Tag Archives: Fiction

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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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.

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The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

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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.

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

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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

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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 Arrivals by Melissa Marr

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The Arrivals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novel Summation:

Chloe walks into a bar and blows five years of sobriety. When she wakes, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world, The Wasteland. She discovers people from all times and places have also arrived there: Kitty and Jack, a brother and sister from the Wild West; Edgar, a prohibition bootlegger; Francis, a one-time hippie; Melody, a mentally unbalanced 1950s housewife; and Hector, a former carnival artist.
None know why they arrived there–or if there is way out of a world populated by monsters and filled with corruption.

My Thoughts:

This was a really interesting and creative book. I first thought this book was going to be like the movie Predator and be about an alien race that brought people and creatures from different times and places to this one place and then hunt them and instead I got something just as cool. The setting is a very western feel with elements from other genres and times. We have a mafia gangster character, someone from our own time period, a cowboy and saloon girl, a hippie, and vampire like creatures. The world is creatively unique and very captivating. There is no real main character but the book does follow the perspectives of Kitty (Katherine), Jack, Chloe, and briefly Ajani who is the antagonist of the book. I liked Kitty but sometimes I found her to be too standoffish (such as when she had thoughts of shooting Chloe for making her brother have feelings for her). Jack was a strong leader though it seemed silly that he thought he was immune in a way to love. Chloe was the new arrival to the group and her acceptable to her new life was a bit strange but you find yourself enjoying watching how she handles things and people. Ajani wasn’t very intimidating and for the apparent villain he wasn’t seen doing much bad things (it was just assumed he was bad from what others say). You almost get the feeling after reading this book that there should be more to this book or a prequel that goes more in depth of the interactions between the Arrivals and Ajani and the Arrivals and the Monks/demons. We are just told that there is animosity between the two groups and while the glossing of the past dynamics might be find for other readers I was hoping for a bit more depth and substance to the book. I didn’t like the explanation for how the Arrivals arrived and maybe would have preferred something more spiritual (like this is their opportunity for a second chance or some higher being brought them for an unknown and never known purpose). Overall I would recommend this book because it is just so different from what is out there but still finds a way to combine the things you are use to (like vampire like creatures, westerns, modern issues, action, romance/sex, magic, demons).

Belladonna by Fiona Paul

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Belladonna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2 (Book 1: Venom)

Novel Summation:

Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose-the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

My Thoughts:

First I’d like to say I didn’t really like the cover chances (from mask’s to silhouettes).  As for the story I found it to be very interesting. It had a lot more mystery and had some things answered while leaving plenty other questions for another book. The pace was a lot more fast paced and with action but it does slow down three quarters in for a bit. The book is once again very beautifully written and you get a strong feel for the imagery and the time period. Cass was both her usually inquisitive, somewhat reckless self while also growing and taking more control. This was especially true for her quest to save Luca.  She was very much on her own in this book and that’s where you see her character grow. I didn’t like Falco in this book because he seemed very superficial. He was like the embodiment of lust and he came off as very weak willed when it came to protecting/explaining things to Cass and when dealing with Belladonna. Luca isn’t in the book in person but more in the thoughts of Cass so there isn’t really much to say on his character. Belladonna was an odd character and very much gave off the creepy cult feel. The whole random mention of vampires was ridiculous and I would have preferred if they just said someone was going around murdering people and draining their blood. By adding the ideas of vampires it ruins the feel of the book even if it is an idea. This book is definitely a step up from the last book and I would recommend this series.

Future Books:

The final book in the Eternal Rose trilogy is called Starling and comes out March 20, 2014.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

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Bitterblue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 3 (This is the sequel to Graceling and companion to Fire)

Novel Summation:

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle–disguised and alone–to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

My Thoughts:

So I really enjoy Kristin Cashore’s writing. She created a world that is unique and beautiful. This book had a very medieval feel unlike  Fire (which was beautiful landscape) and Graceling (which was a thrill ride). We get reintroduced to past characters such as Katsa, Po, and a brief appearance by Fire. I liked Po a lot from the other book so it was nice to see him again. I liked Saf but wanted much more of him. Bitterblue who is the protagonist didn’t do much for me and I found her frustrating and very immature (in terms of not knowing things). The plot parallels Fire a lot since it deals with the young daughters dealing with their father’s past actions. The story was overly complex. Issues were mentioned and then abandoned and then readdressed. Things could have been more quickly addressed if they stuck with an issue and solved it. The book may have been overly long because of this. I did like the mystery surrounding what Leck did in the past but then once again solving it no longer became a priority. If they wanted to get over Leck’s reign they should have either figured out everything he did and then make amends or completely wipe out any lasting things from his reign (such as getting rid of all of Bitterblue’s advisors, Leck’s art, etc.). The romance in this book isn’t a priority which is similar to the other two books but it’s even worse. A romantic interest is provided but then disappears for a large portion of the book and nothing further develops. I know that romance isn’t big in these books but it would have been nice to see at least one case of romance sticking (I know Po and Katsa are still together but it’s a very complex relationship). I recommend this book but it’s not a stand alone like the others.