Genre: Dystopian

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – Review

glass-sword
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – ReviewGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Format: eBook
Pages: 469 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian
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Evelynne's rating: three-half-stars

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is the second in the Red Queen series and continues the story of Mare Barrow and her struggle to end the oppression of the non superpowered Reds by the Silvers.  

When we left Mare at the end of Red Queen she was not in a good place, both in a practical sense and emotionally.  She feels betrayed by those she cared about and many of her allies are lost or alienated.  Nevertheless, she focusses herself on the goal of rescuing those who, like Mare, are of Red heritage but display Silver abilities.  

Although that is the goal of the book, the focus is far more on Mare’s psychological distress as she attempts to come to terms with what she has experienced as well as what is expected of her.  The title is clearly a metaphor for Mare; she is a weapon, but is very fragile and could easily be shattered.  In this respect, Glass Sword is faintly reminiscent of Catching Fire or Mockingjay which also deals with the protagonist’s PTSD.

What I liked

Vulnerable protagonist.  I enjoyed that the main character is struggling to deal emotionally with the situation in which she finds herself – it feels more realistic and relatable that young teens who seem to breeze through their crises.  Mare’s psychological trauma was well written and was a natural and logical progression of her circumstances.

Some interesting plot developments.  There were a few plot developments in the novel which were unexpected and reengaged my attention at times when it was flagging.  

Strong premise.  I really enjoyed the main premise and worldbuilding in Aveyard’s world.  The Red/Silver conflict and the addition of the newbloods made for gripping reading.

What I didn’t like

Bland characters.  Yes, I know I said that Mare’s vulnerability made her more interesting, but despite that, the characters in Glass Sword are still rather bland, typical YA heroes/heroines.  Perhaps I am being unfair here; I have just started A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab and within a few paragraphs, Lila Bard had already leapt out of the page and had me completely engaged in her story in a way that Mare never did. 

New characters not fully developed.  Some interesting new characters were introduced in Glass Sword such as Nanny, Cameron and Nix, but none of them were given enough page space to be developed fully.  That is perhaps due to the first person point of view and Mare’s own emotional struggles, but I would have liked to have seen it handled better.

Despite these issues, I did enjoy Glass Sword and gave it three and a half stars out of five.  I will probably read the final book whenever it comes out.

three-half-stars

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Review

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – ReviewThe Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Davina Porter
Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Young Adult
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Evelynne's rating: four-stars

The Invasion of the Tearling is the second in Erika Johansen’s YA Tearling fantasy trilogy.  It continues the story of young queen Kelsea Glynn as she prepares to deal with the aftermath of her actions in the first novel, The Queen of the Tearling.

I’ll start this review by stating that I hadn’t actually intended to continue with this series, given that I had significant issues with Johansen’s worldbuilding and character development in the first book.  However, I recently read the book blurb which indicated to me that Johansen was taking clear steps to address some of the issues with the worldbuilding at least and so I decided to give the series a second chance. 

What I liked

Additional point of view character.  For this second outing, Johansen has added a second point of view character, Lily.  Lily is a woman from the pre-Crossing era who has a strange connection with our protagonist, Kelsea.  Through her eyes we learn more about the history of the Tearling’s founding and what led William Tear to strike out to begin his utopia.

I absolutely loved Lily’s story and, personally, I was far more engaged with her plight than Kelsea’s.  These sections were wonderful both from a plot point of view and character development.  Throughout, I really found myself rooting for her.  This section of the book reads more like a dystopian novel than the traditional fantasy of Kelsea’s section, but it worked very well.  

It should be noted that Lily’s section deals with some issues which are far grittier and more adult than those generally found in young adult or even new adult books, and was written in a more adult manner.  Lily is notably older than Kelsea and is in a different life stage.  It could well be that’s why I connected more with her, as I too, am older than your average young adult protagonist!

Lily’s character development was beautifully written.

Kelsea’s romantic life. Often in YA, this can be a particularly problematic area, with the romance either subjected to the inevitable love triangle or so overblown with stars and rainbows it becomes intolerable.  I get it.  First love can be awesome.  Too often though YA authors portray it through rose-tinted spectacles.  Johansen’s portrayal of this part of Kelsea’s life felt grounded in reality and was excellently written.

