Tag Archives: Dystopia

Book Review: Monument 14 Sky on Fire

Book: Monument 14 Sky on Fire

Author: Emmy Laybourne

Recommend: This was interesting but a bit thin in both length and depth of material.

I loved the first book in this series even though on paper it sounded like almost every other dystopian novel I had read. So when I heard about the second book in the series I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as possible so I put in for a reserve. Well, it came out and I read it and was sadly disappointed. It had nothing on the first book and was a pale imitation.

First of all, the first book was on the shorter side. The second book hardly qualified as a full book. While this definitely furthered the plot, it seemed rushed. The author seemed to have been forced to write this one on a very short timeline or the editor overdid it and cut far too much. I was hoping for a strong follow-up and instead got a pale imitation instead. Not worth the time and I don’t think I’ll be finishing this story.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: The Lost Code

Book: The Lost Code
Author: Kevin Emerson
Recommend: If you like the legend of Atlantis… maybe

I picked this up knowing that I was probably going to be disappointed. I love stories about Atlantis but the idea of YA based on it felt like unless the author was very talented that it would go very very wrong. While this didn’t go as badly as it could have, I wouldn’t jump right to success either.

I think the biggest problem with the book was that the author made some vital mistakes. Mistake number one was setting this in a dystopian future. Just because dystopia is the rage for YA doesn’t mean that everything should be. I think this book would have gone over much better if it had been set in the past. if they had kept the camp and everything else but simply put it during the early days of the cold war or the like. Mistake number two was Lilly. There were simply so many issues with this character. She was completely inconsistent which leads me to the flaws with the main character who was head over heels for someone that simply made no sense.

That being said, I will give this author some serious credit for originality. it is nice to read something new for a change. I loved the fact that the author thought out the consequences of some of his actions, although others created issues. I loved the risk he took and I honestly think that if he ignores much of the dystopian aspect in the next book and focuses on the search, it will be much better. I also have to give him serious credit for writing one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever read period. There is a scene where the main characters find a lab that is truly horrifying. The author says just enough to give a clear mental picture without crossing the line too far. The mental images he created in this scene were so intense that I had to stop for a moment.

That being said, I think this author took a huge risk that didn’t pay off completely but had some great points never the less.

Final Rating:

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Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I would like to see more of…

Top Ten TuesdaysI really felt the need to share what I want to see less of as well so…

10 settings I would like to see more of

1. The desert – There are so many things that can be done and hardships to face. I wish there was less forest setting and more desert settings. Growing up in the desert, to me I always have a better connection with the scenery when they are set here.

2. Utopian societies – I know dystopia is all the rage but I would love to see more of the kid fighting to get back to his perfect world than the kids fighting to escape their horrible situations. Or even adult Utopia. Please??

3. Suburbia – Please someone for the love of all things interesting, for once set a book in the world where most of us live. I’d love to see an action scene where someone is getting chased through Target or Walmart or trying to escape the cops in a cookie cutter planned community. Think of the challenges they might face.

4. Turn of the century – I want more steampunk. I want good steampunk. Even – dare I say it – American steampunk. There I said it 🙂

5. Made up worlds – I need more science fiction. Good science fiction that ISN’T set on earth. Even fantasy not set on earth. Please?

Okay… the other half of this list are things I NEVER want to see again. Seriously.

1. Boarding school/ Prep School – Please stop. Just stop. It’s lame and overdone.

2. New York City – Okay, I can’t say that I NEVER want to see books set here again, just a whole lot less of them…

3. Dystopias – Yep. As much as I like them, I can’t seem to find a book lately that isn’t dystopian. Write something else.

4. The Beach – Ugh. Yes, it’s pretty but…

5. The seedy bar – I don’t think this even needs explaining.

What do you want to see more/less of?


Filed under Book Worm's Obssessive lists, Top Ten Tuesdays

Book Review: Under the Never Sky (plus a mini rant about dystopian novels)

Book: Under the Never Sky

Author: Veronica Rossi

Recommend: Great dystopia! Getting a bit burned out on them though…

I love dystopian fiction. Love it. I’ve loved it since before we had a word for it. The Giver was one of favorite books as a kid. Need I say more? When I was kid though, stumbling across a book like this was a rare find. Now you can’t seem to pick up a YA book without it being about 1)vampires 2) werewolves or 3) futuristic dystopian societies. Occasionally they’ll throw something else in like zombies but mostly, these seem to be the big three. I’m getting sick of something I love. It’s sad. So very sad. Please write something else for teens. It’s time for some serious high fantasy or real science fiction. I love dystopias but for the love of all things book, please stop flooding the market with them!

When I picked this one up, the last thing I wanted to do was read another dystopia right after having finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (my review can be found here). I did it anyway because I’m trying to get the library books out of my house already. I have a stack that is definitely in danger of hitting the maximum limit of times they can be renewed (the lack of reading time due to my master’s and work is to blame). So I forged ahead, prepared to be annoyed but not let you know it if I could help it (unless the book was bad). I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn’t annoyed. I was completely engrossed and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Aria has lived in the pod Reverie all of her life. An existence only partially in the pod, most of her life spent in the Realms, a place that was better than real. One poor choice caused her to lose everything and be stuck in the Death Shop, their nickname for the outside world. A place where there was a thousand ways to die, each more horrific than the last.

I think the best thing about this book was that even the elements weren’t original, they came across as something new and fresh. Both Aria and Perry are complex expressive characters with unique voices that compliment each other well. I want to meet this author in person and shake her hand to thank her for NOT creating a love triangle. Finally!

My biggest issue with this book was the Realms. The idea wasn’t clear enough in the beginning to make enough sense. Once you do understand them, it still feels incomplete. The author really needed to spend some time on exactly what being in one was like. I get why she didn’t but I wish she had. I think the beginning of the book would have been a lot more engaging.

Really good read. Definitely worth picking up. In fact I just did for my nook 🙂

Final Rating:

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Rereading a childhood favorite

https://i1.wp.com/img2.imagesbn.com/images/171900000/171909160.JPGBook: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

Recommend: Definitely!

When I was kid, I read this right when it first came out. It was my first true exposure to the idea of dystopia (although the word had yet to be coined). The concept of the book horrified me. The idea o f a society where there was no color, everyone dressed the same and children were bred, not born out of love.The whole thing made me realize that the future maybe wasn’t as bright as I thought it might be. It was the first time I had considered a future where everything had grown worse instead of getting better and more advanced.

To this day, this book still is incredibly striking even though I’ve read countless dystopian novels since, nothing holds a candle to this one in my mind. After reading this again as an adult, I found something even more disturbing. When I was a kid I didn’t really understand the significance of the pills that the adults had to take. I didn’t grasp the concept of love not really being a part of their  world.The first time I read this book, The Giver himself felt like the horrible person. This time, The Giver was someone to be pitied and honestly I couldn’t stand the father and a society that could treat death so flippantly.

Some of the biggest differences between this book and the dystopian novels being written today is the lack of detail. the author doesn’t feel the need to explain everything completely. She doesn’t feel the need to make it probable, just horrifying that somehow it simply is. I can’t imagine an author today trying to come up with even a simply way to explain the lack of memory and color that this society is living without and even though you question it as  reader, it doesn’t trivialize the fact that it is. I think sometimes dystopian novelists spend too much time trying to explain their world and not enough time telling the story.

I love this book just as much as the last time I read it and feel like I have a better understanding of it now.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

Need more than one copy!!

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Filed under Children's book review, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy