Prodigy (Legend #2)

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Prodigy (Legend, #2)

 

“Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?”

– Taken from Goodreads (Original here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13414446-prodigy)

 

After my bad experience with Reached, I was wary of reading another dystopia. But I had already scheduled to read this one, and I really liked the first book in this series, so I decided to give it a chance. And I’m glad I did.

While I still think that Legend was a better book than ProdigyProdigy still managed to keep me entertained. I did miss the feeling of suspense from the first book. I did not, however, see the twist at the end coming. New characters were introduced, and we got to know more about the characters from Legend. Sadly, we also had to say goodbye to some of them (the one I really wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to has survived another book. Let’s hope it continues that way). There is also, at the end, an important piece of news regarding Day that will probably affect him a lot in the next book.

So far, there is not much to make me think that a revolution will happen in Champion, the final book in this trilogy, especially give how Prodigy ended.

One thing that I disliked in this book was the developments in Tess’ and Day’s friendship. Both of them annoyed me whenever they had a dialogue alone, as I thought they were acting imaturely (they are teenagers, that’s true, but with all they’ve seen and done, they should be more mature by now).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2)

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Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)

 

“The astonishing #1 New York Times bestseller.

In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.”

-Taken from Goodreads (original here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6654313-linger)

 

This was one of those books that I was relieved to finish. Put simply, I did not like this book. And definitely don’t have much to say about it.

Plotwise, next to nothing happens. There is a lot of parental drama involving Grace, which was quite dull. There is one big thing that happens at the very end, but at that point, I was sort of numb. I’m not sure there was much of a plot to start with, as the book felt, to me, like chapters and chapters of teen angst, with varying POVs.

I could not relate to any of the characters, either. Grace, by keeping secrets, was putting herself in danger. Sam became, in my head, an emo teenager. Isabel sort of lost the spark I remembered from the first book. And Cole, the new character, did not strike a chord with me.

Things that I wanted to see weren’t shown, In one word: Olivia. I’m not saying anything else, so as not to spoil the book.

This series is, as of now, definitely abandoned. I have no intention of finishing it.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Matched (Reached #3)

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Reached (Matched, #3)

 

“After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.”

(Taken from Goodreads, original here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13125947-reached)

I have found that dystopian trilogies tend to follow a certain pattern. The first book introduces us to the world building and the characters. At the end of this first book, something happens that leads to the questioning of the way of life introduced throughout the book. In the second book, that questioning is made by more and more people, and the system fights back. In the third book, there is usually open rebellion/revolution.

This trilogy was following this pattern quite nicely. Up until Reached, that is. In Reached, the plot arc fell apart. It began with the Rising actually happening. But then, it got completely sidetracked by an illness, and our main trio goes off to search for a cure. At the end, it’s not that clear if the Rising actually succeeded or not.

One thing that really confused me was the Pilot. I’m not going to try to explain, as that could be a massive fail. And all those poems were a bit distracting as well. Granted, they do play a role in the story, but still, there are only so many times that the same poem by Emily Dickinson can be quoted.

The POVs were also a bit boring, particularly Cassia’s and Ky’s. They thought too much, and, at some points, there was too much angst going on. As for the love triangle, I felt that the resolution was too easy, in the sense that there wasn’t really a dispute to begin with.

I have to confess that, at the end of Reached, I was left wondering why I insist on reading dystopian series.

Rating: 2 out of 5

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3)

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The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

 

“The epic conclusion to Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.” (Taken from Goodreads. Original can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11431896-the-bitter-kingdom)

I’m not sure I have much to say about this book.

I have to confess that, while this trilogy kept me entertained, it does not figure on my top 10 list. I don’t know why, I guess I didn’t really connect with the story or the characters.

I do recognize that Elisa, as a character, grew up a lot. In the first book, she was a whiny princess. In the second book, she was a bit more of a warrior. In this book, she grew to become a queen. The fact remains that I didn’t coonect with her. As for her romance with Hector, I felt like it lacked a bit of spark. I felt that Hector came across as a bit mellow at points, which does not fit, at least in my head, with the image of a soldier in the important position of commanding the Royal Guard.

As for the story, I felt like it was a good conclusion to Elisa’s story. However, so many bigger questions, which were mentioned in the very final pages, remained unanswered, which disappointed me quite a bit. And I have to confess that it didn’t make that much sense to me. Why bring up all those questions (and thus remind the reader that they exist) and not answer them?

The secondary characters were the one I came to care the most about, and I still don’t know what happened to them. What about Belén and Mara? What about Storm? And what about Red, the feisty girl with a very mysterious background and who is at the centre of one of the big questions? And Rosario, what happened to him?

The one big relief was the fact that Elisa didn’t touch her navel nearly as much in this book. There is a reason for that, but I won’t spoil it.

All in all, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I was expecting more answers, as they are usually revealed in the final book of a series. And that expectation was frustrated. If I had known it would go like this before I picked this book up, maybe I would have enjoyed it more.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

2014 Series Challenge

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As the year is drawing to a close, it’s time to start thinking about what to read in the next year. There are many highly anticipated releases, and some series will be started and others will be finished. After finding this series challenge (here: http://www.readsleeprepeat.org/2014-series-challenge/), I’ve decided to join.

 

After joining, I decided to take a look at my TBR shelf on Goodreads, to figure out which series I could possibly finish in 2014. I came up with these (these books are from series which I have ALREADY started reading AND are also the final books in the series. I can’t say anything yet of the series I will start during the next year).

TBP (To Be Pulbished) in January:

Evertrue (Everneath), by Brodi Ashton.

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky), by Veronica Rossi.

TBP in February:

The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy), by Jennifer A. Nielsen.

TBP in April:

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), by Laini Taylor.

Sunrise (Ashfall), by Mike Mullin.

Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy), by Wendy Higgins.

TBP in May:

The One (The Selection), by Kiera Cass

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments), by Cassandra Clare.

TBP in June:

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha), by Leigh Bardugo.

Wings (Black City), by Elizabeth Richards.

TBP in August:

Opposition (Lux), by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Battle Angel (Immortal City), by Scott Speer.

TBP in September:

Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy), by Ken Follett.

TBP in October:

Untitled (The Arcana Chronicles), by Kresley Cole.

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus), by Rick Riordan.

Based on those books alone (and if I understood the challenge correctly), I think I can push for the Platinum Badge. As for the series that I’ll start next year, who knows?

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1)

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The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)

I’ve had this book since my birthday last year. Almost a year later, I’ve finally read it. I don’t really know why I took so long to read this one. I’d guess it never really fit the mood I was in when looking for a book.

“Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1232.The_Shadow_of_the_Wind?from_search=true)

The first thing that really caught my attention in the story was the existence of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books The name makes pretty clear what this is, but my inner bookworm went ballistic with the thought of books being completely forgotten. Not to mention all the possibilities for rescuing a book from oblivion. And that’s exactly what Daniel, the main character, sets out to do. What was supposed to be quite easy becomes a convoluted story, full of enmities, secrets, and lies.

At points, it was a bit dull, especially toward the end, when Daniel gets the stories of people who knew Carax. On the other hand, some of the characters were really fascinating, and I kept turning the pages, waiting for them to reappear. A very important and fascinating character was the city of Barcelona (yes, I’m considering it to be a character). I’ve never been to Barcelona. In fact, I’ve never been to Spain (unless you count a few hours spent at the airport of Madrid). But I’ve been told, time and time again, that Barcelona is a fascinating city, and I do want to go there one day.

I really loved the way this book was written. The way the author set the mood to the scenes, the way he introduced his characters, revealing tidbits of information… Other than the stories told that compose the puzzle of Carax’s life, there are no information dumps, which was quite a pleasant change from the YA books I’ve been reading. Granted, this is an adult book, but still, the fact that I did not have to deal with any information dumps was really great. As for the ending, I did not see it coming. I had different guesses about Carax, and all of them turned out to be wrong.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

UnSouled (Unwind Dystology #3)

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UnSouled (Unwind, #3)

 

“The story that began with Unwind continues.

Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.

Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.

With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.

Neal Shusterman continues the adventure that VOYA called “poignant, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.”

– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12792658-unsouled)

 

First off, I have to say that this book did not introduce another ethical dilemma like the two previous books did (unwinding and rewinding). Instead, it explores the two dilemmas introduced in UnWind and UnWholly. And I kind of missed having a new ethical issue to grapple with.

This book is also told in different POVs, which is a good thing, as the characters are now quite spread after the events of UnWholly.  Cam, one of the POV characters and the first and only Rewind (as far as we know), was not a good a character as he was in UnWholly. In UnWholly, we followed his struggle to become his own person, to make a whole out of many parts. In Unsouled, however, he faces a quite predictable problem: he is seen as a property that can be sold and bought rather than his own person. This problem was not enough to really interest me. And his fixation with Risa was also a bit boring. I’d say that, at the end of UnWholly, he and Starkey are my least favorite characters.

I don’t like Starkey because he can’t think far ahead and is, therefore, unable to see how damaging his actions truly are. The other characters are okay. In this book, the one that really stood out for me was Grace. I’m not going to spoil anything, but she was a very pleasant surprise. I’m curious to see what will happen to her in the next book (really hoping she doesn’t get killed).

After three books of bleaker and bleaker scenarios, the very end of UnWholly presents the chance to turn the table. Hopefully, in the next book, things will get better. And I also hope that the next book will also have the glimpses into the past that UnWholly had.

Rating: 4 out of 5