Author Archives: shortstuff25

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Standard

Allegiant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 3 (Book 1: Divergent, Book 2: Insurgent)

Novel Summation:

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

My Thoughts:

(Spoiler warning) So there are a lot of deep meaning messages in this book which is nice and thought provoking. However, the plot is so convoluted that you miss out on these moments and a lot of the character story-lines. The novel switches perspectives between Tris and Tobias. I could see that seeing Tobias’ perspective is necessary with the revelation of gentically damaged people (non divergent people/not truly divergent people) but I think would could have managed with just Tris’ perspective until the very end of the book. There were far too many conflicts revealed factions/the allegiant vs. the factionless and the GP (genetically pure) vs. the GD (genetically damanged). There was also a very complex history revealed and even now I’m not too sure if I fully understand it. Tris, Tobias, Peter, Cara, Uriah, and Cristina leave their city and discover a facility where there history is explained. Several generations ago, the government believed that society’s problems resulted from people’s bad genes. In an attempt to create a better society, they began to correct people’s genes with disastrous results resulting in a Purity War. To rectify its mistake, the government set up ‘experiments’, establishing isolated cities across the remains of the United States in the hopes of raising enough genetically pure (Divergent) individuals to fix the ‘genetic damage’ left in the wake of the Purity War. This resulted in Tris’ city which is actually Chicago. There are also a lot of character revelations that could be confusing at times. Overall, I spent a lot of time being confused. To help with this I would probably recommend reading Insurgent right before reading this book. I cried a lot at the end of the book when Tris dies. Though it really keeps with her character it didn’t have the same impact because of the distraction of everything else going on. It truly was a heartbreaking ending to the series.

Advertisements

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Standard

antigoddess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 1

Novel Summation:

Old Gods never die… Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health. Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath. The Goddess War is about to begin

My Thoughts:

I think it was necessary that the narrative switched between Athena and Cass so that we could get the perspectives of both a dying god and a mortal but I enjoyed Cass’ perspective a lot more. It was really cool how each god was suffering from something very specific to them and the book was pretty graphic which is to be expected from Kendare Blake (author of Anna Dressed in Blood). This is such a promising series and there’s so much to work with. I really hope this series sticks to Greek mythology and The Trojan War/Odyssey. You do need to know some of the history of the Trojan war or at least have seen the movie Troy to figure out who each character is supposed to be. The book is very much a story about Cass and Athena and out of the supporting characters Aidan and Odysseus also got some depth. It kind of had a slow feeling since one half (the gods side) was exciting at times while the other half (mortal side) was slow and then they would switch paces. Only at the end when the two sides merged did the novel really pick up.

Future Books:

The next book in the Goddess War series is Aristeia coming out 2014.

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Standard

the madness underneath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2 (Book 1: The Name of the Star)

Novel Summation:

A new threat haunts the streets of London…. Rory Deveaux has changed in ways she never could have imagined since moving to London and beginning a new life at boarding school. As if her newfound ability to see ghosts hadn’t complicated her life enough, Rory’s recent brush with the Jack the Ripper copycat has left her with an even more unusual and intense power. Now, a new string of inexplicable deaths is threatening London, and Rory has evidence that they are no coincidence. Something sinister is going on, and it is up to her to convince the city’s secret ghost-policing squad to listen before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy this series. It does make me want to move away to London. I think modern stories that have ghosts are sometimes hard to do and they aren’t very common. A lot of people criticize the writting style but I really like it. It’s very relatable and quirky. What I didn’t like about the writting style was so many mentions of things that exactly predicted what was currently happening that the characters were oblivious too. Such as the mention of Charles Manson. Rory is such a fun character but maybe a bit too naive. It could use some more depth from the supporting characters such as Stephen, Boo, and Callum . I liked the original idea that Rory suggested that the crack that formed from her confrontation with the Ripper has unleased angry mentally unstable ghosts but that idea was past over quickly. Also, Jane and her followers only really appeared at the end of the story so I hope there is more to them in the future. This book was very much a build up to a climax that didn’t happen but it was very enjoyable.

