Why Are There All These Blank Spaces?

You may notice that in some of my posts there are blank spaces in the reviews. These are spoilers that I've written so I can remember important details of the books when I want to read the sequel. I've made the text a beige color to blend in with the background so you won't accidentally see something you don't want to. If you want to read it, just highlight the section to make the text appear - although you should really just read the book yourself! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dark Life

by Kat Falls

I am shamefully slow with this update, but here it is finally: my review!

And now I am remembering why I try to be good about writing this right after I finish the book...because now I don't remember as many details!

I will say I enjoyed Dark Life a lot. The world (or rather, ocean) it takes place in is unlike any other book I've read. Kat Falls creates many new technologies to enable the characters of Dark Life to live beneath the surface of the ocean. Things such as "liquigen", bubble fences, and underwater jellyfish-style houses may seem fanciful at times, but are a unique solution to the problem of how exactly a group of humans would live and farm under the sea.

The villains are creepy, and certainly surprising, while the main characters are varied and interesting. I'm not sure if this book is a series, but I wouldn't mind reading more about this underwater world.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Reckoning

by Kelley Armstrong

I've really enjoyed the unique story of this trilogy, but I have to say, the last book was a bit of a disappointment.

Chloe, Tori, Derek and Simon have just escaped the Edison Group again and are hiding out with the group fighting against the Edison Group. Once again, a large part of the beginning of this book is spend doing very little. The action comes all at once, at the end, and involves a lot of twists, turns, and constantly flipping allegiances (Are these people really on our side? No! Let's run away! Wait, maybe they are. Let's stick around. Wait! We have to run away!)

Mostly, this book did not feel like it should be the end. The ending is pretty ambiguous as far as endings go, and many, many aspects of the plot were left unexplained. Some things were brought up in the storyline of this book only to be dropped casually a few chapters later. If this series was slated to continue in additional books, I would assume these things would come up in the next book, but as this is the final book, it seemed like the plot wasn't as well thought-out as it should have been.

On the positive side, Armstrong does a pretty good job of subtly reminding the reader what has happened previously. I didn't remember many details from the previous books, but whenever I'd start to be confused, there were some helpful hints placed into the narrative that reminded me of what I was supposed to know. Still, this is the 3rd book, and doesn't stand alone. If you're gonna read the series, start with The Summoning.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Devouring

by Simon Holt

The first half of The Devouring was creepy in a good way. Lots of slightly sinister, psychological stuff happening. The second half, however, was icky. Way too many gross-out, gory events. I was not intending to read a horror novel when I picked this up!

The Devouring is the story of Reggie, a teen girl who loves horror books and movies (as does her best friend Aaron). Reggie's mom left her family last year, and since then Reggie has had to take care of her little brother Henry a lot of the time. One day Reggie finds a mysterious hand-written book called "The Devouring". It tells the tale of the Vours - mysterious beings that feed on fear, and possess the bodies of people on Sorry Night - when that are at their most afraid. Reggie thinks it's an odd, but interesting tale, made up by some crazy person. However, for fearful Henry (whom she reads the story to), the Vours are real, and something to be very afraid of. Unfortunately for them all, it's Sorry Night; and Henry's right.

As I mentioned before, the first half of this book is a psychological thriller. The spooks are all from the dark, or flickering lights, or strange voices, or cold mysterious places. However, at the halfway turning point we are taken into an alternate world - a fearscape, as the book calls it - a world that is filled creepy clowns, swarms of spiders, all sorts of gruesome weapons and their resulting damage. Ick.

*Spoilers* I have a few other complaints that can't be explained without spoiling things, so be warned. When Reggie and Aaron first go to Eben and show him the book and mention that Henry is acting strange, he chastises them for fooling around with the book, but also shrugs off Henry's weird behavior. At the end of the book we learn that Eben knows all about the Vours and has been fighting them for years. Didn't he realize Henry was a Vour? And why didn't he tell them? If there is a reason for this - the author should have explained it, because left unexplained it just seems like a mistake. Also, Aaron just deduces all the answers to the puzzle of what the Vours are, where Henry is, how to get him back, etc. really suddenly! Reggie falls asleep and when she wakes up, he's found no info in his Internet search, but concludes that Henry is trapped in his own fearscape and Reggie went there because she ate the Vour and is now partially Vour, so she can go there by touching Henry. Ta-da! And "fearscape"? - just a little hokey. *End Spoilers*

In short, interesting premise, gross end of the book, annoying non-concluded ending.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

by Stephenie Meyer

I have mixed feelings for this book. It's sad, and I don't particularly like sad endings. However, the ending isn't exactly a surprise, so that helps. Likely, if you're reading this book you've already read Eclipse and know that Bree dies. And even if you didn't, the title is kind of a dead giveaway (no pun intended).

However, on the flip side, it was interesting to see Meyer tackle a story that does not end well. The Twilight series is notorious for its peachy-keen ending, and while I did enjoy that, I also like seeing a different side of Meyer's writing. Does she pull off the sad ending? Yes, I think so. And notably, despite knowing that this character was doomed for destruction, and trying specifically to not get attached to her, I found myself loving Bree anyway! Ah! All in less than 180 pages no less. How do you do that Stephenie Meyer? I always get so invested in your characters!

Now I just want to know more about Fred!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


by Aprilynne Pike

A little less than a year ago, Aprilynne Pike's debut novel, Wings marked my venture forth into the "re-popular" genre of faerie fantasies. Since then I've read quite a few others, although Pike's remains one of the more unique when it comes to the faerie mythology. Sure, Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night's Dream still gets a token mention, but Pike's Avalon is not centered around the doings of Titania and Oberon, and the makeup of her faeries is something else entirely. I don't want to say much more so I don't spoil it for anyone who may not have read Wings yet. :)

This time around we get to see more of Avalon. Much of the discussion and tension in the faerie-land comes from the eons-old "class-system" that makes some faeries special and others common simply by the season they are born. I have a feeling we'll be dealing with this system and Laurel's dislike of it much more in the coming books.

Let's see...I still love Tamani. He's one of the more interesting characters of this book. Laurel is torn and stubborn, and David is in a bit over his head, but Tamani deals with the most longing and heartache of everyone, and despite being bound by his class and trying to do what is "proper", he is still strong and determined and protective.

Four stars because the action comes and goes in spurts rather than gradually building, which I prefer, and for the fact that I want Laurel to admit she likes Tamani, and because the ending is maddeningly vague! I'm very much looking forward to book three - Enchantments - but sad that it's not coming out until April 2011!