Posts Tagged ‘review’

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.

Champion- Marie Lu

Summary (from goodreads to avoid spoilers! 🙂 though there may be some spoilers to follow after the summary…

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

Champion (Legend, #3)Cons

The weird ghost things, and religion connotations
It just didn’t fit really with book since the book is all about war and politics and dystopia and stuff. It just seemed a little washy to be honest with the ghosts. I did think it was kinda cute though but I personally just didn’t really like it that much because I don’t really believe in the afterlife.

The last part- the 20 years later thing
I loved what June did for Day at the end before the 20 years after. I thought it was so smart and cute and it made me truly feel how much she loved him. But the 20 years after part, while it gave hope and stuff, it made Junes sacrifice for nothing.

Pros

The ending
It was bittersweet. I loved it. But at the same time I hated it. I felt like the characters deserved a better ending, but as a book it couldn’t have ended better (though I didn’t really like the last last part of it with the 20 yrs later).

Characters- development
Anden: When he was like his dad he was terrifying. So that put me in a strange place as a reader, as he seemed to be both the hero and a villain. But that’s what good books should kinda do 🙂
June: In legend, while I did like her, I didn’t love her. I grew to love her more in prodigy. By champion, its like “whoa, when did you get so awesome?” I loved her and how much she actually understood everything, especially at the end. Words can’t actually express how much I love her now.
Day: I loved how far he would go to save his family and how he would even go so far to give up his own life but at the same time, that was his flaw; that he only really considers his own life that he is giving up, not all the other people who would be affected if they lost him.
Eden: he is such a cool kid: “Daniel thinks you’re really hot” is what he says to June on their first meeting. Such an awesome kid 🙂

Writing Style
There’s not much to say on this point, only that it was awesome. It explored the views of loads of characters so I felt as if I was with them at almost every moment of the journey.

Plot
There’s also not much to say on this point: the title and it being in the “pros” section is kinda self explanatory.

Romantic stuff didn’t get in the way
Usually for dystopia books either the romance or the love triangle gets in the way but as you can tell from the title of my sub-paragraph in this book it didn’t! There was still a little romance to make it interesting, but not enough that it took over the book and just made it soppy.

Favourite Quotes (warning could be spoiler hints below!)

  • “Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”
  • “You drive me insane June. You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you? Billions of people will come and go in this world, but there will never be another like you” (the cutest quote of the whole series)”
  • “I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here.”
  • “Day, the champion of the people, the one who can’t bear to see those around him suffer on his behalf, who would gladly give his life for those he loves.”
  • “I hear about you a lot too,” Eden replies in a rush, “mostly from Daniel. He thinks you’re really hot.”

Overall
Some books end their series with a sizzle or a pop, but not this. It ended like the New Year’s Eve fireworks with explosions of light and sound. 5 stars obviously.

More than this- Patrick Ness

Well… It’s a book by Patrick Ness, what else is there to say? 🙂

More Than ThisSummary
The main character Seth, dies and somehow comes back to life, but in a totally different place- in fact the worst place for him on earth. The first part of the book is him alone somehow learning to live alone and struggle with what place it actually is- hell?, the afterworld? Etc…. Then he hears a noise, the noise of a car, in a seemless empty place, and while running towards it he kinda gets half kidnapped for his own safety. He then makes some new friends and together they begin to piece together where they are. We also get his backstory of when he was alive, and how he died in the book.

Cons

Comparison to his other books
The Knife of Never Letting Go is my favourite book of all time and all books, and even after reading this book I’m still happy to say that. The problem is that after Patrick Ness has written such an awesome series, it really does set the bar up high for his other books. While I’m happy to say that this book met “the bar” what is hard to say is that it is better than the Chaos Walking trilogy. So, this isn’t really a con, but more of a comment that I didn’t think it was as good as Chaos Walking, but to be honest I didn’t quite want it to be either because I didn’t want something to replace Manchee, Todd, Viola, Davy, and all the other deep and wonderful characters of Chaos Walking.

Pros

It was terrifying
It took me a while to read- much longer than it should have been because after reading some of it I had to stop because I was scaring myself loads. The thing is the book isn’t even that scary, it was more the way it was written and how it made me think about how I would cope if I was in a world with no one else around.

What if I’m living in a dream world
Because I would never know unless I die in a particular way, and what if its like inception, where both worlds die and it ends up being a dream world within a dream world.

The connections to Chaos Walking
It’s easy to tell that they are by the same author. I loved how in More that this there were talks about being a “man” just like how Todd was always looking to his birthday because it marks the day he officially becomes a man.

Tackling modern day issues
It seemed to have a hint of almost everything; global warming, murder, rape (hinted at but never really said), abuse, sexuality. But it still held itself together, unlike other books which have thrown all sorts of issues into it to try to make it seem less empty.

All the other obvious points
Writing Style
Character Development
Characters

Favourite Quotes

  • “You said we all want there to be more than this! Well, there’s always more than this. There’s always something you don’t know”
  • “Real life is only ever just real life. Messy. What it means depends on how you look at it. The only thing you’ve got to do is find a way to live there”
  • “Go in swinging”
  • “We have to lie to ourselves to live. Otherwise, we’d go crazy”
  • “A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while”

Overall
Well, as I said before its a Patrick Ness book, and therefore without any hesitation I give it 5 stars.

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

Partials- Dan Wells

Partials (Partials, #1)

Summary

It’s a post apocalypse world and the rest of humanity has ended up on this island while the rest of the world is overwhelmed with Partials- robots who were genetically engineered to help end this war a while ago- and they look exactly like humans and from what we know they don’t age. And the rest of humanity is doomed because there is this illness called RM that causes babies to die.

So we follow the main character called Kira who decides that she needs to capture a Partial to cure RM ans save her best friend, Madison’s,  child. So then she goes to the mainland captures a Partial, goes back, escapes with the partial, goes back to the mainland, is the experiment, then finds the cure and goes back to her home and saves her best friends baby daughter.

Cons

Slow Beginning
I found it hard to get into partly because the entire first part of the book is what it says on the blurb and I kinda wanted the proper plot to actually get started.

Couldn’t get into it
Usually when I get a book out from the library I finish it before I had to renew it, but this time it took me 3 renews to finally finish it! By the time I was properly into it I think I must have been at least 2/3 through with it- mainly to do with the awesome plot twist!

Possible Love Triangle
There wasn’t one in this book, but I wasn’t sure which other section to display my concerns… At the end of the book Kira decides to go off with Samm (the partial)

Pros

Romance
As I said before there was a love triangle, but the good thing about it was that it didn’t overwhelm the book. It didn’t become one of those books that was so heavily focused on the romance that the plot suddenly dissipates and dies. It was good how Kira kept to her boyfriend even though she was travelling with others for weeks. But

Plot Twist
Unlike many recent “plot twists” that I have read lately, this plot twist was actually half good! It was something that I would have never expected and to be honest it will probably be the reason why I will read the next book. The only sorta flaw I have about it is that I don’t understand how it works because it completely goes against the information that we know, However I like this because it will hopefully mean an interesting plot and character development in the next book.

Characters
Not all the “good characters” were “good”. And when I say that, I don’t mean there was a traitor among them. I just mean that Haru who is Madison’s husband, is a complete idiot. It just gives some diversity to the book which makes it pretty awesome.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Well, thanks for not shooting anyone, I guess”, said Marcus. “My contribution was to somehow refrain from peeing myself. You can thank me later”
  • “I’ve never been this wet in my life, ” said Kira. “Even immersed in a bathtub I swear I was dryer than I am now. ”
    “Look on the bright side, ” said Marcus.
    Kira waited.
    “This is the point at which you would traditionally suggest a bright side. ”
    “I’ve never been a real traditional guy,” said Marcus. “Besides, I’m not saying I know a bright side, I just think this would be a great time to look at one.”
  • “If you can’t know the truth, said Isolde, live the most awesome lie you can think off”
  • “I need a sample of your blood,’ said Kira.
    Marcus raised an eyebrow. ‘I didn’t know we’d reached that stage of our relationship”
  • “Was that the girl who went to Manhattan with you?” Asked Marcus. “I think we owe her a cookie” “I think we owe her a whole damn bakery” said Xochi”

Overall
This book wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be just because usually I have high expectations. As to recommending it- if you feel like you could cope with my list of cons as well as others that you will probably discover, then read it. Overall though, I would give 3 shuriken stars: the “average” rating of dystopian books that I have been reading lately.

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