In general I found Kelsea more consistently written in Invasion of the Tearling than she was in Queen.  I particularly enjoyed how the connection between her and Lily played out.

The pre-Crossing history.  The promise of learning more about the founding of the Tearling was what drew me back in to give this series a second chance and Johansen certainly made good on that promise.  I loved what we got, but I’m not one hundred percent convinced, though, that she has allayed the concerns I had from the first book.  I still can’t see the logic in why Harry Potter survived the Crossing but the internal combustion engine didn’t.  We still have a lot to discover, so I’ll suspend final judgement on this aspect until after the final book.

What I didn’t like

Additional point of view.  Yes, I know I had this listed in part of my Likes; let me explain.  The two main point of view characters are in different worlds, and are at different life stages and more, importantly, are written as such.  It feels almost like two completely separate books, and I’m not certain that they are targeting the same audience.

The audio narration.  I had a bit of a problem with the audio narration.  The book is narrated by Davina Porter, who, don’t get me wrong, does a great job.  My issue is that she is best known to me as the narrator of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  Ms Porter has a distinctive voice and half the time I kept expecting Jamie Fraser to come sauntering into the scene.  That was my personal issue though and it may not be one for you.

In summary then, I found Invasion a stronger book than Queen of the Tearling.  That’s not to say it’s perfect by any means.  I’m still not completely certain Johansen can pull together a completely cohesive overall story arc by the end of the trilogy, but I’m invested enough that I want to read book three to find out.

I gave Invasion of the Tearling 3.5-4 stars out of five.

    four-stars

    The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – Review

    The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – ReviewThe Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
    Also in this series: The Bone Season
    Format: Audiobook
    Narrator: Alana Kerr
    Length: 16 hours and 28 minutes
    Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Dystopian
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    Evelynne's rating: four-half-stars

    The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon is the second in her dystopian fantasy series – it is the follow on to The Bone Season which I have read and reviewed.  It follows straight on from the ending of The Bone Season and deals with the aftermath of the events of that novel.  I will say straight off that I enjoyed The Mime Order much more than the series opener.  Much of the heavy lifting in terms of worldbuilding has been done – although there is naturally much more to learn – so Shannon is able to concentrate on weaving a strong narrative.

    What I liked

    Very strong narrative.  For me this worked very well in this book.  Our protagonist has a clear, logical goal towards which she is working – the uniting of the clairvoyant underworld to provide a viable opposition to the Raphaim – and while there are lots of twists and turns in the way, it remains the backbone of the story.  Personally, I was invested in this plotline and enjoyed watching it coming to fruition.  I also felt Shannon kept the plot moving on briskly and had me wanting to keep turning the pages.

    Engaging protagonist.  The more time I spent with Paige the more I liked her and was invested in her goals.  She is clearly a smart cookie and I look forward to continuing her story.

    Mix of genres.  I enjoyed that the novel crossed quite a few genres.  We had the dystopian fantasy (which took a bit of a back seat this time), a murder mystery, mafia crime novel and a bit of romance.

    Audiobook narration.  I listened to The Mime Order primarily in audiobook and once again Irish actress Alana Kerr took on narration duties.  I really enjoyed her interpretation of the book and will certainly continue to follow this series in audiobook because of her excellent narration.  Here’s a sample:

          bk_adbl_020334_sample.mp3

    What I didn’t like

    Lots of jargon.  This was one of my biggest gripes about The Bone Season and that continues in the sequel  After a while I gave up trying to work out what kind of clairvoyant particular characters were and where they stood in the clairvoyant hierarchy.

    The relationship between Paige and Warden.  I really couldn’t get behind this relationship at all in this book.  As Paige’s friends kept pointing out to her, Warden did keep her captive for several months and exercised the power of death over her.  I just didn’t feel that his aid at the end of The Bone Season justified the level of trust Paige placed in him.  I keep thinking Paige, sweetie, jump online and do a quick Google of Stockholm syndrome please.  It’s also very clear that the way their relationship developed in The Mime Order is going to come back and bite them on the butt very, very soon.

    All in all I really loved The Mime Order.  I gave it four and a half stars out of five and will certainly continue with this series.

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    four-half-stars

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – Review

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – ReviewStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    Format: Audiobook
    Narrator: Kirsten Potter
    Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
    Genres: Dystopian
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    Evelynne's rating: four-half-stars

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is an apocalyptic tale about the fall of human civilisation and the struggle of the survivors after a pandemic wipes out 99% of the population.  It follows several characters as they attempt to survive in this new world and come to terms with what has happened to their civilisation.  I Iistened to this in audiobook format and enjoyed it very much.

    What I liked

    Interesting narrative structure.  Rather than have a straightforward linear narrative, Mandel tells her story through a series of non sequential vignettes taking place before, during and after the Collapse as it is called.  These snapshots are loosely connected through the character of Arthur Leander.  Although Arthur dies in the very beginning, shortly before the Collapse, his presence is felt throughout the book.  These snippets of life give more of an impression than a comprehensive narrative, but it is very effective at conveying the idea of a society after a collapse.

    Interesting characters.  Mandel has a wide cast of characters with each given his or her moment in the spotlight.  The points of view covered include characters who remember society before the Collapse, some who have only vague memories of how things were and those younger people who have only known this broken society. This creates a very interesting range of attitudes and experiences.

    The audio narration.  The narrator for Station Eleven was Kirsten Potter and I felt she did a fantastic job.  I enjoyed hearing the tale spoken out loud and Potter was great at distinguishing between all the characters.

    I would have no hesitation in recommending Station Eleven and gave it four and a half stars out of five.

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    four-half-stars

    Deviation by Christine Manzari – Review

    Deviation by Christine Manzari – ReviewDeviation by Christine Manzari
    Format: eBook
    Pages: 436 pages
    Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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    Evelynne's rating: four-half-stars

    Deviation by Christine Manzari is the first in an independently published YA dystopian trilogy. In Manzari’s world, following a devastating terrorist attack the US government set up the Sophisticates program of human genetic engineering to produce smarter, faster, better soldiers in the war on terror.  The Sophisticates are divided into two groups, the Vanguard who are the intellectual ones, groomed to be the country’s next leaders and the Mandates who are those designed to be physically strong.  We follow the story of teenager Cleo, who is the product of such engineering as she learns more about the truth of her conception.

    I really enjoyed this novel.  I felt it was well written with an interesting protagonist, intriguing setting and good character development.

    What I liked

    Good concept well executed. The basic concept of the genetic engineering was very well done and interesting.  There was the added interest of Cleo’s special abilities and what that means for her.  I look forward to seeing where Manzari goes with this in future books.

    Nerds vs jocks.  It was an interesting take that our protagonist who was raised as a Vanguard suddenly finds herself in a school for Mandates.  There is some fun exploration of a fish out of water nerd in a jock environment.

    Twist at the end.  I really didn’t see this coming and, with the amount of YA novels I read and my familiarity with the tropes, that’s not easy to do.  Yet it was well within the scope and concept of the world that Manzari has developed – no deus ex machinae here.  Nicely done.

    Pacing.  We learn more about the Program and its secrets as Cleo does.  The narrative kept me turning the pages, and I look forward to reading more.

    What I didn’t like

    Interesting themes not fully explored.  There were a couple of themes that would have loved so have seen developed further.  Some of these include the reaction of non-Sophisticate people who find themselves pushed out of leadership and other prime positions in favour of the Sophisticates.  I would also like to have read more of Cleo’s attempt to deal with the fact that she has never known her parents and her attempts to find out more about them.

    However, as this is the first in a trilogy, I’m prepared to give Manzari a pass on this in the expectation that these will be explored further in subsequent books.

    As soon as I finished Deviation I immediately went ahead and downloaded book two, Conviction, to my Kindle, which is a good indication of how much I enjoyed this book.

    I gave Deviation four and a half stars out of five.

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    four-half-stars

    Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau – Review

    Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau – ReviewGraduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau
    Series: The Testing #3
    Also in this series: Independent Study
    Format: eBook
    Pages: 296 pages
    Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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    Evelynne's rating: four-stars

    Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau is the third and final book in The Testing trilogy.  It continues the story of Cia Vale, survivor of the brutal University entrance exam known as TheTesting, University student and rebel as she attempts to end The Testing.  i have enjoyed both previous books and enjoyed reading the ending of the story.

