North Korea defiantly launches a nuclear-tipped missile over Japan, exploding it in a mushroom-cloud firestorm offshore. A nuclear Iran, through its allies in Lebanon, is mercilessly lobbing missiles into Israel. A powerful China launches a killer satellite and destroys half of America’s spy satellites. Will one man’s love for a woman save the world, or destroy it? A fast read with an ending you don’t expect. The technology is cutting edge.
It took me a while to get into this book. It starts off interesting though, as it looks like something hit the fan and the world is going to doom. Although readers may tend to wonder what this all has to do with a Japanese police officer who has a terrible OCD issue, well you just have to read along to connect the dots. To simplify it, Haruto (the police officer) attempts to solve a case, but finds out it leads to a much bigger and badder fish that are out to cause a lot more chaos and havok than usual in the world.
It’s not easy to figure out. There’s lots of scientific terminology in the book and I did find it a bit hard to understand. (There are helpful illustrations though!) The concept of these robots being used as terrifying super soldiers is interesting, although the bloodbath they would create is naturally, horrible. There are a few subplots involved in this book, some that are related to the big storyline, a few aren’t. The plot might not entirely feel solid but the reading is tolerable and can be understood once everything is put into place and perspective.
Haruto as a character, is interesting, yet quirky because of his obsessive compulsive behavior, but his sense of honor and the strict adherence to the “rules” also show a side of naivete. He’s almost like an overgrown child in some sense. His OCD issue does get in the way of a lot of things, and it’s mentioned a lot throughout the book. It can get annoying – at least it did to me.
What I expected from this book, was more robots! there is only one scene where the robot talks to Haruto, but after that, there’s nothing else. I thought there was going to be more interaction between humans and robots besides just using them as soldiers.
There are quite a few characters in the novel, and although it’s easy to tell which ones are the main characters and which ones are supporting ones, some just seem to arrive at certain points of the novel, and then fall out of existence. It would have been nice to figure out what happens them in the long run. The ending of the book was alright, although a little cliche, but it was an alright book overall.
People look at the title, and think of the movie, it’s not about that at all, there is an author’s note about that as well. I’d rather wish he didn’t name it that title as the robots aren’t really what you think (as it was, in the movie for example). However, it was a good read overall, I’d say take it or leave it. The scientific lingo might scare some readers away, or bore them, but the action isn’t too bad.
I give it a 6/10
Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception? Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet joy still comes knocking, and hope is often found in unexpected places. Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections? (From Amazon.ca)
I have read books with wonderful writing, and this is one of them. For the length it is (it’s long in my standards) I managed to finish it in record time because the writing in this is beautifully done. Descriptions of the setting and the atmosphere were good, the character’s emotions were easily represented, but the characters themselves. Wow, you formed an attachment to them quickly and easily!
I liked reading both about Marjory and Elisabeth. They were both equally very strong women and their attempts to overcome their difficulties were admirable. My favorite would be Elisabeth though. It felt as if nothing would stand in her way and she did manage to help herself and others come out of the state she was in when the story began. The chemistry between herself and Jack was wonderful! I loved how their love for each just grew gradually as the novel progressed. I can’t even begin to describe Jack. Everything about him was nice. He was definitely one of the strong silent types but once you went underneath that front, he really is a supportive gentlemanly character to love!
The overall plot of this book was really good. Marjory and Elisabeth encountered a lot of hostility at first, and things just happened one event after another but I liked how their strength pulled them through and they worked so well together despite their hardships. The pace is even and smooth so the reading ends up being quicker than usual and you’ll find yourself wanting to stay up late to finish. The ending was also well done as it closed up all loose ties rather nicely. Not sure if there is going to be another book following this, it doesn’t leave anything open but there could be a possibility of something in the future if you were to look it that way.
I would say the only thing that did bother me was the language issue. I don’t know Scottish lingo and although this is a glossary/dictionary in the back there were a few phrases that I just could not make out. It can be distracting to readers but luckily enough most of it is easy and straight forward. Those that aren’t religious may or may not be put off with all the bible/proverb quoting. It didn’t bother me at all. Other than those two minor details, I can’t think of anything wrong with this book.
Even though I’m not religious, I enjoyed reading this book. It’s certainly a ‘feel-good’ clean romantic historical fiction that I think others who aren’t religious could enjoy. Yes there’s lots of quotes from from the bible, and other proverbs but would that really bother you if all you’re looking for is a good solid plot with beautifully written characters? I say give this book a try if you like historical fiction. I have no regrets.
I give it a 9.5/10
The mighty slave army, led by Spartacus, has carried all before it, scattering the legions of Rome. Three praetors, two consuls and one proconsul have been defeated. Spartacus seems invincible as he marches towards the Alps and freedom. But storm clouds are massing on the horizon. Crixus the Gaul defects, taking all his men with him. Crassus, the richest man in Rome, begins to raise a formidable army, tasked specifically with the defeat of Spartacus. And within the slave army itself, there are murmurings of dissent and rebellion. Spartacus, on the brink of glory, must make a crucial decision – to go forward over the Alps to freedom, or back to face the might of Rome and try to break its stranglehold on power forever. (From Goodreads)
I wish this series would go on and on, but well that just would not be possible nor historically accurate right? (unless!!! you could go on with Carbo’s story!? please? pretty please?) now the previous book (Spartacus: Gladiator) had all the action and battle scenes. This one has battle scenes times two. EPIC battle scenes. Well written battle scenes that you feel like this should be played out as a movie just to see how it looks like.
The plot of the book is well done like the last one (I do recommend you read Spartacus: Gladiator before jumping into this one). There’s slightly less intrigue, way more action and fighting, and a lot more memorable quotes to read. I’d say the best part would be Carbo’s mission with Navio (love those two secondary characters not only did they provide some comic relief but seeing Carbo develop character wise was excellent to follow through in the book).
The last and final battle scene was definitely worth reading and I like how it was through Carbo’s perspective. I felt a bit cheated that Carbo didn’t get what he wanted in the end, but I suppose it’s to make it as historically accurate as possible. The author’s note in the end provided a lot of information and the glossary in the back as helps as well because there’s plenty of terminology that was new to me (I’m not well versed in Roman history).
I really wish this could go on in Carbo’s point of view, his story was going towards something with lots of potential and it sounded so interesting. Otherwise, the book was well worth the read. Definitely recommended for history buffs and Roman history lovers out there.
I give it a 9 out of 10.
Thanks so much for the review copy and for letting me take a part in this blog tour!!! now I shall go and do my own little rebellion. Spartacus was rather inspiring…
As cofounder of Joy Division, Peter Hook was the inspiration behind a band that would shape the course of popular music. He provided the propulsive bass guitar melodies of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” and was at the heart of the sound that came to define an era and inspire a generation. Here he tells the story of that time: of the music, the madness, the band members, and the other characters on the scene that made it the unforgettable, iconic time it was. He talks with eye-opening candor and reflection about the suicide of Ian Curtis—often seen as the “intellectual one—to Peter and the band he was just “one of the lads,” and the burden of balancing his epilepsy and the demands of his domestic life only really emerged when it was too late. Peter covers the band’s friendships and fallouts; their rehearsals and recording sessions; and the larger-than-life characters who formed a vital part of the Joy Division story. (From Amazon.ca)
Okay. Two reasons why I requested this book for review. 1. The hombre loves Joy Division. and 2. I wanted to know more about the band. Now I’m not a fan. Yes, I listen to a few of the songs when the hombre plays them (I must say, he still has the CD set of Heart and Soul that I bought him as a gift years ago – which makes me all warm and fuzzy because I got him something that he loves and still listens to..anyway! I’m going off topic here….)
I thought the book was pretty good – now I completely understand a fan would greatly appreciate this book as it gives you an insight on how the band was. I liked the way it was written, it was to the point, and at some times really blunt. I found myself laughing at bits of it. Gradually as the book progresses though, it does get more serious and more sad – since you know what’s going to happen to Ian Curtis and although he was undergoing serious health issues they just kept going. It’s admirable because they went through a lot of struggle in the beginning, but they persisted (it’s also extremely difficult to be successful as a rock band as I learnt while reading through this book)
The book also includes a more detailed description on each track the band has made which I believe fans will greatly appreciate and lots of references to other bands they have met, toured with, and sometimes fought with (hah, those were funny parts). It was also interesting to see how Hook describes Ian Curtis during their tour stops. (He can be just one of the guys too – which was hard for me to see) You also had to sympathize for him and his struggle with epilepsy. Hook’s narrative is very good and easy to follow and above all very entertaining.
Fans will greatly appreciate this book, non fans wanting to read how a real (yes I say REAL) band works should pick this up to get a glimpse at how hard it really is (no seriously, it’s really hard and not as easy as you think!) also, nice small appearances from The Cure and Bono!!!!
I give it a 9 out of 10
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy of this book! it’s in the hands of the hombre now along with all his Joy Division goodies
It’s very well written, and although the plot is a little slow to start off, I think it’s essential for it to go at that pace. It introduces the reader to a detailed world with a good amount of characters to read about. The sisters in the book are distinct enough so the reader can figure out who is who. Some of their personalities are stronger and more memorable than others (Bramble comes to mind). There’s real well placed moments of humor throughout the book and you do find yourself laughing here and there. The more fantastical and magical elements of the book are also well done, especially towards the ending where the pace of the book goes at whirlwind speed and keeps the reader engaged well until the last pages.
The character of the Keeper is also well written. As the book progresses his sinister side comes out and it does get a little, well creepy. It suits the story and the setting (where the Princesses go to dance). The setting itself does seem marvelous and beautiful but there’s a coldness and detachment to it – which is a very likely home for the Keeper himself as his personality also is a reflection to the setting.
The ‘couples’ of the book are well done and they suited each other.
It’s another retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses but I feel that it’s much more than that. It’s well detailed, and despite it’s length, it’s a beautifully written story where when you’re done with the book, you feel satisfied, and complete. Definitely recommended for those in love with young adult books, fairy tales and the retelling of them, but also those that like fantasy stories without intense descriptions of magic.
9 out of 10.
When every bit of human magic disappears suddenly from Vastia, it falls on the familiars—Aldwyn the telekinetic cat, Skylar the know-it-all blue jay, and Gilbert the gullible tree frog—to find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, an ancient relic that can reverse the curse. They learn that the only way to do this is by following in the paw prints of Aldwyn’s missing father, who went searching for the Crown several years earlier. This magical spirit trail extends into the Beyond, where our heroes encounter new enemies and danger, while Aldwyn learns about his mysterious past. (From Amazon.ca)
I’m so glad this series just keeps getting better! I’ve really enjoyed the first one, but this one is even better!
It’s still an adventure, and it’s certainly more focused on Aldwyn and his friends. It’s certainly more focused on Aldwyn and his past, and provides a little more on the background information to make the world building more comprehensible and easy to picture.
I’m also glad to see Gilbert still hasn’t lost his touch on being the funny one of the group. I was also surprised that Skylar is still a know it all but she’s not as annoying and has turned out to be more friendly and supportive. I still love Aldwyn and he will always be my favorite.
The plot is still just as good, I liked the riddle/puzzle element to it, it’s reminiscent of the Redwall books (they’re always filled with those) but with a much more adventure flavor to it. The thing I like about this is the writing style of the plot. It’s easy to picture, and if possible, could very well be made into an animated feature film. The illustrations provided are also fun to look at and is a great addition for younger aged readers.
I’m looking forward to the next book in this series and can’t wait to see what happens to them next! most definitely recommended to Middle Grade readers, but all ages will have fun reading this one.
Note:It’s best if you read the first before this one.
I give it a 10/10
Crime lives–and dies–in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen–and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town’s victims and culprits. Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins’ old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out–and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined. (From Amazon.ca)
I really tried to like this novel. The cover got me all curious. Yet it wasn’t what I thought it was. I thought there was going to be more of a paranormal feel to it, but it’s limited to mostly the twins having their telepathic abilities. I rather liked the history behind the two girls that was actually the more interesting part of the book. The mystery part of the book wasn’t that great. It sure had all the makings of an intriguing mystery, it even got me hooked and I kept trying to guess who was behind it. Yet the ending was just so anti climactic and I felt almost as if I was cheated out of a good ending (and suddenly feeling the urge to demand a refund of my time back). So when you find out who did it and what really happened, it was pretty much bland.
The characters were okay. The twins were your typical gifted, overachieving, strikingly beautiful people to ever walk the earth with paranormal powers. Nothing new there and they were like made out of a cookie cutter style. None of the characters really stood out to me, and I think this, with the combination of rather dry writing, and a slow pace of the plot, I didn’t really enjoy the novel. It was disappointing, since I was looking forward to reading this, and I thought it certainly had the potential to be interesting.
I am still not sure if I’m going to read the second one of this book. It’ll have to be spectacular and exciting enough for me to read. It is the first book of a series, and sometimes they’re off to a rocky start so who knows what the second one will have. Not going to recommend this to anyone but if you are curious, I say take it or leave it.
I give it a 5/10