Showing posts from May, 2013

Chaos Walking short stories

The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness is one of the best series I have ever read. It is both action packed and full of raw emotion; it makes you think about life as it is and how it could be. The writing is amazing, and the characters all dance in the shades of gray between good and evil. In a word, BRILLIANCE.

If you haven't already read this series, get on it as soon as possible! The books are called The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men.

If you have already read this series, here's some exciting news! Patrick Ness has written new short stories to go with the new editions of the series. The first is called The Wide, Wide Sea is set in the past and is about Mistress Coyle, and Snowscape is a story that takes place after Monsters of Men about Wilf and Lee. There's also a prequel to the series called The New World (this one has been published for a while). You can get the stories for free here. Happy reading!

Review: Legend

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA, science fiction, dystopian

Rating: 5/5 stars

I was feeling a little down one week, wandering aimlessly around campus, when it hit me that the best way to cheer me up was probably to get my hands on a book. There were a lot of books I could have chosen to buy, but I picked this one up because I had heard many good things about this series and I've always been a sucker for dystopian novels and science fiction. I wasn't disappointed.
Legend takes place in a future where people take a test at age 10; either they pass and are assigned to a position in the military or the elite, or they fail and are sent to labor camps. The United States is part of a mythical past, now separated into the Republic and the radical Colonies. The Republic is at war with the Colonies and the rebellion they stand for, but things aren't going so well on the home front. Plague threatens to wipe out the population, especially the poor who have no access to vacci…

Review: Perception

Title: Perception
Author: Lee Strauss
Genre: YA, Science fiction

Rating: 1/5 stars

I hate giving books one-star ratings - there is usually a lot of work that goes into writing a novel, and I try to respect that by trying to look for something I liked or at least appreciated in what I'm reading. Unfortunately, I didn't find that something in this book.

The premise seemed right up my alley. Zoe Vanderveen is a genetically altered person (a GAP - cheesy name, but I can overlook that) whose brother goes missing. After a rather sinister turn of events, Zoe is no longer sure who to trust and who to believe. She ends up relying on Noah Brody, a "natural" whose grandfather initially collaborated with hers to create the concept of GAPs, but spoke out against it for ethical reasons.

All of this sounds quite intriguing, but the novel itself failed to deliver. The characters were very flat, and I could not find any redeeming qualities in Zoe. Not only was she naive, she was terribly v…

Laini Taylor's new book!

I'm so excited! The title for the third book in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy has just been released. There's no cover art yet, but there is this teaser:

For those of you who haven't started this series, now is as good a time as any! The first book in the series, Daughter of Smoke, follows the story of the blue-haired girl Karou and how not all is what it seems in her world. The second book is Days of Blood and Starlight, and is much darker but also much more complex and magical. If you enjoy stories that include magical creatures (seraphim and chimaera, in this case), humor (Zuzanna!), lots of love and friendship, war in all its horrific glory, betrayals, mysteries about the past, romance, and  above all utterly gorgeous writing, you will love this series. There is so much complexity to this world and to these characters, and the detail and care with which Laini Taylor has created this story blows me away.

Here is what the author has to say about …

Review: Clockwork Princess

Title: Clockwork Princess Author: Cassandra Clare Genre: Historical fiction, YA, steampunk, fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5

This was a very satisfying end to the series. Everything I enjoyed about the first two books was still there in this one, and the characters grew on me more and more as the series progressed. I loved the Victorian setting and the love and loyalty all the characters had for one another. It's rare that all the characters treat one another with such compassion and respect, and I was moved by how much people were willing to sacrifice for people they loved. Although Tessa, Will, and Jem were wonderful, I felt like the minor characters were the stars of the show. I got to see a lot more of Charlotte and Henry, Gabriel, Gideon, Magnus, and Cecily.
I really appreciated how the focus of the novel was friendship and family. Although Tessa and her little love triangle was a big part of the series, I felt like the friendship between the three was more important, especially the pa…

The 5th Wave

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: YA, science fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic

I haven't actually read this book yet, but it sounds amazing!

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Doesn't this sound terrifying in a wonderful, spine-tingling way? Just reading that…

Review: A Storm of Swords

Title: A Storm of Swords
Author: George R.R. Martin
Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2/5 stars

As I said in my review of A Game of Thrones, I stepped into this series with some trepidation. I wasn't sure I would like it, because usually when half the world is in love with something, I'm in the camp that isn't all that impressed. While I was pleasantly surprised by the first book, each successive book has been slightly less enjoyable. By the end of A Storm of Swords, I have decided that I am probably not going to continue this series.
It's not that this book is terrible so much that everything I liked about the first book is absent. One of the reasons I really liked the first book was getting to know the characters, especially the Starks. And well, let's just say there aren't very many Starks around anymore. This wouldn't bother me so much if so many other people weren't also dead. I feel like this book just cut the list of major characters in half, and hardly gave imp…

Clockwork Princess

I finally got my hands on the final book of the Infernal Devices trilogy! I'm excited - this is probably the first and only steampunk series I have liked, and the characters are just so lovable. I have my fingers crossed that this series ends on a good note (cough cough Mortal Instruments cough).

I'm about halfway through, and I really like all the forms of love and friendship are portrayed in this book and this series as a whole. People have such love for those around them, and they are willing to sacrifice so much for each others' sakes. There is a sort of quiet strength and courage to many of the characters, and hidden kindness in even the outwardly callous.

Also, can I just say that I love how there's an epigraph at the beginning of each chapter quoting Victorian literature? They are so fitting and poetic, and I really love this time period.

I hear the ending is heartbreaking and bittersweet. So far, the whole book has kind of been that way, so I can't even im…

Storm of Swords

I'm reading the third book in the Game of Thrones series (technically, I suppose it's the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, but I think you know what I mean), and it's taking quite a bit of effort to finish this thing. The first book was very fast-paced, shocking, and intriguing; the second book was a little slower and had more tiresome politics, but it was entertaining enough. The third book is just dragging.

I'm not sure I want to continue this series anymore, because most of the characters I liked in the first book are either dead, in pitiful/pathetic situations, or no longer very likable. And while I said I didn't take much offense at the supposed misogynistic slant of the first book because both the men and the women were messed up, it's starting to shift so that the women are becoming more and more like pawns and possessions of the men.

I'm about halfway through Storm of Swords, so I will see if this series is worth continuing. For some reason…

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