Category Archives: Reviews

Withering and thieving.

Wow. I have not posted in a fairly long time.

During this lengthy hiatus, well… I don’t know what happened. I sort of lost interest for a bit in maintaining a blog. But I shall try again!

Well, a stand out book that I’ve read in the past week was Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Set in a dystopian future, where a medical miracle went horribly wrong, causing the healthy generation’s children to have a life expectancy of 25 for males and 20 for females. To keep the human race active, brides are recruited by force for young wealthy males for the sake of reproduction, which is how Rhine Ellery comes into the story, being drugged and allowed to survive out of the selection of young girls because of her eyes. Those not chosen are taken around the corner and shot. Rhine isn’t one of the girls who looks forward to her new fate, so naturally attempts to escape. Her sidekick-love interest takes form in one of the servants within the household, while her friends and general support system are her brother, who she was taken away from, and her “sister wives”. (I found that term to weird. I couldn’t get past my initial impression that there was some serious incest relation going on… :/ )

Overall, the book was enjoyable. Predictable. Fairly graphic in its descriptions of violence. But I am a sucker for doomsday-the-end-is-nigh stories (No, I don’t believe that the world will end in 2012.) so as a dystopian future novel, I enjoyed it. The genre always makes me feel freaked out about society today, all the advancements in technology and whether it’s actually getting us anywhere. They kind of leave me with a lump in my throat at how the future could end up. (No, I don’t take the novels as factual. I just like reading them for the same reason people like watching horror movies – cheap thrills and scares)

I really do love dystopian fiction. Speaking of more ending-of-the-world, I also read Matthew Reilly’s newest: Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves. For those of you unfamiliar with Reilly’s work, well. All his novels are very much large ridiculous action, extremely fast paced, but still manages to maintain a plot. Apparently a few of his books (Jack West Jnr Series, Scarecrow) have deals with movie/TV companies, so that will be pretty awesome to see how the large-oh-so-overly-large action sequences are adapted.

Now not related at all to books, but on the subject of movies, I cannot wait for the adaption of Girl With A Dragon Tattoo to come out in December. It’s not a remake, just another adaption, with David Fincher directing, Daniel Craig starring and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross composing. That means the soundtrack is already guaranteed to be amazing. Anything Reznor does is amazing.

Okay. I think I should stop.

 

~T

Advertisements

Heart Still Won’t Settle

Ah, it’s been so long.

So, recently I’ve read The Dark Devine by Bree Despain. This book was on the infamous List Of Books I Wanted For Christmas But Never Received.
I’m happy that I didn’t get it. It wasn’t great, nor does it belong in my burn-it shelf on Goodreads. I’ll read the sequel when I have nothing else to read and time to spare.

Time to spare. Sigh. I remember when I had that luxury. Right now, I’m a week away from mid-semester exams. After spending my Careers class (which is a joke, it is just a name for our free period, so that parents can be under the impression that we are always working) making several lists of my subject study priority order, and cross-referencing it with my Order of Give a Fuck, I came up with my final top 3; Italian, Maths and Health & Physical Education. Though I don’t really care about maths, but I suck so much at algebra (the unit for the term) that I need to be able to understand enough to pass the exam. I’ll be dropping maths next year, so all shall be well. I don’t know why I was forced ot purchase a $200 calculator though. Italian I’m pretty good at, though my grammar sucks. Non parlo italiano molte bene. Studio is my Studio Art, and I’m in the advanced class. So I am definitely not wanting to stuff up.

Okay, with that out of my system, back to books.
I read the first three books of Strange Angels, which when I picked them up from the library, I thought it was just a trilogy. No. It’s not. It’s a five book series. I liked the first book a lot, but the third one annoyed me. The second was average. I reserved the 4th and 5th (which is yet to be released) so I’ll read them when they come.

I also picked up Thirst #1 by Christopher Pike, which is the first three books starting The Last Vampire to Red Dice. I’m a bit into Black Blood now, though I’ve put it down for a few days because of the whole exam shenanigans.

Also, with this other library I’m now joined with, I have come to the conclusion that the librarians are rude. Back at my local library, my image of a librarian was created with smiles, new recommendations and pretty darn amazing service, no matter how much I complain. At this other library, I’m pretty much ignored. Even when they’re scanning my books. Possibly because I am always there in my school uniform as I go after school. And end up getting home after 17:00 because the silly bus is always late.

Hey, speaking of late, it’s 2:02 am. That sucks. I’m getting up in five hours.
I probably won’t get to sleep for another half hour. Grr.

 

~T


Vampire Academy. Wow.

Why have I not read Vampire Academy before?
Because of my high expectations created by hype from a series being shattered, maybe?

I just finished Vampire Academy. I definitely want to buy it. I already own the last book, so really. Though that means that I have the temptation to skip books 2,3,4 and go straight to Last Sacrifice.

I really want the next book. Now.

When I first began reading it, I thought the POV would switch from Rose to Lissa. It’s just kind of expected, for the one with the talent to be the main character. (It reminds me of Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder. Not with the story, just with how the side character is the protagonist. Then again, I still haven’t read the Poison Study trilogy, so that’s just how it came across to me. )

So, the next time I’m out, I am definitely buying the rest of the Vampire Academy series.

It’s possibly because of the Russian Dimitri, or how Rose is such a smart arse, so akin to my own personality. It could be how Rose didn’t always do the right thing. I also liked how vampires aren’t a huge thing, and the kind of sub-species of vampire.

I really do love this series. It’s going to be hard not to skip to the last book.

 

In other news, during my shopping expedition, I saw Angel – James Patterson out. I didn’t get it. I think the series has gone on a bit too long. There is a limit of how far the story can stretch. I might borrow it from the library. Only if it’s already there – I’m not going to reserve it.

I also bought City of Fallen Angels. Just to fast track the library queue. I’m still 6th in that, so now that I own the book, it better be worth me buying it. The cover really annoys me – the model for Clary, her eyes piss me off because they look so fake.

Also, I don’t understand why for my birthday, christmas, any gift exchanging holiday, people buy me books. Most of them I don’t like. I’m really not one for classics, so owning the entire Jane Austen works doesn’t really do anything for me.
I would much prefer if their intent is to get me books, to give me a voucher. Just saying.

Okay, there’s my ranting for the day.
And darn, it’s only 2200, how am I going to spend the rest of my night?
Watching Beauty and the Beast is the answer.
Wow, I am in a really lovey-dovey mood.

 

~T


Liar–Justine Larbalestier Review

*Note* This was a review I had to do for school Book Week, in August ‘10. That’s why it’s a lot more formal than any other review I tend to post on this blog. *

Liar - Justine LarbalestierLiar is a novel that follows the story of the unreliable narrator, Micah. From the first page she admits to the reader that she is a liar and her word cannot be trusted, but promises that throughout the tale she tells, the reader will hear the truth, with no more omissions or lies.

Micah provides examples of only some of the lies she has told, discussing them but being unable to provide the reasons for leading the believers on. She explains the history of herself, her family and her school, notifying the reader of how she never has fit in at school which leads to the main plot of the book.

Liar is about the aftermath of Micah’s secret boyfriend’s mysterious death. The students at Micah’s school know of her history with untruths and are suspecting of her involvement with Zach’s death. What adds to their suspicions more is the discovery that Micah and Zach were actually dating, considering how Zach already had one public girlfriend. Micah swears that she did not murder him, but no one believes her—Micah, being the outcast and notorious liar.

Throughout the book, Micah reveals the truth that contradicts the information that she tells the reader early on, thus confirming that you cannot believe everything that Micah says. The book is also split into parts and further split into sections focussing on ‘Before’, ‘After’, ‘History of Me’ and more.
This means that the story is not neatly organised into beginning, middle and end. Micah gradually reveals dark secrets about her own life and her family, giving the reader all the more reason to doubt her claims.