Future Books:

The next book in the Shades of London series is The Shadow Cabinet coming out in 2014.

The Wicked Within by Kelly Keaton

Standard

Wicked Within

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2 (Book 1: Darkness Becomes Her, Book 2: A Beautiful Evil)

Novel Summation:

Her fate is not set in stone. Having temporarily defeated Athena, Ari races to break the gorgon curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries. Her one lead sends her on a quest for the Hands of Zeus, an ancient relic last seen in the charge of New 2’s ruling elite, the Novem. But if there is one thing that Athena desires as much as revenge, it’s the Hands of Zeus—and Athena always gets what she wants. Before either can locate the Hands, the statue goes missing, and a trail of blood follows those who once protected the relic’s secrets. Ari knows that her city, her friends, Sebastian—her life—depend upon her finding the statue before Athena. And with rumors an ancient power is on the rise, that may not be her only concern…

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy the world this book takes place in. It’s really cool to have demigods (from a variety of different pantheons)/shapeshifters, witches, vampires, and some other supernaturals. I think this book was really fast paced which is both good and bad. It did go from one action piece to the next but it also lost quite a bit of depth which means there was no build up to any climax. The characters aren’t given the depth they once were except Ari and a bit of Sebastian. The whole flipping back and forth between romantic feeling with Ari was a bit annoying. I would have liked a bit more history of the gods and maybe saw some more of the Greek gods. If there is a future book it would be cool to see other supernatural people from other cities come to New 2 or some other gods causing trouble.

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Standard

Never Fade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2 (Book 1: The Darkest Minds)

Novel Summation:

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

My Thoughts:

So I really like this series. It definitely has an X-Men vibe but very limited in super power abilities. I’m going to do a brief summary of the last book because when I started reading this book I was really confused as to the roles people played and the different groups and it wasn’t until three quarters into the book that everything sort of fell into place. There are different level of abilities and they are organized by code: green (technology kids), yellow (electricity), blue (telekinesis), orange (telepathy), and red (dangerous). There are camps that are essentially internment camps for kids but the adults think they’re rehab camps. There are two opposing government groups:  The Federal Coalition is opposed to Gray and his government and uses the Children’s League occasionally which is an organization that uses kids with abilities on their missions.  Ruby had escaped her camp with the help of the Children’s League (a woman named Cate) but ran away from them. She joined up with Zhu (a yellow), Liam (a blue?), and Chubs (a blue). Initially the group didn’t know that Ruby was an orange. They eventually made their way to a place called East River (a sanctuary for kids run by kids). East River was ran by a kid named the Slip Kid who turned out to be Clancy Gray, son of the President and an Orange.  The camp was attacked and Chubs was shot, Zhu went away, and Ruby joined the Children’s League, erasing her self from Liam’s mind (Liam use to work with them with his brother but left). The writing is really good except I don’t like the flash backs at the beginning since it confuses the reader and messes with the flow of the story. Some of the dialogue, in particular the lines Liam says to Ruby near the end are really touching.  So in this book we get introduced to how the Children’s League is run, the members, and the missions. We get introduced to Ruby’s team, Vida (a blue), Nico (a green), and Jude (a yellow). We don’t really get to know Nico much and Jude seemed to act a lot younger than he actually was (very naive). I initially didn’t like Vida but by the end of the book you sort of like her attitude and you get used to her sass. We also get introduced to Cole, Liam’s brother and there is something really interesting about him that you’ll find out by the end. We get some familiar faces like Chubs and Liam but everyone, including Ruby has changed and you definitely see it. Hopefully, Zhu will make an appearance in the next book. I kind of wish there was more diversity in powers but sadly there isn’t.

