn’t really a review, more like a HELL YEAH LOOK AT THIS COVER! WOO!

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.

Everlost – Neal Shusterman

I love Neal Shusterman’s books, I really do. I’ve only read Unwind, Bruiser and Everwild so far, but I love all of them. He’s just such an amazing author. And this book is definitely no exception.

It’s the first book in the skinjacker trilogy (Everlost, Everwild, Everfound). And let me just get this out there. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I wouldn’t say that it’s as good as Unwind, just because Unwind was one of those mind-blowing books where you get so sad that it’s ending that you don’t want to keep reading, but you have to. And then it ends and you’re left with that empty feeling inside of you, that only a sequel will fill. But that’s for a different review.

Ok. Everlost. This is basically how I sum it up to people who ask: “It’s a book about dead children.” But that’s not a very happy way of putting it, so let’s retry.

Summary

Nick and Allie are both in the same car accident, and they don’t make it. But instead of going into the light, they end up in Everlost, a kind of strange afterlife for children. Except it’s not really, because they’re caught in between life and death, kind of like purgatory. And this is the setting of our awesome book. Because, yes, it’s totally awesome. There are twists and turns, and it’s just all so awesome.

Cons

Lief
This is probably the tiniest con I have with the book. I keep imagining Lief as Lev from Unwind. It just seemed a bit similar to me, both small boys who seem extremely strange. But they’re development was entirely different towards the end of the book. I won’t explain it to not ruin it, but if you’ve read both, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s just that every time I tried to picture Lief I kept thinking of Lev. Maybe it’s because their names are so similar.

Romance
This is also really a non-existent con. Just something that surprised me slightly. The love between Nick and Mary. They both kept saying how they were head-over-heels in love with each other, even though there wasn’t much in the book to show this, apart from Nick thought Mary was pretty and Mary said that Nick made her feel different. I thought it was more of a crush, but apparently it really was love. It wasn’t bad at all, I just didn’t expect it. The only reason I have a problem with it is probably because I love Nick but I really hate Mary.

Now, both those cons were basically nothing. I was just being picky because there was nothing else bad to say about it. Now let’s get onto the Pros.

Pros

Everything else
I love the aspects of Everlost and how interesting it was. I love all the plot twists which were never obvious but weren’t like “Well, that was random and out of nowhere”. From the first sentence you are sucked into the book:

“On a hairpin turn, above the dead forest, on no day in particular, a white Toyota crashed into a black Mercedes, for a moment blending into a blur of gray.”

The characters were awesome. Allie, Nick and Lief were all great characters. I even liked the McGill. Though I did hate Mary. I hated Mary so much, even though she wasn’t necessarily an evil character. She was just so snotty, stubborn and believed everything she said was right. And I did not like Speedo either (yes, there’s a kid named Speedo in it). He was really annoying, but in a good way. Because I’m pretty sure Neal Shusterman wanted us to hate the characters, and I did. I understood that they had good qualities, that they weren’t 2 dimensional, but I also knew I hated them. Which I think is great. The author really did do his job well.

I loved that there were loads of different weird powers in Everlost. Like skinjacking. That could be abused in so many ways, it scares me. Oh, and the Haunter. Creepy dude.

Also. THAT ENDING!

Geez, that ending was amazing. And horrible at the same time. It was a cliffhanger, but such a good one at the same time. But it didn’t feel like the book didn’t resolve itself as well. I thought it was a great way to end a book, because it left it so open that when the reader’s done with it, they can’t help but keep thinking about all the different ways the story could go. It was a brilliant ending, but also a very frustrating one.

Quotes

  • “Maybe we’re standing like coins on the edge?”
    Allie considered this. “Meaning?”
    “Meaning, we might be able to shake things up a little, and find a way to come up heads.”
    “Or tails,” suggested Allie.
    “What are you talking about?” said Lief.
    “Life and death.”
  • “think of it this way,” he said “It took nine months to get you born, so doesn’t it figure it would take nine months to get you dead?”

Overall

The whole book was just amazing. Amazing amazing amazing.

I wouldn’t expect any less from Neal Shusterman.

So, 5 shuriken stars, definitely.