Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Subject Seven by James A. Moore

Subject Seven by James A. Moore
Published January 20, 2011
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
A very interesting take on sci-fi with the whole Jekyll and Hyde thing.  The author definitely did a good job in alternating between the Jekyll version and the Hyde version.  The only thing I was a little confused about was in the beginning with the scientists – why would they allow the Jekyll version in their own homes but would lock up the Hyde version in the jail cell and test him?  I mean, I get that one of the version is the sweet, docile and normal kid but the other is crazy, super strong, and mildly evil so it would make sense to keep one out and lock the other up.  The question is: how do they know when they switch characters and do they have enough time to quickly lock the Hyde version up?  It seems to me that the switch is pretty quick.  Also, I was under the impression that the Hyde version was more or less the one in charge so if that was the case, how come the scientists felt that it was okay to keep the Jekyll version free? 

I also found the transition between the two to be interesting.  I actually thought that in the beginning that it was more like schizo where only the personalities changed but I didn’t realize that actually the entire body changed and some of the kids actually grew taller and whatnot.  It was crazy to think about it.  In a way, it reminded me of like…werewolves (LOL) because it’s essentially the same thing.  Both parties are shifting and changing to accommodate an entirely different form.

I’m not sure if I was a fan of the characters – there weren’t too much characterization especially since the POVs jumped from character to character not to mention, there was also Hunter’s Jekyll version to consider as well since he was also included in the POVs.  So there were definitely a lot of back and forth and/or reading the same situation in a different POV which is nice but after a while can be quite tedious and redundant.  I’m also curious to know why the other Jekyll’s POV didn’t make an entrance when Hunter’s did.  Obviously they had a late start in showing up but towards the end, it could have helped to see what the others thought.

There is another book in this series but I don’t think I am that invested in it to try to search for it.  Not to mention, I’m a little wary that this series didn’t fully end – every time I see a series with only two books, I’m either like this isn’t really a series or the author felt that he/she couldn’t finish it so then there’s this cliffhanger which is pretty much the worst ending ever.  So I’ll rather just leave this as is and move on with other books.
Rating:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Tour: A Human Element by Donna Galanti + GIVEAWAY

A Human Element by Donna Galanti
Published July 24, 2014
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
The book had an interesting premise but as I got into the audiobook, I was getting a little skeptical.  I’m not sure if it was the narrator or the slow pace of the book but it was definitely something.  It also took a little while to actually get into the book because there was a lot of plot development and character building that took place.  There were also a lot of time gaps and jumps so, as an audiobook, it can be easy to miss and then you’re just confused until you realize that there was a time jump.  That being said, towards the middle of the book when I started to realize what was going on, I ended up really enjoying the book.

Even though the book started off a bit slow, ultimately I was glad for all of the developments that took place.  It definitely needed it for the reader to fully comprehend all the inner workings of the book.  So from the beginning, it was obvious to me who the “savage killer” was but then there was Ben and I wasn’t sure why he was there or what purpose he had in the whole thing so he definitely threw me off a little.  Until I found out his purpose there, his side of the story was really random.  He did a lot of shit when he was younger and then I guess he grew up and became a better man.  But it was crazy to think how much he changed from when he was still a kid and there was accident with his foster parents to who he became when he finally met Laura.

Laura was an interesting character as well.  I can’t decide if I actually like her or not because I felt that there were times when she was super immature but not in a bad way.  For example, she would save her mother from dying just because she didn’t want her to leave her.  And I mean, obviously saving her mother is good, but sometimes fate is fate right?  And when someone is destined to go, you just gotta let them go.  Plus these incidences happened all the time (i.e. Mr. B with the bees or Mr. B with that final stand against the savage killer or her best friend in college).  The interesting thing was that after the huge accident with her parents, she swore off her magical healing powers yet went straight for it again when the incident at college took place.  So I found her to be a bit wishy washy.  I also thought she was too soft.  That savage killer?  She tried to change his ways and reform him even though clearly he couldn’t be and people died because of him.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I thought she was unrealistic.  And that whole incident at the end when she ran away?  I was like, seriously?  Come on.  It seemed that the author just wanted to prolong the story for a few extra chapters for seemingly no reason.

I also got this book via an audiobook so the narrator played an important role in setting the scene/image for the listeners.  I’d definitely had audiobooks where the author droned on and I pretty much gave up within an hour of listening (I still need to give them a chance!).  So I was glad that this narrator did a decent job in making sure that his pronunciations were clear (though I have to say, his female tones for Laura was a bit odd…). 

Overall, I did enjoy this book and would be interested in reading the rest of the trilogy but so far only book 2 has been written and it’s been 3 years now so…I might end up with reading only this book.
Rating:





Friday, March 24, 2017

Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Published between 2011-2013
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
Another dystopian trilogy so there were definitely some similarities with other dystopian novels but I also found new twists to it which I enjoyed.  The one thing I liked was how America was split into two aspects – Republic on the West and the Colony on the East.  I remember when Trump first got elected, California and some of the other western states were trying to do a “Calexit” which is awesome except that I (NYC) also wanted to join in on that but they refused due to the fact that Trump is from NYC (boo).  So I can actually kind of see a split between the West and East in the future (if a dystopian event ever occurs) rather one between the North and the South. 

Another aspect that I enjoyed was how poor America is in the future for both the Republic and the Colony.  I actually found it interesting to see that Antarctica is now a major power player rather than the desolate location it is right now.  There were definitely a lot of interesting tidbits about the dystopian world that Marie created.

Between the two characters: Day and June – I think I prefer Day a lot more.  There were a few times when I found June to be a bit selfish and not at all aware of the others around her.  However, this might also because she was raised in a wealthy environment and god knows those people tend to be very self-focused.  She was also very stoic at times but that’s also due to her military background where being stoic is pretty much in the job description so sometimes it was difficult for the others to understand her emotions.  I really like Day mainly because he was free to do what he wanted and he showed that in his actions and emotions.  He didn’t have a lot of obligations other than caring for his loved ones and it really showed.  There were times when I thought Day was a little too headstrong because he would often just jump right into something.  Basically he would think with his emotions rather than his head which is why he was a good match with June because she was pretty much the exact opposite.  She thought with her head and not with her heart so sometimes she was able to make the tough decisions whereas Day couldn’t.

I also thought that the relationship between June and Day went well in the first book and then kind of went on a stagnant state in the second and even third book.  For a hot minute, I actually thought that maybe June would end up with someone else and so would Day because there were others who were probably better matched for them than they were for each other.  However, I’m glad they still ended up together even though I thought that the ending was a little bittersweet since it wasn’t an entirely optimistic ending but more of a hopeful one. 

I did enjoy the trilogy immensely and I’m glad things worked out at the end.  I hate dystopian novels where the main character dies *coughVeronicaRothcough*.  I mean, dystopian novels are by definition a depressing topic because it talks about Earth after it had already been savaged and how those who are left are struggling to survive.  And then you go write a book where the main person dies?  Please.  Anyways, enough about a different trilogy.  I thought that the Legend trilogy was nice and well-written.  The pace of the plot was good and the action made sense. 

Overall, I highly recommend these books for those who enjoy dystopian novels, action, adventure and romance.  
Rating:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Genesis by Bernard Beckett
Published April 20, 2009
Summary on Goodreads

Review:
Definitely a crazy book.  The last few pages pretty much shocked me like no other mainly because I went in with assumptions and realized that Bernard, the author, pretty much blew all of my assumption out of the water.  I just can’t believe the ending and the realization that Anax faced as well as anything else really.

The book definitely started out a little slow and it was very wordy.  It certainly was not a book where you can simply gloss over the paragraphs but you really had to read each sentence, each word, very carefully otherwise you will miss hints that are scattered throughout.  However, the book was also very short.  To be honest, I considered putting the book down at one point because I just wanted to get to the climax or the action, really.  But once the book entered the dialogue between Adam and Art, I started to really get into it.  It was fascinating to read the exchange between the two – man and machine.  At the same, though, I was curious to know why exactly they were imprisoned together.  I understood why Adam was imprisoned because that was explained but not for Art.  And apparently they spent years together in the same jail room. 

Another interesting facet was towards the end when they – Adam and Art – plotted their escape and that realization was particularly fascinating.  I couldn’t believe what happened and it really made me question stuff about life.  Is man really more powerful than a machine?  Normally I would say yes because man is needed to create the machine but at the same time, clearly machines are more powerful than man as seen by computers and similar gadgets we have now.  So it’s a lot of information to mull over and consider. 

The ending was definitely the craziest aspect of the book.  I still can’t believe who, or what, Anax and the rest of the “people” were.  Not to mention, the truth of the actual examination and why it’s there and how it affects Anax’s future.  The ending was also very abrupt but it was an abruptness that made sense as opposed to some other books where the ending is simply cut off for no reason.  There is most definitely a reason as to why this ending was cut off.


Overall, I found this book intriguing and it certainly made me think a lot.  However, due to the wordiness, the pace of the book and the lack of character development since a lot of the context was either the exchange between Adam and Art or the interview between the examiners and Anax, I can’t stay that I particularly liked the book too much.  It was basically a book that reminded me of philosophy that was somehow concise and put into a YA book. 

Rating:

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Need So Beautiful Series by Suzanne Young

A Need So Beautiful Series by Suzanne Young
Published between 2011-2013
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
I think this was one of those series where the author could have been better off with leaving it after the first book.  I’m not saying that the second book wasn’t good or that the novella didn’t wrap things up – both were true.  However, I definitely felt that the second book opened up a can of worms that never answered any questions and only left with more confusion.  The first book, while a bittersweet ending, could have been the ultimate ending despite the fact that it didn’t answer things 100% which the novella did.  But it just wasn’t super necessary, if that makes any sense.

Book 1 felt like it was just the precursor where Charlotte was just trying to figure out what was going on and then had to face the ultimate decision – save herself and go into darkness or sacrifice herself for the sake of everyone else.  Obviously we all know which decision she took (duh!).  The one thing I would say about this book is that I felt that things happened in a blur from when Charlotte started to get the Need to when she had to face the ultimate decision.  I felt that she didn’t have enough time to really process everything and then she suddenly had to give up her life. 

For book 2, it definitely didn’t focus as much on the Need but more on the Shadows and how to combat them.  I was also a little surprised about Lucy’s and Abe’s arrival since I thought this trilogy would basically be a showdown between Charlotte and Onika but clearly that wasn’t the case at all.  My biggest qualm about this book is that it didn’t answer anything especially the most important question – how come she came back in a different life/body?  What made her different from all of the other Forgottens?  And how come Harlin, Charlotte’s boyfriend in book 1, somehow found her so quickly and was somehow still the same age?  That was another biggie for me – okay, I can move forward with Charlotte’s reincarnation but how the fuck did Harlin still look like he belonged in high school despite the fact that more than a year passed between each reincarnation?  Not to mention, each book was over a course of a few weeks/months.  And in the distant future, if she kept reincarnating, how can Harlin fit in as a romantic partner if he’s aging as a regular person but she’s still coming back as if she was still 17 all over again?  It just made no sense to me.

Even though Charlotte’s character/body changed with each book but I think that her true personality still remained the same and it was evident as I read the series.  I liked how the author made her consistent throughout the series despite her having different lives and different bodies.  I thought that was nice.  Harlin, her boyfriend, also remained consistent though he did lose some of that happiness from the first book which is obviously understandable since he basically witnessed his girlfriend basically exploding into lights.  However, he remained true and steadfast and still loved her with all of his heart.  While I found that admirable and romantic, the cynical side of me simply cannot believe it.  Remember, they’re both teenagers yet somehow after witnessing himself that his girlfriend had passed on and yet still somehow remained true to her.  The author didn’t talk about whether or not he met other girls along the way or whatever.  I don’t know…I just can’t imagine that.

Overall, the books were good but there was definitely room for improvement.  I wish the author answered a few more questions about the logistics of some of the plots but overall, it was decent.
Rating:

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