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Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

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Dark EdenFifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden? (from Amazon.ca)

I liked this book! ohhhh the twists. One after another it just came at you. The idea of the plot is interesting by itself. A bunch of teens at an institution trying to deal with their own fears. Some of their fears were horrifying and made you want to cringe when you read through them. I liked how the book was divided up into their own fears (with the appropriate pictures to accompany it).

The plot was good, the twists were appropriately placed and the overall mood of the story was dark and suitable. The characters were all right, I can’t really say they were likable. It was more like they were just there for your reading pleasure. I liked the explanation and the back story as to why this institution was created. I wasn’t expecting that AT ALL. It’s creative, and different and puts an interesting spin on this story. The ending leaves you wondering what’s going to happen but it keeps you curious and wanting more.

The second book is out already and I’m going to grab it. The ending of Dark Eden was good enough to get me curious as to what was going to happen next. YA readers would enjoy this one. Especially fans who want a thriller.

I give it an 8.5 out of 10

Written by Karoline

June 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

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Rot and ruinIn the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash—but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human. (From Amazon.ca)

I enjoyed reading this novel through and through. Sure, Benny Imura is rather hard to deal with in the first part of this book. His attitude is something close to a lazy brat who doesn’t enjoy any of the jobs he gets. Even when he becomes Tom’s apprentice, his attitude still doesn’t let up. Yet that’s the best part of Benny’s character, because it develops in a big way throughout this book. He goes from immature, to mature as the novel progresses.

I enjoy reading Benny’s friendships with Chong and Nix. Especially with Chong. They both make a perfect friendship and that’s where some of the humor comes from. Character development in this book is wonderful and well done with all of the main characters. Of all the characters, Benny’s attitude wasn’t so great but it improved as the book went along. I found it hard to like Nix. She just wasn’t that great in my opinion. (Lilah on the other hand, ended up becoming one of my favorite characters, second to Tom).

The plot of this book was also good. The action was great and everything you could want in a zombie plot. Yet besides zombies, there’s also the threat of not so nice humans out there and this is what I liked the most about the book. It’s not all just pure killing zombies, but also what humanity does in horrible situations and what some very horrible people are quite capable of doing. This was well done, as like Benny, we’re assuming this is all going to be about zombie killing. Tom shows Benny and the reader what’s it really like, getting rid of these ‘zoms’.

Zombie fans rejoice, this is one of the better books out there regarding the subject. It’s catered to a younger audience but readers of all ages should enjoy this one as much as I did. Most definitely recommended!

I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Side note: I just finished Dust and Decay. I laughed. Then I cried. Then I yelled out: “noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

Written by Karoline

January 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Review of Generation Dead

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Generation Dead

Generation Dead

A strange phenomenon is happening, dead teens have been rising from their graves as zombies. Although using the term zombies, isn’t really the term you want to use for them anymore. They prefer to be called: “living impaired” or “differently biotic” as they attempt to fit into a society (who doesn’t really want them). Phoebe, a Goth girl, is trying to create more awareness for this cause and feels instantly drawn towards Tommy (a living impaired boy) who seems to be the poster child for living impaired rights. Meanwhile, Adam, a jock who has a crush on Phoebe sees the attraction between her and Tommy, does what he can to make her happy and puts his feelings to the side. Pete, who’s another jock, and a total jerk had tried to make the moves on Phoebe but has been turned down (albeit, politely). Pete’s got issues. Big issues. His girlfriend Julie’s dead, and this rejection from a girl who “looks” dead isn’t doing much to his ego and he decides to take it out on the living impaired. When he has his sight on getting rid of Tommy and his small circle of living and non living friends, Phoebe doesn’t realize the trouble she’s getting into just by associating with Tommy.

This book was good. Really good. I’m a total zombie fanatic so when this one popped up I had to get my hands on it as quick as I could. Despite it’s thickness it was definitely a fast read for me. The plot was pretty good, but had some inconsistencies that made me blink twice. Although the book stated that the living impaired was only limited to the USA (such as the quote below):

First: “Apparently neither did teenagers in Uzbekistan, Burkina Faso, Sweden, or Papua New Guinea for some reason. But kids from Oklahoma, Rockaway Beach, the Big Apple, Arkansas, or the Big Easy all bore at least a chance of winding up living impaired as long as they croaked during the teen delicate years”

YET you get this later on in the novel: “And there are two dead kids in Canada now”.

um..ok? so..is it a phenomenon worldwide? or is it only in North America? last time I checked Canada wasn’t part of the States. Was it a spur of the moment for the author to have the living impaired issue spread throughout the continent? This bugged me. A lot. Although it didn’t take me away from the novel but this sort of mistake does look bad. Perhaps I’m being too picky, but to me, the error is rather obvious and it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Especially when you have this (via the Amazon website) from the back cover of the novel:

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is happening. Some teenagers who die aren’t staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same—they stutter, and their reactions to everything are slower. Termed “living impaired” or “differently biotic,“ they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn’t want them.

Consistency, please. Either have it all over the world, or in one country or continent and stick with it. Don’t change it around to suit your purposes.

I will praise the characters in the novel though. They were all different, and each had a distinct personality (even the living impaired did!). Out of all the characters, I liked Karen DeSonne. She stood out to me as the most mature, and even though she didn’t have a big role in this book, I felt as if I wanted to know more about her, and her side of the story. On the other hand, I really hated Pete. Now I know the characters in this book are very close to their stereotypes (you have a Goth, some jocks, some of the popular girls, etc) but Pete is your typical Jock Jerk (notice the caps yes?). Everything about him was so vile I almost wanted to clean my eyes out whenever he leaves a scene. He sums up everything I hated about these kinds of guys in high school. He’s just so horrible you either want to spit in his eye or punch him in the face, or both if you’re feeling extra generous.

As to the Phoebe/Adam/Tommy triangle, I’m not sure what to say. I like both Adam and Tommy so I’m not sure which “Team” I should root for. The ending of this book shocked me and I didn’t see it coming, which means, obviously, I will be reading the second book of this series.  Readers will see obvious comparisons and ideas drawn from the Civil Rights movement (which may be good and may encourage readers to read more on the issue). Despite its flaws, I still found it a great read – it’s perfect for teens but also equally enjoyable to those of other age ranges as well.

I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

October 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

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