Tag: Dystopia

GIVEAWAY & Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Posted June 19, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 37 Comments

Title: Gameboard of the Gods

Author: Richelle Mead

Publisher: Dutton Adult

Publication Date: June 2013

Genre: Adult Fiction/Sci-Fi

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:

Mae, a member of the most elite military team there is, is assigned to guard Dr. Justin March, a once exiled professional when he is welcomed home to solve a series of unexplained murders. Set in this futuristic society, where everyone stays within their caste system, and secrets are hiding everywhere, can Justin and Mae find the killer before they strike again? Without killing each other first?

I am a huge Richelle Mead fan so I was literally, jumping up and down, up and down, up and down, when I was approved to read this ARC. I mean, I love Vampire Academy. I love Succubus series. I thought it was a sure bet.

Sadly, I was mistaken.

Wait, wait. Let me explain why before you start throwing tomatoes at me!

The world building is interesting. There’s a lot going on and while this new society’s rules and flaws are intriguing, it’s not enough to make up for, what I feel, is the big piece missing in this book.

Any book I read, I want to at least have some sympathy for the main character. But Mae isn’t the woman for me. She’s too cold, almost totally unfeeling. As the book goes on, and her story is revealed, it is understanding why she is the way she is. But I still can’t get past the sad fact that I don’t like her. She’s almost, I’m sorry to say, uninteresting. She’s flawless, beautiful, a killing machine, and emotionally detached and withdrawn. Even during her emotional outbursts, I failed to feel the real human behind them.

Justin March is no better. He has the most personality of anyone in the book, yet he’s over the top. His vices and self indulgence is too much for him to be sympathetic. I’m not saying every hero has to be shy or humble or even likeable, but there has to be something in him that attracts the main character (and reader) and why you root for them. There’s a small moment in the beginning of the book when all of this is possible. You can see them together. You can see how they would be attracted to each other.
And just as quickly, it’s gone. Through misunderstanding and stubbornness, their attraction is flung away for almost the entire rest of the book.
And frankly, by the end, I didn’t care if they got together or not. I just couldn’t feel the chemistry.

Tessa, the young teenager that Justin brings into this new country as his protegee, has such a minor story that I wasn’t sure why she was around at all. I’m sure Mead has plans for her in the upcoming series but in this one, she reminded me of a someone’s little sister who lurks in the background, just enough to be annoying.


I won’t lie. I was not impressed with this story. Maybe this world or these characters just weren’t for me. The secondary characters fell flat and I wasn’t invested in the mystery or plot. 

I will probably pick up book two because I am such a fan of Richelle, and because I know sometimes it takes a while for a series to find it’s stride.
So I hope future books in this series will make up for this one.

Rating 4 Not My Cup of Tea


Giveaway!

You can win a SIGNED copy of Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead.
Please fill out the rafflecopter below

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Posted June 19, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 37 Comments


Giveaway & Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Posted March 4, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 11 Comments

Title: Prodigy

Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: Putnam

Publication Date: January 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Dystopia

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two

Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

Day and June are on the run. They head towards Vegas, and the Patriots who they hope can help then. Then, Elector Primo dies and his son Anden takes his place. While in the Patriot’s care, Day and June join forces with them to do the unthinkable- assassinate the new Elector.
But as June gets closer to him, and sees he is nothing like his father, can they stop the assassination?

Wow.
Well, that kinda kicked my ass.
I couldn’t put it down.

The book is filled with action, even more so than the first book Legend. We see how the events of the last novel change our favorite characters. June is suspicious and has started questioning everything. She is still grieving over her lost brother. I love June. She’s very brave, but vulnerable. I especially like how she can’t seem to say the right things at the right time. She over thinks and by the time the perfect answer comes to her, the moment is gone. Very human, very compassionate and misunderstood.

Day is of course, our hero. He’s passionate, reckless and at this point, very confused. He knows he has to get his brother back, at all costs. He knows he has feelings for June, but the world around them seems to be bent on tearing them apart.

Lu does a wonderful job with these characters, but also her secondary characters, especially given that there is a love triangle, or two. The Tess we know is still there, but she’s grown up a bit and she seems to be going to a darker place which is interesting and heartbreaking. Anden is at odds with the council and seeks June’s help. But will their friendship be more?

Lu’s writing leaps off the page, pulling the reader in and never letting go. I especially love the contracts between the Republic and Colonies. We finally see the Colonies, close up. And they may not be all they appear to be.

The story moves fast and fierce, and as a reader, I was scrambling to keep up. Everything happens so fast, I really felt like I was on a rollercoaster. I loved watching the characters come to terms with their previous actions, figure out ways to move forward, and share in triumphs and great, sad losses.
I am very sad that I have to wait for book three. I mean, come on. I’m dying over here.

I will even say, that I love Prodigy even more than I loved Legend.
This is one of the strongest sequels I’ve read in a while.

Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome, like Cookies and Ice Cream

Now YOU can win a SIGNED Arc of Prodigy by Marie Lu!
Just fill out the rafflecopter form below.

Good luck!

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Posted March 4, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 11 Comments


Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Posted February 20, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 8 Comments

Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Publication Date: February 2013

Genre: Young Adult Dystopia Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One


Synopsis can be found here.
I purchased this book.

Review:

June and Day, born on opposite sides of the law. June is a young fifteen year old prodigy, working for the new government called the Republic. Day is a fifteen year old criminal, living on the streets and sabotaging the Republic’s efforts battling the Colonies, their country next door.
But everything changes when June’s loving brother is murdered and these two are thrown together to answer questions that neither thought to ask.

Yes, I know, I’m totally late to the party.

My friends have been talking about Legend for a while now, and I’ve actually met Marie Lu at least twice, but there are always so many books to read, I easily lose focus. Well, I’m sad that I didn’t read this one sooner.

Lu creates a harsh landscape for these two young adult. There’s murder, violence and betrayals. Loyalties are tested and sometimes some questions should stay unanswered. June is fierce, breaking out of her shell as the prodigy of the Republic and questioning her surroundings, going as far to think for herself. Her character development was fun to read. Day’s Robin Hood like character is noble, brave and endearing. It’s easy to want to fight alongside Day.
No one is really safe in Lu’s world and a number of times, I was pleasantly surprised by the turn of events. I loved the action, Action, ACTION! The writing is solid and the story is easy to devour.

I was in the middle of reading this when my husband and I went to the theater. Thankfully, we showed up early and I got 30 minutes before showtime to gobble up some more of these delicious pages.
Fast paced and thrilling, grab Legend and it’s sequel Prodigy. I haven’t read it yet, but after Legend, I am starting it ASAP. I need to know what happens!!

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted February 20, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 8 Comments


Book Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Posted March 22, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Title: Starters

Author: Lissa Price

Publisher: Delacourt

Publication Date: March 2012

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:

After the spore war, the only ones left behind are the incredibly old and the very young, as they were the only ones who were able to get vaccinated for the cure.
So what happens when everyone else is gone?

Callie’s brother Tyler is sick and living on the streets will eventually kill him. Against her better judgement, she enters into the body bank where she will be rented three times. While her body is rented, she will be asleep. At least, that’s what she’s told will happen. Until she wakes up during her third rental to find the woman renting her body has more sinister intentions.

I have mixed feeling about this book. The idea alone, Elders renting out youths’ bodies for entertainment value, is fantastic and gave me chills all the way through. The story is fast paced and I could not put it down. I had to know what happens. But that said, this creepy, dystopian novel leaves me with more questions than answers. The world Price sets up for us is terrifying and harsh. But it’s also merely a glimpse into this nightmare. I wanted more information on the war, on the world as it is now. Why was there the war? What were these spores? There are hints through the entire story, but it’s all glossed over to make way for the action of the story. This world seemed super interesting and I’m hoping that Book Two will give more information on the setting, the past and what the events leading up to Book One.

