Born by Tara Brown… Unoriginal.

born

Born (Born #1) by Tara Brown

Genre: YA, Dystopia, 

Published: September 2012, by Tara Brown Publishing.

Format: Ebook

My Rating: 2 birdies. 

Emma ran when her daddy told her to. She hid like he said she should. He was the first person she turned her back on. The first one she let die.
Ten years has gone by and she still lives by the simple rules he taught her when she was nine years old.“Don’t help anyone. Don’t go where other people are unless you have to. Trust no one. Always pull the trigger.”Until one night she hears the worst sound in the world, a knock. A simple, timid knock, on the door to her cabin.
Only the voice of the brave little girl, ready to die for her brother, persuades Emma to open the door.
As her fingers turn the lock, she has a terrible feeling she will regret her decision.
But even as regret fills her world, so do love and companionship. Things she never imagined she would ever have again.Everything comes at a cost, you decide what you’ll pay

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Born had a lot of promise, but it didn’t perform for me. To me, this is a very generic dystopia – it’s literally just your basic dystopia setting (crazy plague, natural disasters, warfare and whatnot) with a poorly written plot and undeveloped characters. Unoriginal.

The story follows Emma, who is a survivor that lives on her own with a wolf named Leo. The story starts from when her lonely life is interfered by strangers who are in a similar position she is in. This sets up the rest of the story for her change from uncaring, lonesome Emma to I’m-poster-girl-for-saving-humanity Emma.

The development of Emma is probably the best thing about Born. It is done well. We have a really strong idea about who she is, what she’s been through and how that defines her. We understand that she’s lonely and she begins to crave human contact to point that she creates her own little family of survivors that she cares for, which grows into caring about the life of every single mistreated survivor out there.

Other than this, the story goes downhill. The rest of the characters are poorly developed. I understood the basics of some, but it still left something to be desired. This could be because the book was trying to juggle too many characters at once. Emma’s new “family” grows to the size of a small army, and we are told extensively about each one – pulverizing us with useless information to soak up with nothing to really show us who the characters are.

The romance in Born was awful. I tag insta love on an epic scale. I can see that it was attempted to be realistic and non-insta, but it didn’t pull it off, making it feel too instantaneous for me. You can tell the author tried to make it realistic by there being an initial attraction plus letting the male’s interference let Emma see the joy in life once more. It didn’t work, though. Mainly because we don’t see any of this happen, we were just told so. Plus, there was a love triangle, between two brothers none the less. Ugh. And it didn’t even bother trying to form a connection between Emma and brother number 2 before they were “in love”. It wasn’t done well at all.

To top off poor development and bad romance, the dialogue was beyond cheesy! I hate cheesy, unrealistic dialogue. If two characters can’t speak naturally, then the whole thing has an off, fake feel about it. I felt this every time a character was trying to give an inspirational or emotional talk AND when they were talking normally. Seriously, can you torture me more?

Yes. Yes it can. Not only was the plot poorly written with a totally un-original setting, all the climaxes and action were ruined with way to many “lucky” coincidences. It really is just taking the easy way out of a tricky situation. The same goes with the mysteries in the plot, there always just happens to be someone who knows all the answers in close proximity, at the right time.

If anything could have been improved to make Born just that little more bearable – it definitely would be description. I was so confused as to what was happening at times, simply because there was a distinct lack of imagery.

I did forget to mention the Wolf – I love Leo. Animals in books makes everything better. I honestly think Leo was the only thing keeping me reading to the end of Born. I would describe it as boring, confusing and unoriginal. I think it is a poor example of dystopia and I would not recommend to anyone. Not even younger readers, because there is some heavy content.

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barelyrockstheboat

Reboots kick ass in Rebel by Amy Tintera

rebelRebel by Amy Tintera

Genre: Dystopia, YA

Published: 1st June, 2014

Format: Paperback

Source: I was provided a copy of Rebel from Allen and Unwin.

Wren and Callum finally reach the Reboot Reservation, a safe haven from HARC, which controls the cities. But it isn’t the paradise they’d hoped for. As they learn more about Micah, the bloodthirsty Reboot who runs it, they discover that he’s been creating an army with one goal in mind: to kill the humans in the cities … ALL of them. Wren’s first instinct is to head out for new territory, but Callum can’t stand by and let his human family and everyone else be hunted down. With HARC on one side and Micah on the other, saving the innocent and forging a lasting peace between humans and Reboots is a nearly impossible task. But Wren and Callum have never let that stop them before. 

 

 

The sequel to Reboot was all I could have wanted in an ending! It was action-packed, hot and steamy and filled with characters and development. Rebel was very satisfying, though it sometimes fell flat, and I had a few problems with perspective changes, character recognition and connection.

Always start off with the good, yes? Amy Tintera sure knows how to write a killer action scene! There was so much of it in this book, it fed my craving for blood and warfare. I can certainly count on detail from Tintera.

Another MAJOR thumbs up from me is the character growth in Rebel – especially when it comes to Callum. I admit, I wasn’t Callums biggest fan In Reboot. I thought he was nothing more than the cute love interest – the catalyst to Wren’s change. But in Rebel, we see in Callum’s perspective. Not only do I understand him better, but this helped to illustrate his development as a character. He went from being whiny and annoying to helpful and using initiative to take charge of his situation. I now like him and believe he is someone worthy of Wren.

And of course, Wren continued on her path for change. She is practically an entire different person by the end of this book. I won’t give anything away, but it is truly excellent and probably my favourite thing about Rebel.

I was very absorbed by Rebel. The writing, characters and world is very easy to slip into. Sadly it was also easy to slip out of, as well. Though it was absorbing, I wasn’t captivated. This book didn’t have my undivided attention. Even though it was action packed, something just fell a little flat for me.

It may be because I wasn’t connected to the characters, nor the plot. I liked them, enjoyed their growth and reading their story, but I wasn’t distressed when something bad happened, nor overwhelmed when something good happened. It just didn’t evoke much emotion from me.

Sometimes, I had trouble with the dual perspective. Even though it states who’s perspective we’re in, and it’s consistent with swapping from person to person – they sometimes sounded familiar and I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to re-check who I’m reading from.

Another problem I had was recognizing all the characters. There were so many of them, and all I had were names to connect with. I’m more of a visual girl, so it takes more description of traits, or even looks for me to make a connection with who they are. Sometimes a name would come up and I would be like; who the heck is that? What have they done? Do they have a trait, or looks or something I can actually visualize?

Other than that, I was very satisfied by the ending. Wren’s change, combined with what she wished for all along, nearly made me cry. It was close, but I managed to hold myself back. Despite my minor problems with character recognition and perspective confusion, I really enjoyed Rebel and thought it was a great conclusion to the first book. Connection issues aside; the development was great and I would highly recommend this series.

myrating

justbreezy!

Sexy zombie futuristic romance? Lia Habel’s Dearly, Departed

dearlydepartedDearly, Departed (Gone with the Respiration #1) by Lia Hable 

Genre: YA, steampunk, dystopia

Published: September 2011, by Doubleday Children’s Books

Format: Paperback 

Source: From Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity 

Love can never die.


Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love. Goodreads 

 

 This was certainly an interesting book and like nothing I have ever read before. It has such a crazy genre mash up! With a combo of dystopia, historic/futuristic + zombies and warfare, I had no idea what to expect. I had difficulty getting through the intro, and then some more difficulty getting into the story line with my mind selectively choosing what it wants to read. Though I absolutely loved the characters and was crazy over the romance!

Dearly, Departed is a dystopia book after the worlds’ left over population decides to re-live the days of English Victorians. The book follows Nora – a young lady who’s status and strong personality allows her to defy social norms, after she is taken hostage by a group of walking dead. Yup. Zombies. Woo hoo!

Because this is such a strange and complex world, the beginning takes it’s time to explain everything to us. For some reason, my mind didn’t agree with this. To be blunt, I found this long intro to be boring, even though it was fairly interesting – if that makes sense. So I had heaps of difficulty getting into this book – taking me nearly 4 days to read 100 pages.

After this, another problem occurred – the book didn’t have my entire attention. After dragging myself through the intro, I was searching for something to love. I started too really like the scenes with Nora and Bram, and seeing their reactions to each other. So when other perspective came into it, I barely paid attention to them. Because of this, I missed a lot of the plot line.

Luckily this problem was short lived – by about halfway I began to be interested in the plot again and started to actually pay attention to the other perspectives. Though I became super confused towards the end when all this stuff is revealed, and I had no idea what was going on. I got it eventually, it just wasn’t effortless and required lots of careful reading.

Despite this slow start, I have nothing but good to say about the characters. I loved them all! Even the bad guys. They were all very well developed, the badies having understandable motives and the goodies were mostly well balanced and realistic.

Nora and Bram were great leads.. Bram has such honesty, moral and will power; it’s almost humbling. While Nora is this stubborn, strong, real character who I loved. I loved that even though her world had gone back to the days of women meaning little to society other than looking pretty, Nora still took pride and fought to be herself.

I also adored the friendship she had with Pam. It was so believable. In real life, there usually is a position of power between friends. You can see this in the relationship between Nora and Pam. It was obvious that Pam looked up to Nora immensely. What I loved even more, is how this character grew more into herself and became more independent as the story went on. I loved watching her transformation.

I also like how clever Habel is with her characters! There were a few slimey’s in there that I never would have guessed. I really admire how she makes me believe one thing when the opposite is actually true!

And I can’t not mention the romance. Even though it was somewhat quick, I believed it entirely. I also liked how the zombies weren’t just bad, mindless things as they are in most books. And I liked how even the good ones were fairly balanced with both good and bad.

So I had a few issues with the plot, pace and reading experience of Dearly, Departed. But I thought Habel did a terrific job with characters and setting, creating this awesome vibe from the strange era and Victorian/futuristic themes. Everything down to the clothes, the society, behaviors and attitudes were awesome and so much easier to understand than it is in a historic book, without all the fancy words and writing I can’t quite understand. So, despite my issues with this book, I’m giving it a three because I most definitely want to read the next book!

myrating

asoftbreeze

 

 

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Genre: dystopia, YA, 

Published: May 2013, Harper TEEN

I bought a personal e-copy of Reboot

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‘5 years ago, I died. 178 minutes later, I woke up.’

In this post-apocalyptic thriller a deadly virus mutation sees teenagers raised from the dead and trained to be vicious soldiers until Wren, the deadliest Reboot, joins forces with Callum, the most innocent, to try to overthrow the organisation that has corrupted their world.

 

 

 

 

inabreeze

Reboot gives a new meaning to zombies. I absolutely loved how Amy Tinterra has turned something so stereotypical into her own, unique thing. I thought the plot was non-existent until about half way, and the male love interest could not have annoyed me more.  But otherwise, I really enjoyed this.

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Reboot is not your normal post-apocalyptic story. I actually wasn’t even aware this was after all hell broke loose on earth until about a quarter of the way in. I think this is because of the way Tintera has written her story. She doesn’t focus on the before all that much. It’s all the here and now, how she has made the reality seem so real.

The story takes place after a disease breaks, causing it’s victims to “reboot” or come alive again, after death. These Reboots are more powerful, stronger and appear to be emotionless. Our main girl, Wren, was dead for 178 minutes before rebooting. This makes her one of the most powerful and, believably, brainless and emotionless of her kind. Her life is based around taking orders and being a machine for destruction and death – until her life changes when our number 22, or adorably cute love interest Callum, turns her upside down.

I absolutely love the way this story was written. All in Wren’s perspective, there was barely a moment without action. There was always something happening, something to worry about, something to realize, something to figure out, and something to plan. I was never bored by Reboot. Not once.

Tintera also wastes little time in telling us anything. One problem I had was that I had trouble understanding the world we are literally thrust in to. This led a lot of confusion in the beginning of the story, but I soon worked it out and everything was dandy.

Another thing I didn’t understand was the insistence the Wren is an absolute emotionless monster like being. Okay, so she enjoyed killing a little bit, but for some reason I understood that (yeah, weird).

That’s beside the point. Everywhere you look, it’s 178 is emotionless. Monster. Killing machine. Lacks empathy. Cruel. Brainless. Loveless. But you know what? I never got that vibe from her. Not once. Maybe that was the whole point – to show that she never was like that in the first place. But I would have liked more of a reason to think she was actually emotionless, therefore I could see more growth in her.

So, on the emotion side, I don’t think she develops much. Maybe she just realizes how to show it more, or something. But I can see a development and change in her. I think the problem for her is that she believes she is a killing, mindless thing – and in the end she realizes that she has a choice over her actions, that she doesn’t have to be this thing that she has been told she is ever since she rebooted.

We can thank Callum for this. Ah, he’s so cute. Sickeningly so, actually. I found him to be really annoying and weak at times, but I still liked him. He was a cool contrast between kickass Wren, who we see is actually really passionate, smart and brave.

Other things I could mention is that I felt the book lacked plot until halfway, but that was never a problem since I was always interested. I absolutely love Wren, and I think Callum is cool despite his annoyingness. I loved the complexities this disease creates on the world. How there is depth in character development, society, social/economic circumstances, the choice to be humane or monster-like. To follow orders or ask questions, what love is worth and what’s worth risking yourself for.

I just really enjoyed Reboot and I’m glad I took the chance to read it. I love how it ended, and I’m so excited for Rebel’s upcoming release!
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justbreezy!

 

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn of the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy

Published: May 2011, by Feral Dream 

My Rating: 4 thumbs up! 

I bought my own personal e-copy of Angelfall

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It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts

I’ve been told so many times to read Angelfall – So. Many. Times. Why did I not listen earlier? It was brilliant! I love the setting. I love the characters. I love the plot. The pace. The tension. The mystery. The writing. I just loved it all.

The dystopia setting for Angelfall is so original! It mixes up so many genres! When I started reading, I was really wondering how angels fitted into all of it. Then when it finally became clear, I had an OMG moment. So clever!

Another great aspect of Angelfall was the amount of interesting characters. From the blunt Penryn to mysterious, cocky Raffe to whacky, insane mum to red head spy twins that for some reason remind me of the Weasely twins. Not only were they interesting, but the important characters were developed to a standard that suited the book. We were never told anything – simply shown in the odd light Susan gives her story.

I loved the way Susan told her story. It’s slightly humorous and witty, but still has a serious, helpless undertone throughout. It was also really easy to read – I find that some books are difficult to read; they give you a headache, it’s boring, disjointed, clumsy, overly descripted/not descriptive enough, to fast, to slow – you get the point. There wasn’t a single second where I felt these emotions in Angelfall. Susan Ee has the simple, easy to read, balanced writing that is so close to perfection – I can’t recall the last time a story has captured and held me, simple because I could dip straight into the writing as if it were a warm, bubbled spa in winter.

Even though it was easy to read, I did have a moment of confusion in the first chapter or two. I had a little trouble adjusting to the world in this book. I think it may be because it was so original and different. But I soon adjusted and was fine.

Everyone was right about Raffe. He is so completely swoon worthy. He was mysterious, witty, withdrawn though still let his emotions control him. I just really liked him. And Penryn – she was the most developed and understandable character in the whole story. I love how they both have goals that pushes the story and helps us understand them.

Which leads to my one major problem in Angelfall – Raffe was not developed enough for me. I feel like we were only just beginning to get an idea of who is towards the end. His actions are still confusing and he has way too much mystery surrounding him. I think I have a pretty good idea of why he acts like he does, but it needs more evidence before the clouds disappear.

I guess that means one thing – I have to read Worldafter. I have to read it soon. I have to understand Raffe or I might go crazy. He has to give me something that makes me love him more, because I really want to. I recommend Angelfall 100%!

4 thumbs up

Review: Forager by Peter R. Stone

Forager by Peter R. Stone

Genre: YA, dystopia

Published: 2013, November by Amazon Digital Services 

Formats Available: Kindle or Paperback

Pages: 297

My rating: 3 thumbs up! 

A big thank you to the author, Peter R Stone and Alana Munro from Reach For the Stars for this opportunity. I received Forager for free to honestly review. My opinion of the book is not influenced by this.

forager

Eighteen-year-old Ethan Jones lives in Newhome, a town built upon the decaying ruins of post-apocalyptic Melbourne, ruins haunted by the ferocious Skel, a nomadic tribe of degenerate savages.

 The Skel are ramping up their attacks on Newhome’s foraging teams and infesting Melbourne’s ruins in ever greater numbers. Is this part of a larger plan that could spell the town’s doom?

 Meanwhile, the last thing Ethan expects when he and his companions rescue a two-car convoy from the Skel is a Japanese teenage girl with an outlandish dress-sense, who after they take her back to Newhome, goes to great lengths to ingratiate herself into his life. But is it in gratitude for saving her life or is she seeking something more?

 And what a quandry she places him in, for he knows the rules, that no man is permitted to be alone with an unmarried woman. But how can he drive such a gentle soul away when she touches his heart so deeply, even though she clearly carries the pain of a broken heart.

 At the same time, Newhome’s police force, the Custodians, are suspicious of Ethan’s foraging team’s successes and are pulling out the stops to find out which member of his team has the illegal mutant ability that gives them an edge over the other teams.

Should these peacekeepers discover Ethan is the mutant they seek, they will haul him away and dissect him like a frog.

Amazon Buy Link

Website/Blog Link: Forager

My Thoughts 

A dystopian set in Australia? In the lovable Melbourne no less! How could I say no to reading this! Forager was not what I expected though. I’m of mixed opinions about how I feel. There were some things that I really liked, but there were also things I feel could have been improved.

The story is set after a war that wiped out most of the human population from earth. Some survived, which have made their own small communities spread out for survival. These communities are in desperate need for resources such as metals, which are foraged from the ruined cities. The story follows the head of one of these groups, who happens to have abilities due to mutations. He has to hide these abilities though, because they could get him killed. This is combined with a missing memory, a cute, mysterious Japanese girl and scary people who run around wearing armour made of human bones.

I’ll kick off with what I liked – I especially liked the setting. An Australian dystopian is definitely for me! There really aren’t enough YA books set in Australia. However, I feel as though this could have been expanded upon in the description; as in, there was nothing to tell the setting apart from any other ruined city in the entire world. I mean, c’mon, this is Melbourne! I’ve been to this city, and I fell in love with it. I know it’s been destroyed, but I’m sure that some significant sights that sets it somewhat apart from everywhere else could have been identified, right? Like NY has it’s Lady of Liberty? What about some ripped up Tram rails? Or unique Aussie art found in the cool museums down there? Or an intact wall of that awesome street art?

Maybe I’m too pro Australia. I just really wanted something to distinguish it from everywhere else.

Now, back to the actual story. I also liked the idea of mutated humans. I thought Ethan’s abilities were quite cool. I liked that this was well thought out, too. With every possible plot hole covered and filled in. Also, his abilities are detailed, which is great because you can tell the author did his research. It also gives us a great imagery and picture when trying to imagine it

I didn’t like that the plot didn’t really follow this idea through – it mostly focused on his missing memory and love life. I wish the plot focused more on Ethan’s abilities and why people like him disappear. Maybe it will in the books to come. I personally think Ethan’s love life and memory loss would have done much better as a side plot to add depth to the story. This is because I felt as though Forager was missing something to push it along. The pace was sort of jumpy and I never really knew where it was going. A more focused goal and plot would have fixed this issue.

I liked the characters in Forager, though I did not connect to them. Ethan is very likeable. Maybe a little too perfect and nice at times, making him not as relatable, but still likeable. Same goes for the love interest; she was a little too perfect for my tastes. They both could have done with a little more character development to really explore their positive and negative character attributes. All I got was that Ethan has a little anger management problem.

I did really like the character dynamics, though. This was shown especially well in the forager group. The friendship felt realistic and I got a real sense of camaraderie between them. I felt for the group of boys when they started to fall apart, but it was a good thing because it kept things real, showing the flaws and cracks in everything. The best books are when these flaws are shown, but the characters can still overcome them.

Dialogue and language were a major issue I faced with Forager – especially when it came to Ethan. Ethan is portrayed as a slightly rebellious, strong, leader material and brave – but his language and the way he spoke did not match his personality. It actually felt really unnatural and odd. Even stranger, this changed a quarter way in. At first it felt natural, then his sentences turn overly formal and unusual. This was even odder because the other characters kept their natural dialogue (or what they had from the beginning).

I won’t give anything away, but I cringed when the word “wife” came out of a certain character’s mouth. It just felt completely wrong for such a young, vibrant person to talk like he’s 30 and settling down. (This is completely in my perspective, though, maybe some people are cool with that).

Overall, Forager has mixed feelings from me. It’s one of those books I liked, but could have been improved easily. If the plot was a little more focused, a deeper character development and the dialogue was worked on more, then this easily could have increased the rating by one or two. Otherwise, Forager has a rating of 3 from me, and I would recommend any young dystopian readers to give it a go.

3thumbsup

THE AUTHOR

peter

Peter Stone, an avid student of history, was reading books on Ancient Greece from the age of four. His periods of interest include the ancient world, medieval era, Napoleonic times, and the Second World War. He still mourns the untimely passing of King Leonidas of Sparta and Field Marshal Michel Ney of France.

A child of the Cold War Generation, Peter Stone studied the ramifications of a nuclear missile strike when he was in his senior year of high school, learning the effects of nuclear fallout and how to (hopefully) survive it. He has ever been drawn to post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels and films, and eagerly devoured The Day of the Triffids and John Christopher’s Tripod Trilogy when he was a child.

Peter Stone graduated from Melbourne School of Ministries Bible College in 1988. He has been teaching Sunday School and playing the keyboard in church for over twenty-five years. His wife is from Japan and they have two wonderful children. Peter Stone has worked in the same games company for over twenty years, but still does not comprehend why they expect him to work all day instead of playing games.

Review: Enmity by E. J. Andrews

Enmity E. J. Andrews

Genre: YA, Dystopia

Published: To be published April 2014, by Harlequin Australia 

My Rating: 2 thumbs up

I received Enmity to review from the publishes via Netgalley.

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“Love vs Life.
Good vs Evil.
War vs Warfare.

Which would you choose?

After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.

Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly… to survive.

Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived…because their training is just the beginning.

A war awaits…regardless of how ready or willing they may be”

Synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts 

I would first like to say that the writing style of E. J Andrews is terrific. When I opened up that first page, read the first paragraph, I actually sighed. I got excited, too. You know when you can just tell your going to like a book, simply from the first page? Just because the author can write well? That’s the feeling I got. If I have any problems with Enmity, Andrews’ writing is not one of them.

Please keep that in mind for the rest of the review, because even though I thought the rest of the book could use some work, I was enthralled by the writing.

Enmity is a dystopia, right? It takes place 60 years after a solar flare wiped out the majority of the human population. This is one of the major problems I had about Enmity – because after the first two or three chapters, it feels like the solar flare never happened. It hardly feels dystopian at all.

The first chapter is when the solar flare takes place in a world that feels like ours today. Fast forward 60 years, and there’s telltale signs that demonstrates the world is ruined: Children and girls doing unimaginable jobs, huge walls to keep the sun out, young people with guns, people fighting for power, ect. After this, however, the only trait we are constantly reminded of is the political unrest. Next thing you know, we are bombarded with things from our world – there are whole intact families living in homes with electricity, running water and abundance of food. They use money, have access to ATM’s (yup, only 60 years after the world ends and there are still plastic cards that hold money in it), Live in houses, go to school, have jobs and normal lives just like ours. Isn’t the whole point of dystopias is to see how much the lives of people have changed compared to how we currently live?

Oh, but the inconsistencies don’t stop there. Not even a century after the population is nearly wiped out and they have developed better technology than we do today.

How is that even possible!?!?

How, after so much knowledge in the form of people, animals, papers, computers and history would have been destroyed in the solar flare, does that happen? How the hell did you get all the knowledge, people, resources and equipment in the span of 60 years post apocalypse? That is hardly enough time to re-populate, let alone get cool gadgets.

The only major thing that reminds us that this is after the end of the world, is that there is a war for leadership. But even that is happening today, in our lifetime.

I was disappointed by this. But even so, I still applaud the style in which it was written. It’s dark and serious, it keeps an air of mystery – some I was able to predict, some I wasn’t.

The two person narrative made the story feel a bit disjointed, though it did finally come together towards the end. I didn’t feel any strong climax in the plot. The romance for both characters felt entirely fake, and I found the badass female lead confusing. There wasn’t enough harsh background for such a harsh character – it just didn’t justify who she is today.

I really wanted to like this – during some parts of the story, I could almost convince myself I did like it, just because of how it was written. But then would come along something stupid like ATM’s or ridiculous romance, and I would go back to doubting and picking out all the plot holes. Sadly, I cannot recommend Enmity.

2thumbsup

Review: Terra by Gretchen Powell

Terra by Gretchen Powell

Genre: Dystopia, YA, Sci-fi

Published: December 2012 by Hopewell Media

My Rating: 4 thumbs up!

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“A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.”

From Goodreads

 

My Thoughts

Um, why have I not heard of this book before? Why are there only like, 100 other reviews of this book on GR? WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT READING TERRA!

This book IS SO GOOD! It is 1000x better than some of the books that make it big, so why hasn’t this one?

Terra is a Terrestrial, otherwise known as a person with brown eyes who lives on the dying earth. This dystopia follows Terra after she discovers something unusual that gives her a giant pay out. One of my favourite things about Terra is the original version of a dystopian. It includes a hierarchy of highly wasteful, snobby, smart and privileged skydwellers and the poorly terraestials who scavenge and recycle goods on the ground to survive. Not to mention a new story about how civilization today came to be, including a plague and falling cities. I also like how the story includes an element of sci-fi, though it’s discreet.

Terra’s discovery leads her to meet the unusual Adam – Mr good mannered and charming who saves her life more than once. Cliché , yes, but Adam is highly secretive, hooking me in almost automatically. The mystery that follows Adam’s background is revealed towards the end, and I can tell you know that I was not expecting it whatsoever. I was shocked at the revelations, just as much as Terra which made it very real in my eyes. I love how Powell was able to surprise me.

I also like the characterizations in Terra. It takes some time but I eventually get a feel for each character. I understand Terra and her blunt need to survive and look after Mica. I understand her urge no to trust or be dependent. I understand Mica’s urge to have fun and be a kid. I understand Adam’s urge to protect, discover and dig. I also think that the author has given the book the perfect amount of important characters and side characters – making sure that the side characters were not overly developed and energy was spent more so on Terra, Mica and Adam.

Despite good development of characters, I wasn’t too convinced of the romance between Adam and Terra. It definitely wasn’t insta-love, but it didn’t feel real or had much depth. I feel like something could have been added to really solidify and strengthen this connection to make it feel more realistic.

What did feel real, though, was the world we were shoved in. Powell is very artful in that she shows more than she tells. I had such a strong sense of the world Terra lived in and her life from the very beginning. I warn people that it does instantly immerse you in strange terms – I do not have a problem with adjusting to this, though I’m aware some readers hate being confused at the beginning.

As well as her world building, I like Powell’s writing style. It’s very clear and concise, yet she uses description to its full ability. I just adore this. It’s like she has combined my two favourite writing styles together into this beautiful caramel chocolate mud cake. I could just eat it up alllll day.

I’m still shocked that this book has not gained more publicity. It is really that good. The gorgeous writing style, original world, easy world building and developed characters. The plot is also easy to follow, though is still filled with twists and surprises. Weak romance aside, Terra is a book I would, I will, recommend to every body!

4 thumbs up

Review: Poison Princess By Kresley Cole

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

Genre: YA, fasntasy/dystopia 

Published: October 2012, by Simon & Schuster

My Rating: 4.5 thumbs up!

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She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen-year-old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side.

Goodreads 

My Thoughts

I can definitely say I was not expecting what I found in Kresley Cole’s Poison Princess. That could be because I didn’t read the premise very well, just sorta skimmed it. If I did, I might be more prepared and not as intrigued as I was. Gotta love impulse buys.

I’m really not sure how to sum this up without giving away too much. The story focuses on Evie, as she sets out to found out about her strange hallucinations and powers she has. Protected by bad boy, Jack, the story is set in post-apocalypse after a big flash burned the world and dried up all the water. So, ensured of human’s who have no humanity left and an original version of zombies, you’re set for a pretty interesting story with so many different elements that I can’t mention ’cause it will ruin everything.

Some major positives in this book were Cole’s writing style and characterization (plus imagination). Some negatives included a little pace problem in the middle, terminology and being kept in the dark for the majority of the book.

Straight into positives, shall we? I’m really liking Cole’s writing style. She is somewhat morbid, and she doesn’t shy away from the brutal, ugly realistic side of the world. This is included in her characterization. I was never really sure if I liked a character in this book, because we really do see the ugly side- almost more than the good side. The perfect example of this is Jack. The love interest wasn’t just some dashing, brooding bad boy with a goey center and a foreign accent. Cole really went out of her way to show that a lot of his intentions and motives are not pure and good in the slightest – to the point of dislike and hate. Does he go a bit mushy towards the end? Slightly. I’m still not sure if I like him, but I do appreciate Cole’s different outlook of dark and handsome. I used to think Daemon from the Lux series was an ass, or Gale from Hunger Games, or Grayson from Such a Rush. But Jackson really out does them all.