Liar is a Fantasy/Mystery novel with a suspenseful plot idea that provides the fascinating dilemma of whether to trust the self-proclaimed liar that is telling the story or to sort through the lies to get to the truth. The way the author has structured the storyline means that you just have to keep reading, even if you’re not enjoying the book, just to find out what happens. The themes featured in the book include honesty, relationships, maturing and family. Micah seems like a real character, however much unreliable. She had depth and a mysteriousness to her which leaves the reader needing to know what really happened.

Liar was a highly interesting book that is best for readers aged 15 and older. It gives a different perspective on the narrator and leaving you puzzling out the truth through the lies given to you by the psychologically complex main character.


Apologies served with a Blanket Review

EEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

That’s pretty much what I thought when I saw that I know suddenly have Dragonflight by Anne Mcaffrey waiting under my reservations at the library.

For those that don’t know why I had this reaction, perhaps refer to this.

It seems as though I was terribly wrong about that librarian. Sigh. If I remembered what she looked like, I would make an effort to be extra nice and compliant with her.  Reservations_thumb1But, to the librarian that was ever so annoying on that day, I apologise. You are back up there with the super-librarian respect level. Possibly making the Top 10. (I don’t actually have one of those lists… don’t worry, doubting readers Winking smile)

To see what else I have on reserve, there’s a screenshot to the left. Dragonflight is highlighted. Just because I was bored. It made me hip, like bad ass.

I also finished Unearthly. It was average, kind unearthly australiaof typical YA fantasy. It didn’t really stand out for me, although I don’t like novels that are half set at a high school. (Mostly because they’re always American high schools, and I don’t understand half of how the system of their schooling works.) The characters to me seemed flat, I couldn’t make myself believe that they could be a real person. Oh, and in my last post when I said there was no sequel on the horizon for Cynthia Hand, I was wrong. Book 2, the sequel of Unearthly is going to be called Hallowed, which is to be expected in 2012. Even though I found Unearthly kind of average, I’ll most likely read the sequel when it’s out and about.

Clockwork Angel I enjoyed a lot more, though it’s really disconcerting reading books like Before I Die or Fire. C’mon, make the link between the three. It’s half the reason BID freaked me out. But Clockwork, I think I will enjoy the Infernal Devices more than the Mortal Instruments. I certainly liked Clockwork Angel more. Even with it’s almost cliff hanger ending. The sequel, Clockwork Prince  is expected for a September ‘11 release.

51YsUdc9-rLI haven’t been reading much of Promise of the Wolves, but I think I will tonight. Whilst at the library, I picked up The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I’ve been waiting for so long for my library to get the series, and they did! Hooray!

So soon to be arriving is Iron Daughter and Iron Queen. Unfortunately, no one told the library of the kind of-not-really-prequel-type-story-other-book-in-the-middle-of-the-series, Winter’s Passage. I may need to notify them so that situation can be fixed.

It seems that the library went on a mass book buying spree, so it’s freshly stocked with YA fantasy a-plenty.

 

…in other news, this post has taken me 2 hours to finish. I’ve been doing other things, obviously, but I found that a bit shocking.

 

~T (00:42)


The Black Prism–Brent Weeks Review

I really like cats. Heh, anyway, last night I finished reading The Black Prism. I’ve read other people’s reviews, and they judge it harshly because it isn’t the Night Angel Trilogy. They’re not the brightest crayons in the box, now are they?

Now, some background information on the story:

The book is set in the new world of Chromeria, which is divided into seven satrapies, each with a satraph to lead it. The magic system is intricate, based on seven colours. Drafters –magic users – can use their colour to draft –use – their colour luxin –magic. Sounds confusing, but wait, it gets better.

The luxin is what drafters get when the transform light. Is this reminding you on those science classes with reflection and refraction? It also changes the drafters, and not just by forming a ring of colour around the drafters iris.  The luxin also controls the Drafters personality. Green is wild, Blue is orderly, Sub Red is fiery etc. There is a catch to using too much luxin – each time a drafter drafts, the luxin becomes more part of their body, until the ring of colour around their iris –halo—breaks, and they’re pretty much insane. They are completely influenced by their luxin colour, and are often hunted down. To avoid becoming a colour wight, as these luxin-driven-mad-people are known, most Drafters attend the ever so holy Freeing.

A Drafter can only draft one single colour, where as Bichromes draft two, and Polychromes draft three colours, which is the most sought after. There is only one man that can draft all seven colours whenever he feels the need – Gavin Guile, the Prism and closest link to the god Orloham. Being the Prism means no worries about breaking the halo and descending into madness, although also means that Gavin will die after taking office in a multiple of seven (fourteen, twenty one… Surely you don’t need me to do your timetables!)

The book was quite hard to get into for the first 200 and something pages. If I weren’t a completionist (is that even a word?) I possibly would have stopped reading. But it’s okay! The story picked up and the confusion of this magic system cleared, and that’s when I was actually interested in this fantasy novel.

I’d recommend it to those who have read previous works by Brent Weeks, but can also differentiate that this is a new novel, it’s not meant to be a continuation of the Night Angel Trilogy. Some of the reviews I have read on the Black Prism, people are judging it harshly because there’s no Kylar or Durzo… don’t they deserve a medal! Annoyed

I would think that even regular teenagers that aren’t freaked out by a lengthy novel could manage, there’s minimal swearing (I’ve found more in YA novels, so rest assured) and barely any sex (there’s more vague inclinations).

I don’t feel that I HAVE to own this, however. There’s no compulsion for me to purchase it right now or if I don’t, I will see the devil and he’ll try to steal my heart through my kneecaps. I’ll definitely read the next book, however, but more for curiosities sake than anything.

~T


Ramblings, Reviews and Renegades

My legs feel like they’re going to fall off. This is because I went for a super long walk, so I’ll get over it. In the mean time, I feel the need to notify people.

On this walk o’ mine, I went around the local park to suss out the river, (I live in Australia, and in case you haven’t noticed, the weather around here has turned catastrophic, with flash floods and bushfires raging across the country. I whole heartedly encourage you all to donate to the Queensland Disaster Relief Appeal. It will help people at least regain their homes which have been destroyed in the flash floods, although the people that have lost family members cannot have their losses so easily replaced.)

As I was saying, after I sussed out the river (the ford crossing was flooded, though that’s not anything too special, as it’s like that whenever it rains) I walked to the library, to pick up The Black Prism and Storm Glass, which I had reserved the other day. They came quite quickly, which is always good.

By the time I had walked home, wow, it was hot. It was about a 30 degree day, (almost 90 degrees for you Fahrenheit people) and probably not the best time for me to decide to walk up hills and along bush tracks and down hill and such. I would put in the distance I walked, but I don’t even have an estimate in kilometres, much less miles. (I’d vaguely put it at 7)(kilometres)

Tomorrow is also going to be lovely weather, so I am going shopping.. with my parents. Hey, it means that I don’t need to pay, so I can’t complain nor feel embarrassed. I might be able to sneak a few books in on the sly.

My thoughts on The Black Prism so far:

It is widely different from the Night Angel series, though still with the familiar writings of Brent Weeks. It changes POV every chapter, and follows Weeks pattern of following the characters different stories as they happen, as they all create the greater plot.

I do feel that a prequel is called for, to do some more world building. It is so far a book that I am enjoying, although I am only about 20% complete at the present time. It’s making out to be another enjoyable fantasy series, although I recommend it more to adults. I’m reading it because of my obsession with assassins, and it’s by the author of one of the best (assassin) series I’ve read.

I often feel obligated to read the author’s entire works if I like one of their books. My logic is thus;

if one of their books is such top quality, then ALL of their books must be amazing.

Surely.

Now, at 2:30 am, I think I’ll have to finish reading The Black Prism. It’s possibly going to have me staying up until the lovely birdies wake up, but I am enjoying the story, as I said.

Peace out, Scream and Shout

 

~T