Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

I loved The Darkest Minds (the first book set in this post-apocalyptic world where children are die at an alarming rate due to some unknown pathogen, while others are plagued by terribly awesome super-powers).  The world building seemed both accurate and honest and the details surrounding the human reactions to these children and their horrifying powers was heart-wrenching and at times gutting (in the best possible way).  The Darkest Minds stands out in a marked saturated by dystopian teen novels.  Unfortunately, In The Afterlight was a very predictable 3rd novel in a trilogy.  Maybe there's something wrong with me but I cannot seem to be satisfied by the trilogy as a general principal.  Don't get me wrong, I cannot stand a duology (there are just not enough pages to solve all your conflicts within the confines of two books).  But most trilogies leave me disappointed.  This book was not overtly bad.  There was a lot of whining and self-doubt on Ruby's part (which should have ultimately been resolved by the 3rd book, no?).  There was a solid red-herring that I stupidly jump on board for but then it fell flat and I was obviously disappointing at the loss of this character with no chance of redemption.  Finally, I was disappointed by the totally predictable, neat ending.  I know, I know, this doesn't make sense.  I am also often disappointed when then ending is not satisfying.  But this ending was so perfect, I kinda wish it had been a little more realistic, messy like the rest of the series.

Final Recommendations:  totally read this series (regardless of whether or not I was disappointed in the ending, I would have still finished the book & it was not awful, just predictable and a little boring), if you like girls kicking butt, hot southern boys (also not enough of this in the 3rd book), evil governments, super-powered children

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

I understand that this book is technically filed in the "adult" category.  It is written under Victoria Schwab's "adult" pen name and was definitely priced for the "adult" market (thank goodness for teacher discounts and birthday presents), however, I firmly stand behind my review that it is totally readable by ANY group of people, especially young adults.  This book is magical, from its awesome cover to the awesome insides, it's all good.  The world is so unique, it takes me back to being a preteen who would give anything to belong to the world of Harry Potter.  The characters, as well, are so fascinating, I cannot wait to get my hands on future installments.

Final Recommendations: if you like magic, kick-ass heroes and heroins, fantastic world building, and simply great story telling

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Let me start this review by stating that I really liked The Fifth Wave.  I liked its humor, realistic narrators and divergence from the traditional "evil government" post apocalyptic trope (I mean aliens was a refreshing change of pace right?).  I also loved the twist at the end.  For all its faults, I will say that I would recommend anyone to continue this series if just to get to that mind blowing twist toward the end (well done Mr. Yancey).  But this book, as a whole, was not nearly as funny or plot driven or even coherent as the first.  I had trouble differentiating between narrators or remembering who was who.  We did not spend nearly enough time with Cassie and the time we did spend with her was a bit of a downer (I guess alien invasions will eventually have that effect on you).  I did, however, enjoy getting to know Ringer.

Final Recommendations: if you like kick-butt heroines, aliens?, epic surprises