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Review of Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson

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In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late. When the Robot War ignites — at a moment known later as Zero Hour — humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years. (From Goodreads)

 

You do recall World War Z right? For those have read it, they would be aware of the format and narrative of the book. It’s set through various points of views from various characters. Some may like this format, some don’t. I’m thinking that’s one of the deciding factors as to whether a reader will like this book or not. For me, I don’t mind it. It focuses on a small select group of characters so each one would have their own story arc.

The sci fi speak is comprehensive and it doesn’t make the book a hard read. In fact the action and different points of view make the pace of the plot fast and an enjoyable read. There’s plenty of moments where it can be frightening – in a society where we rely more on machines and robots only to have them turn against you and everything runs amok is a scary thought. (The part where Zero Hour happens is an example)

Now let’s be fair. Those die hard sci fi readers may or may not like this one. Perhaps it’s not sci fi enough, perhaps it’s too noobish, so I’m not sure if it’s for this type of crowd. Since I stop at the mention of quantum physics, this book is fine for me.

So did I like the book? YES I DID. I love the different points of view, I love the action, and the whole entire thing was an awesome read. I understand how it may not be for everyone but we all have varying tastes. It’s definitely worth a try in my opinion

Thank you Doubleday for giving me a Review Copy!

I give it a 10/10

 

Written by Karoline

August 29, 2016 at 8:20 am

Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs

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Tea shop owner Theodosia Browning knows that something’s brewing in the high society of Charleston—something other than her newest tea… The Indigo Tea Shop, Charleston’s favorite spot of tea, has just come out with its latest flavor: Gunpowder Green. Theodosia Browning cannot wait to hear its praises as it is unveiled at the annual yacht race. But when she hears the crack of an antique gun meant to end the race, a member of Charleston’s elite falls dead. Theodosia has a hunch that his demise was no accident—and will go out of her way to prove it. But if she doesn’t act fast, Theo will find herself in hot water with some boiling-mad Charlestonians—and more than a little gun-chai… (From Goodreads)

So this is book two of the Tea Shop Mystery series (Cozy Mysteries). I’m liking this! It’s quaint, it’s light with the same characters you’ve got to know and become attached to in the first one. What the reader will love besides a nice lighthearted mystery, is the nice descriptive setting of Charleston. Also, if you’re a tea lover, you’ll enjoy the various descriptions of teas.  One particular part that stood out for me was the “mystery tea” event. This scene stood out because the atmosphere and feeling was extremely well done and written. It was like the reader was part of the setting and taking a part in the event.

The one thing I do have to mention regarding this book, although the characters are extremely likable, and they’re well rounded out, the plot itself was a bit predictable and one could be able to guess who the culprit was. I hope this doesn’t happen in the next one as I’ll definitely continue reading this series.

Perfect choice for tea and mystery cozy lovers alike. It’s a great continuation after the first novel and I hope the others following will be just as good.
I give it a 7 out of 10

Written by Karoline

July 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

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Everneath

Everneath

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen. (From Goodreads)

First, loved the cover of this book. I fell in love with it the moment I saw the cover. As for the story, well, it was good at some parts and then at times it felt like it dragged. It’s an interesting twist on the Hades/Persephone myth, which is also what got me into the book as I’ve taken a liking to these types of plots. So it was an interesting and great read at the start. It wasn’t until midway through the book that the plot starts to slow down considerably, and characters start to annoy me at this point.

Take Becks for example. Oh my goodness. I’m surprised I went through reading this book because I was starting to get annoyed at her whiny personality. She got so emo and lamented over her situation. There wasn’t much personality to her. She was just, emotional baggage that’s carried all through the story. She doesn’t even put much of a fight so I don’t see her as a strong character nor as a likable one. Cole and his crew were just as annoying. Sometimes it might just take a punch to the fast to make him stop. But it looks like Becks was too busy immersed in her self pity to do something like that.

Out of the characters, Jack was the only one I really like the most. He was such a sweetheart and for what he did just categorizes him into the best YA boyfriends ever. However despite that, the love and chemistry between Jack and Becks wasn’t really there. She was too much of a cardboard character to really make the romance become something substantial.

So it wasn’t that bad of a book. The ending was great. Although I have a feeling more whininess is going to come from Becks in the second one. Nevertheless it’s worth the read for YA lovers.

I give it a 6.5 out of 10

Written by Karoline

October 8, 2014 at 8:43 am

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

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Crocodile on Sandbank

Crocodile on Sandbank

Amelia Peabody, indomitable Victorian, embarks for Egypt armed with confidence, journal, and umbrella. Enroute to Cairo, she rescues dainty Evelyn, abandoned by her lover. They sail up the Nile to the archeological dig of the Emerson brothers – irascible but dashing Radcliffe and amiable Walter. A lively mummy, visitations, accidents, kidnap attempt – evil is afoot. (From Goodreads)

This book went off to a bit of a slow start, but it was a nice introduction to Amelia and how she came to be. I enjoy her character, she stands out in Victorian society, she’s strong willed and fiercely independent. Evelyn comes along later in the plot and she’s the complete opposite. Yet the two are fast friends and compliment each other. When the Emerson brothers are introduced, one can already come to conclusions as to who goes out with who. They make cute couples, although Amelia and her love interest was the best of the two couples (love their bantering)

The plot itself is a really nice mixture of historical fiction and mystery. There’s elements of thriller/horror in the plot itself so as it progresses. The mystery doesn’t really start until at least a third way into the story. There is a supernatural element into the story as well, but of course, being a historical mystery, there’s a logical explanation to it all.

The only few criticisms I have of this story is the slow pace of it, character development is fine and fills the plot in between, but it’s not until you read further into the book does the mystery intensify and become more thrilling.

Still, it’s worth a read. Historical mystery lovers will enjoy the start of what looks like a great series. I’ll be looking for the second one to read as well.

I give it an 8 out of 10

Written by Karoline

September 24, 2014 at 9:39 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

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

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The Dead and the Gone

The Dead and the Gone

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event–an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex’s parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle. With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities. (From Goodreads)

Life as We Knew It was pretty good. I enjoyed reading it. The Dead and the Gone isn’t really a continuation of the first one, it’s set in a different setting this time in New York City. Instead of a female protagonist, we have a male one who’s like the previous main character, has a family to take care of.

What I liked about this book is the development of the setting. I liked how throughout the book areas around Alex and his sisters start dying out, and the city starts getting abandoned slowly. I enjoyed how this was illustrated throughout the story. Character development was well done in this book. I thought Julie did a lot of growing up especially during the last third of the book. Alex, well he did take charge of being the ‘man of the house’ but he wasn’t a great as a main character as I hoped he would be. Bri on the other hand, just ended up being the annoying character nobody wants to read about.

The plot itself isn’t as good as the first one, but it’s still worth a read through at least once at least to see good character development and how it was like in a different setting. I’ll be continuing along this series as it does have a lot of potential. I hope it doesn’t fall short.

I give it a 7 out of 10

Written by Karoline

September 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry

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Dust and Decay

Dust and Decay

Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also been six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them. But before they even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town, and as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, and insane murderers, and face the horrors of Gameland—where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive? In the great Rot & Ruin, everything wants to kill you—and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will survive…. (From Amazon.ca)

**Caution: Spoilers! Read at your risk!**

Loved Rot and Ruin. This book was also ten times better than Rot and Ruin. Everything just got better when I read this book.

The characters got better (except Nix, for some reason I just can’t get myself to like her). There were moments of close calls for these characters and some nail biting moments. I absolutely loved the introduction of the different hunters (the Surfers were awesome! and Sally Two Knives!). The humor is back again in this book, I loved the banter between Benny and Chong. I also loved the banter between Lilah and Chong. I’m so happy they eventually became a couple. It’s an odd couple nevertheless, but given the circumstances of what’s happening around them, it goes hand in hand.

The writing style and character development is excellent. There’s a handful of characters to keep track of but the main core would be Benny and his friends. Benny’s group including himself develop, and you see them grow up mentally. After what Nix experiences, she’s matured but through no choice of her own. However whenever you do read the banter between the friends, they act just like kids do and in a sense, it’s comforting because they can still act like their age despite what’s going on around them.

The plot itself was excellent, and keep in mind it follows right after the events of Rot and Ruin, so it’s best if you read in order. The final third of the book is filled with action and an epic fighting scene. Unfortunately some characters do have to leave. I didn’t want this particular one to go and was absolutely blindsided with this turn of events. I was so attached to this particular character, I have to admit, I cried. This shows though, that Maberry’s writing and characters are very well done, because we get attached to them emotionally and we cheer them on.
Definitely a good follow up to Rot and Ruin, and it looks like it’s a great series so far. An absolute must read for zombie YA readers.

I give it a 9.5/10

Written by Karoline

September 3, 2014 at 9:10 am