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Enclave by Ann Aguirre

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EnclaveNew York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known. (From Amazon.ca)

I had high hopes for this one. It had all the makings of a great book. It had all the makings of a dystopia and I liked the background setting. Deuce seems to be living in a rather tribal like society where you are classified into different groups depending on how useful you are. It was really interesting, and I liked reading this part of the book. Deuce herself is an interesting character, she’s tough and Fade is just as tough as her, so they make an good working pair. It was only inevitable where you’ll run into romance between the two, although I didn’t see the romance being so great. Yes, Deuce and Fade made a great pair when it came to survival and working together, but romantically, I don’t know, I just didn’t see it. It was flat and they just did not have that spark you’d expect in most YA couples.

The best part was the incident with the gang. That to me, was very real, and expected in a post apocalyptic setting. I was actually glad this wasn’t sugar coated to make it easy on the eyes for younger readers. They were most certainly brutal, and their behavior towards Deuce is horrible – but expected. (That being said, this book should be geared towards older teens). I did not expect Stalker to change so quickly, and I didn’t expect Fade and Deuce to be so forgiving and trusting. You’d think of all they’ve been taught and been through, they’d tie up Stalker and watch him being fed to the wild animals?

So a few things bothered me about this book. The fact that Deuce and Fade – despite their training and survival skills, end up being so nice to Stalker, and the fact that everywhere they went in this post apocalyptic world, they found food. EVERYWHERE. It was all conveniently placed. Call me cynical, or very pessimistic, but most books I’ve read that had this kind of setting, food was scarce, and few and far between. This did not sit well with me and my interest in the book started to wane. The fighting parts however, were good and well done, they were exciting and action packed. I especially liked how Tegan even was able to defend herself!

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I did like some aspects of it but other parts of it did not sit too well with me to fully appreciate the post apocalyptic story. Perhaps I’m being too picky but it just felt like some things were just a little too conveniently placed for them to take the easy way. I will be reading the next book, as the unanswered questions and the open ending got me curious. Is this the book that beats Hunger Games? definitely not. Dystopia readers could give this a try just for a look at a different type of society.

I give it a 5.5/10

Side note: no, seriously..that finding food thing REALLY SET ME OFF.

Written by Karoline

December 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Posted in 5.5, Books, Review

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The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal

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The False Princess Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia’s led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it’s revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known. Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl. Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever. (From Amazon.ca)

I’m so glad I read this book. It got me back into reading the Fantasy genre which was certainly lacking. What can I say, but that I really enjoyed reading this book. The fantasy isn’t heavy handed, it’s light, and the magic system is simple and easy to understand. The background history and information of the setting is mentioned throughout the book so the reader isn’t left confused but with a general understand on the layout of the land.

I was upset when Sinda learns of her origins and is sent away. What in the world was that about??? it’s like they just casted her out like an overused toy. That got to me! and what’s even worse is Sinda just walks along with it. I realize she’s really powerless to do anything, but she could have at least put up a fight. The main issue I had with her as a character was her tendency to hesitate, at the wrong times. She was just wishy-washy at times and it got frustrating. Keep in mind, I did like her though, it was just this part of her character that just did not go well with me. Throughout the book she did develop into a stronger person and I enjoyed reading her relationship with Philantha. Philantha is an interesting teacher, although the way she teaches is different than what you might expect from other magic users. I certainly took a liking to her the moment she decided to take Sinda under her wing, Philantha wasn’t afraid of what others thought of her. That was admirable, but in a sense I think that gave Sinda a bit of a backbone to grow.

I fell in love with Kiernan. I absolutely loved him as a character. Some characters you just fall for. This is one of them. Not only was he such a great friend, but even after arguing horribly with Sinda, he still managed to forgive her. I fell for him when he came to find her. That just hit me and I thought to myself this guy has just become awesome in an instant. Kiernan and Sinda did make such great friends, of course naturally as the story progresses, you can feel the chemistry between the two of them grow and although obvious of the outcome, it’s still nice to see the two of them together.

The plot of the book was good although the mystery and intrigue did not happen until you read further into the story. It wasn’t bad as you’re literally set up with a good slap in the face in the first chapter. The pace of the book was steady although you do experience a bit of a lull when Sinda is with her Aunt. Yet it’s a welcome lull to what’s in store for the reader throughout the later half of the novel. The ending was also really good yet I can’t help but wonder if there is going to be a sequel with this one. If there is, I would not hesitate to pick it up. I would love to read more about Sinda, and about Kiernan of course!

This book was a decent read with a simple and easy to understand magic system, a nice well written fantasy world with characters that aren’t overly complex but not the most simple either. Perfect for YA readers who want a decent story, with subtle fantasy that isn’t over done.

I give it a 7/10.

Written by Karoline

June 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Sunday Salon: Progress = slow.

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Okay it seems I hardly got any reading done this week. Shame on me. I’m not sure what it is, I do go through phases were reading slows down a bit and I think that’s just my brain telling me to take a break from it all and just vegetate for a moment (ie; playing facebook games for an hour, watching youtube stuff for an hour until your brain starts to empty out). So..that’s what I’ve been doing, emptying my brain of all its’ content as it’s dangerously getting full (it might explode!)

Anyway I’ve been focusing on A Vicious Circle by Mike Carey (Felix Castor no 2). I’d have to say at the moment it’s exciting and I’m pleased with how far I’ve been reading this one. It’s been pretty good and I’m halfway done and it’s so much better than the first book (refer to my review of  The Devil You Know).

Progress on Mockingjay has been slow. It’s not Gale anymore it’s bloody Peeta. Who the F is this cold blooded jackalope and what has he done with Peeta??? where was the Peeta that I knew and loved more than Katniss ever did??!!!! where the hell is he???? bring him back this instant! I’m nearing the end of this book and I’m dreading it. I already made my prediction and if I’m right I’m not going to be very happy with this book. You’ve been warned.

Okay! that’s it for now. I am going back to A Vicious Circle. It certainly fits into Halloween and the spooky rainy windy weather 🙂

Happy Halloween and here! have some chocolates!

Written by Karoline

October 31, 2010 at 8:31 am

Sunday Salon: It’s Been a While Hasn’t it?

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It certainly has!!!!! I haven’t posted a real proper post for The Sunday Salon in a while! so what have I been up to lately?

Reading, naturally, lately I’ve picked up Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. So far, it’s certainly a different novel and it’s NOTHING of what I expected it to be. However I’m still at that point where I’m thinking; “So what’s the big deal about this book that everyone’s been raving about” and I’m more than halfway through the novel. Is it because it’s so different from other books out there? hrm. Do I like the book: so far, yes, it’s interesting. However it’s not “oh wow omg omg omg”. Yet.

I finally picked up Mockingjay from the library!!!!! am excited to get that one started soon, among other books that are piling up here at a rather alarming rate. I think it’s time to become anti social and say “no” everytime a friend wants to do something.

Anyway! what to expect from me this week:

A review on the book: The Book of Unholy Mischief by Ella Newmark (goes live tomorrow)

and several more reviews of books such as; The Dead Boys and The Secret Life of Josephine. No guarantees! but I’ll try and post those up as well!

Anyhow! that’s really what I’ve been upto and what I plan to do. Now I’m going to try and finish Incarceron and from then on…well I’m not sure. It’s always hard to decide which book to read next isn’t it? 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadian Book Bloggers!!!!!

Written by Karoline

October 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Books, Sunday Salon

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Book Blogger Hop 9/2

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Book Blogger Hop
Today’s question is:

Do you judge a book by its cover?

– Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. The only time I judge the cover is when I’m looking for YA or Hist Fic stuff. Otherwise, I look at the jacket flap for more information. Especially when I’m going through amazon, or through other book blogs, book covers really get my attention.

What about you guys?

If you came from the Hop, say hi! and leave a comment! oh and today’s special dessert is lemon pudding cake. 🙂 Enjoy.

Written by Karoline

September 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Posted in Book Blogger Hop, Books

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Book Blogger Hop 8/13

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Book Blogger Hop

Today’s question is: How many books do you have on your ‘to be read shelf’?

Uh. Do you really want to know? At least in a pile, 20. Then in my box there’s about 20 more. Yup. Move along now. Nothing to see. 🙂

If you come from the Hop let me know! and welcome! have some cookies 🙂

Written by Karoline

August 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Book Blogger Hop 7/30

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Book Blogger Hop

Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?

I would go for Richelle Mead, yes, I know, I’m behind in the Vampire Academy series. I’ve only read the first one therefore the series and her type of writing is new to me. I really like the way she wrote Vampire Academy (the first one, I haven’t read the other ones yet). I’d also have to add, Vampire Academy is one of my top favorite reads of 2010. 🙂

What’s your answer? and if you’re saying hi via the Hop, let me know! I’ll visit you back.

Written by Karoline

July 30, 2010 at 12:04 pm