Future Books:

There will a third book in December 2014.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Standard

House of Hades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 4 (Book 1: The Lost Hero, Book 2: Son of Poseidon, Book 3: Mark of Athena)

Novel Summation:

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus

My Thoughts:

This was a great book. The book is really split into two perspectives: one is the journey of Leo, Frank, Jason, Piper, and Hazel accompanied by Coach Hedge and Nico as they go to Greece to the doors of death on earth’s side and then there is the perspective of Annabeth and Percy as they journey through Tartarus to the doors of death. There was no book specific prophecy and it mainly was a set up for the major Prophecy of Seven and the final book. I liked what they did with Leo’s character since they made him more than just a comic relief. They gave him depth by giving him a romantic interest and his demigod abilities to create all kinds of devices was impressive. For Frank he definitely stepped up as a son of Ares, conquering his fears and becoming a leader. Surprisingly I felt like Jason didn’t do too much in this book which was a bit disappointing because Jason and Percy are sort of top dogs. Jason did finally come to realize that he isn’t exactly all Roman would leads me to believe by the end of the series there will be a serious blending of the two groups. His moment with Nico was interesting. Piper also didn’t do too much but it looks like she’ll be fighting ready when the time comes. Hazel got a lot of attention since as a daughter of Hades there was her connection with Nico and since her mother was a witch she has other talents she can rely on.  Nico didn’t get his own point of view but you definitely get a lot more background. In Tartarus Percy and Annabeth have only each other to rely on as you can definitely feel the love but sometimes it felt too much. Annabeth kept going on about how Percy and herself has gone through so much to not be split apart now, which sure is true but she constantly is saying it. They don’t really encounter many monster challenges as I was expecting but instead it was the very environment that was against them. They do meet some surprising allies along the way. The whole Roman camp vs. Greek camp was always in the background but nothing definitive outcome came out of it yet.

Future Books:

The final book in the Percy Jackson/ Heroes of Olympus series is called Blood of Olympus and comes out Fall 2014.

The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. 3: The Morning Star by Robin Bridges

Standard

The Morning Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 3 (Book 1: The Gathering Storm, Book 2: The Unfailing Light)

Novel Summation:

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890. Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, wants to be known as a doctor, not a necromancer. But Tsar Alexander III forbids women to attend medical school; his interest in Katerina extends only to her ability to raise the dead. Twice now, Katerina has helped him by using her power to thwart the forces of darkness—vampires bent on resurrecting the lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich so that he can take what he sees as his rightful place on the throne. Katerina thought she had bound Konstantin to the Greylands, the realm of the dead, but he has found a way out. Now he is searching for the Morning Star, a sword that will allow him to command a legion of supernatural warriors. Katerina must find the sword before Konstantin does—and she must travel to Egypt to do so. Along the way, she puts up with unwanted attention from her former fiancé, the nefarious Prince Danilo, and struggles with her feelings for her true love, George Alexandrovich. But with the looming threat from Konstantin, Katerina’s focus remains on the sword. Russia’s fate will be determined by whoever wields the Morning Star—and delivers the final blow.

My Thoughts:

I love this series. It is beautifully written  and the setting is so captivating that takes you right into the time period and country. What I love about these books is the diverse range of character types and characters as well as the fact that you are transported to the locations Katerina goes to. We get a very clear picture on Egypt from that time period which was really neat but I don’t like the deviation away from Russia. I loved the very Russian feel of the first book and I just wished that this book could have remained in the country. Katerina for the most part seemed like a helpless heroine all the time. I liked that she wants to study medicine and her dreams are so strong that she is never deterred from fulfilling it but she also had a calling as a necromancer and she never answered it or wanted anything to do with it. George Alexandrovich was barely in the book and I wanted more of him with Katerina because they both seem so complete and stronger when they are together. I liked having more Danilo but he was blurred so much with Konstantin that it was hard to separate the two. A lot of the book felt rushed and a little bit of a cheat. For example the return of someone past dead made Katerina no long necessary, Danilo’s decision at the end, zombie creatures barely made any appearance or difference, why introduce the Gregori (though I like the lore) when they didn’t do much, and the battle wasn’t very big or epic like I hoped. I didn’t like the end of the book since it seemed boring. I do love this series and would definitely recommend it.