Sunday, 28 December 2014
Marie Lu's Prodigy is the second book of her Legend trilogy.
Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots- a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?
1. Lu does an amazing job with this book. It is just as good, if not better than, Legend. The story is the perfect progression from the ending in Legend. It is filled with intriguing plots, and excellent twist. The characters have amazing development with questioning of motives and loyalties.
2. Lu is a master of the duel perspective. She gives unique voices to both Day and June. Day's reflect easily that he has grown up in the poor sector, and spent much of his life on the streets. In June's voice it clearly represents her upper class up bring along with her military training.
3. I very much enjoyed getting to know Anden, the new Elector. He is unique combination of confidant and vulnerable in his meetings with June. He appears to be genuine in his want to change the system of the Republic. I am excited to see how see how he continues to develop in the next book.
4. Oh my, the things Lu reveals in the ending. I wanted to to cry and scream at her at the same time. I cannot wait to read the last book to see how everything turns out for June and Day.
To Read or Not to Read:
Thursday, 25 December 2014
The Death Cure by James Dashner is the final book in his The Maze Runner trilogy.
It's the end of the line.
WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends- the Gladers. But it's finally over. The trails are complete, after one final test.
Will anyone survive?
What WICKED doesn't know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it's enought to prove that he can't believe a word of what they say.
The truth will be terrifying.
Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He'll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all.
The time for lies is over.
1. I think that Dashner poses an interesting concept with this final book. How far is too far, even if it is for the good of mankind? WICKED used the trials to try for a cure for the Cranks, but is way they used people right? This book really made me think about the idea of is the harm of few right if it benefits the many.
2. Dashner threw is quite a few surprises in this book. He killed a couple of characters I did not expect, and then the return of a character I did not see coming. He kept me guessing on what WICKED's goal was with the trial outcomes. I liked that this book was not predictable.
3. At first, I was not crazy about the ending. I thought it was lacking something, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was perfect for the series. The world in the series is very unstable and harsh, but the end provided a way to a stable future with a little bit of uncertainty to it that fits the series well.
To Read or Not to Read:
Friday, 19 December 2014
Prized is the second book of Caragh M. O'Brien's Birthmarked trilogy.
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives, only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code and the oppressive rules of Matrarc Olivia. Meanwhile, two brothers claim her attention as they attempt to understand the environmental trap that keeps the people of Sylum captive, and suddenly Gaia must contend with the exciting, uncomfortable, and altogether new feeling of being desired.
But when someone from her past shows up, Gaia discovers that survival alone is not enough and that justice requires sacrifice.
1. In this book Gaia goes from one dystopian society to another. The very definition of out of the frying pan and into the fire. I honestly thought that the structure and rules of Sylum were worse than the Enclave. At least when Gaia lived outside of the Enclave, she was fairly free to live her life, but in Sylum the rules were quite ridiculous at times. Plus, the Matrarc was quite manipulative under the guise of doing what is right for the society.
2. So I really liked Gaia in the first book, Birthmarked, but her perosnality change in this book turned me off to her. She stops standing up for what she believes in, and lets the Matrarc manipulate her into the position she wants her. It is no wonder that Leon is so angry with her.
3. I was not a fan of the weird love rectangle going in this book. Gaia is so mixed and confused about the brothers, Peter and Will, but of course then there is Leon, too. It makes me a little crazy at times. Especially when she tells Peter that Leon is the one for her, but she won't commit to being with Leon.
4. I did like that at the end Gaia finally found herself again, and the interesting revelations about the Sylum community that came to light. While this book was not as good as the first book, I am interested to see how O'Brien will end the series.
To Read or Not to Read:
Friday, 12 December 2014
Caragh M. O'Brien's Birthmarked is the first book of the trilogy of the same name.
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother's footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple, enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
1. O'Brien has created an very interesting dystopian society in this book with those within the wall/Enclave live is luxury and have amazing amenities, and those outside the wall live in almost primitive conditions. The Enclave is very much like modern society, but outside the wall reminds me of turn of the 19th century conditions. Being that way establish a quite unique relationship between the two sets of citizens.
2. I loved the way O'Brien showed the transformation in Gaia from a trusting citizen to someone who questions the rules and accepted culture. She learns to be strong and to do what she thinks is right, even if it not what her society accepts as right.
3. I found the dynamics of the relationship between Gaia and Leon interesting. The way they start as adversaries, but there is a chemistry there from the beginning, leading to them becoming allies and more. It will be interesting to see how O'Brien continues to develop their relationship,
4. Speaking of Leon, he is an interesting enigma of a character. A man raised in the Enclave, and seemingly loyal to their values, but is going through his own identity crisis. The life he started with and the punishment,both from his family and himself, he has endured.
5. The things that O'Brien slowly reveals about why the Enclave needs the advancement of children from outside the wall makes this story so fascinating. I am excited to see where the series will go.
To Read or Not to Read:
Saturday, 6 December 2014
Seeing Redd is the second book of Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars trilogy.
Alyss of Wonderland's rule has only just begun, and already those who prefer chaos to peace are threatening to destroy everything worth imagining. Trailed by newly appointed royal bodyguard Homburg Molly, Alyss is doing her best to keep pace with the non-stop demands of being queen while attempting to evade Molly for a few private moments with Dodge.
Alyss' life is challenging mix of duty, love, and tough decisions, and then a series of phantom sighting set fire to an urban myth of Her Imperial Viciousness' return and have everyone... Seeing Redd.
Has Redd somehow freed herself and her chief assassin, The Cat, from the confides of the Heart Crystal? If not, who has resurrected Redd's brutal foot soldiers the Glass Eyes and set them loose to attack Wonderland on all sides?
1. The thing about Seeing Redd is it is less about Alyss than The Looking Glass Wars, and more about Hatter Madigan and the development of King Arch. To read the description, one would assume this was mostly about Alyss and dealing with being queen and her love for Dodge, but one would be wrong. While there are a few of those chapters of Alyss, her and Dodge's story seemed more of an after thought in this book.
2. Even in the Alyss/Dodge chapters, it was as if they were still dancing around each other. Admittedly it is more a slow couples dance now, but they are not quite a couple, yet. There was a kiss, but it lacked the chemistry I expected from them.
3. There are times that Beddor's writing style really annoys me. I get that in a way he is trying to imitate Lewis Carroll's style, but the whole writing out of the sounds gets old. Plus he over uses the sentence trail off. In one place there were four trail offs over two pages. It loses its dramatic effect when used that much.
To Read or Not to Read:
Personally I am going to finish the series, because I am curious to see how it ends, but if you haven't started reading, I would not bother with it.
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is a stand alone novel.
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Other die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition- the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
1. I have to admit this is not my favorite of Stiefvater's novels. Not to say it isn't beautifully written, because it is, but I felt as though the characters were not quite as charming as her norm and the story felt overly drawn out at times.
2. In the beginning for me, Puck felt very young. Just her actions and thoughts made her seem like her she was around 14 years old, but as the book progressed, I felt that she began to mature more. I think that the reality of her situation along with her budding relationship with Sean helped her to truly grow up.
3. Sean is an interesting character. He has one real desire is to be the owner of Corr until he meets Puck. He is the definition of a strong, silent type. He is quite the horseman, but he understands horse much better than he understands his own emotions for Puck.
4. I did like the budding relationship between Puck and Sean. They have an easy way of communicating with without words. They both understand what it is to lose things you love and to love horse like family.
5. One of my problems with the story is that it left some ends undone. Stiefvater dangles out their what Gabe, Puck's older brother, reason for leaving and issues without explaining. Then where was Holly and his suggested relationship with Annie, but there is never more explained about it or why Malvern is upset about their relationship. I just wanted more answers about the side stories that were never given.
To Read or Not to Read:
Maybe skip this one
Monday, 1 December 2014
Marie Lu's Legend is the first book of her trilogy of the same name.
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths- until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
1. Legend is a novel that reminds me why I fell in love with dystopian books in the first place. The secrets that the government is keeping, and the dichotomy between the haves and the have nots all come together so well in Lu's story. Lu had me glued from the very first chapter. I have to admit that I finished this book in one day because I could not put it down.
2. I loved the family loyalty and love in this book, both in June and Day's family. Although their were not many scenes together, I really enjoyed June and Metias interacting with each other. I could really feel the love between them, and I my heart did break for June at Metias's death. The way Day cared for his family, even if he couldn't be with them, made me fall in love with him. While it would be easy for him to escape the Republic, he stays because he worries for his mother and brothers.
3. Lu did a great job with writing the dual perspectives between June and Day. They each had their own unique voice that brought their personalities. I found it interesting that while they are from very different backgrounds and had very different outcomes to their Trials, they are remarkably alike in many ways. It is easy to feel the chemistry between them.
4. I am excited to read the rest of this series, and see where Lu takes these characters and how the story continues to develop and evolve.
To Read or Not to Read: