Reading roundup – 4th April 2014

April 4, 2014

Altered by Gennifer Albin is the second in the Crewel World series of YA novels which tells the story of Adelice, a young woman of Arras with the skill to manipulate the weave of life itself.  At the end of Crewel we were left with a real cliffhanger – Adelice had just broken out of the control of the Guild and escaped to Earth where a whole new set of challenges await her.

While there was a lot I liked about Altered I didn’t find it as gripping a read as Crewel.  I didn’t feel it lived up to the promise of that punch of a climax to book one.  I found I really missed Arras and Earth wasn’t as interesting a setting.  This is the second book in a trilogy and like many, it suffers from middle book syndrome.  A lot of time is devoted to setup for the finale of the series with the discussion of the skill of altering, the flip side of the coin to what Adelice can do, and yet for me it was still not exactly clear what the difference is between altering and weaving.  The end goal for the series is setup and naturally, our protagonist is the only one with the skillset to be able to accomplish it.  

The obligatory love triangle really annoyed me in this book.  Adelice was far too ready to flit from one to the other.  At this point I don’t really care who Adelice ends up with, just stop boring me with her romantic angst.  

On the positive side, other than that, I did continue to like Adelice as a character – she’s certainly grown from the timid, frightened girl we met in Crewel, and I was pleased to see that she kept a level head through the book.  Albin’s world is fascinating and I look forward to getting back to Arras in book three to see Adelice kick some butt.

I gave Altered three stars out of five, but I will certainly read Unraveled, the third book in the series when it is released in October.

Reading Roundup – 28th March 2014Creedor by Gail Morgan McRae
Series: The Reglon Series #1 
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Sci-Fi 
Format: ARC
Pages:  125 pages
Buy from Amazon • 

I was recently provided with a copy of Creedor by Gail Morgan McRae free to review.  This novel – or novella, really – is an uneasy blend of fantasy and space opera.  It starts off with what presumably is the series’ antagonist usurping power and has references to wizards and magic.  Then we switch viewpoints to that of a would-be medic bereft of purpose within the new society.  We then turn to a space opera in which unknown spaceships are infiltrating Creedor’s space and stealing valuable resources.  It has a large cast of characters – too large for the novel’s length really – and switches viewpoints too regularly to really get to know the characters well. 

Creedor is clearly book one of a series.  Within the book itself there is little or no story arc to follow – presumably it feeds into the larger series.  The ending is very weak and comes very abruptly.

Despite all of this, there are some strong points to the novel. The world McRae has created holds much promise – if it could decide what it actually is.  The Riders are intriguing – I look forward to hearing more of them.  The characters are interesting – Mara in particular looks as if she could be a strong, determined female character.  I was also really interested in the idea of the disease-free society being a perfect target for biowarfare and the challenges the society could face.

All in all, despite its failings, I felt there was a decent story and characters struggling to get out in Creedor and I will likely pick up the sequel.  I gave Creedor three stars out of five. 

Added to my library this week

Dorothy Must Die.  Danielle Paige’s follow on to L Frank Baum’s Oz books in which Dorothy is evil and must die.  This is one of my most anticipated books of the spring and I picked it up in both Audible and Kindle formats.

Amazon had a special deal on Agatha Christie novels this week, so I picked up Cards on the Table: Hercule Poirot investigates.  With Whispersync for Voice I picked up the Audible format for just a couple of dollars extra.

That’s all I’ve got for today folks.  Have a nice weekend and I’ll be back next week with a review of Dorothy Must Die.

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