Friday, 16 December 2016

Review: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a hard core Hardinge fan I was slightly disappointed with this novel. Don't get me wrong, I still loved it. Between the drastic transformation of the protagonist, the lack of romance, and the original story, this was a really enjoyable read.

But, it was lacking something, all her other books have this mystical and dreamlike quality in them. Beyond the mystery of her father's death and the sexist issues covered in the book, it kind of felt like it was lacking the usual "Hardinge magic". It could be that it just wasn't my cup of tea, but I think there were some parts that kind of dragged on.

The mystery felt too underdeveloped and anticlimactic. Even though the culprit wasn't obvious, it didn't feel shocking because I didn't really feel any attachment/hatred towards the villain. They were just kind of there.

I really did enjoy it though, I loved the concept of the lie tree, the whole debate of evolution vs religion, the hidden world of women that was explored. This book is creepy, very creepy and I can't really see why my library placed it in the juvenile section.

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Review: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book left me feeling so nostalgic. I listened to the audiobook for this, and the entire time I felt like I had been tucked into bed on a winter night and read to.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Review: Darkbeast by Morgan Keyes

Darkbeast (Darkbeast, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know the feelings you get when you watch a Studio Ghibli film? The nostalgia, the butterflies in your stomach from the quaint magic. That's what this book feels like, I feel like I'm watching Howl's Moving Castle or something similar.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Review: Belly of the Beast by Ashe Vernon

Belly of the Beast
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first poetry book I've ever read.

And, it was AMAZIINGGG! Usually, I'm not really into poetry. But, the poems in this book were deep, yet still provided very clear imagery to follow along with the context of the poems.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Review: The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

The Butcher's Hook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here's the short review: If you like dark, realistic stories that punch you in the face with characters that will probably (I said probably, so they still might get a happy end, technically I haven't spoiled anything) not get a traditional happy ending, then you'll like this book.

Now, here's the long review: So we start off by following this young girl from very early childhood to adolescence. The book starts off sweet and innocent, but the language gradually shifts to darker tones, and coarseness. As a psychology major this novel was like fuel for my brain, I read this for leisure, but I couldn't help myself to some serious psychoanalyzing of this incredibly damaged girl.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"This world is full of dragon-slayers. What we need are a few more people who aren't too proud to listen to a fish."
This book really is like a Sherlock Holmes meets supernatural in New America. Jackaby has that Sherlockian vibe to him; eccentric, aloof, hyper, and then all of a sudden he flips over to cunning. Although, he is a lot nicer than BBC Sherlock... Most of the time.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Review: Deadly Games by Lindsay Buroker

Deadly Games (The Emperor's Edge, #3)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Each book in the series just gets better and better. And, when I found out that this is not just a trilogy, and that there are actually multiple books in the series... Oh boy, I think it's time to lock myself in.

I pretty much powered through the first three books, right now I'm taking a little break. Because, you see, when I read a really good series that allows me to get super absorbed in the world, I come back to reality very disoriented. And then I realize that I haven't eaten anything in 24 hours

In this new adventure with Amaranthe and the gang, we investigate a missing persons case occurring during the Games (kind of like the olympics).

Review: Dark Currents by Lindsay Buroker

Dark Currents (The Emperor's Edge, #2)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the 2nd and 3rd book so fast that I finished each one before I could even think to write a review.

In Dark Currents Amaranthe and the gang go on another adventure, this time up north into some mountains to get to the bottom of who's poisoning the city's water supply. With each book Lindsay delves a little deeper into each of the characters. They're as funny as always, as quirky as always, and the book is filled with jokes that actually tickled my dark, cynical humour.
"Amaranthe's birthday is next week and, with our limited funds, I didn't think I'd be able to find her a gift."

"So, you're getting her...dead bodies?"

"Perfect, don't you think?" Books smiled.

"Most women like jewelry and flowers."

"Do you honestly believe she would prefer jewelry over a mystery to solve?"

Maldynado jiggled the key fob thoughtfully, then nodded toward the bodies. "Can we say one is from me?"

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Review: The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

The Emperor's Edge (The Emperor's Edge, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was fantastic. Being stressed out with school, and midterms, and all my university assignments I could really get lost in this book.

Let's do a pros and cons list because I'm just not feeling creative today...

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Review: The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud

The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co., #4)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so this book.

You know, every book kind of gives you a feeling. The classics make you feel melancholic and sophisticated. Epic Fantasy like a Brandon Sanderson novel makes you feel like you're about to go on a grand adventure. This book makes you feel warm and cozy, cold and spooked, and hyped all at the same time.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist (The Rithmatist, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brandon Sanderson got me into the epic fantasy genre, so of course I could count on him to engage me during a reading slump. Seriously, he has never failed to wow me, other than Way of Kings (which I actually ran out of time since it was due at the library) which I'll be rereading.

Review: The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

The Forbidden Library (The Forbidden Library, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I quite genuinely enjoyed the plot of this book, which is pretty amazing considering that my usual tastes are for character-development based books.

I loved all the characters, especially despite the fact that even though this is a middle grade novel. All the characters were very morally gray. In fact, Alice, even with her natural good nature acknowledged that she would have to yield to some pretty shady tactics to reach her own goals. And you can't even fault her for it, her situation really is almost completely out of her control, and drastic measures call for drastic actions.

Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Boy, oh, boy.

I did not see that coming.

I listened to the audiobook of this, the narrator was great, and I loved listening to him switch to different British accents.

The plot of this book was great, the plot twists were even better. I was sitting in a Chinese restaurant eating soup, and when the plot twist hit me I pretty much screamed in front of everyone, drew quite a few suspicious glances haha.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

'that is the secret of happiness and virtue - liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that. Making people like their inescapable social destiny.'

This entire novel is an argument between two conflicting ideologies, moral codes, and standards of behaviour.

The World State is a "utopian" society in which no one must wait in want of something. Gratification of appetite is instant, emotional extremes are never reached, desire for intense relationships are conditioned out with neo-Pavlovian methods while they are children. The individual is sacrificed for the stability of society: "Everybody belongs to everybody".

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really wanted to give this 5 stars.

The first half of the story was great, out of everything I enjoyed reading the aphorisms of Harry. He is a despicable character, but some of the things he says does have some merit to them. While the other half of the things he says are just complete fallacies, and have no ground in reality. I've never felt an author agree and disagree simultaneously so strongly with his own character. I could really pick up on the aphorisms that Oscar Wilde agreed with, and the ones which he used to mock Harry.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Review: Durarara!!, Vol. 2 by Ryohgo Narita

Durarara!!, Vol. 2
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loving this series so far, especially the light novel version. Again, like my last review, I'm going to repeat how much easier it is to follow along with the novels. Everything's so much more straight forward. Narita Ryohgo is probably one of my favorite authors now. I just have one question...
Did this man study psychology??

It could be said that this entire series is about the human condition... And boy, did Narita get so much stuff spot on.

Well, I'm too tired to say anything else, I'm currently holding myself back from buying the 3rd and 4rth novels until the 5th one is translated in November.

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Review: Durarara!!, Vol. 1 by Ryohgo Narita

Durarara!!, Vol. 1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me start off by saying that Durarara!! is probably my absolute favorite series.

The reason for this is the characters.
I have watched the anime countless times, read parts of the manga, and searched up everything that a person could possibly search up about this series. Everybody has that one series or novel that changes their life on a massive scale, this is what Durarara!! is to me.
Heck, I even read the afterword at the end of the book. That is how obsessed I am.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Review: Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock

Starbird Murphy and the World Outside
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, this didn't quite go the way I expected.

Starbird Murphy is about a girl that lives on a communal farm, she is completely oblivious to the rest of the world. She has no idea what cellphones, and computers are. And is totally ignorant to pop culture. One day she gets her "Calling" to go to the farm owned café in Seattle, where she is finally introduced to the rest of the modern world.

What bothered me was the incredibly slow plot. It felt like there was a lot of unnecessary filler that was kind of repetitive, the first half of the book could have been much shorter. The second half on the other hand was much better, and once I got to it, it felt like the book finally started.

I loved how the book touched on propaganda, and how religion can occasionally be used as a tool of mind control when in the wrong hands. The book teaches us to question the environment we are raised in and the things we are taught.

What was interesting was that the "main villain" didn't actually have bad intentions, but he did use some very unethical methods.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Review: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

The Vanishing Season
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, this is such a sad melancholic book.

Pay close attention to the lessons in this book, it's trying to teach you something. You know what it is, we all know what it is. But, for some reason, these lessons are something we can't truly understand till after we are dead. It's like a word on the tip of your tongue, that's what the lesson feels like. As if you know what the ghost in the story is telling you, but you can't quite reach it.

As other reviewers have mentioned, nothing happens in this book. Nothing. The entire book is like a single fleeting thought. Just like life, and time. But it is so, so important.

Don't ask me what the lesson is, because even I can't quite understand it yet. Any analysis or evaluation of the messages within this book has turned into emotions I can't understand, completely intangible things, yet there all the same. I do know one thing, this book has increased my appreciation for life tenfold.

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Saturday, 30 July 2016

Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, this was pretty darn good. Contemporary novels aren't really my thing. But, I really enjoyed this. The romance isn't really romance, it's chaos spurned from a girl that is so afraid of being hurt that she absorbs everyone's affection but gives none in return.

Alice is a MEAN person, but I don't hate her. I have no sympathy for her either, all her problems are fuelled by her own mistakes. There's nothing wrong with making mistakes, but making them and then denying them will get no empathy from me. I did like her character though, very realistic. Even the bullies aren't really evil, they too, are simply human.

My favorite character is definitely Deborah. She looks like a shy nerd, but damn, she is no pushover.

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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, as I finished the book, I realized one thing: Frankenstein's monster is not a monster, he is a microcosm and metaphor of every abnormal, different, disabled human on earth. Every human that is prejudiced against, every human that is judged based on appearance. He is not a monster, he IS humanity, constantly at war with itself.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study (Study, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I shouldn't like this book. I really shouldn't, it feels more like a guilty pleasure than anything. Don't get the wrong idea though, the romance is very backseat in comparison to a lot of YA novels that hit it off 1/3 of the way through (le sigh). This book, however, does us the favor of just not bothering us with cringe worthy romance until appropriate (thank you maria).

I'm glad that the setting isn't in some dystopian, totalitarian monarchy-esque world. The military ruler really isn't so bad. He's given equal rights to everyone, including women. He's lowered the poverty rate, and given EVERYONE a job. So, this novel isn't about "overthrowing the evil ruler". It shows what is happening post-" overthrowing the evil ruler".

Okay, Yelena is pretty likeable. I feel sorry for her, and yes, she is a cliché heroine. BUT, she is endearing. Nothing much else to say there. Valek (sorry if I get names wrong I listened to the audio book) is kind of a cliché love interest, except he's 33, and he has a bit more depth to him once you look past those clichés, and no, HE IS NOT DARK AND BROODING (thank god). I mean he is dark, but he doesn't brood. He's actually pretty cheerful most of the time.

I have nothing else to say, except that I will be reading the rest of the series.

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