Tag Archives: fiction

Book Review: Amped

Book: Amped

Author: Daniel H. Wilson

Recommend: Definitely an interesting and thought provoking what if.

I picked this book up ages ago and found it the other day while working on the last couple of boxes that needed to be unpacked. I had originally found the concept behind the book fascinating and so when I stopped and decided that I would just read a few pages in, I found myself getting up a few hours later having finished it.

This book is all about the idea that we could fix the brain and mental issues that we have whether they be medical, intellectual or someone just wanting more than they naturally had in some kind of ability. How would the world treat these people who had amped their brains for the sake of a cure from some kind of defect. When the world decides that people with altered or amped brains no longer deserve the rights that everyone else enjoys, suddenly there seems to be no where save for these people.

I thought it was an interesting read. I think that the theme has been a bit overdone but the point is that we shouldn’t discriminate based on people’s choices. I think this is a dangerous idea to put out there in a way. In this instance for this book it makes sense. However, if you follow this idea to its logical conclusions, you are going to end up saying that someone’s choices shouldn’t have consequences. For example, if someone has violent tendencies, following this idea would say that they are not responsible for their violent actions and should be accepted the way they are, no matter how many people they kill. While the example is extreme, the point should be fairly obvious. Where is the line where a person’s choice becomes wrong and who is to judge whether or not it is wrong. This idea, while valid, depending on the circumstances, creates a slippery slope that could quickly turn into a mess.

While I applaud the author for using science fiction to really examine deeper ideas through fiction, I wonder why the author never addressed why there is a line and this idea shouldn’t be carried past a certain point. Definitely an interesting read but one with some potentially disturbing conclusions.

Final Rating:

 

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Book Review: Harmony

Book: Harmony

Author: Keith Brooke

Recommend: Definitely not worth the time or effort to get through this one.

This book had a lot of potential. An interesting idea of a world where aliens ruled and we were at their mercy. The thing that doomed this book honestly was the fact that the author simply didn’t construct his world well. With a little bit more effort and clarity this book could have been so much better than it was. Basically this author needed to read Card’s book about writing science fiction and fantasy. He had no clue how to create a world or add the right amount of details so that the reader could see it in their heads. Some things were very well defined but others were so vague that you couldn’t really get a good sense of what was going on. The storyline is good but the world underneath it isn’t established well enough for the reader to really get into it.

I would skip this one because it will only create frustration and aggravation for you.

Final Rating:

TRASH IT!!

TRASH IT!!

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Book Review: The Hollow Man

Book: The Hollow Man

Author: Dan Simmons

Recommend: It was a change of pace with a depressing ending… I wouldn’t go straight to recommend… but it wasn’t awful either.

I realized at my most recent trip to the library that I had picked this book up a half a dozen times and not taken it home so I decided that I needed to finally put it in my bag and read it already. So in the amazing  Disney Villains bag it went.

The centers around a man who can hear everyone’s thoughts and his journey after his wife dies. She was the only thing keeping everyone at bay and the moment she was gone, there was nothing to keep him from hearing everyone’s thoughts. When he decides to end it all, he will end up in the wrong place at the wrong time and it will start a desperate journey all over the country desperately trying to outrun the mob and himself.

I have to say that this book was written really well. Simmons has a way of allowing the reader to see and understand what he is talking about. The depth of his characters are wonderful. The action is exciting and watching this character grow and change through the book was very engaging and in some ways kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved the fact that this had a huge element of real science fiction and even though it was there it still read a bit like fantasy and straight up serious fiction.

I will say that there were quite a few drawbacks in this one for me. Honestly, I hated the ending. I hate it when I grow to like a character so much only to have them decide that the world is better off without them. I’m sorry but suicide is not a good way to end a book. I hate when this gets romanticized. Suicide is the most selfish decision that someone can make and yet so many authors feel the need to make it look like this beautiful release from life. It’s not. I also found that sometimes the book would get far too technical. While that was part of the appeal, it took it a bit too far. I also thought a few of the action pieces were too abrupt. There was no build up, which was exciting and shocking but it really hard to keep up with.

I think that I might try something else by this author because I liked the way he wrote but the story line of this one got really old.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: Beautiful Darkness

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Book: Beautiful Darkness

Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Recommend: This was actually better than the first – marginally.

Lena is not out of the woods yet. She is torn apart by the fact that she is responsible for her Uncle’s death in order to save Ethan’s life. She blames herself completely and to punish herself for it, she decides to hang out with her dark cousin and a cute boy that doesn’t quite fit anywhere. Ethan finds out why he is so special and goes in search of the girl he loves to save her from herself and her dark caster mother.

I am noticing a disturbing trend in YA fiction lately. Maybe it’s just the string of stuff I’ve picked up has unfortunately had this in common or it really is happening a lot (I’m hoping it’s the first, the second makes me slightly depressed). The trend I have noticed is that in a YA fiction series, it is necessary to rip the two main characters apart in the second book. Examples: Peeta and Katniss, Bella and Edward, Tris and Four, and many more. I was hoping this second book wouldn’t do that. I really wanted them to keep the two of them together and fight it all together. That was not what happened. This one pulled them apart and did it spectacular fashion, a la New Moon.

This book doesn’t have a love triangle, it has a love rectangle. Except it wasn’t that exciting because we all know that in YA fiction, the girl always picks boy number one and never boy number two.

This book was much tighter and the pacing was better. I also become more emotionally invested with the characters than I expected.

After reading other reviews, I’m a bit nervous about reading the next book in the series. I’ve heard many things from other reviewers. They all say the same thing. Book three is very hard to get through. It looks like this is not the end of the massive character torture.

Final Rating:

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Book Review: The Double Game

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Book: The Double Game

Author: Dan Fesperman

Recommend: I don’t like spy novels…

I received this book as an ARC. I don’t know why I kept putting it off but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to read it. Then I got a few pages in and realized that this was an old-fashioned spy novel. UGH! I really don’t like spy novels. They are not a genre I enjoy but I wasn’t sure if I had requested this ARC or not and so I gamely kept plugging through.

The story is dated, the action is trite and there never really is anything exciting. A spy novel should have something to really hook the reader but this author frequently uses the same idea over and over again. There was no surprise and no suspense. The best thing I can say is that the author was very good at creating a scene that I could imagine in my head, of course, most of the time, I didn’t want to.

Not one to waste your time on. I promise.

Final Rating:

TRASH IT!!

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Book Review: Caught in Crystal

Cover of "Caught in Crystal (Lyra series,...

Book: Caught in Crystal

Author: Patricia C. Wrede

Recommend: It was okay. A pleasant read..

I know I’ve been saying it quite a bit lately, but I’ve been putting this one off. I have read so many books that I didn’t enjoy that I am becoming more and more wary of many of the ARCs I’ve been receiving. This one screamed cheesy fantasy to me and so I kept delaying. Finally though, I decided to bite the bullet and get going.

This book is part of a loosely connected series. It is not, by far, the first book but they are written so that they can stand alone. This tells the story of an innkeeper with a magical past, one that she left behind in order to marry and have children. She gave up a life of adventure for something simpler. However, when strange visitors begin to show up, she is dragged back into a world that she thought she had left behind forever.

This book told a classic fantasy story with a main character who is more than they seem. It takes this character out of their comfort zone on a whirlwind adventure. This book was unique due to its inclusion of children and the complication they bring to the adventurous lifestyle. It was a fun, traditional fantasy in every sense of the word.

There were a couple of things the author could have done better. For one, her names for things were just cheesy. Examples: The Twisted Tower, The Shining Sisterhood, etc. Characters names included weird spelling and lots of unnecessary letters. Yes, we get it, it’s a fantasy novel but I would like to figure out what the main characters names sound like in my head thanks. Finally, it just takes far too long to get to the main part of the story and when we do, it’s rushed and not well-developed.

While this was an enjoyable, light read, this author isn’t going to be one that I must read more from but she’s also not someone I would avoid either.

Final Rating:

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Breakdown

did they try with this cover??

Book: Snapped

Author: Pamela Klaffke

Recommend: For the mature audiences who can handle it…

I picked up this book at a whim without knowing much about it. I have to say, I absolutely loved it. It was completely different. The main character is almost forty and trying to figure her life out. She’s a alcoholic, caffeine addicted, chain smoker who has a successful career at a magazine who gives it all up.

This book is definitely not for anyone under the age of eighteen. The narrator and main character have a very adult life and her mental state isn’t completely stable. I would basically call her a tortured artist. I was able to relate to

certain parts of her personality and found her to be extremely compelling.

The only negative about this book is that it is rather graphic and not for just anyone.¬† I wouldn’t recommend this to the um-conservative crowd.However there are so many redeeming qualities that it makes for an amazing read.

 

Final Rating:

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