Despite seeing all the brutal and ugly, I really like the characters (in a way). I like the addition of new characters, and I did actual fall in love with one of them. Mathew is just a sweet boy in this mess. Though I’m afraid to admit this, cause in Cole’s quest for misery and the path the plot is taking, I can see deceit and death in the future of the story, and I can definitely see the cute kid caught in the cross fire, or be the one feeding it. I’m dreading it. If my little cute and innocent is deceitful, I just might cry. Hard and snotty.

To throw in some drawbacks – I was a little confused about the terminology. The story includes Tarot deck cards (that’s a MAJOR hint) and I was so confused what that was all about. It made me feel a little disjointed while reading. Another negative was the pace hit a road bump halfway. I think the dialogue between Evie and Jack brought it down, cause I just didn’t like hearing them constantly fight. Even though Evie wasn’t the useless, whiny type, I began to believe she was just ‘cause Jack constantly said so. Towards the end, I really wanted Evie’s usefulness to shine and be like, “HA! Told you so!” But I got no such satisfaction. Leaving me feeling a little “meh” about that topic that seemed so important throughout the story.

I did like that the story was broken into three parts: Before, After and Now. I also liked how it switched between the tenses throughout the story. It added to the air of mystery. Though I said I didn’t like the fact that we were kept in the dark for the majority of the book, it made the end immensely satisfying. Making me sorta like it, sorta hate it. Let’s chill on the fence for this one.

I’m going to end it by saying I really am enjoying these “fantasy dystopia’s”. I think they have a flare compared to just dystopian. I was pleasantly surprised by what Poison Princess was actually focusing on; it feels fresh but a little dark. Let’s say it was a bit of everything, and took me on a real adventure. I also have a new favourite author –  Kresley Cole has proved that she is a little different and can describe like a queen. Because I’ve been “so so” about Poison Princess throughout this review, it only makes sense that it has that it has an impossible rating of 4.5, which I’ll round to a four, for now.

4 thumbs up

My Top Ten!

As a first post, I thought I’d just share my favorite books. These aren’t really reviews, just the books and why I like them so much. There’s so many, it was really hard to narrow them down to ten. I eventually just based it on what story I gushed the most over, and could not stop thinking about once I finished it. If it didn’t make me want to pee myself or jump off the balcony, then it didn’t make the list.

Don’t even ask what stress it caused to order them. Let the countdown begin!

10. Inkheart – Cornelia FunkeInkheart

Ultimate book for story lovers, taking the simple act of storytelling to a whole new level. Tell me, what avid reader does not wish that they could jump into the story? Or that the story could come to life? I think this is why I fell for Inkheart, and the entire series that follows. It brings “be careful what you wish for” to a whole new meaning.

9. Where She Went – Gayle FormanWhere she went

This is a debut, yes, but I actually liked it more than the first book. Amazing, right? When does that ever happen? I still like the first story If I Stay, but this wrapped up Mia’s lose ends perfectly. It goes to tell the tale of what happened after her near death experience from the perspective of her former boyfriend, whose heart she broke in an effort to gain her life back. Written in similar fashion to the first, it looks back on the past to determine the decisions of the present. If you have read the first, this is a definite must read!

8. Going Too Far – Jennifer EcholsGoingTooFarH518

Angst filled, tension griping read – a must for all teenage girls. In fact, a lot of Jennifer Echols books, such as Such a Rush and Forget Me are definite stories that will stay with you, but I think Going Too Far stuck with me the longest. MC is a teenage rebel, who drinks and sleeps around. Although, no-one can guess that her inner motive is that all these things help her feel alive. However, everything changes when she is forced to spend a week with a young cop. These two very different characters, with very similar stubbornness and haunting pasts will butt heads with nostrils flaring. I think the excellent character dynamic and motives is what makes this such a great read, and a little romance never hurts either.

7. Abarat – Clive Barker abarnat

I read this book when I was 12; it was a gift from my sister. My honest initial thoughts were “this looks so boring”. The cover was bland, it had tiny writing squished on small pages and the blurb was confusing and weird. But on a rainy day, bored out of my mind with nothing good to read, I picked it up and here it is! On my top ten nearly five years later! Beneath its boring cover is a work of magic, with an ocean the appears up in the desert, talking sea creatures and tigers, 25 islands that stand for each hour of the day (25 hours, what?) and an average girl in an average town with the last name of “Quckenbush”. If you like thrilling tales, strange worlds and adventures? This is the book for you!

6. Uglies – Scott Westerfeld Uglies_book

Who can’t resist a story where the first line is “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit”? This dystopian novel where everyone must turn into perfect, pretty humans at the age of 16 sets up the perfect situation for moral conflict and rebellion. I think the most beautiful thing about this novel though is the importance of happiness and real beauty, even after us “smokies” almost destroyed the planet.

5. Eragon – Christopher Paolinieragon

Eragon. Eragon! Who does not love Eragon! Set in almost a middle age era with the combination of magic, elves, dawves, urgals and most importantly, dragons, how can you resist? Paolini has done such an excellent job at creating a whole new word, set with maps, mysterious forests and creating several new languages. How can you not be completely enveloped into this world when it is so wholly complete? And the writing? Amazing. Eragons and Saphira’s inner conflicts and morals are so clear. One of the best things about this story is that the characters are so realistic and understandable (except for maybe the elves, but I think that’s purposeful). We can really connect and relate to them, despite the geographical and species differences.

4. The Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawathe immortal rules

I’ll just be up front, I am definitely not a huge vampire fan. So it is a little weird that a vamp book is forth in my list. Before you think I’m a hypocrite, let me explain! This book is so much more than vampires and blood sucking. Okay, there’s a lot of gruesome bloodsucking, but the absolute heart of the story is what grabbed me. It really delves into the topic of what it means to be human. This post-apocalyptic world is honestly one of the worst situations I have ever seen in a book (vamps rule, humans are literally blood cattle, constant diseases threatening to wipe out the entire human race ect ect), but the situation of the girl MC is seriously messed up. The author has taken “create a character you love, and the put the darling through hell” to the extreme. Her morals and values are questioned at every turn, her honesty, trust and life are always on the edge. I can’t say too much more, or else it will be a huge spoiler. But if you enjoy dystopian, don’t mine a little bit of blood and fangs (the traditional ones, not the ones that glitter) and like themes of survival, humanity and love, this is the story for you.

3. Obsidian –Jennifer Armentrout obsidian

This was released a couple of years ago, but I have just finished reading it. I have one word to describe this book – intense. Intense intense intense intense! I had a little obsession with alien, sci-fi novels, but this? This turned my obsession into a crazy infatuation! I luuurvvvee aliens. Especially ones with intense green eyes with ripped bods that are originally organisms of light. Yup, you guessed it, I also have a character crush. Dayum.

But anyway, besides the drool worthy male MC and intense moments with female MC, the story is actually quite a good one. I absolutely love the relationship dynamics in this. Daemon would do anything to keep his alien family safe from pesky humans, while all new girl Katy wants to do is fit in, make friends with his alien sister and try not to be overpowered by him, all this with the undeniable attraction between them as they try to rip out each other’s throats. If you like books that you can’t put down, read this. I finished it in two nights.

FINAL TWO! I actually hurt myself trying to decide which one deserved the top spot. To be honest, I think they both deserve it. But for the purpose of this list I eni-meni-mini-moed. Call me a cheater, I don’t care.

2. The Host – Stephenie Meyerthehost

You know I’m not a vamp fan, but I am definitely an alien fan. This book actually started my fascination with aliens. The entire story held me captive. From start to finish. I think one of the most interesting things about The Host is that it is told from the perspective of the alien, Wanda. Stephanie really thought outside the box on this one, which I love. I loved the strong human in which she hosted, Melanie, and I loved the fact that the aliens were actually nice. They didn’t have the same emotions and feelings as humans, but they always had the best intension despite everything. The stark contrast between humans and the hosts really highlights what we are, how we define humanity and what it means to be alive and wholly human. What I loved the most though, is Wanda’s transformation. She starts off believing humans are silly, that they should let the aliens help them. But as Mel’s memory starts to effect her, and then her own personal experiences, she begins to truly understand what it is to be human. And the most heart breaking part is when she realizes she has truly found the place she belongs, but knows that she cannot stay if she really loves them. I cried the entire last 60 pages. Hell, I’m crying right now.

1. Delirium – Lauren Oliver delirium

Another dystopian-like story, sort of. But this one is quite beautiful. I’ll give you blurb to show you what I mean.

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie” – Taken from my own personal copy of Delirium.

Love is a disease. Love is wrong. Love is dirty. Love is the worst possible thing that can ever happen to you. Imagine being told all these things, and then fall in love? Catch the unforgivable disease? MC Lena’s story is just plain beautiful. Her inner turmoil just makes me tear up every time I read it. And if a book can make me cry, it’s good.

What really made this book one of my absolute favorites though, is that it made me view the world differently. It actually gave me a new perspective on the meaning of life (if you haven’t noticed, I love books that make me question the meaning of life). What’s the point of life if we can’t love? If we can’t love, we can’t hate either. Though that would solve a lot of problems, what would we do? What if you loved music, your children, food, or books? If I couldn’t love, then I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

Thankfully, we do not live in a world without love, so I can still gush over how amazing I think these books are. And that right there is my current top ten! Feel free to comment and share what your top ten are; do they match any of mine?

Brea xo