Friday, 20 April 2018

The Darkest Minds - Book Review

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
by Alexandra Bracken

What is it about:
Ruby is sixteen. She is dangerous. And she is alive. For now.

A mysterious disease has killed most of America's children. Ruby might have survived, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse than a virus: frightening abilities they cannot control. Pressured by the government, Ruby's parents sent her to Thurmond, a brutal state 'rehabilitation camp', where she has learned to fear and suppress her new power. But what if mastering it is a whole generation's only chance for survival?

What did I think of it:
This is an entertaining read.

I had to step over the fact that apparently almost all adults just went along with putting their children in camps. It seemed highly unlikely to me, but it wasn't the weirdest set up I've encountered in Dystopian fiction.

I had hoped to learn a little bit more about the camp and Ruby's life there. As it is she gets out before I got a clear picture how bad she had it there. My guess is that it was really bad, but Ruby's priorities after she escapes made me reconsider.

Because if there's one thing that annoyed me about this book it was Ruby. She escapes and has a backpack given to her by people who might be dodgy if not dangerous. Does Ruby immediately ditch it, or at least looks inside: of course not! What she does do the first chance she got: shave her legs! Because when you're on the run from multiple parties it is the perfect time for your first shave! o_0

That I kept reading was because I liked two of the kids Ruby teams up with: Chubs and Zu. I soon found myself rooting for these two characters instead for Ruby. They were both interesting and cool imo, unlike Ruby and her bland love interest. (Yes: this story would have been so much better if Chubs had been the love interest!)

There are some entertaining scenes while they're on the run, some further developments that made me want to kick Ruby for being extremely gullible, and finally a climax that gave me the feeling this whole story was a bit pointless.

Still I enjoyed the book for the most part, so I just might pick up the next book if I see it on sale. (Maybe Ruby perfects her shaving technique in book two.)

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining YA Dystopian read.

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Thursday, 19 April 2018

On McPig's Radar - Heroine's Journey

I loved the first two books, so you bet I pre-ordered this one.

Heroine's Journey (Heroine Complex #3)
by Sarah Kuhn

The final book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series completes the "Heroic Trio" as Bea Tanaka joins her sister, Evie, and diva Aveda Jupiter in their quest to free San Francisco from its demon portal problem

If there's one thing Beatrice Tanaka never wanted to be, it's normal. But somehow, her life has unfolded as a series of "should haves." Her powers of emotional projection should have made her one of the most formidable superheroes of all time. And she should have been allowed to join her older sister Evie as a full-fledged protector of San Francisco, pulverizing the city's plethora of demon threats.

But Evie and her superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter, insist on seeing Bea as the impulsive, tempestuous teenager she used to be--even though she's now a responsible adult. And that means Bea is currently living a thoroughly normal life. She works as a bookstore lackey, hangs out with best friends Sam Fujikawa and Leah Kim, and calms her workplace's more difficult customers. Sure, she's not technically supposed to be playing with people's mental states. But given the mundanity of her existence, who can blame her?

When a mysterious being starts communicating with Bea, hinting at an evil that's about to overtake the city, she seizes the opportunity, hoping to turn her "should haves" into the fabulous heroic life she's always wanted. But gaining that life may mean sacrificing everything--and everyone--she holds dear...

Expected publication: July 3rd 2018
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Reign of the Fallen - Book Review

Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1)
by Sarah Glenn Marsh

What is it about:
Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

What did I think of it:
This is a very cool read.

I loved the idea of a world where the dead are resurrected and keep on interfering with the living, and keep ruling the country. I could easily picture this world where the dead cling to their unchanging ways, stifling the living.

Odessa is a great heroine. She is able to see the problems the dead cause, but is also painfully aware she would be nothing if she didn't have her necromancy skills. Her struggles, her grief when she loses someone she cares about, her doubts, they felt all too real and kept me reading. I loved both the emotions and the worldbuilding in this book.

Even though I sniffed out the one behind the conspiracy right away I very much enjoyed the story. There were some suspenseful scenes, and it was fun trying to see if there were clues that would confirm my suspicions.

What didn't work for me was the romance. I know this not the fault of how it was written, but because I just couldn't picture it.
Odessa's love interests are siblings.
I myself have been hopelessly in love with one half of identical twins, and never did I even feel attracted to the other half. So that the romance didn't work for me, is all on me. I will admit that one particular scene in hindsight felt really creepy/icky to me btw.

The book has a satisfying ending that makes it work as a standalone, but there will be a sequel, so you bet I'll get hold of it.

Why should you read it:
Two words: Necromancer heroine!

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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Teaser Tuesdays - Warcross

Hideo gives me a skeptical look. "And would you admit it?"
"I would've appreciated your directness, instead of this roundabout game you're playing with me."

(page 95, Warcross by Marie Lu)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 16 April 2018

Ruins - Book Review

Ruins (Partials Sequence #3)
by Dan Wells

What is it about:
Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.

There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

What did I think of it:
It had been awhile since I read the first two books in this series, so I had some trouble remembering who some of the characters were, but after a shaky start I was soon back into the story and world.

And this is overall a really cool read. There were several viewpoint characters, but not in an annoying way. It was easy to keep track of everyone. Kira and Samm were my favorites.

I will say there were two storylines that for me felt a bit unbelievable and unnecessary. I had trouble suspending disbelieve where it came to these storylines, but apparently they were necessary to get the ending Wells was going for.

Those two storylines aside, I very much enjoyed this book. It's suspenseful, and full of action and difficult decisions. I rooted for my favorite characters, while hoping others would fail.

All in all a cool conclusion to this trilogy. I might get hold of other books by Wells.

Why should you read it:

It's a cool Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic YA read.

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Friday, 13 April 2018

The Hazel Wood - Book Review

The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1)
by Melissa Albert

What is it about:
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

What did I think of it:
Let me tell you that I disliked Alice!

She has a false sense of superiority, looking down at people who don't know the same books and authors as she does, who like fan stuff, etc. If the story hadn't been as good and compelling as it was, I'd have DNFed this book because of Alice.

That being said: this is a great story. Even while really disliking Alice I was drawn into the story. Strange things are happening and I wanted to find out why, and I wanted to find out more about the Hinterland and Hazel Wood.

As Alice travels closer to the Hazel Wood things get spookier and stranger. I was totally engrossed and loved the sense of strangeness and otherness that weaves through this story.

Once at Hazel Wood Alice discovers some shocking things that force her to make some difficult decisions. I loved how this story played out. The ending is satisfying and this book works well as a standalone. There will be a sequel it seems though, so I will keep my eye out for it for sure.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderfully weird YA read.

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Thursday, 12 April 2018

On McPig's Wishlist - Hard in Hightown

Hard in Hightown
by Varric Tethras and Mary Kirby

Illustrated by: Stefano Martino, Álvaro Sarraseca, Andrés Ponce, Ricardo German Ponce Torres, E.M. Gist

Twenty years of patrols have chiseled each and every stone of the Kirkwall streets into city guardsmen Donnen Brennokovic. Weary and weathered, Donnen is paired with a recruit so green he might as well have leaves growing out of his armor. When the mismatched pair discover a dead magistrate bleeding out on the flagstones, they're caught up in a clash between a shadowy organization known only as the Executors and a secretive group of Chantry agents--all over some ancient artifact.

This is a prose novel featuring 24 black and white full page images.

Expected publication: July 31st 2018
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