    What I liked

    The protagonist.  I really liked Cia as a YA protagonist.  She has her head on her shoulders and gives great consideration to the consequences of her actions.  She’s very much of the watch and wait mould.  That doesn’t mean she doesn’t take action, but she doesn’t act without thinking.  These character traits are what lead to her central position in the drama.  The story would have played very differently with a Katniss Everdeen or a Tris Prior as the protagonist.

    The themes.  The theme of Testing is continued throughout the series.  This is continued in Graduation Day when Cia must test the loyalty of those she wishes to have as allies, and she herself continues to be tested in more ways that one as she seeks to end the horrific University entrance exam.  Trust is also a major theme in Graduation Day as Cia must decide whom to place her trust.

    The pacing.  The pacing kept moving along briskly and kept me turning the pages.

    What I didn’t like

    Mockingjay.  Two leaders, one rebel, one elected, both telling two different stories.  Teen heroine must work out which of them is telling the truth and the future of her society rests on her decision.  Sound familiar?  In my review of The Testing I commented that it had similar themes and plot points to The Hunger Games, and I’m seeing the same in the final book of the series.  In all fairness, given that the characters involved are very different – and indeed Cia’s personality is of key importance – things play out in quite another way,  I suspect this was partly deliberate by Charbonneau to bring the characterisation of her protagonist to the fore.  

    Questions not answered.  One of my biggest issues with the series was that, in a society where a reduced population is a serious issue, the government would ruthlessly cull a significant number of its brightest young citizens.  I’m not certain that the answer given in Graduation Day really explains things to my satisfaction.

    Despite these minor quibbles, I did really enjoy Graduation Day and The Testing trilogy.  It’s definitely a thought provoking series.  I gave Graduation Day four stars out of five.

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      four-stars

      The One by Kiera Cass – Review

      The One by Kiera Cass – ReviewThe One by Kiera Cass
      Series: The Selection #3
      Also in this series: The Selection, The Elite
      Format: Audiobook
      Narrator: Amy Rubinate
      Length: 7 hours and 25 minutes
      Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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      Evelynne's rating: five-stars

      The One by Kiera Cass is the final book in the Selection trilogy which tells the story of America Singer and her participation in the Bachelor type contest to win the heart and hand of Prince Maxon.  I absolutely ADORED this book and would have happily read it had it been three times as long.  Cass continued to develop the things I loved about the earlier books and my minor gripes about the series were all resolved.

      Before I start I would like to reecho the comment I made in an earlier post about the Selection Collection – the ebook compendium that includes all three novels plus the two novellas, The Guard and The Prince.  I honestly don’t know what the editor who put it together was thinking: they have the two novellas following on after The One which makes zero sense.  The Prince is set before The Selection and The Guard is set between The Elite and The One.  If you read them in the order presented in the compendium you’re going to end up frustrated because all of the great character development of the later books is reset.  

      What I liked

      The blend.  In The One, Cass has achieved a wonderful balance between romance, politics, worldbuilding and character development.  It all fitted together perfectly  and made a gripping story.

      Character development.  All three of the main characters seemed to gain a great deal of maturity in this book.  This is particularly true in the case of Aspen, a character whom I’d actively disliked in earlier books.  Not only did I end up liking him a lot more, but I could also respect him which is saying a lot.  In general, too, I felt America handled her romantic situation in more of an adult fashion in this book, although she did have flashes of immaturity to keep her endearing.  I liked that characters who’d seemed a little two dimensional such as Celeste became a lot more human as America’s growing maturity gave her a more understanding perspective of them.  This was an aspect of the book that I felt was particularly beautifully written.  I noted in my review of The Elite that at times it seemed that America wouldn’t necessarily be the best candidate to take on the role of princess.  By the end of The One, Cass has convinced me that she can handle it.

      The triangle.  This was one aspect which had really irritated me about the earlier books, but I felt it was exceptionally well handled here.  I appreciated that America finally resolved her feelings for the two men in her life after a date in which they had an open and honest conversation.  It also helped that that date in the rain was super adorable!  That’s not to say that things were plain sailing after that – she still made mistakes but that kept her human.

      That scene at the winner announcement.  Holy crap.  It’s not often that I have to back up and reread a few paragraphs thinking bloody hell, did that just happen?  But in this case I did.  It caught me completely off guard.  After the fact though, it’s obvious that Cass has done her work well.  All the signs and foreshadowing were there if I’d been paying attention.  

      The narration.  I’d not been too fond of Amy Rubinate’s narration of The Selection and The Elite.  Perhaps it was because I enjoyed her narration of Rebel Belle so much that I did enjoy the narration of The One much more.

      What I didn’t like

      Aborted plotlines.  There were at least one or two plotlines which really intrigued me and then seemed to disappear.  One of these in particular I felt could have led to some really interesting conflict, but was resolved rather easily.

      This is a very minor gripe, so do I really have to say that I gave The One five stars out of five?  So far it’s one of my favourite books of the year, up there with Cress.  Go read it.  Now.  

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      five-stars

      The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

      The Here and Now by Ann BrasharesThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares
      Format: ARC
      Pages: 256 pages
      Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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      Evelynne's rating: three-half-stars

      Through Netgalley I was offered an advanced reader’s copy of YA time travel novel The Here and Now by Ann Brashares.  It tells the story of Prenna James, a time traveller and refugee in our time from a future in which global warming and plagues have left the world devastated.  She and her community of fellow refugees must live by strict rules for their protection and that of those native to their adopted time.  One of these includes refraining from an intimate relationship with a local.  Naturally Prenna meets a boy…

      In general, I found The Here and Now to be a very fun, if light, read.  The time travel refugee concept was interesting but so much more could have been done with it.  The whole concept of time paradoxes (you know, the old chestnut, you can’t travel back in time and kill your own grandfather) was ignored and the issue of Prenna’s adaptation to the new society was glossed over.

      What I liked

      The concept.  The idea of refugees escaping back in time from a devastated future was very interesting.  The list of rules by which they must live is very interesting, too – I did struggle to understand how Prenna could not see their necessity.  The introduction of Poppy and Andrew Baltos added an extra layer to the time travel storyline.

      The Prenna/Ethan romance.  I really enjoyed this – I liked the way it was built up and how they supported each other.  

      What I didn’t like

      Scratching the surface.  I know this is young adult literature, but I felt the book lacked depth.  So much more could have been explored with time travel paradoxes, the whole source of the plague and environmental issues.  I had the impression that Prenna never really understood the need for the rules, and also why the time traveller community was reluctant to become involved in society.  The whole question of who is at the source of the fork in time could have been expanded much more.

      All in all though, I did enjoy The Here and Now and gave it three and a half stars out of five.

       buy from Amazon, Kobo

      three-half-stars

      The Darkest Minds: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken – Review

      The Darkest Minds: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken – ReviewThe Darkest Minds: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
      Series: The Darkest Minds #2
      Also in this series: The Darkest Minds
      Format: eBook
      Pages: 513 pages
      Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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      Evelynne's rating: three-half-stars

      The Darkest Minds: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken is the followup to The Darkest Minds.  This series tells the story of Ruby, a young girl living in a world where most of the children have been killed by a virus but the survivors have been left with supernatural powers.  Ruby is one such survivor with the power to control other people’s minds.  The country has been left devastated by the loss of the children and fear of those who remain.  Ruby and her friends are running from place to place trying to find safety.

      I adored both The Darkest Minds and the novella In Time so it was a little surprising that I was somewhat disappointed by Never Fade.  It actually took me several attempts to sit down and read it.  This is the second book in an expected trilogy, perhaps it was a little of middle book syndrome. This also appears to be at the lowest point of our protagonist’s arc, and as such I found it a little depressing.  Ruby is dealing with a lot of guilt, doubt and self loathing in this book which makes it rather a dark read.  I also missed the camaraderie between Ruby, Liam, Chubbs and Zu that was a cornerstone of the first book.

      What I liked

      The concept.  I continue to love the concept behind the series of the IAAN plague and the survivors’ psychic powers.  Bracken’s worldbuilding is excellent with various groups trying to deal with the fallout of IAAN but not necessarily having the best interests of the survivors at heart.  

      The characters.  All of the main characters are engaging and draw you into their story.  Perhaps that’s why I didn’t enjoy Never Fade as much as the other books; I care about Ruby and found it hard to read about her being in such a low place, especially without her friends around emotionally to help her through it.  The same is true of the other main characters.  Liam and Chubbs too are dealing with some issues which means they are not there for Ruby to the extent they were in the first book.  I also loved the new characters we meet – Jude and Vida.  

      Brisk pacing.  The action never lets up really; Ruby and team seem to lurch from one crisis to another.

      Hooks for the final book.  There is some really interesting setup for the final volume.  I’m really looking forward to reading it!

      What I didn’t like

      Weakened relationships.  The bond between Ruby, Liam, Chubbs and Zu was one of the cornerstones of the first book and I really missed that from Never Fade.  So much has happened to them and they have done such things since they were last together that their bond is very much strained.  I hope they get their act together for the final book.

      Unrealistic recoveries.  At various points in the book certain characters are gravely ill or seriously wounded.  Yet it seems that a day or two later they are up and fighting fit again.  That did jolt me out of the story on several occasions.

      All in all, although I didn’t enjoy Never Fade as much as the earlier book and novella, I felt it gave a solid foundation for the final book.  I gave The Darkest Minds: Never Fade three and a half stars out of five.

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      three-half-stars

      Reading Roundup – 28th February 2014

      With the movie coming out soon, I decided it was time to pick up James Dashner’s The Maze Runner.  I wasn’t too sure if I would enjoy it so I picked it up in eBook from the library.  

      Reading Roundup – 28th February 2014The Maze Runner by James Dashner
      Series: The Maze Runner #1
      Format: eBook
      Pages: 384 pages
      Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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      Evelynne's rating: three-stars

      I’m glad I didn’t purchase it because I found it was not really my cup of tea.  It reminded me in some ways of Lost – more questions being asked than answered.  It was particularly frustrating when characters refused to share information when it would have been in the interest of the larger group to have done so.  The worldbuilding was otherwise excellent and there is no fault I could point to in the writing.  It just didn’t appeal to me personally, and I am unlikely to be continuing with the rest of the series.

      I gave The Maze Runner three stars out of five.

      One of the TV series I’m looking forward to most this year is Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.  For those of you unfamiliar with this book, it’s about a WWII nurse, Claire Beauchamp, who finds herself transported back in time to 18th century Scotland and falls in love with a handsome red-haired Scot, Jamie Fraser.  The project is being helmed by Ron D. Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame and the novelist, Diana Gabaldon, has considerable input.  

      Outlander is a fantastic story with wonderful characters and memorable scenes.  Battlestar Galactica is one of my favourite dramas, based as it is on human drama as much as sci-fi which is why I am so excited about Moore’s leading this project – I think he’ll do a great job of bringing Gabaldon’s characters and story to life.  The trailer looks amazing – go check it out and tell me if you’re not excited.

      Upcoming releases in March

      There are a few releases coming up next month about which I am excited.

      Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.  This is the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive epic fantasy series.  It’s been a long wait for this book as Sanderson was busy completing the Wheel of Time, so it’s been a while since I read The Way of Kings.  I’ve been relying on Tor.com’s Wheel of Time reread and Where We Left Our Heroes summary as I doubt I will have time to reread the 1009 pages of The Way of Kings before Words of Radiance is released on the fourth of March.  I have pre-ordered WoR in both Kindle and Audible formats.

      Night Broken by Patricia Briggs.  This is the next in the Mercy Thompson series of books.  I’m not entirely certain Mercy’s story hasn’t run out of steam several books ago, but I trust Briggs as an author so I will certainly check it out.  I picked up Night Broken in Kindle format.

      William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher.  This is the second in Doescher’s Star Wars in the style of Shakespeare series.  I adored his version of Star Wars – do yourself a favour and pick it up on Audible because it’s awesome.  The Empire Doth Strike Back is not yet available for preorder on Audible, but I do have it on Kindle preorder.

      Added to my library this week

      Dear Mr Knightley.  This was on special this week for $1.99 on Amazon.  it seemed intriguing: the premise is as follows:

      Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

      Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

      But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

      As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

      If any of you have read it, let me know what you think.

      From Netgalley I picked up The Here and Now by Ann Brashares.  This is not yet on general release but the premise seems really fun – a young adult time travel romance with strict time travel rules.  I’m looking forward to this one and I shall of course give you review.

       

      three-stars
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