Friday, August 15, 2014

The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

I am a firm believer in the fact that not every novel need be a trilogy (I'm looking at you Mockingjay).  But here is an excellent example of where more is not more, more is confusing and a bit of a let down.  In theory, I loved the set up of this story, an alt-history where magic has ensured the life-long power of the Franco-British Empire.  However, due to the jam-packed race to the end of this book, neither the world nor the magic were really developed into anything very interesting.  In addition, I guess I'm kinda old-school in the fact that I enjoy a book with a main character and ancillary supporting characters.  Unfortunately, this book attempted to include ALL the characters which again left it as a whole with no one particular character that I much cared for (and where an additional novel could have maybe been useful in creating more depth).  On a whole I found the writing interesting and the events intriguing but then the book just ended.  It was sort of like the author realized it was getting a bit to lengthy and decided to shove all the climactic plot point within a span of maybe 30 pages (mind you many of these plot points were not even ones I saw coming, most of the book was rather bland).  Over all, I felt as if it had good intentions but fell a little short.

Final Recommendations: if you like royal intrigue, a boat load of characters, a sprinkling of inconsequential magic

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Sekrets, and espionage and teens with super telekinetic powers (wow I just spelled telekinetic correctly on the 1st try, let's pause for a round of applause).  Unfortunately, that's about all the applause this book is going to receive from me.  The synopsis sounded good, it includes lots of things I like but with a new, unique world, 1960's alt-reality cold-war Russia where the spy kids just happen to have super-powers.  But good summaries don't always end in good novels.  This one lacked cohesion.  I felt like there was a lot of jumping around with little to no explanation.  The main character, Yulia, goes from a poor "ration-rat" to expert spy-kid in what seems like an over-night transformation.  The missions were really never explained (as far as why they were needed or why I really cared).  In the end, I found myself skimming just to make sure what I expected to happen did (no big surprises, it did).

Final Recommendations: spy-kids, super-powers, if you can figure this one out, please explain it to me!