As you probably know, I am greatly enthralled with Angelfall’s greatness that I hastened to read World After immediately. It was an impulsive action that I regretted immediately because I didn’t love this book as much as the first book. Perhaps my emotions were still unstable to feel anything for World After. Or maybe, it was because a large portion of World After became something out of your generic dystopian story.
The plot seemed too long-winded with Penryn and her family trying to survive while living under Obi’s command. There was a lot of running and chasing and hiding that it became tiring. Good thing that it still managed to stay afloat by addressing some of the immediate questions in Angelfall. Things got darker as some hideous revelations came out. Some of the scenes became gorier. But it felt like, it just maintained the whole story to provide a bridge for book 3 and it didn’t really offer anything mindblowing unless you count what happened in the end.
In World After, we will see a lot of Penryn coming to terms with Paige’s hideousness, desperately suppressing her feelings for Raffe and trying to protect her family. Though I admire her unwavering streak for heroism, I am undeniably annoyed with her futile attempts to develop her combat prowess further. Raffe’s sword gave her a lot of opportunity to learn but she kind of failed. Most of the time, it was Paige or her mother or Cara who came to get her out of tight situations. I’ve seen so little of her badassery in this book.
On the contrary, my disappointment with Penryn didn’t extend to Paige and her mother. I got to know Paige more and how my heart ached for her…for what she went through. But despite all the things that were done to her, she’s showing more balls than her sister. Bravo, little one! The same can be said for their mother. In here, I found myself warming up to the paranoid schizophrenic. Yes, she’s crazy…creepy and all that but I just adore her survival instincts and her devotion to Paige and Penryn. In her own manic way, she showed the world how it is to be a kick ass mom.
As for Raffe, he’s still amazing as ever even if he joined the game really late. I love his sarcastic humor, I love how he steadfastly uphold his millennia old principles even if it’s driving him mad silently. I know he wants to be with Penryn but his head and iron will wouldn’t let him. It would be interesting, perhaps mindblowing, to see the moment when he gives in to Penryn’s allure. Bahahahaha.
Overall, World After proved to be a fitting sequel for Angelfall despite its sluggish pace and so little presence of our seraphic warrior. The ending was absolutely awesome and it perfectly set the stage for more electrifying things to come in Book 3. I hope Susan Ee would be considerate enough to release it this year.
Judgment Day is near.
Before I start my review, I just need to inform you that I might have gotten some details wrong because I’ve read this book five months ago and I was too lazy to immediately write a review.
Let me start this review by saying that The Raven Boys is my first Maggie Stiefvater book and even though I’ve been seeing her The Wolves of Mercy Falls series in our local bookstores, I’ve never felt the urge to pick even a single book of the series. They just didn’t appeal to me. It was, however, different with The Raven Boys because the first time I saw its cover, I immediately knew that it was the book for me. Gladly, my bookish instinct was true and The Raven Boys was anything that I can hope for from a YA Urban Fantasy.
One of the main reasons why this book really appealed to me is because it greatly reminded of the manga-to-TV show adaptation of Hana Yori Dango. So far, at the time of writing this, there have been four versions of the TV adaptation of the said manga. I’m already finished with the two versions and all I can say that is I love all of them. Thus, it is no wonder that I also fell inlove with The Raven Boys.
The Raven Boys follows the story of four male teenagers who are attending Aglionby Academy—an all-boys elite school—and a poor and quirky female teen named Blue Sargent. Blue is born to a family of psychics but strangely, she was not endowed with any clairvoyant skills. Worse, everyone in her family has repetitively informed her that her one true love will die if she kisses him. For this reason, Blue made sure to stay away from the opposite gender as much as possible. However, her efforts proved to be useless as she crossed paths with the Aglionby boys. Obviously, the five of them became close friends even if Blue harbored an initial hatred for the rich Aglionby boys. The friendship developed when these teenagers got more and more immersed with the secrets of Glendower and the ley lines.
There are so many things to fangirl over The Raven Boys. I love how the whole story was set up. Instead of using werewolves, witches, and the likes, Maggie utilized Welsh history and added her own brand of magic to ensure that even those who do not care about the history of other countries would develop even a modicum of care. Do I make sense? Whatever.
I can also say that one of the strongest assets of The Raven Boys its cast of characters. We have the five teenagers as well the numerous secondary characters that are well-rounded and unforgettable. I just don’t know how Maggie does it but I feel so invested with all the characters. Not to mention that the friendship between the five as well as Blue’s relationship with her weird family are something to be adored.
Although I want to end this review, it might be worth mentioning that there’s a love triangle going on here. But if you’re going to avoid this book or the whole series just because of that then you are depriving yourself of potential fun. Maggie Stiefvater handled the romance well in this book. It was palpable and didn’t become intrusive. And the love triangle was just… awesome for the lack of the right word.
To conclude, Maggie Stiefvater has just innovated Urban Fantasy with her fabulous writing of the Raven Boys. Alright, I might be exaggerating but seriously, this is one book that will immediately come to mind if I hear the words “Urban Fantasy.”
Alright. I’ll keep this review short and as spoiler-free as possible. So here’s the thing with Burying Water, we have a female heroine, Water, who miraculously survived after she was found barely breathing in rural Oregon. Then we have the love interest, Jesse Welles, who is trying so hard to stay away from our female MC. Sounds cliché, isn’t it? I would have immediately ignored this book based on that premise alone but the synopsis was intriguing enough to make me ask a lot of questions. What happened to Water? Why is Jesse staying away from her? Reading between the lines, I already have this hunch that it’s not because Jesse is the “Stay-away-from-me-because-I-am-carrying-a-lot-of-baggage” type of guy. So what the hell is the reason? This is the main question that certainly plagued me when I dove into Burying Water.
The first chapter instantly introduced me to a horrifying scene. And I immediately knew that Burying Water is going to be different from K.A. Tucker’s previous series, Ten Tiny Breaths. This book was darker and BOLDER. As the mystery surrounding Water’s attempted murder was gradually revealed, I could barely hold my breath because I couldn’t believe that Tucker would attempt such storyline. I’m pretty sure that there would be a lot of people who will be disturbed with the story of Burying Water. Many eyebrows will be raised. And annoyed (or angry at the worst) questions will surely be fired towards Tucker. Is being miserable enough reason to break one of the oldest and most valued rules of humankind? The storyline was definitely risky and I am still not sure whether to applaud or boo Tucker for it. All I know at this moment is that I am happy with Burying Water.
The Tucker trademarked-feels are still present and the steamy scenes had me curling my toes. Told from alternating POVs, with Water’s perspective as present and Jesse’s as the past, the characters of Burying Water were definitely fleshed out but I doubt if every reader will love them after what they’ve done. The messages that this book is trying to convey are definitely painful and would render you constantly asking for questions about right and wrong.
The story’s setting—Sister’s Oregon—was definitely lovely and the way Tucker describe it made me want to pack up and move there ASAP. Tucker fans will also find delight that like the Ten Tiny Breaths series, there’s a great focus on familial and friendship relationships here. Really, if you have been piously following Tucker’s books then you will have an idea that she writes awesome ships.
Burying Water was almost a perfect book with its dark and mysterious tone but there are some things that really bugged me. The ending was too perfect for my taste given the dire situation of our main characters. The manner that the conflict was resolved was way too convenient that I have a hard time believing it. Oh, K.A. Tucker, you can do better than that!
Overall, Burying Water, despite its convenient resolution, was a perfect way to start a new series. It tells a tale of forbidden romance without suffering the so called “New Adult curse.”
***I received this book for free from Atria through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
The premise of Facing The Music screamed of “Cliché” but it didn’t stop me from hitting the request button. The thing with this book is that the synopsis has reminded me of Taylor Swift and how she uses her music to vent out her anger for her ex-boyfriends. Plus, I have this crazy fascination about characters that use their musical talents to ruin their exes. If you have read Tracey Martin’s Another Little Piece of My Heart, then it has the same premise with this one. I enjoyed Martin’s work but it needed more polishing so I was hoping that Facing The Music will deliver. Well, it did and it didn’t.
How so? All was well and good until the reconciliation part. Basically, Taylor Swift Ivy Hudson became an international Rock Star after she released her first song, Size Matters, a single that clearly conveyed her contempt for her asshole of an ex-boyfriend. While the song propelled Ivy’s career to the top, it did the opposite to Blake’s.
There was nothing new when they met again as it followed the same lines of those other romance stories about exes meeting again. Drama was aplenty but there was humor and some thought-provoking issues here. These two can sometimes save a story from flopping completely. And this is what happened with Facing The Music.
Facing The Music made me wonder whether I would resort to what Ivy did if any of my exes cheated on me. The story of this book certainly revolved around the “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” saying. Naturally, I expected that the reconciliation part is going to be mindblowing or at least, realistic considering the kind of damage Ivy has inflicted to Blake’s life. What I got instead is a hastily done resolution and the next thing I know, our characters are already kissing and eventually, having sex. I am not a relationship guru but these people have been hurting for over 6 years and just like that, they magically made up? I am at a loss for words. @_@
And then, here comes another conflict which didn’t actually help the plot evolve but rather it made things redundant. Please, the story is already clichéd enough as it is, why not seek for a new avenue to keep the story going?
The characters were likable enough. They acted true to their age and owned up their mistakes. I must say that Blake has impressed me in the end as he really matured from being a jerk to someone who is worth rooting for.
I’m so close to giving Facing The Music a 2-star rating but luckily, I had fun reading it. The characters and the picturesque setting, Rosewood, were also additional reasons why this book managed to scrape a passable rating and possibly, a follow from me. To conclude, if you are looking for a quick fix to your contemporary cravings, then consider picking up this one.
I read The Final Empire out of challenge. I may have mentioned that my experience with Tolkien’s LOTR was quite traumatic and left me a prejudiced reader. Let me clear things first. LOTR was not a bad book but Tolkien’s antiquated prose and verbose descriptions of even the mundane things have made me wary around epic fantasy stories. It didn’t help that after LOTR’s popularity, a lot of LOTR copy cat books have gradually saturated the market. Hence, I found myself avoiding the genre more. It’s only in 2013, after 7 years of ignoring EFs, that I finally took the courage to try again. For my first attempt, I read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and it was a success. So I decided to pick up another one and this was it.
The Final Empire, with its 1800s era setting, one of a kind and intricate magic system and a plot that seamlessly fuses the epic fantasy with the heist aspect proved to be a challenging and refreshing read.
Basically, The Final Empire’s story spins around a group of highly skilled skaa (slaves) thieves who attempt to overthrow the dictatorship of the immortal god, the Lord Ruler. While this summary doesn’t look very promising, The Final Empire was able to demonstrate the truth behind the saying, “don’t judge a book by its synopsis.”
Told from two POVs, Vin and Kelsier’s, one of the strongest points of The Final Empire was the characterization. It showcases a large cast of fleshed out, lovable, interesting and flawed characters. Vin, who had been a slave since time immemorial, is a cynic badass heroine. Despite her being a slave for almost 17 years, she’s not the type who wallows on self-pity and helplessness. She’s realistic, blunt and has accepted that her life would always be riddled with betrayal and misery. Meanwhile, Kelsier is an enigma that needed to be cracked. On one hand, he’s this vengeful, ruthless criminal mastermind who wouldn’t hesitate to murder people in cold blood. On the other, he’s just so cuddly, carefree and so full of himself.
The antagonist, though he only appeared near the end, accomplished to weave a suspenseful air into the whole story. In this book, we would only get to know the Lord Ruler through the accounts of our protagonists but that didn’t prevent the tyrant to show how powerful he is.
Another reason that made this monster of a novel a worthy read was its very unique and complex magical system. Instead of wizardry/sorcery and other hocus pocus, Sanderson went for Allomancy. In the world that he created, few individuals are born either a Misting or a Mistborn. These individuals, collectively known as Allomancers, are granted the ability to consume metals and transform it to magical powers. To me, understanding the allomancy business was confusing at first but good gracious, Sanderson explained it well to the point that I am saying to myself, “this is gonna be the new trend in magic.” And I suppose that Allomancers will give Magneto a run for his money. But I wouldn’t deny the fact that eating coins, drinking alloy flakes and burning them afterwards are not something that would make a delicious read. It’s really gross.
The Final Empire’s world building was also given a lot of effort. It was rich, conceivable and nicely fitted the era from whence the story took place.
The plot was also thickly woven that it was hard to guess what would happen in the end. In the Final Empire, it’s not just about mindless hack and slash. It wonderfully tackled the politics, intrigues and corruptions, misery and economy of the Final Empire. Interspersed into these elements are the inner struggles of our protagonists that the whole story felt tangible. Also add the fact that Sanderson made awesome battle scenes that would really make your blood pump.
At the beginning, Mistborn might appear like a young adult novel. But as you delve deeper into it, its depth will just overwhelm anyone not mature enough to comprehend a crisis of faith and heartbreaking martyrdom. The Final Empire is not something to be considered as a happy adventure to a world where people upholds the good over evil. It is more than that. This book is just…EPIC!
All in all, do yourself a favor and read this book.
Before I start gushing about this book, let me thank Lexxie first for holding a Christmas giveaway. If not for her, I would have procrastinated in picking this up until who knows when and by then, I would have missed out on a lot of fun. Shatter Me is one of my best reads for 2014 as it completely satisfied my inner X-Men fangirl. Except for those freaking metaphors, everything about it was completely balanced: the romance, the twists, the world building… blah, blah, blah.
The first instalment in a trilogy, Shatter Me instantly sucked me into Juliette’s life. Though she didn’t quite appeal to me as a heroine, she was likeable enough to not ruin my reading experience. Yes, I admit that she’s really a strong girl with all of the things that she went through but sometimes, her exaggerated reactions even on the most mundane of things are quite exasperating. Her character would have been more palatable to my taste if her tendency for melodramatics was toned down for a bit.
Luckily, Shatter Me has a lot of awesome characters to keep me entertained and thus, it was easy for me to let Juliette off the hook. First, we have Adam who surprisingly piqued my interest. I have to be honest with you but good boys rarely appeal to me. Most of the time, they’re too good to be true and I find myself being intimidated by them. However, Adam was one of those rare MCs that got my sympathy. I cannot say that he’s a favourite but yeah, he’s just interesting. And I look forward to reading more about him in the sequels to come. I am especially curious on how Mafi will develop his character further given that he’s already the good guy.
And now, let’s talk about the most awesome character in this book who is no other than Warner. But I bet you already know that. I know that I am some crazy girl rooting for a manipulative, sadistic, murderer like him but the thing is, he never pretended otherwise. But while he is all that, he still manages to be wittingly charming. And I am irrefutably entranced with his character every time he opens that mouth of his. I think that that is a mark of a really interesting villain. At some point, he reminded me of Loki, dancing on the fault line of evil and salvation. Before I wrote this review, I actually finished reading Destroy Me and made me understand his motivations. I know that his past horrors didn’t justify his present doings but given the mercy he had shown Fletcher’s family, the way he ignored the thieving that has been going on in his army simply because he sympathized with them; I know for certain that he’s not yet beyond redemption.
Another thing that really sold me on Shatter Me was its plot. Yes, there is predictability in it but it was executed well. Most importantly, it has an X-Men twist which had me reeling. Because I love love X-men. As I contemplated about it, we have
See? You’ve got a nice line up of X-Men characters in there. I wonder whether Mafi is still planning to create Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Mystique in the next sequels. If she is then that would be perfect. Kidding aside, there’s actually more to the plot than blasting supervillains to pieces. The romance was done well and in my opinion, Adam and Juliette are good for each other. And perhaps, I can have Warner for myself.
As said earlier, I have an issue with Mafi’s overreliance on metaphors. While some of them are beautiful, a lot of them are simply maddening. It’s not only that but some of them do not even make sense. Yes, Mafi certainly has the potential but it’s not yet as awesome as Ness’ or Marchetta’s or Spooner and Kauffman’s or Taylor’s.
All in all, Shatter Me really justified all the hype. It’s a spellbinding debut novel that greatly portrays Mafi’s boldness and creativeness. I completely trust her to deliver the same performance with Unravel Me. (However, I am still hoping that she’d run out of crazy metaphors by then)
This is an overdue review, one of the leftovers of my ARC pile during my long hiatus. And I must admit that I only forced myself to read it due to the fact that I should still fulfill my responsibility as a reviewer no matter how late my submission is. I am very glad that I did because Sempre turned out to be a gem. It was everything that I expected it to be when I sent in the request.
So I didn’t know that this book started to be as a Twilight FanFic until today and it somehow scared me. I don’t think I can handle a repeat performance of Fifty Shades of Grey. But OMG, this book was anything but Twilight. The storyline alone was enough proof of that. There’s modern day slavery here and violence… a lot of it. With this said, I don’t think Sempre will be for everyone as it’s dark and messy. I wouldn’t be surprised if some will DNF it even before they reach the second chapter. But in my case, Sempre really connected with me in a lot of ways.
Where do I even begin? One of the primary reasons I requested this book is because of the synopsis. Look at that. It’s about the Mafia. And ever since I watched the Godfather, I developed this crazy fascination about the Mob. The way they worked together, their hierarchy, the way they put the Mob first over their families are all interesting. Sempre made me missed the Corleone family and how united they are despite the odds. They are not good people…they’re despicable (beyond redemption maybe) but I admire how they protect their own. The La Costa Nostra family in Sempre is also the same. They’re f**** bastards with no hope of salvation….they murder, they rob, they enslave people… but when it comes to their women and children, the ruthless veneer comes off and you will find insecure, overemotional people who will do what it takes not to drag the former into the mess. Oh, I am not saying that they should be forgiven… It’s just that there’s still good in there somewhere.
So aside from getting immersed into the Mafia way of life, another thing I liked about Sempre is the character development. Obviously, because we’re talking about the Mafia here, there are so many characters to keep track of. And as you know, a story with so many characters rarely succeeds in capturing the hearts of the readers. But Sempre did not suffer that because the overall character development was awesome. I am especially in awe with Vincent DeMarco, Corrado Moretti and of course, Carmine DeMarco—our male MC. The latter could really curse well. What a broken…broken boy. I do have an issue with our female lead, Haven Antonelli. As I am writing this review, I still couldn’t figure whether to hate or love her. For the most part, she maintained a passive stance, generally accepting of her life as a slave. And I don’t like it because I love feisty females. But I also reasoned out that making her the way she is was the most realistic course of action the author can take given the fact that she grew up as a slave. Well, at least, I get to see her finally making decisions for herself and debating with male MC as we go deeper into the story.
The romance in Sempre was also remarkable. I could not believe it either because the situation where our two main characters are in is quite doomed. Add the fact that this book is New Adult which as you know is littered with crappy romance stories that are brimming with incessant sex and kissing. But the romance in Sempre progressed nicely and the intimate moments were somewhat underplayed. We get to see how our characters handled their relationship even though it was dangerous…even if the girl was a slave and the boy was the son of the slave’s master. There will be a lot of people who will think that the relationship is going to be unhealthy but it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, the relationship gradually turned them into better individuals. They didn’t change overnight but you can see that they’re striving hard to be worthy of one another.
The plot was perfectly balanced. There was romance and action that made me interested until the end. Sensitive issues were also covered here. Sempre’s story is not just about the cold-blooded killings, the cringe-worthy slavery, and the romance but it’s about rising above one’s baser nature… that even if our souls have been tainted with so much evil, we can still get up and start anew.
Overall, Sempre is a beautifully written story that took me on a wonderful journey… unexpected but definitely worth the 400+ pages.
ATTENTION: Please exit this page if you have an aversion to excessive gushing!
When a fellow blogger said that Melina Marchetta gave her the feels, I wasn’t convinced. I didn’t know that an author named Melina Marchetta existed until I started blogging and reading a lot of awesome things about her works. But my gawd, after reading four of her books, Marchetta didn’t only gave me the feels but she always suck them dry every time I finished a book. My point is, before you dive into Melina’s books, you should fully recharge yourself with emotions. You can electrify or inject or take them orally whichever works best for you. Otherwise, the onslaught of punches will leave you hollow. It will render your insides dead like a Dementor has just kissed you.
Jellicoe Road is another Marchetta masterpiece that left me gutless. I don’t know how to describe it properly but it was amazingly unusual. It’s one of the best contemporaries I’ve read. And that’s saying something because contemporary isn’t my preferred genre.
True, I had a hard time getting into this one. I endured hundreds of pages (~160 pages) to be finally enlightened. But boy, when every piece of the puzzle fell to their right places, I was breathless. At long last, I finally understand what Queen JK meant when she explained the Harry Potter epilogue, that it was her desire for the ending to be “nebulous,” something “poetic,” and that she wanted the readersto “feel as if they were looking at Platform 9 3/4 through the mist, unable to make out exactly who was there and who was not.” Nebulous, that is how I would describe the beginning of Jellicoe Road. Everything was so foggy that you wouldn’t know where Marchetta will take you. You just have to trust her all throughout the journey.
With Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta accomplished constructing a multi layered story of two different yet connected set of lives. Though the plot seemed scattered at first, Melina masterfully strung all the pieces together halfway through the book. And the result is
And before your minds start making assumptions about the romance of Jellicoe Road, just stop. I am not sure if you’d like how Melina created the romance here. For me, it was definitely charged. If you’re looking for a sickening, over-the-top romance of two teenagers then this book isn’t for you. You will not see a lot of romance here because Melina never used it to propel her stories. Just like The Lumatere Chronicles, Melina’s brand of romance is always meant for blind people… because readers are supposed to FEEL it rather than see it.
But Melina doesn’t stop with the wonderful plot. She ensured that her pawns for this awesome story were fleshed out… fleshed out to the point that you will go chasing after them crying your heart out. Taylor Markham, our main protagonist, didn’t really impress me at first. She was an insensitive, self-centered bitch who didn’t give a damn about the people around her. But as the story developed, I grudgingly gave her my heart bit by bit. Behind the veneer of bitchiness lies a lost and insecure soul who only dreamed of getting reunited with her mother and riding her father’s shoulders once again.
Then here comes Jonah Griggs, the love interest. The whole time I was reading the book, I kept on guessing what his true nature is. Did he really betray Taylor? Was he a coward? I had a lot of questions about his persona but when Melina dropped the bombed, I was...
Ahhh. Melina, I don’t deserve this kind of emotional ordeal. I still wanna live long but my heart is so burdened with pain. Instead of giving me compassion, you’ve got the nerve to introduce me to the Fucked up Five that I just wanna pull an emo stunt right now.
When I thought that I have no more tears to shed… when I felt that my heart is beyond repair… Melina still proceeded to end the story in a fashion that’s both beautiful and bittersweet. The impact was not only bone deep but I felt my soul temporarily left my body… Perhaps to accompany Webb on his journey.
Jellicoe Road is the Center of Excellence for Contemporary YA. You, book, you.
Book, you actually deserve a 5 but I couldn’t forgive you for that nebulous beginning so taking half-a-star seems fair. But still, you earned a badge of honor from me. You’re a new favorite!
Well, the first word that came out from my mouth after reading Storm Siren was WOW! I must admit that I only picked it up because the synopsis has similarities with the Winner’s Curse. I mean, the MCs were both slaves and were sold to people who are connected to the army. While I am not really WOWed by the Winner’s Curse , I still liked it and am hoping that book 2 will improve. But Storm Siren was really different. Its fast paced plot as well the beautiful writing captivated me from the start. Not to mention that the main character was somewhat reminiscent of X-men’s Storm and Frozen’s Queen Elsa. Yeah, you’ve read that right. The main charater, Nymia/Nym, is an Elemental who has white hair and can summon storm, ice and lightning. The only absent characteristic is the all-white eyes which is one of Storm’s trademark when she unleashes her power. So the similarity with Elsa was, aside from creating ice, Nym is also unstable, insecure and very scared to use her powers because she’s afraid of hurting or worse, killing people (which she accidentally did countless of times).
While the similarities that I’ve mentioned above should put me off, I wasn’t because the Storm Siren was different in a way that it painfully explored Nym’s past and present ordeal concerning her uncontrollable powers. I liked that her character development progressed in a realistic way and that her being the only heroine who can save the Kingdom of Faelen has a believable foundation to back the story.
The other characters were also interesting and I didn’t have a hard time getting attached to them. They were unique in their own ways and I just wished that… I couldn’t say it for fear of spoiling you. Sighs.
The world building and the magical system were also big pluses for this book. Kudos to the author for bringing me to Nym’s world without drowning me with annoying info dumps. Mary Weber introduced me to the culture of Faelen easily and the story flowed nicely.
Storm Siren’s romance was also praiseworthy because it didn’t bog down the whole story and remained on the sidelines. The advancement was convincing even if it was predictable as to whom Nymia will end up with. And thankfully, no love triangles or any geometric love for that matter even if the author has a lot of opportunities to do so.
But I think that the strongest point of Storm Siren is its plot. The story really blew me away and I was literally holding my breath when revelations after revelations came. I was like, “What? OMG! NOOO! Damn, Mary Weber, you didn’t just do that! How could you???!” As if the revelations weren’t enough, the events really turned crazy as Mary Weber played bookish god.
The only reason that stopped me from giving this book a five was that one glaring plot hole. Read the spoiler at your own risk.
Eogan, the love interest was the villain’s twin and because he wanted to start a new life, he made people believe that he is already dead and became one of Faelen’s people. Apparently, no one ever recognized him when he looked so much like his evil twin. And it’s not as if the evil twin is hiding or somewhat but I think it was really stupid for the Faelen people to not recognize that the handsome trainer is no other than the twin of one of their greatest foe.
To conclude, requesting Storm Siren from Netgalley has been a wise decision. It’s a 270 pager that managed to tell a story of a slave complete with twists and turns, and a heart wrenching romance.
*** An e-ARC was freely provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Thomas Nelson and Harper Collins!***
This book made me realized that I should have stuck with the Disney’s version of Tarzan. It has been so long since I watched the movie but I remember loving it. Meanwhile, Wild was frustratingly long, boring and forgettable. I can’t remember when I actually started reading the book because it felt like I’ve been perusing it for years.
For more than 300 pages, the story of Wild was all about long winded descriptions of this and that. For a contemporary story, it was agonizingly slow that almost rendered me to take a break from reading. At the beginning, I appreciated the author’s attention to details but after a hundred pages or so, it became very exhausting. There was a lot of set up that nothing much happened. This is a contemporary for goodness’ sake, not a fantasy.
There were a lot of unnecessary flashbacks that contributed to the length of the book. It didn’t help that I wasn’t able to develop a connection with all the characters. Dara, the female MC, was stubborn, incredibly stupid and has no self-preservation skills at all. But it seems like the author wants to portray her as some sort of a feisty heroine who can defend herself from anything. But things have just gone wrong. There was a scene in the book where Dara was almost mauled to death by a bear but what did she do? She froze in horror and thought of capturing the bear on camera instead of formulating ways to save herself. If that’s not stupid, I don’t know what is.
As for the male characters, Cade and Josh, they’re equally dull. Cade was the modern version of Tarzan and I thought that I was going to like him but nope. I expected him to be somewhat candid and has this innate skill of being funny but I was disappointed. On the other hand, Josh was uhm… I don’t know…I mean, he’s supposed to be Dara’s boyfriend but how the author executed their love story, it was unbelievable.
But anyway, Dara and Josh’s love story expanded to a love triangle when Cade entered the whole picture. I can’t further describe the love triangle because the way it was handled, it was almost non-existent. All I can say is that Wild has a weird way of dealing with romance.
As mentioned earlier, the plot development was sluggish and the ending was pure crap. I don’t know if the author really intended for that to happen so she can write a sequel or I really don’t know.
All in all, I felt so detached from Wild. I will only recommend it for die-hard fans of Alex Mallory, Tarzan and for those people who have sleeping problems. Wild will surely lull the latter to a deep slumber as what happened to me.
Ever since I started reading novellas, I’ve learned some new things about reviewing. First, if I’m going to review a novella, I should be flexible with my standards because it would be unfair to be overly critical about something that’s only 120 pages long. Second, you try to be considerate about the predictable plot, about the characters that you really didn’t get to know well, and sometimes, you just have to take anything at face value.
With In Over Her Head, my patience was really stretched to its limit. It was like I am correcting an essay paper of a student and I tried so hard to let him pass even with his crappy performance yet I couldn’t. That’s how I felt about this book. I can only name two things that are likable about it: the faultless grammar and that cover.
The first thing that really ruined my experience while reading In Over Her Heard were the half-baked main characters: Erika, Richard and Jerome. Heavens, what a bunch of dull characters that I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash if they destroyed each other. Erika and Richard are both spineless MCs. As much as I want to sympathize with their pain, I couldn’t. Erika is not behaving like her 29 year old self. Instead of figuring things out for herself, she spends a lot of her time thinking about bitter thoughts while letting her friends manipulate her life. Until the end of the book, she wasn’t able to work “it” out. Luckily, she has friends who did the “reflection” for her and gave her preachy advices that are worthy of an eyeroll. Bravo!
The same thing can be said for our Richard. Fine, he broke up with Erika for some nonsensical but noble reasons. After ten years, he returned because he’s still in love with Erika (duh). But for the love of anything holy, he didn’t do anything about it. He just let Erika played her stupid game. Aside from acting funny whenever Jerome’s around, he was practically doing nothing. He was supposed to win Erika through pro-active methods but NO. After they finished creating their video project, he suddenly disappeared. And Erika has to text him that they should talk about all the things that have happened between them. Unbelievable!
Moving on, we have the third party in the person of Jerome. You know what, he could have been an interesting character but alas, he’s such a pushover. I couldn’t believe that he went blindly with the stupid plan of Erika’s friends. I mean, he didn’t even know her. And yet, he did it for no reason at all. I couldn’t even say that he was attracted to her because I didn’t feel it.
Suffice to say that I didn’t ship any of the relationships here, guys. I do not feel any chemistry between Erika and Richard or Erika and Jerome. What an awful romance story to read. Another one of those love triangles that have gone wrong.
The plot failed to form any semblance of cohesion. There was a lot of telling instead of showing that I was really praying for it to end ASAP. 86 pages of boredom with Richard always getting late to their rendezvous. Oh please, that ploy is getting old. It’s not providing any tension anymore to the overall story.
All in all, I wanted to be generous with In Over Her Head since this is my first Filipiniana Sunday post for 2014. But everything about it was hellbent in pissing me off.
These Broken Stars has just occupied a permanent space in my heart. It’s one of those things in life that you could never let go even if it died a bajillion of years ago… something that you would cherish forever because life wouldn’t be the same without it… that something has just broken inside of you after realizing that you’re on the last page and you just want to turn back time to experience the awesomeness again…
I am rendered incoherent by this book and I just don’t know where to begin. Should I start by saying that I was biting my nails when I started reading this book because I’ve read a lot of reviews saying that it’s like Titanic? And god knows how everyone hated the ending of Titanic! I mean, no one wants another dead Jack Dawson, right? But I soldiered on thinking that I could get through this book with my whole being intact. I survived Allegiant with barely a scratch so why should I worry?
I was wrong. Kaufman and Spooner bring us to a world of living and cruising around the galaxy. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen, two individuals from two very different worlds, were thrown into each other’s path when Icarus—a luxury spaceship—went down onto a nearby planet. With no else to turn to, they must rely on each other to make it alive on a planet full of untamed beasts and a mystery that almost rendered them mad.
These Broken Stars has been marketed as a sci-fi book but I don’t think so. It’s more of a romance and survival story with the galaxy as a backdrop. While I was disappointed that the sci-fi element of this book wasn’t fully probed, I am still happy that everything about it compensated that weak aspect. Let’s start with the characters. Tarver and Lilac are such wonderful characters that it was hard not to give them a piece of your heart. Tarver is boyfriend material that I wouldn’t hesitate to seduce. I would even point a gun to his head just to marry me. Yes. He’s that awesome. All throughout the book, he kept a sensible mind keeping Lilac out of harm’s way whilst respecting her strength as a female. Never for once did I see Tarver offered to carry her despite that she’s struggling and in a territory very alien to her. Instead, he just let her be and gave her strength through his words and grim determination.
Lilac is also praise worthy. Beneath the cold and snobbish façade is a compassionate, very-determined-bordering-on-craziness, and proud soul. She immediately caught my attention during the early chapters because she was a natural at being untouchable…like she was born for the role of the bratty socialite.
In addition, the romance between Lilac and Tarver was just mindblowing. It was very poignant that it was almost painful. Yes, it was pretty clear that they would fall in love in the end but it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey. Everything just clicked into the right place with them that I will move heaven and earth just to see them get married in the near future. It’s a romance worth dying for. It’s a romance that should be the role model of those crappy YA love stories. It is the kind of good ol’ romance that would restore your faith in humanity.
While others were quite annoyed with the slow pacing of the plot, I wasn’t because 1. The beautiful prose is highly entertaining and 2. I am a very patient person (as long as the book deserves it). I quite enjoyed accompanying Lilac and Tarver conquering the obstacles laid out by the strange planet. It even got more exciting when the characters were spooked by strange voices and mirages. Clearly, the plot of These Broken Stars is driven by the survival, mystery and relationship aspects of this book. As for sci-fi, I am sorry to say that there’s not so much in this book apart from the fact that the story took place on the galaxy and that there are ethereal alien beings on the new planet whose existence were not fully explained.
Lastly, that additional twist near the ending was heart stopping yet annoying. I just hated the authors for scaring the living daylights out of me. I was like, “No! No! Please anyone but…” Good lord, I just want to drink a memory serum so as not to be reminded of that nightmare.
To conclude, These Broken Stars is an outstanding storytelling of a timeless romance in the outerspace. It’s more than what I expected for a sci-fi book despite that its sci-fi aspect is its strongest flaw. Giving your heart to this book is definitely worth it. I am just sad that the sequel wouldn’t focus on Tarver and Lilac anymore. I just hope that the authors will still give us glimpses of them though because I want them to be really okay. That ending didn’t quite give an assurance that Lilac and Tarver will get their happy ever after.
This book, along with its two sequels, has been on my shelf for almost year now. I have tried my very best to ignore it for mainly 2 reasons: 1. I thought it was going to be another Tolkien clone and; 2. I hate character deaths. However, a new year means overcoming new challenges even if it’s only about reading. So, here I am writing this review.
I guess that a lot of you already know what A Game of Thrones is all about, what with the popularity of the TV show. But for the sake of those who haven’t had an inkling about this television phenomenon, A Game of Thrones is the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Set in the medievalish world of Westeros and Essos, it spins around two major story lines: the battle for the Iron Throne; and the battle at a place in the North called, the Wall, where strange creatures are starting to emerge after their disappearance thousands of years ago.
I am not a master reader of Epic Fantasy but I do think that this book or the whole series is not for everyone. In my entire reading career, I’ve only read very few Epic Fantasy series and therefore, I couldn’t offer you a lot of explanations as to how A Song of Ice and Fire fared compared with other Epic Fantasy books. They say that George R.R. Martin opened a new door for the genre to expand. They say that George R.R. Martin is the new master of epic fantasy. They say that the series is epically fantastic for the lack of the right term. To all those claims, I say a big NOPE.
A Game of Thrones isn’t creative or unique. Before I dove into the book, I expected that I was going to be mindblown with wars that can surpass the beauty and the horrors of an MMORPG and Command and Conquer games with plenty of races and creatures as pawns. Instead, I got a well-worn tale of noble lords and their minions fighting for an Iron Throne. It’s like I am reading the events of a history book, only it was written in a manner that would be suitable for fun reading.
There’s so little “fantasy” in A Game of Thrones. Martin, however, was kind enough to embellish it with bits and pieces of sorcery, dragons, White Walkers and their servants, Wights (the servants of White Walkers and Martin’s version of zombies). For someone who re-reads Harry Potter every year, that’s kind of really OLD, won’t you agree? But I could have forgiven Martin if he just did the portrayal well. But alas, Martin does not know how to balance his priorities.
The world building was merely passable. If you are a sucker for something that would transport you to mesmerizing realms/universes, then I suggest for you to just pick up Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or Sanderson’s works or Pullman’s His Dark Materials. I was also not impressed with how Martin crafted the culture of the people in Westeros. It wasn’t well grounded and most were borrowed from the medieval period. Even the Dothraki’s way of life was unconvincing. It could really use some polishing. Thankfully, there were no info dumps.
Told from multi-POVs, A Game of Thrones also suffers from 1-dimensional characters except for one or two. I find it hard to sympathize with a lot of characters in this book. And to think that I was really worried about crying my heart out for them. But it turned out that my compassion can only be extended for Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow. I suppose that that can be entirely blamed for my crazy penchant for underdogs. Kidding aside, I would brave this monster of a series for the said two characters who really made my journey in Essos and Westeros tolerable.
It didn’t help that there were so many names in this book that need familiarizing. Makes me feel like I am reading an almanac of old medieval names and their genealogy.
So far, the only greatest selling point of this book was its plot. There are lots of twists and turns within it. Lots of political intrigue to be unravelled. Until the very end, the book will keep your mind busy with guessing on what will happen next. The only definite thing about the whole story is that “Winter Is Coming.” Who will betray who? Who will kill who? Who will be redeemed? Who will go to the dark side? And of course, there’s a lot of carnage here to satisfy your bloody appetite. Interspersed through the story are tales of incest, rape, homosexuality and other stuff that might make you cringe.
However, I am still plagued with this question: Is Martin a craven (coward) or a person pretending to have bigger balls than he actually have? You see, some people really liked the series because Martin killed a lot of characters, even MCs. Well, that is realistic considering the “grandness” of this novel. But in actuality, I find some of the deaths in GoT to be a coward’s way to end the story of a certain character. It certainly gave me an impression that Martin no longer knows how to continue the story of that character that’s why he just resort to killing that character. One concrete example would be that of Khal Drogo’s death. That was very convenient. That man is scarred from the many battles that he had won and suddenly, he was dying of a wound infection. How come he didn’t die during the previous wounds that he got? Come on.
Furthermore, if you are also looking for some bittersweet romance to make you giddy and your toes curl, please avoid this book. If you are looking for some steamy sex to make you warm, please avoid this book. If there’s one certain thing I can say about Martin, he doesn’t know how to write romance and sex scenes. Yes, I perfectly understand that such elements shouldn’t be made central in these types of books. But I believe that if you can vividly describe carnage, violence and a lot of those awful things, you should also do the same for romance and sex. But Martin’s notion about such elements was as bland as porridge. And the sex scenes, if not dull, are worthy of mockery and a bit inconceivable. I really want to fully expound on this, but I just leave it for you to figure out. Hell, I am not looking for fairy tale romance but I think Martin could learn a lesson or two from reading fairy tale books.
To conclude, A Game of Thrones is just another one of those books that didn’t justify the hype and greatly benefitted from the publicity generated by the television adaptation. Would I read the succeeding sequels? Of course. I still have hope for the succeeding installments to get better. And surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the show. The characters in the TV show were more fleshed out and it’s faster in terms of pacing. Although some people were disturbed about the amount of nudity in there, I actually didn’t mind at all.
It may take me some time to pick up the second book but yeah, I am going to finish the series.
A Game of Thrones is a book that is best suited to kill time. As a matter of fact, I actually finished a lot of house chores while reading it.
Rebel, which is the last book of the Reboot duology, did not really redeem the overall concept of the story. Did I say that right? Hahahah. I mean, the Reboot series was not bad but I think there are still a lot of areas that needed improvement. I was actually generous with my rating for the first book of the series because the theme was really interesting. It’s like reading a zombie book from a whole new perspective because the characters were not zombies and yet, they died and reawaken like one. I remember that my main concerns with the first book were the character inconsistency, the instances where there’s a lot of telling than showing and lack of solid explanation about the KDH virus. Nonetheless, it was a fairly decent read. And I hoped that my main problems will be answered in book 2.
So back to Rebel, it picks up where Reboot left off. Wren, Callum and the rest of the rescued Reboots from the Austin Facility have already reached the reservation. And our main characters thought that they can finally live their lives in peace. What they didn’t know is that the leader of the reservation camp was actually brewing a grandmaster plan that will change the world forever. And so this is where the trouble comes in because apparently, Wren and Callum have differing views when it comes to morality.
In book 1, I was seriously annoyed with Wren because her character didn’t deliver. She was supposed to be kickass, unemotional and all that. But for most of the time, it was “Everyone feared Wren because she was 178 and whenever she’s around, everyone cowers in fear.” Not to mention that I haven’t seen her being cold and distant towards the other Reboots. And sadly, Rebel didn’t rectify the said inconsistency. And so I still hated her in this book because a lot of her decisions depend upon what Callum thinks.
As for Callum, I was able to force myself to like him in this book because despite his gigliness (deal with it!), he managed to display some redeeming qualities.
Moving on to the plot, it was predictable and lacked tension. I was hoping that there’s going to be more particularly that it was marketed as “perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.” But the thing is, I really liked how fast paced the book was. I also appreciated that Amy Tintera didn’t hesitate to kill some of the characters that needed to be killed.
Overall, Rebel was an okay read. I have nothing else to say about it because it didn’t really leave a solid impression on me. Will I recommend it? Of course, but maybe not to the fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu because I have this feeling that they’re going to be disappointed.
Books like Angelfall are one the few reasons why readers shouldn’t give up on reading paranormal stories and picking up self-published books. The journey might be taxing but once you come across stories like Angelfall, all those hitches you’ve passed by will be greatly compensated. It is amazingly unique and greatly depicts Susan Ee’s superb devotion to the genre.
Rather than being your typical fluffy angel read wherein you daydream about being saved by a chiselled, glowing, haloed, creature of goodness; Angelfall will deliver you straight to a world of macabre and horror where angels are the warlords of blood and suffering. There will be no escape from it and the only thing you can do is to accompany Penryn and Raffe in their gruelling journey.
The first thing that I love about Angelfall is that it started strong. I was immediately thrust into an action filled scenario that got my adrenaline pumping. And the main characters immediately stood out to me. Penryn and Raffe are perhaps one of the oddest pair that you would stumble upon in Ee’s world of apocalypse but oh boy, they are a perfect match made in heaven. They have equal levels of bad-assery, arrogance, loyalty, ambitiousness and cunning. They’re two creatures who know what they want and wouldn’t rest until they get it. I SHIP THEM! I TOTALLY SHIP THEM, dammit!
And don’t get me started about the secondary characters. Penryn’s mom is a curious subject with her schizophrenia disorder. I am not an expert on it but based on my reading, Susan’s portrayal of the disease is almost realistic. However, her tendency towards violence is something that is subject for debate because schizophrenics are socially withdrawn and are more likely to hurt themselves than those around them. Another character that caught my attention was Paige. Heaven knows how I struggled not to kill the bastards who made her into a monster. Uriel and his cronies should be the ones sporting the devil’s wings and suffer eternal punishment in Hell for what they did. Grrrr.
Another asset of Angelfall is its fantastic world-building. The future Northern California is a perfect picture of anarchy and melancholy. The destruction felt authentic without resorting to terrible info dumps. It was scary with Ee’s talent of manipulating the book’s atmosphere to become dark and chilling.
Angelfall’s plot is also a gem. It’s an apocalyptic story laced with a seraphic mythos and sci-fi elements. Further to that, there’s a political intrigue amongst the angels here which is quite surprising. I mean, angels are supposed to be busy with fighting the Devil’s spawns but Angelfall tells us again that it’s not one of those riffraff books that failed to provide a concrete foundation about angelic community. For all their honourable reputations, angels are scheming, malicious bastards. There’s so much going on in this book that it’s hard to put down.
The only downside that I can point about Angelfall is that it has a huge parallelism with The Hunger Games in terms of plot driver. Everything that happened in THG was triggered because Katniss was uberly loyal to her sister. And her actions set things in motion that eventually led her to become the symbol of the rebellion. And here in Angelfall, our young heroine’s exploits are also the product of her relentless need to protect and save her sister. However, I was just glad that Paige’s role is more than that of Prim’s. And thus, I am willing to overlook the said likeness.
To conclude, Angelfall is not your average angel book. It exudes a sinister aura that will certainly make a great masochist out of a reader. Yes, it is painful…it is full of corruption…it is carnage contained in a book but despite all that, you will choose to read it… you will choose to endure.
Apocalypse is coming.
What a chock full of skitz and flux?
The Murder Complex is another concrete reason why you, readers, should be wary around hyped books. Marketed as action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate, it actually delivered based on those counts alone. In here, you will actually feel that kind of exhaustion borne from endless running and mindless hack and slash. And while you are running, you will be dripping with blood instead of sweat… because… because…I’ll tell you later.
The Murder Complex could have been the next YA phenomenon, especially that its beginning will pull you immediately. However, as soon as you find yourself getting comfortable swimming in the ocean of awesomeness, a whirlpool suddenly appears to suck you into the depths of mehness and bleakness.
So much potential has been wasted on this book. The kick ass main characters suddenly became clones of those typical annoying characters. Meadow, our heroine, is trained to kill at a very young age when the situation requires it. She has this air of being capable, focused, and of course, being badass. But all that changed when she met our hero: Zephyr. Not only she allowed herself to become distracted, but she also immersed herself in a whirlwind romance and became an indecisive mess. I was literally shaking my head every time she wallow on thoughts like these, “Kill or kiss him?” and “Kiss or kill him?” Crap, the boy almost killed her and yet, she’s right there, embracing him…hugging him… comforting him… loving him. @_@
Let’s talk about Zephyr, our supposed cold blooded murderer, but turned out to be the pansiest hero I’ve met in my life. He had been okay at first, but after meeting Meadow, he lost his edge all of a sudden. When he first laid eyes on her, he immediately knew that she’s gonna be the love of his life. Seriously? And then his nights became occupied with the thoughts of his moonlit girl…his silvery haired girl. His actions, decisions, and thoughts got lamer and lamer as the story advanced. Gods, I just want to smack him.
The storyline of The Murder Complex has a lot of action and twists and yet, it lacked any form of cohesion. Despite the bloody killings, I was utterly bored while navigating the whole story. Almost every page, one of our MCs will get involved with beating or killing someone or vice versa. Before he met Meadow, we always see Zephyr cleaning up or hauling dead bodies. You know what, I love my dystopia bloody, grisly, and disturbing. The Murder Complex has all of those but the problem was, things got excessive for my taste. When every page of the book is filled with gory scenes, things would lose its novelty by the time you’re at 50% of the story. In addition, a lot of the events in this book were illogical. It was like the author was just throwing things randomly without much care for the result.
Even the world building wasn’t that impressive. Well, it would be if you have a freaky obsession with cemeteries. There are dead bodies everywhere… on the road… in the cafeteria… at the front of your doorstep…on the stairs…There are even people who solely existed just to haul and incinerate dead bodies on a daily basis. Killing people became an important part of the culture. Speaking of technological advancement, there’s plenty of that in this book, but it needed a more solid foundation.
The Murder Complex is also abound with jargons: Flux, Skitz, Chumhead, Pins, Pulses, Leeches and a lot, lot more. If your memory is faulty, you better dive into this book with your trusty notebook and ballpen at hand because there will be no glossary that will be waiting for you at the end of the book.
Summing it up, The Murder Complex is a massive flop of a novel. It was filled with nonsensical stuff that I was completely bored. Once again, I let the hype made a fool out of me.