Friday, 10 August 2012
Thursday, 14 June 2012
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...." Summary from GoodReads
Anyone who's read more than a couple of my reviews can tell that I'm a tough critic, BUT I'm trying to be better about that. In keeping that in mind, I will tell you the plus and minus of this book (and try not to dwell on the minus).
The Plus: It truly is a young adult book. No sex, very little violence, no swearing. If you're going to label a book YA, I prefer it really be PG to PG-13 rated. In keeping in line with the YA label, the characters seem like authentic teenagers, especially the protagonist, Clary. She's unsure of her feelings, she's stubborn, she's kinda whinny, she's your typical 15 year old. It's easy to imagine being a teenager and going through what Clary does. The biggest plus? The ending, finally something original. Really made me want to read on in the series.
The Minus: Some of the characters are pretty two dimensional, I don't need a super amount of detain about every characters, but it might be nice to know something about the more prominent characters, like Isabel and Alec and their family, maybe that's coming in the other books in the series? But really, its not that big of a deal. The biggest deal was that I didn't really like Jace, and he's the main male character. He's arrogant, sarcastic, rebellious, and kind of a jerk. So, typical teenage boy, but it's not really like he's even nice to Clary (so why she likes him is a bit of a mystery, guess he must be cute). It was kinda funny at first, but got old really fast. It's hard to love a book when the one of the two main characters is annoying.
Bottom Line: It's a good book. It's age appropriate with an interesting story. The complains I had are minor and despite them I really enjoyed the book. Grade: B+.
-Written June 26, 2011
Monday, 14 May 2012
A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Good fairy tales take time to build. Good fairy tales are passed down generation to generation. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children builds a world, characters, plot and, best of all, provides pictures. This twisted Alice in Wonderland starts off with a murder. A peculiar murder that plays with the mind of our 16-year-old protagonist, Jacob Portman. Jacob witnesses the last bizarre moments of the life of his beloved grandfather, Abe Portman.
Friday, 13 April 2012
4 Things you should know about John Dies at the End
Friday, 9 March 2012
"When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.
Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.
Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.
A secret Kale will kill to protect" Description from GoodReads
I just reread this description... I'm not sure I know what this "secret" is Kale will kill to protect, the description basically spills all the "secrets" right there. Nothing shocking happens. Oh, on with my review (sorry to spoil it for you).
Deznee Cross is a rebellious teenager to the nth degree. She will do anything, and I mean ANYTHING in an attempt to make her emotionless father upset, which he never is, so it's all just a ridiculous waste of time. As is most everything else about this book. The characters in general aren't at all believable as humans, with or without abilities. From Deznee's willingness to follow a guy she's just met to an unknown destination, to her fathers complete lack of emotion about anything, especially when it comes to his own child, to Kale, who I had a whole laundry list of issues with.
Dez's "badass" boyfriend Kale was the worst part for me. From the moment she meets Kale she blindly follows him, running away into the night with a guy she just saw kill someone not 10 minutes before, oh and who just tried to kill HER, (yes, I saw the explanation that it was to rebel against her father, I'm not buying it, no one would do this). And speaking of stuff that's not believable, the inconsistencies in what Kale knows and doesn't know were ridiculous. Basically the only things he doesn't know pertain to sexual activity, he's the world's best dancer, but he has no idea why a cute girl would want to touch him. This was just an excuse on the author's part to explain in excruciating detail hand holding and kissing. I guess it's supposed to be tantalizing, but I found it awkward and ridiculous. It further led to the feeling that Kale was bland, boring and sort of an idiot. An example of further idiocy? Sure! If Kale is deathly afraid of Deznee's father, why would he go into her house after he knows that Cross lives there? This kid can kill with a single touch and the one thing that scares him is this dude, logic tells you he'd avoid that dude's house like the plague and go off being a "badass killer" somewhere else, but no. I guess he wants to get it on with Deznee SO BADLY that he repeatedly goes to the house of the guy trying to kill him. We're supposed to believe that teenage hormones conquer all fear and danger, how romantic. I found myself wishing Deznee would ditch Kale and get back together with Alex, at least he sounded interesting and the brief back story we got on he and Dez was far more interesting and believable then anything we learned about Kale.
I should also mention the bad sentence structure, forced teenage language and occasional misspelled word too. These things usually are not a huge deal for me of the story is good, but in this case, nothing is good, so those of you who are sticklers for good writing skills, look elsewhere (there's even a part where they call Alex by a different name, as if his name used to be Fred and they replaced it with Alex and forgot to change one of the names, oops).
Bottom line: The book was predicable and forgettable, not to mention the unbelievable characters. Not the worst book ever, but still a waste of time. Grade: C-.
Monday, 20 February 2012
Review -I read this book more than a month ago, and originally someone else was going to write the review, so I haven't thought about the book since finishing it, and unfortunately until sitting down to write this review, I had mostly forgotten it. I guess that says something about how engaging the book was for me. This review will be pretty basic, as I've forgotten most of the details.
The beginning of the book is spent watching our heroes wandering though the wasteland that used to be Los Angeles, salvaging supplies and killing zombies. This is cool, at first, but it drags on for pages and pages of description of blowing up body parts and occasional celebrity zombies. Once we do get to the plot the book is half over and we find out much of the information we got in the beginning was irrelevant to the point of the story anyway. This was my biggest complaint, so much of the book (and my time) was wasted on vivid descriptions of zombie destruction, which sounds great, but in actuality, it got old really fast.
The book alternated between telling the back story of the individual heroes and what's happening in present day. I'm usually not a huge fan of flashbacks, but in this book the flashbacks were some of the most interesting parts of the story. It's the only time the characters seem at all real. Unfortunately, the author included too many characters and provided very little back story for each one. We are left interested, but ultimately unsatisfied in our curiosity about them. The book could have been greatly improved by giving us twice as much history on half as many characters.
These things being said, I get that character development and emotion were not what the author was going for when writing this book. The book reads like a script to an action movie, which is most of what the book was, action of some sort or another. Sometimes all action with very little substance can be appealing, but it's tough to do this well. As an author, if you're going to make your book all action, you should bring some originality, this book isn't original, it isn't particularly well written either. This left me skimming pages with only a mild interest on how the story ended. The most disappointing part is that it COULD have been so much better. The idea and the set up are great, it just fell flat quickly after getting started.
Bottom Line: Ex-Heroes is basically zombies vs. superheroes, without bringing anything new to the table. There's a lot of action, a lot of description of zombie destruction, but not a lot of character development, which is okay if unoriginal action is all you're looking for. Grade: C-.
Monday, 9 January 2012
Review: As a fan of the dystopian genre, I had high expectations for Michael Grant’s GONE, the titular novel in his current 6-book series. However, if you’ve already read a stellar dystopian series like Hunger Games, it’s hard not to draw comparisons and determine where Mr. Grant has fallen short: a dragging plot, poor character development, unauthentic dialogue and – most annoying - key thematic elements that are left unaddressed . In general, reactions to this book in our group ranged from absolutely boring to mildly entertained, but proof’s in the pudding when most of our members didn’t bother to finish the book (or even get past the halfway mark).
As outlined in the summary above, the story follows what happens when everyone above the age of 15 disappears and the kids of Perdido Beach are left to fend for themselves. Surrounded by an impenetrable force-field, the older kids - comprised of main characters Sam, Astrid, Quinn and Edilio - do their best to ration food and maintain order in the post-Phase world, struggling against animals that have developed advanced predatory mutations while some of the kids themselves have evolved newly-developed superpowers. Add to the mix a climactic power struggle when the super-powered and morally-flawed prep-schoolers of Coates Academy –led by Caine, their equally charismatic and masochistic leader - descend on the survivors at Perdido Beach, and you’ve got a pretty interesting story (at least on the surface). But then again….
Perhaps my biggest disappointment is the author’s negligence to address two of the most prevalent questions posed throughout the book: 1) Why do kids disappear when they turn 15? What’s so special about that particular age? & 2) What is the sinister creature that lives in the cave and what are its motives? If Mr. Grant had given more development to those two subjects, especially in the last few chapters to build up some semblance of suspense, then maybe I’d have some interest in the following books. In fact, it’s as if the last few chapters lose all the steam the book has worked to build. Mr. Grant has the perfect opportunity to set up a classic cliffhanger ending, one that ideally SHOULD make you want to go and devour the next book (aptly named “Hunger”) immediately; instead, the final scene of the book shows Caine, tired and beaten, shuffling off into the desert with the retreating coyote pack. Bad guys defeated. A decidedly tired and predictable ending.
Whether it was the lack of plot resolution, uninteresting characters, terribly-written dialogue – or a combination of all three - I had only *just* enough interest to finish the book and no particular craving to continue the series.
Bottom Line: Having finished the book three weeks prior to writing this review, I can only say it’ll keep your attention long enough (for most readers) to reach the last page, but there won’t be many moments worth remembering when you’re done. Grade: Solid “C”.
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Everything changes when Quentin finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the practice of modern sorcery. He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. But something is still missing. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he though it would.
Then, after graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. "