0

Gear Girl

I really fell in love with this book somehow. About Eleanor slowly finding out about herself, the way she chose to adjust to her life. For me, I was glad that it wasn’t some over the top debate about whether mechanical people were better.

Here was where a slow story happened, about acceptance, how lives should be saved. And also, what could someone do to save another. This story I think is representative of that very fact.

Eleanor’s character is slowly developed, from the moment she finds out what she is. To adjusting to her new life, and the way that it is done is absolutely perfect. When she started considering Agatha her mother, it was subtle yet it felt seamless.

As for the romance, it influences the ending. It influences Eleanor. Percy is ill, and I think whatever happens to him from there isn’t all too hard to figure out. And the way that ending was delivered, it was poignant and middle ground. Eleanor did something to save the person she loves, and she paid it. The ending was perfection in my mind.

Although I would expect her to instead decide to live on, or perhaps use another method. The author decided to give me one of the most painful, yet bittersweet endings. I think it is rather fitting, Eleanor did not ask to be revived. But instead, she chose to use it to save another instead of selfishly living on all because she loves him too much.

As for the inventor who saved, finally someone who isn’t a mad scientist. He may have been obsessed with having a child, as did Agatha who desperately wanted one. But he never really felt absolutely mad, a raving lunatic. I appreciate the way it went down a unique route instead of the one we always knew. And Agatha, she was like the kind of mother you would trust an orphan to. She accepted this compromise as long as it was okay, and definitely selflessly loved Eleanor.

I think that this is something rather different, it deviates from the norm. The ending is pretty much bittersweet and one that I doubt I would forget, although not completely perfect but I was immersed in it for the way it was different from everything I have ever read.

Would I recommend? Yes, I would. It had been such a long time since I have liked a book well enough to give it more than three stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Blood Memory Society

The one thing I do really like is how it blends science and explains it in a way that I can understand. If it was solely about fertility and all the dry science, I would have slept. But most of the explanations are understandable, simple and easy to digest in a way. That is the best part of the book really.

Although William was a good character who gets dragged into this mess of the Blood Memory Society, always with reveals that is linked to the Blood Memory Society. However, I didn’t relate with him, whenever I read through his viewpoint it just didn’t grab me. A good narrator with his clarity and having a good story to tell, there just was something that lacked here. It just didn’t click with me.

Same for the other characters. I didn’t think Victoria was developed enough, or even quirky enough since she probably has the longest memory in the world. And there just wasn’t enough development on her, since she probably would have a lot more problems and some issues from remembering too much. And also, what about past feuds.

It took an interesting concept, made it possible through DNA, but I feel that there wasn’t really an exploration of the impact that it would leave on the human mind and the characters wasn’t really all that unique, how should I say it, Victoria was a little on the normal side, yet she doesn’t really complain of anything that it does. She is rather laid back, but that’s all I really remembered about her.

The rest of the characters didn’t really became memorable to me, and well I guess I forgot them roughly apart from a guy named Tiny, and really the main characters and also Dr B. Nothing else really stood out to me.

Overall, I like the concept the explanation(thankfully it didn’t make my head hurt), but the characters felt flat to me, and while I guess it’s what killed this book for me, I just couldn’t connect and since I’m a character oriented reader, I also cannot really get into the story either.

Rating: 3 out of 5

2

Empress Of A Thousand Skies

This was a pretty okay book. It doesn’t hold too much of intrigue, and deals quite a bit with the possibility of losing freedom towards the end and the whole idea of having Cubes, which stores almost everything about a person. It is like their identity.

That was pretty unique, furthermore the twist was something that I didn’t expect to see coming and in such a unique way too. Hence, this story did have its good points.

But I never was really sucked in, and well I didn’t see the need for Alyosha to even exist. It was likely he was a Wratean, and he had almost no relation to Rhee apart from being her accused murderer. Though the reason why he was picked had been rather intelligent if you ask me. It wasn’t one of plain stupidity where he just so happened to be convenient.

As for Rhee, I fully agree with the book describing her as naive. But who could blame her, she barely had time to know her planet. And even more so when it came to her political instinct, she had almost none. She didn’t even consider the possibility of another, or even the thought of it. Furthermore, she wasn’t the brightest either, she should have done something to find out more. Which she never did otherwise we wouldn’t have a story.

Kara, she in my mind should be the next narrator. I couldn’t even find a reason why they should exist apart from telling a story differently and the plot did reveal a better reason. However, I am looking forward to reading more about her development in the next book.

But the actual villain was the most interesting one, I did like him and the way he brilliantly used his methods to get what he wanted. And the way he does it is quite clever, and even ruthless. Some of his deeds are quite horrible, however he dies have his reasoning and it proved to make him more interesting than the main characters. This is a case where I find myself really liking the villain, and he isn’t insane, cruel yes, but seems to have a very clear head.

Overall, I guess the book didn’t click with me when it came to main characters. I strangely became fond of the villain, and I think he is the one with his own compelling arc. As for the next book, I wonder will it end in a fight. Since there can only be one Empress, after all. And in history, when there were two contenders, it was always a bloody battle for the throne. Is the book going to do this? That is something that is making me think more about it, and whether this would still focus on political intrigue, which can always be interesting. Since this book clearly have quite a far bit of scheming and a villain who is a rational dictator.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

2

Splintered

This was quite a joy to read. It does definitely feel like a tale of Alice In Wonderland with plenty of spins and being carefully plotted, enough that it uses the old Wonderland but it’s different. Darker even.

And well, at least Alyssa is sensible enough to know what she is doing. Why she gets there is for perfectly good reasons, if you ask me. Since she doesn’t want her mother to be put on electrotherapy. Certainly a good reason. And she isn’t an idiot, she only has Alice In Wonderland to help her and the things she does figure out are pretty awesome.


Although the way the mental illness was dealt, it would have been less using straitjackets. It would have been a lot more counselling, perhaps even hynosis. I do not see a straightjacket, and sometimes mentally ill patients aren’t even commited. They are mostly allowed to stay at home, just as long as they visit the doctor’s regularly. And her case definitely seemed manageable, especially when it’s faked.

As for the love triangle here. I ship none of them. Both lies her, one is a knight in shining armour, he is basically that. And the other, is a manipulative bastard in his own right. What can I say? She deserves better.

The world building was the drawing point, as well as the writing. It seems that I am always a sucker for lyrical writing and writing that is simple but beautiful. And I can read it easily. And when it used Wonderland, I certainly saw a lot influences and really liked it. It is darker, but when it happened to Alice it was a lot more of coincidence, but to Alyssa, she was outright finding it.

I do recommend this book fro being different from the usual retelling, it is much more than that. It follows into the modern times, where there is a possible curse. And revealing the plot twist, the way it went and when it was. I enjoyed it. I didn’t see it coming.

However, there are undeniable issues here. Such as the problem of the way both Jeb and Morpheus really need to learn how to be civilized people, Jeb to lose his knight in shining armour attitude. But overall, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

0

The Clockwork Dynasty

Originally, the work came as quite difficult to really ease myself into. And it didn’t really change throughout the novel despite the excellent writing, I just didn’t feel that spark with the characters at all. Not a single one really clicked with me.

But the worldbuilding is intriguing with a lot of nods to mythological figures being altered, but I’m fine. We know so little about these figures so I’m generally a little more tolerating regarding them. Who’s to say it was different, not when they may or may not exist.

One thing I particularly liked about the novel was the way that it handled the steampunk, although it did feel a little dry at first.

Also, the plot was really intriguing and fascinating. Bringing both characters all around the world, ranging from China(however the exact city and province would have helped a little more, but since we don’t even know where Huangdi and Leizu lived, so that’s not really necessary), Seattle and Russia. In different time period as well, which was really what piqued my interest apart from the writing and worldbuilding.

The one thing I feel is lackluster is that I couldn’t really connect to the characters, especially initially when it was narrated by two characters using first person. There wasn’t much of any difference and the lack of voice to distinguish them made it really difficult to relate to them, hence making me unable to really relate and well, the characters were all more of a miss to me than a hit.

So, I guess that the characters were the point which I really found it a little hard. Although the writing, worldbuilding and plot is intriguing with enough twists and mysteries to keep you going. But, the characters just didn’t sit well with me, and that is my sole reason why I have to lower it. However, pick up this book and give it a shot, it might work better for you than it did for me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an e-ARC copy.

0

Ravensong

 

Name: Raven Song

Series: Inoki’s Game (Book 1)

Paperback: 290 pages

Published Date: March 14, 2016

Publisher: Lucid Dreams Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1944674004

ISBN-13: 978-1944674007

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29521339-raven-song

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Song-Dystopian-Fantasy-Inokis/dp/1944674004/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/raven-song-i-a-ashcroft/1123510684

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/raven-song

 

Book Blurb:

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

 

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

 

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

 

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

 

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

 

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

 

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

 

Author Bio:

​I. A. Ashcroft has been writing fiction in many forms for almost twenty years. The author’s first book, written at age seven, featured the family cat hunting an evil sorceress alongside dragons and eagles. This preoccupation with the fantastical has not changed in the slightest.

 

Now, the author dwells in Phoenix, AZ alongside a wonderful tale-spinner and two increasingly deranged cats. Ashcroft writes almost exclusively in the realm of darker fantasy these days, loving to entertain adults with stories of magic, wonder, despair, violence, and hope, bringing a deep love of mythology into every tale penned. The author also loves diverse and intriguing casts of characters.

 

When not buried in a book, one might find Ashcroft learning languages, charting road trips, and playing tabletop RPGs with clever and fun people.

Contact the Author:

Website: http://www.ia-ashcroft.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/i.a.ashcroft

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ia_ashcroft

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15077746.I_A_Ashcroft

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/I.-A.-Ashcroft/e/B01CTY42S0/

Review:

I did find this okay. Anna and Jackson are both distinct, with their narration being relatable. But for me, it just didn’t work. It just didn’t cut. It didn’t feel like it to me. I simply could not immerse myself in the story, reading it and relating to them was the best I could do. 

As for the world, the future is rather well thought out. Facing radiation, nuclear exposure. It’s true that we would face the problem eventually, but I could have liked a little more development and exploration of this. And making feel more like that world, I didn’t feel that it was really any different. Even though over a hundred years in the future likely would change everything.

But I just couldn’t feel with them, I didn’t find myself supporting them. It felt as though nothing was happening. Anna and Jackson have a lot more development, yet their interactions was so few and their relationship went to being very friendly really quick. I just couldn’t buy it, and that is a flaw of the book I feel about.

The plot was also quite a letdown, there was so many ways this could have gone. Whether Anna is someone that lives forever, or whether Anna is extremely wanted because of her abilities. I could see why, she could prevent radiation. Yet, I just didn’t feel that danger here. There wasn’t any tension really driving me, and I really couldn’t feel the emotion of the characters. It just went over me.

I would say that this is a case of it’s not you, it’s me since it is a very good book. But it just didn’t connect with me, and I couldn’t really enjoy it. But I still recommend you to check it out, and it does have good character development but to me, needs a lot on the plot, the characters interaction.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

1

Vicious 

I really like this book, with how it handled the themes of superheroes and whether they should exist or not. And even making both characters, neither actually is the better choice. Victor is quite vicious, but doesn’t think that the EO needs to be killed. Eli, on the other hand thinks that they are unnatural and deserving of death. 

In the middle of it all, it Sydney, who is important since she can revive the dead. Even till the very end. I think out of all, Sydney is the kindest of all of them. Though, I do admit that I did enjoy the fact that she had a lot of spotlight. And is extremely helpful to Victor in hunting Eli. All the more, she went through quite a lot too, when Eli tried to kill her and well, she was shot. 

I really like how it is more about the concept of superheroes and how at the same time they are viewed as monsters by Eli. And their papers, are they unnatural and should be destroyed or useful. This doesn’t give you a clear answer. But it tells you that killing people for the sake of the greater good isn’t always the best. 

And really, doesn’t justify sacrificing these lives just so the rest can live in peace. 

Particularly, I liked how Serena and Eli were partners. And how essential she was to ensuring that he remains a hero in their eyes. If not, well, we can say that it didn’t turned too well for him. Since he is a murderer rather than someone who is a hero. 

And the flashbacks were all perfect in giving depth to each character in just one book. I would say they are very relevant in revealing just what they have been true, and changes characters as it goes along. 

So, this is mostly a book about superheroes and the fact that sometimes there are really no good answers. At the end of the day, he it ends is like how this book should end. The villain gets captured rightfully under the law. So, I would say that the ending is suitable to the tone of this series. 

Overall, I would recommend this to those who want something a little more about the theme of superheroes. And see two people who are at opposite ends of each other, and one is the antagonist of the other. There is no real villain, they are just simply the opposite of each other. And well, both are neither the hero yet not completely a villain and well I relished this book on this fact. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

I normally wouldn’t add a quote, but this is probably one of the most true quotes I have ever come across. 

You don’t understand,” gasped Eli, “No one understands.”

“When no one understands, it’s a clear sign that you are wrong.”