A Book Review: The Thousandth Floor, by Katharine McGee

The Thousandth Floor, by Katharine McGee

2.5 Stars | ★★☆

Blurb

NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆

Review

Dear Readers,

For these past few months, I’ve been in a terrible book slump (so I haven’t been posting any book reviews, sorry!). Even though I didn’t like The Thousandth Floor that much, it was- ironically- the book that has pulled me half-way out of that slump.

There were two things about this book that initially drew me in: the writing, and the concept of a thousand floor tower. McGee’s writing style was perfect for this book and it was engaging. There was some descriptive language that enabled me to appreciate the setting, but the descriptions were not too over-abundant that they detracted from the quality of the tension.

The floor-to-ceiling windows were squares of velvety darkness, though in the distance the sun was quietly rising, the skyline turning ocher and pale pink and a soft, shimmering gold.

Apart from the use of “quietly”, I think this might be my favourite line in the entire novel.

As mentioned above, I loved the thousand tower concept which established the futuristic, technologically advanced era this novel was set in. Although the individual technological machines were not that inventive (e.g. retina scanners- which I’d seen in a lot of sci-fi books), I liked the way McGee incorporated them into the tower. For example, the upper floors people had retina scanners, but the lower floors people didn’t, which was a nice contrast that made this tower interesting: the financial disparity present in one thousand floor tower is on par with that of a country.

However, there were somethings I really did not like. This book was written in five perspectives. Five. FIVE people. This was so distracting, especially as each perspective pretty much had its own story line. On top of that, I seriously did not feel engaged with three of the perspectives: Watt, Rylin, and Eris. Not even the writing could help me become invested in their story. The two other perspectives that were a little more engaging are Leda’s and Avery’s, but I disliked both of them a lot. I feel like Avery is supposed to be the “heroine” (this is a misnomer, really; are they all supposed to be anti-heroes or something?) in this story but I never warmed up to her. I even thought Leda (who is an off-her-bonkers stalker) was a far more interesting character (I don’t approve of her stalking, but it makes her character interesting) because Avery’s internal angst about love for her step-brother (which btw was totally awkward) was so annoying. I’d say that this is more of a character driven book since it was all about the tension between the characters that came about due to their personal secrets, so my lack of interest in the characters was quite problematic.

In the end, it was only the “who pushed the girl off the tower and why” mystery that kept me reading.

That being said, if you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars, you should try this book out! It was not for me, but you may love it!

Cheers,

Kellie xo

°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆

Published on: 30th August 2016

Published by: HarperCollins

Find it on… GR / Amazon / B&N

°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆°☆.。.:*・°.:*・☆

 

Advertisements

A Book Review: Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel

3.5 Stars ↤

Blurb

A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton,World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Untitled-8a

Published on: 26th of April, 2016

Publishing Company: Del Rey

Pages: 322 pages (Kindle edition)

Find it on…

GR / Amazon / B&N

Untitled-8

The Review

Sleeping Giants’ blurb, cover, and reviews made me really excited to read it, but this book turned out to be more of a flop for me.

The book was often compared to “The Martian” (it’s also compared to World War Z, but I’ve never read that book so I can’t say if that comparison is accurate or not), which is a book I love, so I expected Sleeping Giants to be a little similar… but it was not. BUT, it means that this book is superbly unique.

The format was the biggest reason why I didn’t enjoy Sleeping Giants as much as I thought I would. Instead of being a long, continuous narrative (which I personally prefer), this book had prose that was split into many files. Some of the files were interviews, reports, transcribed video journals… which did make the format quite interesting. However, this type of format produced an undiminishable distance between me and the narrative. To put it simply: I couldn’t immerse myself in Sleeping Giants. Since most of the files were interviews, there was also abundant telling and marginal showing.

There was an impressive aspect about the format though. Considerable time passes between each file, but Sylvain Neuvel is still able to make the reader understood what has happened during that period. Thus, there are no significant knowledge gaps that will hinder the reader’s interpretation of the events.

Sleeping Giants has an amazing idea- one that will make you wonder about the universe and all the possibilities it brings. Unfortunately, the idea is never delineated until the nameless interrogator (you will become very familiar with him if you read this book since he is the interviewer for all of the interview files) meets a special person a long time after the start of the story. In fact, I was really only able to continue this book because the idea is so interesting.

After reading Sleeping Giants, I will make sure to research books before I dive into them haha.

I highly recommend this for fans of science fiction and the file format type of writing!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

A Book Review: A Study in Charlotte, by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte, by Brittany Cavallaro

———- 4 Stars ———-

Blurb

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy.

Untitled-8a

Published on: 1st of March, 2016

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 321 (Hardcover)

Series: Charlotte Holmes #1

Find it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / B&N

Untitled-8

Review

I didn’t expect to like A Study in Charlotte as much as I did. Before reading this book, I scrolled through several reviews , and this book was often given three stars. Perhaps I liked this story more because I haven’t read or watched a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories, so I don’t have a strong impression of the characters. Anyway, this book was a great adventure.

Basically, in A Study in Charlotte, Sherlock and John are real people, and each of them have descendants. Charlotte is a Holmes, and James is a Watson, and they meet (surprise, surprise :D) in the novel. I found this idea to be really intriguing and it was what drew me to the novel in the first place.

According to the blurb, Charlotte is supposed to be pretty similar to Sherlock, and she is! I was rather impressed with Brittany Cavallaro’s portrayal of Charlotte. Cavallaro is very skilled at maintaining Charlotte’s air of mystery. The enigma that was her past and her secrets truly captivated me. Another aspect of her character that I liked was her development. Through the scarce glimpses into her past (to maintain that mystery), I could see concrete evidence of Charlotte’s maturation, which made her character more realistic.

James’ character is also just as interesting. Since he narrates the story, he doesn’t have quite the same aura of mystery as Charlotte does, but his frustrations, his worries- his troubling thoughts in general are realistic. Another bonus is that James is an aspiring writer so I had a chance to peer into the mindset of a writer which is not a type of mindset I often encounter. Also James is quite melodramatic which I personally found humorous.

All in all, the characterisation of the main characters is very skillfully done. As for the minor characters… I think they could’ve been portrayed better.

A large part of this book includes Charlotte’s Holmish (yep, I made Holmes into an adjective haha) deductions. The deductions were fascinating and exciting. However, the deductions were not always logical- the link between her observations and her deductions are sometimes very weak. For example:

 

“But how do you know it’s a woman?”
She snatched the page back. “All it took was a few minutes’ research for me to find the origin of this font—it’s called Hot Chocolate, how twee—along with a few hundred others on one of those design sites. Well and fine, but that was the ninth hit on Google. The first was a website that catered to ‘sorority life,’ and I found our Hot Chocolate on the page about creating invitations for parties.”
“So she’s a sorority girl,” I said.
“She’s someone who looks at sorority websites,” Holmes corrected me.

Haha, because only females look at sorority websites right? And she could have only discovered that font from the sorority website and not that ninth hit, which is a design site. (Righttt)

The plot held my interest up until the final reveal because I was pretty disappointed by who the culprit was.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this book immensely and I would definitely recommend it to fans of Sherlock and mystery!

Also, this book cover is gorrrgeous!!

 

Untitled-8a

Cheers,

Kellie xo

A Book Review: Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken

3.5 Stars

Blurb

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

Untitled-8a

Publishing Company: Disney-Hyperion

Published on: 5th January 2016

Pages: 486 (Hardcover)

Series: Passenger #1

Find it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / B&N

Untitled-8

In all honesty, Passenger was a “meh” for me.

Passenger is a story about time travel (one of my favouuurite themes). I actually really liked this aspect because I thought Alexandra Bracken presented the idea of time travel in a very nice way. For example, time travellers in this book keep a log about their travels so that they don’t run into themselves, which is an idea that definitely makes sense and was unique to Passenger. Thinking about it now, I have never read a time travel novel that actually addresses this problem.

Also, there are passageways that travellers have to take to go back/forth in time, which meant that time travellers don’t actually possess that much power. If these passageways didn’t exist, they would be stuck in their own time regardless if they could travel or not. This idea is also something I have never encountered before. Pretty interesting, right?

For the time travelling aspect, Bracken incorporated a variety of dates and places/societies which was intriguing. Through Passenger, I was able to learn about old/recent civilisations which I didn’t actually recognise (such as Damascus- I didn’t know this was an actual city in the past!).

All of that is why I was initially enjoying the book a lot. However……..

I didn’t the like the characters much. Etta was interesting enough, but I feel like her character could be developed more. At the moment, she isn’t exactly memorable for me. There is nothing unique about her personality that pops out since I’ve seen many different versions of her personality in other books: the “I-don’t-know-anything-about-this-new-world-I’ve-been-thrust-into-and-I-cbb-to-completely-understand-it-bc-I-only-want-to-save-a-relative-or-friend” person.

Her love interest really annoyed me because he elongated a period of needless romantic angst. I’m fine with his personality and his over-protectiveness, but good gracious! This dude made the romance- which is a pretty big aspect in this novel- so unbearable. As a result, I stopped reading this novel for a while.

Seriously:

He would not surrender to the disaster of loving her.
In time, the pain would pass.
But… he would regret the loss. The simplicity.

Oh my goodness. STaHp.

The plot was well paced but it was not spectacular. There weren’t many twists and turns, so there was no thrill but it was easy to follow. Etta and her partner’s journey to obtain an important object was so smooth that it became a little unbelievable. Despite that, the plot was better than the romance and her love interest.

Passenger was a cool novel, but I think it just wasn’t for me. If you liked it/want to read it, please don’t be put off/offended by my review! This review only includes my personal thoughts.

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

A Book Review: I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga 

4.5 Stars

Blurb

What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?

Jasper “Jazz” Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal’s point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

Untitled-8a

Publishing Company: Little, Brown and Company

Published on: 3rd of April 2012

Pages: 359 (Hardcover)

Series: Jasper Dent #1

Get it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / B&N

Untitled-8

People matter. People are real.

Wow, this book was a thriller! I hunt Killers is a consistently suspenseful and engaging book that had me engrossed until the very end.

What I absolutely loved about this book was how it provided an in-depth look into the mind of a serial killer. Although the main character, Jasper, isn’t actually a serial killer, he can certainly think like one. This allowed me to sort-of understand the psyche of a serial killer. Barry Lyga’s ability to illustrate the mind of Billy Dent (a serial killers in the novel who is also Jazz’s father) through a character who isn’t a serial killer (although I think Jazz is a little sociopathic) is definitely impressive.

His mouth was twisted in a wry grin, his eyes wide and alight with what some people- none of them in this room- might mistake for an impish glee.

In a lot of books, the psychopath or sociopath is presented wonderfully, but you never actually see inside their mind or look at things from their perspective. One thing I definitely understand after finishing this book, is that serial killers are really, really possessive over their victims (or prospects).

I hunt Killers also had a great cast of characters. Of course, since we see these characters from Jazz’s perspective who can spot a lot of telltales we’d usually miss. Hence, our understanding of the characters in this book deepens to a considerable degree.

The characters also complement each other very well. Connie’s fiery personality was refreshing and it enhanced (whilst also being enhanced by) other characters such as Howie, a loyal sidekick who can’t get into the thick of the fighting because of his low blood clotting factor. This means that the relationships between the characters were also quite interesting.

One thing I didn’t really like Jazz’s constant pity for himself. It was tolerable the first few times since Jazz’s worry about becoming his father is understandable, but it eventually got on my nerves. Also, it was really clear to me all along that Jazz’s primary suspects weren’t the culprits. The identity of the impressionist did surprise me though. The plot of this book was great, but not spectacular.

But aRGH that cliff-hanger at the end. I seriously can’t wait to find out what’s next!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

A Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

3.5 Stars | Warning: There may be minor spoilers (a.k.a. Quotes).

Blurb

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Untitled-8a

Publishing Company: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Published on: 3rd of May 2016

Pages: 640 (Kindle edition)

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2

Get it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / B&N

Untitled-8My Review

I loved the prequel to A Court of Mist and Fury, so naturally, I had high hopes for this book. Before ACOMAF’s publication, I thought of all the amazing possibilities there were for this series, and find myself a little disappointed by the direction this book is headed in. However, I did enjoy reading this book.

The plot of this novel was not remarkable. The first quarter of the book is essentially stagnant and Feyre is melancholic most of the time. Feyre’s broken state came across really clear, perhaps too clear (it was emphasised so much), to the point where I almost lost interest in continuing the story. Thankfully, the pace picked up soon after that. Like Maas’ other books, there is wonderful action contained within these pages… but all of the action is near the end, making the last third of the book extremely action heavy, and the ending chaotic. There are also some twists, but none of them were really shocking.

Even though I talk about being really bored when Feyre got so detached, I still think that part is important, because it paves the steps for Feyre’s eventual rediscovery of her true self. This meaningful, well written character development is definitely what won me over.

As usual, the main cast of characters in this book is utterly amazing. By the end of the book, I pretty much became emotionally attached to Rhys, his gang, and Feyre. Their friendship chemistry is simply awesome and the occasional witty banter made me enjoy their exchanges.

Her eyes fell on the open threshold to the bedroom hallway, and she grimaced. “Why,” she said, “are Amren’s eyes there?”

Indeed, right above the door, in the center of the archway, I’d painted a pair of glowing silver eyes. “Because she’s always watching.”

Mor snorted. “That simply won’t do. Paint my eyes next to hers. So the males of this family will know we’re both watching them the next time they come up here to get drunk for a week straight.”

Each and everyone of Rhys’ gang has a hidden part of their personality that makes them interesting, three dimensional. More about Rhys himself is also revealed and it allowed me to empathize with him at a level I could not before. Another character I liked was Tarquin, and… I hope he survives the next book.

On the other hand, there were other characters who were poorly neglected. For example, Lucien’s fiery personality which I had loved so much in the first book is now nothing more than a few embers, a remnant of what he was before. It was super disappointing. Tamlin, who was also one of my favourite characters from Book 1 just became nothing more than a flat character who had an overwhelming obsession with protection (his “wry humour” has all but disappeared). A lot of characters were sort of… trampled upon just to make way for the main gang.

Velaris was a lovely setting. I’d love to visit Velaris if it existed. *Sigh*, the troubles of a reader.

The Rainbow of Velaris glowed like a fistful of jewels, as if the paint they used on their houses came alive in the moonlight.

In general, the night court proved to be more complex than the spring court and thus, it captivated me a lot more easily. Outside of Velaris, there are also tribes of Illyrians. The traditions of the Illyrians were really interesting. Although the traditions are brutal and unjust (clipping their wings is just cruel beyond measure), it did show me another side to this world.

Before the events in A Court of Thorns and Roses, there was a war between the King of Hybern and the courts of Prythian. The characters who had a part in this war were often mentioned, and I really wanted to know more about them but it was not talked about much in ACOMAF. Hopefully, more parts of that particular story will be revealed in the next instalment since the war sounded pretty epic. In all seriousness though, a brief but informative history would make ACOTAR’s world much more believable.

Finally, the romance. The romantic arc in this book was a little frustrating. So much attention was placed upon the romance, that some attention was taken away from the plot, which is equally important. Also, why does Maas mess with my shipper heart all the time. In this book, my favoured ship sunk, but it’s ok, because I also love the ship that did survive. The romance between Feyre and her love interest is developed in a way that is simply beautiful. But let’s be honest here, all of the possible love interests for Feyre are 100% hot and also awesome.

And he’d be here during the summer, flying over the meadow, chasing me across the little streams and up the sloped, grassy mountainside. He would sit with me under the stars, feeding me fat summer berries. And he would be at that table in the town house, roaring with laughter— never again cold and cruel and solemn.

The romantic arc is a little similar to the overarching romantic arc in Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, so if you didn’t like the romance in those books, you might not like it in this book. Nonetheless, I do urge you to try out this book though, because there are definitely some great parts. 🙂

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

A Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss, by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Kiss, by Marie Rutkoski

4 Stars

Blurb

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

Untitled-8a

Pages: 496 (Hardcover)

Publishing Company: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Published on: 29th March, 2016

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #3

Find it on…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

The Winner’s Kiss is a spectacular ending to this series. I didn’t really enjoy The Winner’s Crime that much but this book was a big step up. Unsurprisingly, this book still managed to captivate me in the way that had me reading late into the night.

One of the issues I had with the last book was Kestrel’s mediocre military strategy. To be honest, I wasn’t particularly really impressed by her plots in this book, but I was able to see Kestrel’s mind in action and that was really cool. I was not impressed by Arin’s war strategy either. The reason for my lack of admiration for these strategies is because they are mostly based on what they know about the General as a person. This also makes the General’s character seem foolish as their plans succeed 95% of the time. Unrealistic. I expect a person with the General’s reputation for intelligence to be able to realise why he’s losing and make some less predictable moves. Sure, this is a flaw of his character, but this flaw is unrealistically debilitating.

The romance in this book was a great asset to the story. Rutkoski develops this romance in an very believable way that is really touching. It makes the characters so much more human because yet another aspect of their character is revealed: the softer, the more romantic side. Arin and Kestrel are one of my favourite OTPs. ❤

The shadow of her old self curled into the shadow of him.

It’s not just the romance that was touching. The friendship and the relationships between characters in general were pretty realistic. Kestrel’s relationship with her father was brutally honest.

There is also a tinge of awesome humour in this story, especially regarding Arin the tiger. It lightened the otherwise sombre atmosphere and made the read extra enjoyable.

“You thought there were Valorians in the woods. You weren’t frightened then.”

“Not exactly.”

“Then what are you afraid of?”

“Spiders,” he said gravely.

She elbowed him.

Rutkoski is also a skilful writer and her writing kept me immersed in the story the entire way. This was a truly fantastic novel- a feast for the mind. I really recommend you check it out of you like YA fantasy!!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

A Book Review: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

4.5 Stars

Blurb

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Untitled-8a

Publishing Company: Broadway Books

Published on: 5th of June, 2012

Pages: 372 (Paperback)

Find it on…

Amazon / GR / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

“That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.”

Ready Player One was a wonderful whirlwind of an adventure. In fact, this book pretty much had all the elements of a typical tournament-adventure-science-fiction novel so it is a little cliché in that sense, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this. If you’re looking for something that breaks away from the general formula however, Ready Player One may not be the book you’re looking for.

The characters in the story were definitely pretty cool. Every main character in this story is different from each other, and these differences can be seen through their language. What’s so interesting about this particular cast of characters, is their interactions with each other. In real life, how people act changes depending on who they’re interacting with, and inReady Player One, this is really clearly reflected which makes the characters much more realistic than a lot of characters from other books in the same genre.

Even though the characters themselves were quite realistic, I found that some parts of the relationships were unrealistic, specifically the easy transition of their relationships from the simulation world to reality. In the novel, Art3mis actually talks about how a person’s true personality is not always reflected in the simulation of themselves in Oasis. I think that this surely applies to relationships as well. A good relationship in a virtual simulation does not automatically mean that the relationship will be good in real life. On the other hand, the main characters do stay true to their personality in the simulation, so I can understand their ease around each other in real life, but there is still a suspicious lack of awkwardness.

Identity was also an integral part of this story. I was partly surprised by the true identity of some of the characters. I had guessed some aspects of their identity, but the other aspects were cleverly veiled so that I didn’t question whether those aspects were true.

Also there were a lot of 80’s culture references. I don’t know much about the 80’s so I didn’t understand most of the references, but there were info dumps which I liked as it helped me to understand the culture more. The only reference I unquestionably understood was Ultraman. Surprisingly.

There were also some deeper concepts in this story I liked. For example, Ready Player One really takes the “don’t judge a person by their physical appearance” to a whole new level since everyone’s avatar can look different from themselves. I really liked the characters’ lack of judgement when it came to physical appearances. They paid more attention to a person’s personality, which is part of the reason why I liked this cast of characters so much. Another concept was escapism versus facing reality. The world in which the main characters live in is not a very nice world, so people tend to log on to Oasis for escapism. Halliday sort of addresses this issue at the end of the book. Both are pretty interesting concepts that can’t be immediately answered.

Overall, Ready Player One was an enjoyable read, and I recommend this to passionate fans of the 80’s or readers who are looking for a thrill. 🙂

Untitled-8a

Thank you to my friend Lilian for recommending this book to me!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

A Book Review: Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat

Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat

3.5 Stars

Blurb

“This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison”

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

Untitled-8a

Pages: 240 (Ebook)

Published on: 22nd of May, 2012

Series: Captive Prince #1

Find it on…

Amazon / GR / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat (or S. U. Pacat) was an interesting read. I’ll be honest, when I read the blurb, I thought that the book would have pages of erotic passages, and ultimately lack substance.  Well… I was wrong. Captive Prince is filled to the brim with fantastic characterisation and political intrigue (if you’ve read my review on The Fixer, you’ll know I love reading about political schemes).

I can wholeheartedly say that this book has some of the best characters I have encountered this year. All of the characters have multiple faces even though it may have been less obvious in some characters. There was actually this character that fooled me for a while. I honestly thought that this character was a pretty good person with an air of decency until I read about his ah… unique preference in the slaves in this book.

Pacat’s skilful writing slowly nudges the reader’s subconscious, and gets the reader to start liking Laurent (one of the main characters in Captive Prince) by peeling back his layers and revealing slivers of what could be interpreted as kindness. Although most of Laurent’s seemingly kind acts are just stepping stones that help him to achieve a political goal, it is hard to dislike his character by the end of the book. Bear in mind, Pacat was able to get me to like Laurent even though I was (sort of ) rooting for Damen whose adversary is Laurent. At the same time, Pacat subtly turns the tide of sympathy against Laurent’s Uncle.  It’s like magic.

magic

The politics in this book is really interesting. It’s interesting to see how the Regent and Laurent strategise against each other. However, sometimes I was not able to get a full grasp of the political scheme as we see the events unfold through the perspective of Damen, who does not always notice a scheme unfolding or find the small details that Laurent sets in place for a plan. Some of the plans were quite surprising as well.

One aspect of the book which was not developed as well was the world. Occasionally, the names of places are thrown in and the city very briefly described. When I was reading this book, I had no firm idea where these places were in relation to each other. I also had no clear idea of the shape of the country, the terrain. Even the difference between the peoples in terms of their attitudes and behaviour was more perspicuous to me than the place in which they lived in.

Also, there was not much action. So if you’re looking for action, this may not be the book for you. However, if you like politics and good characterisation, you should definitely check this book out!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280

Untitled-8a

A Book Review: Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare

4 Stars

Blurb

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

Untitled-8a

Pages: 668 (Hardcover)

Publishing Company: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published on: 8th March, 2016

Series: The Dark Artifices (Book 1)

Find it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / Barnes & Noble

Untitled-8

Here’s a summary of my experience with Cassandra Clare’s books: I really love the shadowhunter universe and The Infernal Devices. I had mixed feelings about The Mortal Instruments (I still don’t really like Clary no offence, even after reading this book). Due to my previous experiences, I was not sure what to expect from Lady Midnight since this book happens after TMI, the series I liked less. If you had the same reservations as I did, brush them aside, and read Lady Midnight because it is a pretty worthwhile read.  

I can tell you right off the bat that Lady Midnight is way better than The Mortal Instrument series in terms of writing and characterisation. Clare has improved vastly as a writer. The writing in this book flowed much more nicely than it did in City of Bones, and the action was described in away that emanates suspense. I became much more captivated by and emotionally invested in this story than in her previous books (with the exception of TID, which still remains my favourite shadowhunter series  <3), because of Lady Midnight’s nicer writing.

The characters in this story were pretty diverse and very emotionally realistic. About fifty percent of the book is focused on inter-character relationships, love, and friendship. This focus really helped the emotions of the character to shine through. In this book, there were both subtle and blatant descriptions of a character’s actions or expressions that allowed me to see exactly how they were feeling. Basically, there was so much emotional baggage that I needed a tissue box in the end.

As I mentioned before, the characters are diverse, in terms of their personalities. Whereas in other shadowhunter stories, the personalities of some characters blended into each other a little bit, there was a stark contrast between characters from LM. Also, many of the characters had their own, unique habits, actions, and choice of words which helped to distinguish their personalities even more.

“He bumped into a pay phone and said, ‘Excuse me, miss,’ on our way in,” said Julian.

“It’s polite to apologize,” said Mark with the same small voice.

“Not to inanimate objects.”

It’s ok Mark, I do that too. ❤

As expected, Clare gives certain characters from previous series small parts in this book. Although I love these small appearances, I feel like these constant references to old characters sort of takes away the focus from the central, integral characters of this story. On top of that, the old characters are constantly praised, and almost revered as if they were gods (*ahem* Jace and Clary *ahem*), which again undermines some of the admiration and glory that the characters from Lady Midnight deserve because the praises make it seem as if the accomplishments of the old characters are much more significant than the accomplishments of LM‘s characters.

The plot of LM was pretty exciting. I was kept on the edge of my seat for most of the time, as I usually get excited when there is a need to decipher a piece of text (it adds to the mystery). However, I was a little disappointed by the identity of culprit. After reading the exciting build up, I was expecting a more dramatic wrap up of the story and a little bit more flair.

Julian and Emma had a really interesting relationship. I could tell that the bond was strong from the very start. They have this system where they draw letters on each other’s skins. Draw letters. All I can say is that this is a pretty bad form of communication. A, it’s not secret at all. Everyone can see you doing weird stuff on each other’s arms. B, can you even write these letters quickly? And if you do write them, how do you differentiate between words?! But it’s a nice concept, I suppose.
Much to my surprise, Julian actually became one of my favourite characters from LM. Him, Mark, and Cristina. Julian is actually a very good example of Clare’s improved characterisation. On the surface, Julian seems like a soft hearted person, someone who would probably never hurt a fly unless the fly decided to hurt his family. However, underneath that layer, Julian actually has a very ruthless heart, which is clearly revealed when Nightshade is framed.

“He said you were gentle,” said Kieran. “The most gentle person he knew.” He smiled, and there was a cold beauty to his face when he smiled, like the crystalline surface of frost. “You are not gentle. You have a ruthless heart.”

Good lord though, I dread the romance in the next book. Come on Emma. Why on EARTH would you do that?!?!?! And here I thought you were the one with more experience concerning love. Do you really think what you did will work?!?!
facepalm

If you are a fan of Clare’s previous series, I really recommend this book to you!

tumblr_nx4o396vf71sx57tdo1_1280
Untitled-8a