Posts Tagged With: review

Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

The earth has survived two attacks by the buggers, an alien race. The war is still going on and another invasion attempt is awaited anytime now. Ender is six years old. But he isn’t an ordinary boy. He is a Third. In an overpopulated world, it is not allowed for a family to have more than two children. But Ender’s parents have a special permission, because their children are of special interest to the military. Continue reading

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Book Review – The Thirteenth by L.G. Twynham

Let me start by saying: This is the first book ever that I finished and immediately started reading again. I am so in love with this unique plot and all the characters, I just feel the need to read it again so that I can soke all that up that I may have missed the first time around. I experienced this with movies before (I think I saw High Fidelity at least five times back to back before I took a break), but never with books. Yes, I loved books before. Very much. But I did not feel the need to read them again.

That being said, lets talk about what The Thirteenth is about. Val is just about to turn eighteen. Apart from her love for comics and superhero shirts, she is quite ordinary. She kept pretty much to herself her entire life and has not many friends except from Delta, her designer clothes wearing, shopping addicted best friend. The only unusual thing about her are her reoccurring dreams of a village which seem to take place hundreds of years ago and a pain in her arm. And then, on her eighteenth birthday, a tattoo appears on her arm and really unnatural things start to happen.

Plot+me=Love. Really. At first, I was not that drawn into the book. I just really enjoyed reading it, but I could put it down easily. But then, after I hit the 40% mark on my kindle, I couldn’t stop anymore. I read the remaining part of the book in one sitting. I really liked the superhero-like things that happened in the book. I liked the twists and the crazy things that went on at the end and in between. Awesome plot is awesome.

I really liked the characters too. What I really liked about Val’s character was that she is quick-witted and funny and often acts before she thinks. That makes her an even more likeable character and hero. Sometimes I wanted to scream at the book to make her stop and think, but in the end I’m glad she had that attribute, because I now realized how much I like her for it. I really liked Delta, too, although she is portrayed as self-centered and Barbie-like, she still was a likeable character.

The villians in this book where awesome, too. They were pure evil, wicked and sardistic and so much fun to read about.

One thing that I did not like – there was a little bit of insta-love going on. It did not take over the story at all, but I couldn’t stand how fast Val fell for this guy. Not cool. Also, the love interests where a little too gorgeous for my taste. I was never into boygroups, in fact I hated them, so overly gorgeous men still make me want to puke. A little less photoshop, a little more reality please. BUT – as I said, the story didn’t focus on this and I quite liked the turn it took.

The tone of the books was another thing I really enjoyed. It was witty and sarcastic, just the way I love it. The writing style was simple but good. I didn’t like how the third person narrator was somehow limited to one character, but then within the scene seemed to change the character it was focused on. I found that to be a little irritating, but it didn’t bother me all too much.

The Thirteenth is the first in a series of six books. Will I read the next book? I’ll let you guess that one.

Have I raved about this book enough? I thing I have. Now, go out and read this wonderful book. If you love it, tell me! If you hated it – don’t tell me yet. I want to stay in seventh heaven with this book just a little while longer. I’m afraid that if someone pointed out the flaws to me – because lets be honest, every book has something someone hates about it – the spell would be broken and the magic of this reading experience will fade. Do you know what I mean?

Read an excerpt here!

Check out Pricilla’s review, the awesome youtuber through whom I learned about the book!

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Book Review – Harper Madigan: Junior High Private Eye by Chelsea Campbell

Harper Madigan has a detective agency at his school. And he is very serious about that. He even wears a trench coat, he is that serious. Somehow, everything is going wrong at the moment. The vice principal assigned him a partner, something that he really does not need. He just can’t find something to proof that his arch enemy is a criminal. And Danigal, who he used to be very close to, asks for his help. If Harper can’t prove that she is innocent, she’s going to be expelled! Who pushed the theater diva? And how is the powerful PTA involved? They control everything at this school, after all.

After hearing what this book was about, I had to read it. I’m really, and I mean really, into kid detective stories. I love Disney’s Fillmore! , Veronica Mars and I own almost 150 The Three Investigators cassettes. I’m normally not a huge fan of crime fiction, but this book sounded just awesome. I ended up being a little bit disappointed.

The plot itself was quite good, though a little bit too straight forward for my taste. I hoped there would be more twists and turns, and I hoped the solution would be a little bit more exciting. I was not happy with the solution at all, and I even thought the ending a little too unrealistic, because the evidence was just not enough to proof who did it. At least in my opinion.

As for characters…I was frustrated with Harper, because he just does not want to see the truth. And then, when he finally changes, I just could not buy that. It was a sudden change and just not believable to me. He came across as rather arrogant, which is okay for a detective, but annoyed me at times.

I loved how serious the tone of the book was. However I had hoped for a more humorous tone, something more similar to Disney’s Fillmore!. But that was just my expectation, I can’t hold that against the book.

That all being said, I thought the book was really entertaining. Despite some small concerns, I enjoyed the story and the reading experience. Although I had my problems with the ending, it did open up the possibility of a sequel. And I would totally read that! I would however hope for a more complex plot. I suppose this is planned as a middle grade book. In that case I am sure that the audience can handle more twists and turns!

Read the first two chapters on Chelsea’s website!

Chelsea is not only an author, she knits too! She sells knitted My Little Ponys at her Etsy shop!

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Book Review – The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan

The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan

The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan

Once a year the city gets rid of the poor, the homeless, all those who are suspected criminals. They are driven out by the city guard and the magicians. Like every year, there are some people who won’t leave the city without a fight. It is useless to throw stones at the magicians, but they do it anyway. This year, by chance, Sonea is part of the crowd and throws a stone, too. She puts all her rage and frustration into this stone, and as it is supposed to hit the magic shield and fall to the ground – it just passes and hits a magician. Now her only chance to survive is to run and hide.

I really enjoyed the story. I particularly liked the setting of the book. This city, where the contrast between rich and poor is so huge, and where magicians serve the king and on his order keep the city “clean”.

I really liked Sonea as a character. She was strong and always thinking about how she could help “her people”, meaning the people who live outside the city wall, with her ability. The only thing that bothered me about her was that she had an opinion of the magicians, and that opinion was set. She believed everyone who told her things that supported that opinion without thinking twice. I think that this adds to her character though, it makes her character interesting. I really liked Rothen and Dannyl, too. They were very likeable and had funny moments together.

The atmosphere of the book was probably the thing I loved most about it. As I said, I loved the setting, and I loved the author’s descriptions. It reminded me of what I used to love about a story as a child, and it reminded me of some of my favorite computer games. I used to play adventures like Myst, Atlantis or Egypt and I used to really immerge in the story and setting of the game. [I just lost the game btw.] The feeling I had while reading The Magicians’ Guild where quite similar, and I just loved the book for that.

The Magicians’ Guild is the first book in the Black Magician Trilogy. I will definitely read the next book! This trilogy has serious favorites-potential!

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Book Review – Warrior Wolf Women Of The Wasteland by Carlton Mellick III

Warrior Wolf Women Of The Wasteland by Carlton Mellick III

Warrior Wolf Women Of The Wasteland by Carlton Mellick III

If that title did not make your mouth water already, feel free to continue reading my review! You will either want to read this book right away and run to your next online retailer (I don’t think you will be able to find this at your local book store…) – or you will be disgusted and never want to read my blog again. I just have a handful of readers, so I really hope for the first option.

Warrior Wolf Women Of The Wasteland is a book of the bizarro fiction genre. This genre is fairly new, it exists since about the early 2000s. So what is this genre about? Imagine cult films, like the famous midnight movies from the 70s, Takashi Miike films, Tim Burton, maybe Quentin Tarantino – so cult films – as books. Really weird, sometimes disturbing, absurd, satiric storytelling is what bizarro fiction is all about. Now that, I believe, is really polarizing. Either at this point you are really interested or you already know you’ll hate those books.

I started reading this book almost by accident. I had just gotten my Kindle and my boyfriend was looking through the available books and read this title out loud. We laughed about it, since it sounded like the worst book in the world. I told him to get the sample on my Kindle and read it to me while I was getting ready. And we were surprised how good it sounded! After finishing the sample, I knew I wanted to read the whole book! It was that good.

The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world. After almost everything was destroyed by a nuclear war, the only remaining company took over and formed a new country – McDonaldland. The McDonalds regime is strikt, cooking is against the law, you have to eat three times a day and pray five times. The government controlls every aspect of life. But there is something terribly wrong with the people of McDonaldsland. The more sex the women have, the more they turn into giant wolves, and some man grow extra limbs. Of course, McDonaldsland cannot let this happen. So sex is against the law and women who broke the sex law and the male mutants are thrown out of McDonaldsland into the Wasteland, where the wolves live.

taken from knowyourmeme.com

No, seriously, I just loved the story. The setting is brilliant, it is twisted and weird and all I could wish for. The plot was action packed and fast paced, and there where a lot of fight scenes. This is definetly not a book for sensitive people. There is blood, gore and characters that you just learned to like are brutally killed. There also is sex and rape, as I said, not for sensitive people. Oh, on this note, don’t read the book right before you go to bed. You certainly don’t want to dream of the stuff that goes on in this book. I can tell you that.

I really don’t want to give too much away, if you are interested, you really should experience it on your own. If you are into weird, disturbing, satiric cult films, I think you will love this book as much as I did. If you hate that kind of films, you certainly don’t want to touch this book with a ten-foot pole.

5/5 Nuff said.

Title: Warrior Wolf Women Of The Wastelands

Author: Carlton Mellick III

Publisher: eraserheadpress

Format: Paperback, Kindle-Edition

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Book Review – A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great And Terrible Beauty is the first book in a trilogy (again. And again. Who writes stand-alones anymore?), it is Libba Bray’s first novel and it was published in 2003.

It is the year 1895. Gemma Doyle is an unhappy teenager. She lives in India with her parents, but she would much rather go with her mother to England. But then, on her 16th birthday, Gemma finds out that she has a terrible power and her life changes completly. She is finally allowed to go to a school near London, but she couldn’t be more miserable.

So this is the setting, a boarding school at the end of the 19th century. This reminded me a little bit of some early chapters of Jane Eyre. I liked this! This was a story about loss and grief, about being thrown into a new situation, about freedom and all that with some paranormal stuff mixed into it. Gemma makes friends and enemys at her new School, she struggles to be accepted and respected. At this point I thought, this is the definition of a book for young adults. It deals with all those fears and wishes. But, luckily, Libba Bray goes beyond that. She also talks about freedom, choices and forgiveness.

I thought Gemma was a very believable character. She was stubborn, quick-tempered, bitchy and had that teenage egocentricity. Sometimes, I was unhappy with how she did not see obvious things, but all in all I liked her character and how she developed during the book. I also liked the other girls and how different sides of their characters where shown during the book. On some points though I thought the girls acted a little out of character. Those inconsistencies were rare though, so I could overlook them.

Overall the writing was really good. Sometimes there were some really beautifully written passages, sometimes it was just okay. Libba Bray managed to create a 19th century setting without destroying it through a too modern writing style and without making it hard to read. It didn’t feel like it was written during that time period, but it was a good read nonetheless and I really liked the atmosphere of this book.

At the beginning of the book it reminded me of a strange mixture of Mean Girls and The Craft (from what I remember a really crappy teen horror film from the 90s about four girls playing with witchcraft), but the book managed to get out of that. It was not incredibly fast-paced, but I liked it that way. What I disliked were some decisions Gemma and other characters made. I wanted them to ask more questions and to open their eyes for the obvious. So, considering all that, I think A Great And Terrible Beauty is a really good book, but not overwhelming. I will read the next book in the series for sure, but I don’t think it will be one of my favorite books.

4/5 stars

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Book Review – 1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell

Is privacy important? What can or should an individual do when facing oppression? What is the past? What is the truth? Can we trust our own memory? How important is the freedom of thought?

All these questions – and one million more- are raised by George Orwell’s legendary dystopian novel 1984.

The Story

It is the year 1984… or is it? The fact seems to have slipped Winston Smith’s mind. He can’t remember much about the past or his life. But then the memory starts to come back and he realizes the oppressive society around him and develops an urge to rebell – in any form.

Even without the great and horrible ideas behind this book, without admiring Orwell’s ability to predict parts of the future, 1984 is still a great book. The story is suspenseful, a rollercoaster of hope and desperation and a constant questioning of what is true and what is a lie.

The Characters

Our main character is Winston Smith, a Party member and an employee of the Ministry of Truth. One day, he starts thinking, and that could be his end. Winston is not a thourougly pleasant character. He is selfish and sometimes questionable ethics. That adds to the story, as it makes it even more believable.

As to the other characters we meet in this book – I don’t want to spoil the experience for you!

The Writing

The writing style makes it easy to read, which is good, as the topic itself is really hard to grasp sometimes and the reader has to focuss his attention to it. This however does not mean, that the book is badly written. Half the book is in my opinion extremly quotable.

In Conclusion

This book is just awesome. Breathtaking. Thought-provoking. So many things. I feel like I could write books about this book and I am glad, that my boyfriend has already read it so that I have someone that can listen to the many things that I have to say about this book. We already had discussions about some of the topics while I read the book and I feel that there will be many more in the future.

5/5 One of the best books I read. Ever.

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Book Review – Neuromancer by William Gibson

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Neuromancer by William Gibson

 

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

(Opening line of Neuromancer by William Gibson)

 

This book took me a very long time to read. Ugh.

I didn’t like the book as much as it probably deserves. The praise of this books seems endless and people keep repeating on how he predicted the future. Maybe I’m being ignorant here, but I can’t see that. But we don’t judge a book by its hype, right?

The Story

Our main character is Case, who used to be a cyper-cowboy. He used to hack computer systems by jacking in to the virtual reality called “Matrix”. But then he blew it with somebody and due to an intoxication his nervous system doesn’t allow him to enter cyber space any more. He came to Chiba, where he hopes his nervous system can be restored in the famous clinics, but he can’t afford this. He is almost done with his life, when he meats Molly, a razorgirl who works for a mysterious man called Armitage. He offers Case to pay for the repair of his nervous system, if he works for him.

Thats where the story takes off. I thought the idea and the setting of Neuromancer great. The story was mostly intense and suspenseful. The idea of surgery not only being able to fix a damaged nervous system but to insert reflex controlled blades into your hand sounds very interesting. Also his design of the cyber space, of AIs and of what a modern city looks and feels like, where awesome.

The Characters

Case annoyed me, most of the time. He basically is a drug addict, who tries to kill himself slowly. He is egoistic and not very deep and sometimes just plain dumb. Apart from me not liking the character itself, Case as a character was well presented and consistent.

The characters in this book all seemed to be clinical and not caring for much beside their own life. Sometimes not even that. Also drug addictions seem to be a huge problem in this world. Every character seemed to have a very serious psychological problem. As the characters came across as clinical and unfeeling, I didn’t really care for any character in this book. I could not relate to a single character, which made it feel as if I read a scientific paper (for how much I felt reading it).

The Writing

Here is the problem. This mixture of made up terminology, names of places or characters, AIs, companys, hotels and a very surrealistic, abstract writing style made it really, really hard for me to follow the story and understand what was going on. It was in fact so hard for me to read, that I put it down for almost three months, before I forced myself to continue reading it. The wording Gibson uses is often just beautiful, as one can see by the opening line, and the dialogs were great too. The writing style contributed to the overall cold and clinical feeling of the book, which is awesome in a way, but also kept me from being emotionally involved in the story.

In Conclusion

Altough I like how the atmosphere in this book was created and the idea of the story, I didn’t really feel much reading it. It didn’t affect me in any way and I finished the book just feeling nothing but happiness that is was over. That’s not such a good sign for a book. I considered giving it just two stars (I use the Goodreads rating system, so two stars mean “It was okay”), because that’s how I felt. It was just okay. But, I really liked his take on the artifical intellegence problem and the idea of the book in general. The writing style was confusing to me, but some quotes are just beautiful. So giving the book just two stars seemed too harsh.

3/5 stars. It was interesting, but I was not really emontionally invested.

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Classic Review: Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien

In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power – the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord’s evil dominion.

Thus begins J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale, which continues in The Two Towers and The Return of the King

-Taken from Goodreads.com

I started reading this book several times. I never made it through the birthday party. But this time, I was surprised, how much I liked the writing style and the story. Okay, I will have to admit, I saw the movies first. It is one of my favorite movies. I thought, it was too late to read the book. I already knew the story, I already had pictures of the characters and the settings in my head.

After reading it, I have to say, I was wrong. I enjoyed the read so much! I learned more about the characters and learned interesting things about the story and the history of Middle Earth.

What can I say about characters, story, setting, world building? This is a classic for a reason, and I feel that I could not say new things about this book. I can only encourage those, who are hesitant to read Tolkien’s masterpiece, to read it. Do it! But take your time. Don’t rush it. And don’t expect the journey to be over in two days. It takes them a while longer for everything in the book. But if you get used to that, it’s awesome! So good.

So, my rating for this book: 5 stars! Awesome!

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