There were a lot of thrilling situations in this book, but some of them I felt were just too far fetched. I don’t want to give anything away, but especially towards the end, it seemed too unrealistic for Callie to do everything she did. A few times I was taken out of the story to think- Oh, yeah, of course that happens.

With so many twists in this story, I was amazed I could put it down at all. Total page turner and lots of wonderful, dark questions being asked.

I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted March 22, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments


Book Review: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Posted January 5, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 12 Comments

Title: Under The Never Sky

Author: Veronica Rossi

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: January 2012

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Dystopia

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One


Synopsis can be found here.
Netgalley review.




Review:

Wow.
As the release date was January 3rd, I hope this is a sign of what is to come in the New Year!

Aria has lived in the Realms all her life. When communication with her mother, a scientist working in a region called Bliss, ceases, Aria knows something bad has happened. Unknown to her, she starts a chain of events that will shatter everything she’s ever known.

Perry is an outsider, the younger brother to the Blood Lord Vale. He only has his brother, their tribe and his nephew in his life. When he meets Aria, he is already on his mission and sees her as the perfect person to help him. 

The writing is beautiful, the world is harsh, gorgeous and strange. The contrasts between the Realms, Aria’s memories of the Realms, and the cold outside world is so brilliant, I could feel Aria’s confusion in her new surroundings. The dangers are real and unsettling too. There is a certain group of people Aria and Perry encounter on their journey, and thinking about them even now makes my skin crawl.

Aria leads a sheltered and perfectly simulated life. Perry, on the other hand, has been fighting for food and life since the beginning. The unlikely allies bite each other in the beginning, but slowly come to appreciate the others’ history. I loved both characters and as each chapter changed narrator, I hung on to every word. Their relationship develops slowly, naturally. So. Well. Done.

The cast of characters surrounding Aria and Perry are equally interesting. Roar, the loyal best friend and perfect mate of Perry; Cinder, a most powerful boy who is lost to himself as well as others and Toran, Perry’s nephew and all that is good in the world. All of them are full, complicated and sympathetic characters and as important to me as Aria and Perry. I can’t wait to know what happens to them too!

Start the New Year right! 

Rating 10, One of The Best

Posted January 5, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 12 Comments


Book Review: Across The Universe

Posted August 9, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Title: Across The Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: January 2011

Genre: Young Adult Dystopia/Science Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.

Review: Amy joins her parents aboard the massive spaceship Godspeed where she will awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But Amy awakens fifty years too early and begins an adventure that might create more questions than answers.

Revis’s debut novel is not to be missed. A little bit sci-fi, a little bit dystopia, Revis has created a lush and frightening world aboard the space ship Godspeed, where all the characters have hidden agendas.  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, a twist would come out of nowhere and make me go, “Wait, what!” in a good way. Dark, sinister characters move around the spaceship, and Amy is different. Which makes her a target and a threat.

The dual narrative between Amy and Elder is well done. Two distinct voices relaying a story adds to the overall tension and feel of the ship and the relationships on it. I’ve found it hard sometimes for an author to write a narration in the opposite sex, but Revis does this very well. At no time did I feel Elder was anyone but Elder, a boy on a spaceship who had an impressive and complicated job before him.

Across The Universe reminds me of an episode in Lost. You know the ones- the groundwork is laid, the action going strong, but you wind up with more questions than answers. Leaving me unsatisfied and wanting.

This book is probably not for younger readers below fifteen or sixteen.  The first chapter alone is very graphic and traumatic. I almost cried when Amy went through the freezing process. There are other moments through the book that are downright scary.

Overall, the unsettling themes and tone of the book left me off balance, which was probably the point. I’m excited to continue with the series to see how it all plays out. It’s a serious ride.

Rating: 7 Pretty Cool, Would Recommend

Posted August 9, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments