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Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on. Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived. But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for. (From Goodreads)

 

I am at a loss of words with this book. Where do I start? That it’s a fantastic somewhat retelling of Cinderella with a futuristic twist that includes cyborgs, other planetary beings, and a couple that you want together so freaking bad you can feel the sparks fly but when they’re so close they take two steps back and you fall back in your seat in complete frustration…yeah it’s that kind of book.

 

It didn’t take me too long to finish this one. It’s very engaging, loved the setting and Cinder as a character. She’s no Mary Sue, nor a damsel in distress. She’s just someone who was dedicated to taking care Peony and doing her job. We definitely love main characters like these!

 

The writing in the book was excellent, the characters are extremely well done enough that their personalities bring out the feelings from the reader. (My God, I hated Adri and Pearl so much I almost was spitting venom whenever they appeared in the novel). I loved Cinder and Kai. The chemistry is there, both of them are extremely likable, and you just KNOW they’re meant to be.

 

The plot is also well written. A plague is introduced in this novel, with otherworldly beings from the Moon also part of the story line with a ruler that makes all other dictators hang their heads in shame. The plot thickens with your usual villainous Evil Queen but I’m sure she’s got more up her sleeve as the series progresses.

 

YA lovers will absolutely love this book. It’s such a great read, it won’t take long to finish. Great start to the series, can’t wait to read more of this!

I give it a 9 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

February 14, 2017 at 8:13 am

Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst

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Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees. The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do? (from Goodreads)

This was a joy to read! Pearl’s such a great character and she made the book entertaining. I loved her wit, it provided for the majority of the comedy parts in the plot. Her sarcasm and her attempt to try and fit into school life was absolutely hilarious.

The vampires in this book are well done as well. They’re bloodthirsty and ambitious. Just the way I like them! no sparkly ones here! The scheme to get Pearl into high school so she can lure the food to feed her fellow vampires was well done (plus Jadrien is quite the hottie!)

Although the plot was pretty good, there were parts that are predictable and cliched. However because of Pearl and her personality (which pretty much is the highlight of the book) it can be overlooked. You pretty much figure out who the unicorn is, and Pearl’s choice on who she decides to be with isn’t a bad choice (although, I’d rather prefer the bad guy, he was your stereotypical bad boy, but you couldn’t help but fall for him.)

Definitely recommended for YA lovers. Read it for Pearl! she’s one of the best protagonists you would ever find.

I give it a 9/10

Written by Karoline

October 22, 2014 at 9:35 am

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

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Born Wicked

Born Wicked

Blessed with a gift…cursed with a secret. Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship – or an early grave. Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood – not even from each other. (From Amazon.ca)

Oh wow I loved this book. The three sisters were such memorable characters and each had their own distinct personality. Of the three I’d have to love Maura because of her outspoken personality, her temperament made her explosive and exciting to read about. I felt sorry for her at the same time because of what she goes through, but I’d have to say she’s my favorite character of the three.

The plot of the book was really good and interesting. World building was wonderful and I loved the setting. The pace of the plot was also steady and filled with mystery. I liked the concept of the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood, it’s interesting and different. The prophecy mentioned in this book was a little drawn out too much as I hoped, but perhaps that’s because I was eager to figure out what it was.

I can’t say that I really like Cate. She’s a typical older sister but I found myself yelling every few 50 pages: ‘CATE. FFS. TELL YOUR SISTERS’. It’s her keeping all the information away from her sisters that makes the plot even more entangled than before (but more exciting!). Of the two possible romances, I’d prefer Paul, only because he just sounds much more romantic (but a bit of a cad) than Finn.

Naturally with books like these, it leaves on a HUGE CLIFFHANGER that makes you want to pull your hair out because you’d have to wait a long time for the next book to come out. I’m telling you, it’s an ending that’s enough to make you want to scream.

I’d say, fans of A Great and Terrible Beauty, and Prophecy of the Sisters would enjoy this book. Similar setting, but very different plots. Overall fabulous reading and most definitely recommended!

I give it a 9 out of 10

PS: Another reason why I don’t like Finn? I don’t like redheads. When I think of Finn, I think of Archie. Um no…don’t think so.

Written by Karoline

October 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

Amped by Daniel H Wilson

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Amped

amped

Some people are implanted with upgrades that make them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities—and rights—of “amplified” humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, 29-year-old Owen Gray discovers that his seizure-suppressing medical implant is actually a powerful upgrade. Owen joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as “amps” and is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumoured, a group of the most enhanced amps are about to change the world—or destroy it. (From Goodreads)

This book grabbed me from the first page and I’m thinking Daniel H Wilson is quickly becoming my favorite new author. I loved reading this from cover to cover.

It’s certainly an interesting concept, where we can become ‘amplified’ to enhance ourselves but then you’d have to ask yourselves where the line is crossed and when it’s too much? when does it become out of hand to the point where those with ‘amps’ are then ostracized and become second class citizens. These are all the things to look at while reading this book.

What makes it so good is the action that begins right in the beginning of the book, and all throughout the book which engages the reader and makes the book a non stop read. It’s pretty much fast paced, although through the middle of the book it does slow down but only to give Owen a bit more character development.

As for Owen as a character, I had to admit I’m still not that crazy about him. He’s a bit of a twit. Sure, he looks at the world sometimes through a rose colored lens but you’d have to wonder when reality is going to hit him and when he’s going to react. It’s not until he’s actually FORCED with his back to the wall type of scenario to finally act. He does seem to be a bit blind to what’s going on around him and his fellow Amps.

The villains in this book are very well done. They’re awesome bad guys (Lyle moreso. Vaughn’s just a jerk). They’re so bad you’re not sure if you want to hate them (like Vaughn) or like them because they do such a good job at being bad (like Lyle). Overall the characters in the book are pretty well written. The only one character I wasn’t too keen on was Lucy, because I thought she was just there to play a romantic love interest and that was it. She didn’t really contribute much for this book in my opinion.

The writing style is good. Nothing fancy or so wordy when it comes to the ‘high tech’ part that you’ll be left looking through wikipedia on some of the terminology and all you get are metaphysical answers. Thankfully this book has none of that so even if you’re not much of a sci fi fan, you should give this book a try. The action packed writing should be enough to get you going!

I’m definitely going to put Daniel H Wilson on my authors to watch for list. I really liked his style of writing so I’ll be looking for more works by him. Definitely recommended for those that want an action packed read. Sci fi readers might enjoy this also (even those who don’t care much for high tech speak!)

I give it a 9 out of 10

Written by Karoline

September 17, 2014 at 9:27 am

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

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22 Britannia Road

22 Britannia Road

Silvana and Janusz have only been married a few months when the war forces them apart. Silvana and their infant son, Aurek, leave Poland and disappear into the forests of Eastern Europe, where they bear witness to German atrocities. Meanwhile Janusz, the sole survivor of his slaughtered military unit, flees to France. There, he takes up with a local girl and, though he loves her, awaits the war’s end so that he can go in search of his wife and son. He eventually finds them in a refugee camp and they travel to England together, where they attempt to put the past behind them. But the secrets they carry pull at the threads of their fragile peace. Hodgkinson alternates viewpoints to relay the story of three desperate characters, skillfully toggling between the war and its aftermath with wonderfully descriptive prose that pulls the reader into a sweeping tale of survival and redemption. (from Goodreads)

I enjoyed reading this one. I rather liked the story, even though it’s dark and moody. The setting and the theme was well done and although Silvana and Janusz are supposed to be together, you can feel the detachment between the two of them because of the war. It changes everything and when they do get together, the love just isn’t there. You’d have to wonder if it was lust at first sight instead of love.

You don’t quite connect with the characters here. Again, it feels like detachment is the main theme of this story. The characters themselves don’t quite connect with each other either. So I can see why this book might not be for everyone. Nevertheless, despite this, I liked how it was written and the mood overall was very well done.

There is a little twist in the plot. It’s not mind numbing or shocking, but it sort of livens up the story a bit and it was an unexpected twist for me. I’d have to say Silvana’s story while she was trying to survive was a good one. She endured a lot and while reading her side of the story it’s filled with how people would just take advantage of one another during these times (or in any time during a war). It’s just a matter of survival and how humanity would take drastic steps to do so even if it means stepping over particular boundaries that one wouldn’t normally do in other circumstances.

Historical fiction readers may like this book for its’ beautiful writing. I thought it was worth the read. It may not be for everyone, but it’s worth a read through.

I give it a 9/10

Thanks Penguin for the review copy!!!! Much appreciated!

Written by Karoline

August 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy

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The Soldier's WifeAs World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship and her family safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger. (From Goodreads)

The main thing that I really enjoyed about this book was although it went at an enormously slow pace it was the detailed writing that made it really good. The story itself was also really good, despite the theme being bleak and only gets much more bleaker towards the ending. The writing throughout the book was very well done I especially liked the descriptions of the island, despite the war theme, the island was separated from all that and really seemed like a beautiful place to be.

The beginning of the book goes pretty slow. Well, the pace is actually pretty slow throughout, however it’s fitting because it’s like living on this island, time seems to go slow since it’s not really directly involved in the war (not so much as other countries that is). It picks up a little through the second half although not considerably.

The characters in the book seem to be very well done. Vivienne and Gunther together just seemed to fit well. I’d rather hoped the outcome would have been different for the both of them but their endings were very well done and realistic in accordance to the time period of the story.

Despite the slow pace of the book, it’s still worth a read. The bleak theme and the idyllic setting is an interesting contrast but provides a good balance between the two. It’s a well written dramatic plot that will stick with you even after you finish the book.

I give it a 9 out of 10

Written by Karoline

February 5, 2014 at 7:00 am

The Greyfriar by Susan and Clay Griffith

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GreyfriarIn the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once-great cities were shrouded by the grey empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to re-establish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, and the green temples of Malaya. It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming. Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick-witted as well as with sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to a man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is the Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans. (From Amazon.ca)

I was very skeptical of this one. I wasn’t sure what to think of it. It’s got fantasy. With history and a bit of steampunk added. Which is a great combination, but it really all boils down to the story and its’ characters. It’s certainly got a nice blend of fantasy/history as well and I liked that. I was really expecting something cheesy with a romance in it that’ll make my stomach turn. Thankfully I was wrong!

I enjoyed this novel until the very last page. The action was well done, the world building was really good and well established, and the characters memorable. The blending of different genres also is nice you have a bit of steampunk, alternate history, fantasy, paranormal, and just a little bit of romance. It’s perfect.

Of course what adds to this awesome book is Gareth (one of the main characters) has a castle full of cats. No seriously. That is AWESOME. I reacted the same way I did when I saw Hellboy with his room full with cats. (I squeed and squeed until I couldn’t no more) so for me, that was a major added bonus. The chemistry between Adele and Gareth was good as well. Their characters seemed perfect for eachother I really enjoyed how they got along.

I haven’t gotten around to reading the second book yet, but I’m hoping it will be just as good as this one! I definitely recommend this book to fantasy lovers out there. It’s definitely worth a read through.

 

I give it 9/10

 

Written by Karoline

July 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm